Juicy mince. Flaky pastry. Tuckshop nostalgia. What’s not to love about a sausage roll?
Let the good times roll with Good Food’s guide to 10 of the best in Melbourne – from $4.50 vegan versions to Japanese-inspired riffs and others worth crossing town for.
Drom-roll, please. About 45 minutes from the CBD – in the eastern suburb of Bayswater – crowds are burgeoning at this new bakery. Moon-shaped, custard-filled croissants might be the most Instagrammable drawcard, but no less delicious is the humble sausage roll ($10), which sells out daily despite the team baking more than 300 a week. It’s a classic combo of peppery pork and fennel, laced with cheese and encased in house-made puff pastry.
To sweeten the deal: Add on a decadent choc-hazelnut croissant ($10).
Shop 1, 19 Scoresby Road, Bayswater, drom.melbourne
All Are Welcome
Sizeable enough to warrant being the most expensive entrant on this list, All Are Welcome’s $12 sauso roll – in the warmer at all three of the bakery’s locations – is one worth seizing. While the seasoning changes with the, ahem, seasons (currently it’s an Italian-style herb blend), coarsely ground mince from local butcher The Melbourne Pantry ensures it stays as juicy as possible, and a smoky sauce adds a chipotle kick.
To broaden your horizons: Try khachapuri ($9), a cheesy Georgian delicacy.
190 High Street, Northcote; 887 High Street, Thornbury, and 255 Lower Heidelberg Road, Ivanhoe East; all-are-welcome.com
Wild Life Bakery
Gloriously golden, fennel-seed crowned and one of the fiercest contenders for Melbourne’s No.1 sausage roll, the Wild Life version ($10) uses a two-day puff pastry made with Spitfire-wheat flour – an organic, wholegrain, stone-ground variety from Victoria’s Woodstock Flour. It’s a near-perfect vessel for the trusty trio of pork, fennel and apple, rounded out with a heap of herbs and a splash of red-wine vinegar.
Feeling something fresher? The roast-chicken baguette ($17) is A-plus.
90 Albert Street, Brunswick East, wildlifebakery.com
In a sea of fun, fusion-forward and full-to-the-brim pies (think decadent lasagne, Thai red chicken curry and vegan-friendly barbecue jackfruit), Pie Thief’s sausage roll ($8.50) stands out for its simplicity. One of the few non-pie items on the menu since day one, this hulking pork-and-fennel creation – or “big meaty boi” as owner Aaron Donato puts it – doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it’s a flaky, flavourful ride or die.
Want something wackier? That lasagne pie has your name written all over it.
297 Barkly Street, Footscray (daily); and 300 Napier Street, Fitzroy (weekends only), piethief.com.au
The name of the game at this Sydney-import bakery is, well, lamingtons. But it’s safe to stray from the sweet stuff. Tokyo Lamington’s pork katsu sausage roll ($8) is a more handheld, less deep-fried riff on the classic Japanese dish. Buttery puff pastry is filled with an interesting mix of ginger-spiked ground pork and koshihikari rice, sprinkled with panko breadcrumbs and served alongside a healthy dollop of tonkatsu sauce.
And for dessert? The yuzu-meringue lamington ($9) is just as good as it looks.
258 Elgin Street, Carlton, tokyolamington.com
If you spy a snag roll ($9) in the pie warmer at either of Falco’s Collingwood locations, you know the baked-good gods are looking out for you. They’re regularly a sellout, but here’s a hot tip: you can also buy them frozen to take home. This just-right-sized number keeps it traditional but top quality, using pork mince from local meat and game specialist Gamekeepers and a heady hit of fennel.
If you’re a pie person: It’s got to be the cheeseburger-esque Rockwell pie ($10).
288 Smith Street and 156-158 Langridge Street, Collingwood, falcobakery.com
Lunchtime at this Sydney Road staple draws almost as many punters as there are menu items. Which is to say: a hell of a lot. A queue snakes through the place most days, mainly because this is daytime dining at its most affordable. Case in point: the $5 beef sausage roll, with tuckshop vibes, visible shreds of veg and crunchy seeds on top.
Prefer plant-based? The vegan sausage roll ($4.50) is a solid alternative.
115 Sydney Road, Brunswick, greenrefectory.net
Tivoli Road Bakery
For more than a decade, Tivoli Road Bakery has been a beacon for Melburnians (southsiders, especially) in search of reliable bread and baked goods. A few different owners have brought in new recipes over the years, but it’s remained locally loved. Not least because of its sausage roll ($9), still one of the most popular items. The current iteration uses pork and sage, with everything from the pastry to the filling made in-house.
On a budget? The bacon-and-egg brioche is a very pocket-friendly $6.
3 Tivoli Road, South Yarra, tivoliroad.com.au
Of course there are some fancy flourishes to the sausage roll at Meatsmith, Andrew McConnell and Troy Wheeler’s string of suave Melbourne butcher shops. Rare-breed pork mince is seasoned with house-made Dijon mustard, celery seed, capers and thyme, then enveloped in puff pastry and sprinkled with nigella seeds. They’re available hot from the pie warmer in Fitzroy ($8) on weekdays, or chilled at all Meatsmith locations.
Or make like a miner: Order a Cornish pasty ($12).
273 Smith Street, Fitzroy; 227a Barkly Street, St Kilda; 612 Hampton Street, Brighton; and 431 Whitehorse Road, Balwyn; meatsmith.com.au
Smith & Deli
Usually, sausage roll success hinges on meaty mince and buttery pastry. But – as usual – that didn’t stop Shannon Martinez harnessing her plant-based powers to create a convincing vegan version ($8.50) at Smith & Deli, which adjoins her hatted restaurant Smith & Daughters in Collingwood. It’s got the looks of one you’d find at a country-town bakery, but none of the meat, instead filled with spiced-up V2 soy-based mince.
Need a full meal? There’s a (vegan) full English breakfast ($20) on weekends.
107 Cambridge Street, Collingwood, smithanddeli.com