Best old bakeries in Bandung

Not only have these bakeries thrived through the challenge of time, they also remain a favourite with the locals for their hearty treats.

Roti Gempol

One of Bandung's old-time favourite bakeries is now trending again thanks to its smart move to partner with the city's young and happening eatery Kopi Anjis!, which is a popular place to hang out in Bandung especially for university students.

The partnership somehow reminded people again of the sweet nostalgia of childhood and how nice it was to savour the bakery's thick, moist and warm bread.

Now younger customers can often be seen crowding the not-so-spacious eating space, which resembles a homey terrace with a vintage feel. Photos of its bread can frequently be found on social media such as Instagram.

The bakery's story, however, started a long time ago, in 1958 in Salatiga, a small city in Central Java. It later migrated to Bandung after the owner, Lidya Usman, enrolled at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB).

Roti Gempol produces its own bread and also supplies hotels, cafes and restaurants in Bandung. The bakery's factory is next door and operates daily from 5.30 am to 4.30 pm

One of the great things about Roti Gempol is its affordability. The bakery's favourite item - toasted wheat bread with meat, cheese, egg and homemade mayonnaise fillings - for example, is only priced at Rp 18,000 (S$1.94).

And you can conveniently savour it while sipping tea, coffee or fresh milk for a complete hearty meal.

Open from 7 am to 9 pm, Roti Gempol can be found at Jl. Gempol Wetan No. 14.

Rasa Bakery & Cafe

Try to come on a Sunday for brunch at this eatery on Jl. Tamblong No. 15 and you will experience how heartwarming it is to see families, usually consisting of more than one generation, happily savouring Rasa Bakery's famous cakes, pastries and other dishes.

This eatery is said to date back to colonial times. Initially it was known as Hazes Shop & Cafe. When its original Dutch owner left, it was bought by an Indonesian Chinese who later changed the name to Rasa.

Rasa Bakery is a place to go to savour delicious homemade ice creams and Dutch-influenced pastries and cakes such as bitterbalen and kroket.

One of my favorites from Rasa Bakery & Cafe's is the kassoesjes, a mini-sized soes pastry filled with cream cheese, which is sold per gram.

It's delightfully addictive and nowadays Rasa Bakery only serves this on Saturday. Arriving early is advisable since it sells out fast.

Toko Roti Abadi

Go to Jl. Purnawarman No. 49 to enjoy the best warmbollen or bagelan bread in Bandung, says foodie Nurul Wachdiyyah.

"The bread is so soft and tasty and the cream is thinly spread but still so fulfilling; definitely the best in town," Nurul said.

"I think it's because they use homemade natural yeast, thus there's a distinction in their bagelan compared to those offered by other bakeries in town."

Toko Roti Abadi was originally opened in Garut in 1947. It later moved to Bandung in 1991 and has become the locals' favourite ever since.

The bestselling item from this establishment is the aforementioned original-flavored warmbollen, of which 400 are sold per day.

Open daily from 7 am to 6 pm, the bakery bakes its own bread in-store and, unlike other legendary bakeries, customers can only have the bread as a take-away as they don't provide dining space.

Sumber Hidangan

Located in the popular area of Jl. Braga 20-22, this bakery and restaurant is presently run by the second-generation owner who is as old as the bakery, which was founded in 1929.

Upon entering, its antique furniture and vintage atmosphere predominates; giving a strong but mistaken impression of a sad lonely bakery.

In the old days, when the bakery still used the Dutch name of Het Snophuis, it was said to be the place where the Dutch, the rich local Chinese and the menak (rich and powerful pribumi - inlander) used to go for a treat.

Now, most of the loyal customers of this bakery are the descendants of that crowd.

Sumber Hidangan produces its own bread daily using the same original recipes since it was first opened, with a distinct Dutch influence.

They have kept the Dutch names for the bread such as suikerboll (a cinnamon roll with powdered sugar), kasstook (cheese bread), krentenbol (raisin bread) and melkbrood (milk bread).

The best time to go there is from 9 am to 10 am when the bread is fresh from the oven.

Besides bread, Sumber Hidangan also produces its own homemade ice cream but subject to availability. Customers can also dine in and savour dishes influenced by Dutch cuisine such as bistik sapi (a beef dish).

Braga Permai

This bakery and eatery on Jl. Braga - a street famous as the lifestyle hub where opulent restaurants, boutiques and shops were located during the colonial era - used to be named Maison Bogerijen in the old days.

It is also said to be the only restaurant in Asia to receive an award directly from the Dutch queen and the only restaurant outside the Netherlands to have been granted permission to serve the palace's specialties such as koningin Emma taart and Wilhelmina taart.

Now, though it is more famous as an eatery than a bakery, Braga Permai still produces its own pastries and cakes and still gives them Dutch names such as ntbijtkoek, gevulde speculaas, and almond speculaas.

As with Sumber Hidangan and Rasa Bakery, Braga Permai also makes its own ice cream, which is still a favourite among many Bandung residents after all these years.