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Holey bagel - Jewish bakeries and culture in Melbourne

/ 04 Sep 2018
Keen to nosh? Melbourne’s Jewish bakeries and cake shops take you back in time for some seriously tasty European fare

Babke, blintzes, bagels, challah, kichel, kugel, rugelach… each one more delicious than the next, Melbourne’s Jewish bakeries have an enormous range of delightful and intriguing treats that are heavily influenced by the community’s deep European roots.    

With Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) right around the corner, visitors can head to one of these institutions to usher in a sweet new year.

Founded in the late 1960s, Glick’s is famous for its boiled bagels, quality cakes, breads, and fine foods. Open six days a week the popular store becomes packed on a Friday afternoon with hundreds of people ordering traditional Jewish plaited bread called challah, alongside dips, blintzes and a range of savoury and sweet appetizers.

Aviv Cakes and Bagels in Elsternwick specialises in traditional Swiss and European pastries, cakes and baked goods. According to one online review, Aviv’s spectacular full-size cakes and colourful petit fours mean that the shop can be “more crowded than a nightclub” but well worth the visit.

Established in 2002, the family-owned Lichtenstein's Bakehouse has become famous for its gluten free offerings including bread, bagels and bread crumbs. There’s a huge range of products to try at Lichtenstein’s, but the fresh cream and jam donuts are a definitive stand out.

Monarch Cakes is an icon and revered remnant from St Kilda’s past. Many of the recipes used in the shop are over 80 years old and originated from the original shop in Poland. In 1934 Monarch opened its doors and has been baking exquisitely ever since. Most of the recipes come from Eastern Europe: Austria, Poland, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, and a few more recent editions from the French. Famous for its chocolate kugelhopf and Polish baked cheesecake, Monarch’s cakes are an absolute must-eat for any visitor to St Kilda.

For some incredible chocolate coated biscuits try Haymisha Bakery on Carlisle Street, Balaclava.

Jewish culture

Outside of cakes and bagels, there are many cultural activities and museums that offer a look into Jewish life in Melbourne.

The Jewish Museum of Australia, which is currently exhibiting Love & Legacy, part of the very first Multicultural Museums Victoria’s joint project – ‘Grandmothers’. Located on Alma Road in St Kilda, the museum has collected of over 20,000 pieces since the 1970's. Items historical and contemporary Judaica, visual art, photography, textiles, personal and ceremonial objects, documents and books, our collection is driven by a desire to share and preserve the Jewish history and culture. 26 Alma Rd, St Kilda, Victoria, 3182.  (03) 8534 3600.

The Jewish Holocaust Museum and Research Centre offers the unique experience of hearing eyewitness accounts from Holocaust survivors who volunteer as guides in the Museum. Established in 1984 as an institution dedicated to the memory of the six million Jews, the museum features artefacts collected from Melbourne's Holocaust survivor community, archival footage and state-of-the-art technology makes a visit to the JHC is a moving experience. 13 - 15 Selwyn St, Elsternwick, Victoria, 3185.  (03) 9528 1985 .

St Kilda Hebrew Congregation, the Jewish Museum of Australia, opposite the synagogue, runs daily tours of the synagogue on all days except for the Sabbath and Festivals. The Shule has played a leading role in Melbourne’s Orthodox Jewish Community for more than 145 years since its inception in 1871. 12 Charnwood Grove, St Kilda, Victoria, 3182.  (03) 9537 1433.

Melbourne Tours 101 Jewish Melbourne Tour offer six different private or small group luxury Jewish tours of Melbourne for visitors. Along with half or full day Melbourne Jewish sites tour, they offer Jewish Carlton tours, Jewish food tours, Carlton Jewish Cemetery tours, Flinders Lane tours, Early Jewish Melbourne city tours and general Jewish culture tours. 0431 616 884.


This content can be shared and edited for the purpose of promoting Victoria as a visitor destination. Not for use in paid advertising. Please credit Visit Victoria.


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