Paneton Bakery

A bakery that’s tasty, centrally(ish) located and reasonably priced may seem like crazy talk, but this mystical convergence can be found at Paneton Bakery at 21 Halsey St.

Peneton is a top class French bakery, and the first thing you see on walking in is their famous bread, which comes in all shapes and flavours. The retail bakery is to the right, where lunch-seekers will find a huge selection of rolls and baps. Huge.

My old faithful (which I get every time, despite promising myself to get something different) is the chicken and bacon roll. The bread roll is fresh, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and STUFFED with chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo. It’s well seasoned and tastes great. I can highly recommend the pastrami and gherkin roll but everything else looks fantastic too – you may like to branch out more than I.

All rolls and baps are well sized with generous fillings and go for around $6-7, a price that makes non-Aucklanders spit out their roll-up and shout “HOW MUCH?”, but makes Aucklanders say “Mmmm, that’s pretty reasonable for a roll these days*”.

 Paneton’s chicken and bacon roll and cinnamon brioche

Next to the sandwiches, Paneton has twin display cabinets of pleasure. The warm one is stuffed with a wide range of pies and sausage rolls (I can recommend the frankfurter roll, which walks the tricky tightrope between crisp, flaky pastry and greasy sausage with ease), but be warned – if you leave it too long after 12 to get there, you’ll find the good stuff well snaffled. The sweet cabinet has tasty treats like brioches, slices and danishes calling your name like sirens calling sailors to the rocks, in a good way. Everything in there is recommended.

Paneton also does decent coffee and has plenty of tables inside and out for enjoying views of Victoria Park or a traffic jam, depending on the time of day. It’s not yer fancy-dan fit out like you’d find in Ponsonby or Parnell, but it’s perfectly fine for an ‘all business’ coffee catch up.

Pro tip: pick yourself up a pack of frozen mini-danishs, pain au chocolates or croissants to take home, chuck in the freezer, and bake at home for when guests pop in unexpectedly or you just fancy making a pig of yourself unexpectedly.

Overall rating: 7/10

Location: 9 for me in nearby large Telco-related office, but it’s a longish walk from the CBD
Value: 8
Service: 7
Quality: 7
Environment: 6
X-Factor: 7


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