Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Feb 21, 1999 12:24 AM

Bread in No. California...

  • g

...or at least the Bay Area, and always excepting my
wife Elise's home-baked loaves warm out of the oven....

In my opinion, has to be Acme. This bakery in
Berkeley, on San Pablo Ave. turns out actual manna. We
drive 80 mi each way to but this bread (well...not as a
sole trip, but still...) The sourdough baguette is
heaven. Ordinarily, I'm a bread and butter man: bread
needs butter to be palatable (or olive oil as an
occasional alternative). Acme's baguette I will eat
like a bag of potato chips; just scarf it down.

Many varieties of bread and they are uniformly good.

Most fun to visit the bakery, San Pablo several blocks
n. of University. Get there early in the day for full
selection. If you can't get there, it's availble in
specialty groceries all around the bay area. For a
while someone was even importing it to Modesto, but no
longer, alas.

There are lots of other good bread bakeries in the
area. Many would dispute this being the best; another
with strong partisan following is Tassajara.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. j
    jonathan gold

    Acme is in fact the best bread bakery in
    Northern California, but the best baguettes,
    are at the Cheese Board up on Shattuck.
    Amazing baguettes, superlight, crisp,
    almost alive. And the cheese is pretty
    good too.

    13 Replies
    1. re: jonathan gold

      Must support Dave, without question the baguettes at
      the Cheeseboard (Shattuck, across the street from Chez
      Panisse) are superior to the loaves sold by Acme.
      Always hot, because they fly from their bin so
      quickly, the texture an unusual but absolutely
      addictive sponge, for lunch one must buy two baguettes
      for you'll eat one in the car before you make it home.
      Ahh... as close to France as the U.S. has ever come.
      Try the sweet white bread at Acme though, and tell me
      if ever a loaf has been better crafted for a BLT.

      1. re: Rachelhope

        sorry ... Jonathan. ooops, got carried away in my
        cheeseboard-induced ecstacy.

        1. re: rachelhope

          I know this is a bit North of the current thread, but
          the Cafe Beaujolais in Mendocino (a terrific
          restaurant, BTW), makes an Austrian Seed Bread which I
          believe they also sell (and do mail order). This is a
          rich dinner bread that we could not get enough of and
          while Mendocino is worth a visit in itself, this bread
          provides special justification to loaf lovers

          1. re: stan gordon
            jonathan gold

            I noticed an ad in the March Beard
            newsletter offering Cafe Beaujolais
            for sale? Is this true? Are they gone

            1. re: jonathan gold

              It's been on the market for quite awhile. I think
              Chris and Margaret are spending more time in Austria
              than in Mendocino.

              1. re: Gary Cheong

                Unfortunately I haven't had the opportunity to try
                ACME Bakery, but I can't get out of my mind the
                intoxicating aromas, texures and flavors of the breads
                from La Brea Bakery in L.A., and it's been four years
                since my last trip.

                1. re: Heidi

                  Acme's Great, but I also loved Il Fornaio; no one
                  makes a ciabatta quite like they do!

                  1. re: Heidi

                    i must also admit that the best
                    bread outside of france is in
                    Los angeles at the LaBrea
                    bakery, the resturant next
                    door Called Campinile is also
                    very good
                    the herb foccaccia is
                    unbelieviable there

                    1. re: Heidi

                      i must also admit that the best
                      bread outside of france is in
                      Los angeles at the LaBrea
                      bakery, the resturant next
                      door Called Campinile is also
                      very good
                      the herb foccaccia is
                      unbelieviable there

                      1. re: jason carey
                        Connie Biaggini

                        I live in San Luis Obispo, California. Where can I purchase the sourdough baguette from the La Brea Bakery?

                        1. re: Connie Biaggini

                          If you have a Ralph's market they may carry LaBrea breads. The one in the L.A. area does.

                          1. re: Kit

                            Hi my name is Jose an lm lokoing for this type at bread
                            cal LABREA.
                            Can you please let me know if you guys have.

                      2. re: Heidi

                        I had the opportunity to try same and I liked it.

                        Ash Beck


          2. We were in San Fransisco this past week and picked up some Acem bread at the market near the Ferry Building. Does Acme have a website?

            1. How fascinating.. Any bakeries in So. CA to recommend?


              2 Replies
              1. re: auranixx

                I really like Metropolis Baking Co. bread. It's also located in Berkeley, near the Scharfenberger Chocolate Factory. You can get their bread at a lot of local markets and some really good restaurants carry it, too.

                1. re: laura

                  I really love the crusty, chewy Country Loaf from "Tartine" on Guerrero and 18th