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Feb 18, 2003 01:48 PM

** The best bread in NYC **

  • f

Well, which is it? Eli's? Sullivan? Zito's? I've had this debate with different friends and some self proclaimed food gurus, but I'm still not satisfied.

For the last several years, I've thought that Sullivan St. had the best bread, hands down. Their Pugliese is the kind you can imagine Giacomo cooking in the back alleys of Naples... black, crumbly crust with a soft, dense interior. Their ciabatta and sesame breads don't disappoint either.

Am I missing something though? Maybe I had it wrong all along. If a bread store exists somewhere that can top Sullivan, please tell.

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    david sprague

    i'd say it depends on what you're looking for in a loaf. i don't think i've ever had better "regular" bread than sullivan street's (other than the stuff my late grandmother used to make). eli's makes the best raisin bread in the area. still looking for a top notch seeded rye, though. any ideas?

    6 Replies
    1. re: david sprague

      In Manhattan the easy choice is Sullivan Street, not only for the Pugliese and Ciabata, but, when fresh, the Pizza Bianco is outstanding - a perfect blend of oil, salt, and herb.
      However, any trip near Brooklyn brings a required "drive by" to Royal Crown. All of the usual breads are first rate, but come early to be sure that they still have the incredible EVERYTHING bread.

      1. re: Eric R.

        Do you have an address for Royal Crown? Are they a bread-only bakery or do they bake other things? Thanks.

        1. re: Penny

          Royal Crown is on 65th or 66th Street and 14th Ave. Brooklyn. They have another store, Paneontico, on 92nd St and 3rd Ave. Brooklyn. Both stores have delicious bread and cakes are also terrific. One of the best bakeries around.

          1. re: Irving

            Royal Crown is on the west side of 14th Ave between 65th and 66th. It's a few blocks south of a stop on the W. On the way there you pass the actual bakery which is also a storefront, albeit smaller and, I think, with a smaller selection. The chocolate bread (chocolate in regular dough, not chocolate dough) and the fig-walnut are very good. The chestnut (available only during the holidays) is sublime.

            1. re: Timowitz
              Connie Crothers

              East Village Cheese is now stocking Balthazar's bread for less money. The rye bread is especially wonderful, cut from huge loaves into addictively crusty and chewy hunks. For Upper West Siders, Silver Moon is the destination. The sourdough boule there is great.

      2. re: david sprague

        Orwasher's...get their extra seeded rye...

      3. There's some great bread at the Union Square Farmers' Market on Saturdays from the Rockhill Bakehouse. It's very different than Sullivan St. -- they have a great San Francisco sourdough and my personal favorite is the cheddar corn jalapeno bread. Be forewarned: deliciousness does not come cheaply, though their bread will keep for up to a week.

        1. one of my favorite things to do is eat a whole lot of the rye bread at le pain quotidien, which is mystically soft yet dense, and get really tired and go to sleep.

          take that, you atkinsheads!

          1. Till now my favorite ciabatta is from Levain on 74/Amsterdam. I can't really imagine a better ciabatta existing anywhere in the universe, but I'm heading to Sullivan St. as soon as I can to compare.

            1. Last week I bought a lard bread at Mazzola bakery in Carroll Gardents. It was godly - although I don't want to think about what it did to my heart. It was this delicious, peppery bread, and mixed into the dough were tiny bits of salami, and some kind of cheese melted in. It was out of this world. I highly recomend it. Also, Mazzola's straight Italian bread and olive breads are excellent.