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Apr 30, 2004 12:16 AM

Best Baguette In Bay Area

  • m

After trying many bakeries in the bay area the ranking order of the top choices would be:

1. Acme Rustic Baguette (lifespan: 3 days, very consistent quality)
2. Bay Bread Baguette (lifespan: 2 days, consistent quality)
3. LaBrea Sweet Baguette (lifespan: 2 days, somewhat variable quality, sometimes a slightly underbaked flavor)
4. Arizmendi Baguette (lifespan: 1/2 day, good but only for a very limited time, very dense)

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  1. c
    Cyrus J. Farivar

    What about Bread Garden in Berkeley? Or La Farine in Oakland?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Cyrus J. Farivar

      Yeah, what about the Bread Garden in Berkeley? If there's a better baguette around here than their 19th Century Baguette...well I don't know what. Its tremendous crust is almost buttery, if that makes any sense. Get it at their store (Ashby around Domingo, next to Rick & Ann's) or at the Berkeley Bowl.

    2. k
      k. gerstenberger

      The crust on an Acme baguette, regardless of type, is "best" for a few hours after purchase from the bakery. It has a distinctly different crispness, almost fragility of texture. It also helps if the bread is cooled, but still retains a little bit of the oven warmth.

      My dog believe it or not has a bread palate. He prefers fresh Acme. He will actually walk away from lesser bread.

      1. Scotty's in Terra Linda (San Rafael) used to have warm-from-the-oven bread available in the afternoon. The smell would fill the car and drive me crazy. The brand was "Dominic's". They still carry bread under that name, but warm and fragrant is a thing of the past, alas.

        1. Cheese Board Berkeley, without a doubt

          1 Reply
          1. re: charcot

            I agree completely. When my husband and I were first married we lived in southern Calif. but were visiting Berkeley, where I had lived before. I had told him that we needed to stop at Andronico's to get piccoline olives, and then at Cheese Board for baquettes. While we were at Andronico's he spotted baquettes (I don't remember what kind, but they were fresh from some reputable bakery) and he said, "Oh look, we can get baquettes here, we don't need to make another stop." I told him that we did indeed need to make another stop. He was pretty cranky about it, until I bought baquettes at CB and he, as usual, broke the end off one to eat it. Immediately he agreed that this was indeed a baquette that was well worth the extra effort.

          2. r
            Robert Lauriston

            I've reached the same conclusion about the Acme rustic. Too bad they're not as easy to get as regular Acme baguettes ... though of course that's precisely why they can consistently produce top quality.

            I also like Bakers of Paris for their extremely authentic replication of a standard industrial French baguette (a decidedly inferior product).

            1 Reply
            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              I'm a Bakers of Paris fan as well, although I buy them from French Bakery (formerly BofP) on Taraval and 21st. This is the bread for purists.

              West Portal Bakery makes a fine seeded baguette and of course there's their sour date roll, which has a great crust.