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Baguettes in Baltimore

Where can we find baguettes and other good bread without going into Whole Foods? We live in Federal Hill and my husband works in Canton, so anywhere there or in between that is simple to pop in and out of. Cook's Table used to sell them but closed; the Italian bakery at Cross Street Market has lame bread. Suggestions?

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  1. This may sound like sacrilege, as I am about to suggest--horror of horrors--a CHAIN restaurant. However, I have found that Panera bread has far and away the best french baguettes around. They are, first and foremost, really fresh, which, right there, means they beat 80% of what's available. Locations can be found at Panera.com, I believe.

    1. I am not too snobbish to eat Panera, but there's none within miles around.

      3 Replies
      1. re: sweetpotater

        Looks like there's one opening in the newish bldg by the harbor with the Best Buy. I saw a sign in the window on the 1st floor last night.

        1. re: sweetpotater

          You said your husband works in Canton: there is a Panera on Boston Street.

          1. re: Dithyramb

            Panera's French "baguette" is not the real thing. Kind of like today's NYT's Olympics' aside: "London croissants bear as much resemblance to the genuine article as a mop head does to an English muffin."

        2. I find the bread at the Canton Safeway to be great. I generally choose the Green Olive or Kalamata olive loafs or the Como, but sometimes the man picks up baguettes which I cannot quibble with. They also have sourdough baguettes.

          We did stop at Piedigrotta Bakery on Central Ave on the East end of Little Italy (http://www.piedigrottabakery.com/). Very authentic. The owner was very enthusiastic about her breads and described each one. We got the standard Italian bread (not my favorite bread, but they did a good job with it) and also a Kalamata Olive loaf. I thought the crust and the chewiness of the Safeway Kalamata Olive loaf was better. (I like verrrrry crusty, chewy, bread).

          IMO, the best bakery I've found in Baltimore is Stone Mill Bakery. They used to sell their products at the Eddies in Roland Park (and I think they had a satellite shop a few doors down from there) but no longer. They're up in Greenspring Station, if you're ever up that way. Excellent whole-grain and other breads.

          Years ago I stopped at a cheese stand in Cross Street Market and they were selling baguettes and other breads, as well. I remember that baguette well. Crisp, firm outer crust, with the inner bread as light as air. It was very well done. I don't know where they got that baguette, but it was damn good.

          2 Replies
          1. re: venera

            Piedigrotta is my favorite bakery in Baltimore, but the bread is not real crusty. IMO the best crusty bread is from the Maranto bakery near the Lexington market as sold by various retailers, including some branches of Giant and many Italian delis in the Baltimore metropolitan area, including Trinacria on Paca street.

            1. re: elgringoviejo

              Where, exactly, is Maranto? I love their bread!

          2. Bonaparte's in Fells Point has great authentic baguettes. I think it's on Ann Street, right by the harbor. I'm not a fan of the Safeway baguettes.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ko1

              Agreed on Bonaparte. After spending two months in France a couple of years ago, my husband and I decided that Bonaparte's was the most authentic in the city. Also, the Bonaparte baguette was what they sold at Cook's Table.

            2. Actually, Rosina Gourmet in Canton (also one on Lombard)used to carry the good Stone Mill Bakery ones- not sure if they still use them it's been awhile, but you could check. Either way, they use really good breads. Also could try DiPasquales in Highlandtown or Tratoria Anna Maria in Fed Hill.