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SEA: Best Bread

Just curious to peoples thoughts of the bakeries that make the best bread. My new personal favorite is the Columbia City Bakery which makes some of the best bread and pastries, imho, outside of paris.

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  1. My favorite is Tall Grass Bakery in Ballard. I learned about them when I asked what fabulous bread we were eating at Le Gourmand. They said it came from Tall Grass. I've been a convert ever since then.

    1. i agree with columbia city, but i also like cafe besalu and le panier.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ccqueen

        If you are buying loaves of bread at Besalu, it is from Tallgrass next door.

      2. Ciro's bread from La Panzanella. Although I think it isn't quite as good as it was when Ciro owned the bakery--the crust is now softer. It keeps exceptionally well, makes great bruschetta and when it's fresh, you don't even need butter.

        For a good all-purpose whole grain, La Brea's bread is surprisingly good. It's not sweet as some whole grains, so you can serve it with a variety of foods.

        1 Reply
        1. I'll add the Macrina bakery and the Essential Bakery. Both are available at Met Market if you can't make it to the actual bakeries. And I'll second Le Panier at the market.

          1. TALL GRASS. I sometimes drive across town, just to go inside and smell. It is fantastic.

            1. Columbia City Bakery is fantastic. My favorite loaves are the walnut levain and the pain de campagne. Mmmm.

              CCB wholesales to Matt's in the Market, Sitka & Spruce, Crush, Lark, Licorous, Crave, Rovers, Vios, Roy's BBQ, La Medusa, Geraldine's Counter, Cafe Flora, Chez Shea, and many others. Too many, perhaps.

              1. I want to second the recommendations for Columbia City Bakery - it really is worth the hype. The pain de campagne is just the right amount of sour, with some "pull" to the texture. It also freezes beautifully - not the same as fresh, of course, but a nice thing to have in the freezer (wrapped twice in aluminum foil, then put in a freezer ziploc) for a busy night (or Monday and Tuesday, when they're closed.)

                While this is not really "bread," I have to give a shout out for two bread-like wonders that I dream about: first, the gougeres at Columbia City Bakery, like a savory puff pastry with gruyere cheese and cracked pepper ($1/each, eat 'em while hot!); second, the pizza bianca at Essential Baking Company in Fremont, which is a savory, sea-salt and olive-oil flatbread that is a staple of the bakeries in Rome (at least when I've been there).

                And I recently found myself popping into Dahlia Bakery for some coconut cream pie - I'd never bought bread there, but since I was there, I picked up a load of rye and onion bread, which was really quite excellent with some high-fat butter next to a grilled tuna steak and salad.

                1 Reply
                1. re: southendeater

                  CCB is open on Tuesdays now. As of last month I believe.

                2. To me, Tallgrass and Columbia City are neck and neck. I especially like/respect the Columbia City manifesto regarding having the freshest bread in town.

                  I tried a loaf of Mario's bread from DeLaurenti that I was quite impressed with - I think Mario does mostly wholesale, not sure where else to find it retail.

                  1. These days, I am a big fan of the bread from the Wild Wheat Bakery in Kent, sold at Ballard Market & Whole Foods. Great for sandwiches and as a side for pasta--generally a good loaf to have around for the week and it doesn't go stale instantly. Have had whole wheat and peasant loaf and both were excellent.

                    And what about good, old-fashioned Como Bread from Grand Central? Still one of my favorite loaves in town.