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good bread bakery in central NJ (monmouth cty)

Hi all-

I'm wondering if anyone knows of a good old school bakery that bakes delicious bread (round breads, french bread etc.). I'm hoping to find an independently owned, non-chain or grocery store bakery. Do they exist anymore??

I watched a show about bread yesterday and they had a story about the Crown Point Bakery in Crown Point, NY http://www.crownpointbread.net/main.php. That's what inspired my new quest for delicious bread :


The closer to Red Bank, the better, but I'd be up for a drive too.


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  1. It would be a drive from Red Bank but the best I have found is Joe Leone's on Richmond Ave. Point Pleasant Beach.

    5 Replies
    1. re: shorebilly

      Is this on Richmond Avenue or Rt 35 (or are they one and the same)? Any other comments on Joe Leone's bread? Short of driving to Hoboken, we have found it pretty difficult to find decent bread/rolls in Monmouth (Belmar). PP would be an easy drive.

        1. re: shorebilly

          Ok, got it. I've probably driven by this place dozens of times. I am going to give it a shot this weekend. I've been pretty disappointed by the bread available where I am (Belmar). Friedmans certainly isn't the answer. The Foodtown on 35 somtimes has some pretty decent stuff, but it's hit or miss).

          1. re: bnemes3343

            The bakery on Main Street in Bradley Beach (names escapes me - Del Pontes, maybe) makes pretty good bread. They bake themselves everyday. Joe Leone's bread comes from an outside bakery, I understand.

        2. re: bnemes3343

          Sorry I cannot help with a recommendation for a specific bakery for bread, but I feel I must comment on Joe Leone's......if it is the best the area has to offer, I feel sad for all of you in Monmouth. I've been there twice for sandwiches and my brother had an expensive catered affair for his home done by Joe Leone's. The place would have a hard time surviving in Bergen County.

          My suggestion is to see if there are any Northern New Jersey Bakeries that supply the supermarkets. Johnson Avenue Bakery out of the Plainfield area is pretty good. any Bakery out of Newark/Harrison is good. If you can find Americo's Bakery products, they have some nice breads....a recent thread on fish revealed there is an Asian market in Middletown...Here in NNJ, Americo's serves many of the Asian Markets and they have excellent breads...but not Panellas/Rounds. Shop Rite markets in Northern NJ offer Valente Bakery Breads which are all excellent...Semolina, Italian, Prosciuotto and Panellas.

          Stick any of these in the oven and you have great breads from independent bakers.

      1. Too weird! I just logged on to ask the very same question (just because I'm craving bread and don't feel like driving to north Jersey or Manhattan to get some) except that I'm in Point Pleasant and was going to ask it about Ocean County as well as Monmouth.
        Are Atlanta Bread or Wegman's my only local options??

        1. Have you tried Zebu's in Red Bank or Holmdel? They have some great breads.

          8 Replies
          1. re: NoraG

            I was going to suggest Zebus. IMHO their breads are not great. IMO they are "good enough" in an area that seems to be lacking in good bakeries. (Sorry, I'm a bread snob :-)

            My favorite thing about Zebus is the comfortable seating and atmosphere, particularly in Red Bank.

            1. re: val ann c

              that's my feeling exactly, the bread is OK but not really good bakery fresh quality :) It is a nice place to meet with friends for coffee (and a delicious cookie!) though

              1. re: val ann c

                Hey val ann.......I'm new here so please excuse my ignorance but, what does IMO and IMHO mean?

                1. re: sunsetterdottie

                  They are commonly-used chat/text message abbreviations for "in my opinion" and "in my humble opinion."

                  1. re: RGR

                    Ahhh..........yes, of course. Can you tell I am not part of the text generation? I was wracking my brain trying to come up with what it stood for. Thanks for filling me in. I feel soooooooooooo over 30......and I'm being kind to myself there. LOL (that's one I know)

                    1. re: sunsetterdottie

                      Well, it actually took me forever to figure out what LOL meant! LOL! And then there was ISO, which had me totally stumped. (In case you don't know, it's "In search of.") I finally resorted to an on-line "net lingo" dictionary. There are many, and they're an excellent resource for acronyms, smileys, etc.

                      1. re: sunsetterdottie

                        Welcome to the group! I too am well over 30.

                        1. re: val ann c

                          Thanks! Glad I found the site.......pretty addictive and a great reference tool to use before we make our choices on the weekends.

              2. Saloman's, in Manalapan, is an independently-owned Jewish-style bakery. I occasionally buy challah or rye bread there, both of which are excellent.

                2 Replies
                1. re: RGR

                  Where in Manalapan, RGR? I usually get my challah from Brooklyn. I buy an extra one for french toast the next morning. Soooooooo good

                  1. re: Babs16

                    Oops! I spelled it wrong. Salomon's is in the Foodtown shopping strip, on Route 9 South & Tennent Road.

                2. Dearborn Farms in Holmdel, on Rt. 35, has a large selection of breads. They are delivered daily from bakeries in New York, and from northern NJ.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: DrewBB

                    I second that DrewBB.I paticularly like the Sourdough Boule.In fact I would say that they are my favorite one stop food store all around.The vegetables are always fresh,plentiful,varied and well priced.

                    1. re: xny556cip

                      I like the raisin-nut dinner rolls or loaf, although I don't remember the exact bakery, I believe it is from Staten Island.

                  2. We get pretty good bread at the Whole Foods store on Rte 35 in Middletown.

                    1. I have had good luck at Sickel's Market in Little Silver. I don't believe they bake their own on site (but don't quote me), though they do get some fairly decent breads brought in. For a purely Italian-bread experience, you could try the Piancone's store in Bradley Beach. Otherwise, go to Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC or France!!!! Monmouth County is kind of a wasteland when it comes to high-end bread (if I only could do it myself....)

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: aklein

                        I believe Sickel's get some baguettes and a few other items from Balthazar.Wholefoods also use balthazar forBrioche,Multi Grain and Pot/Onion Breads.They also supply quite a few Monmouth Co restaurants apparently with Sirena and Avenue amongst them.

                      2. I've only been to Whole Foods, in Middletown, once. Not close to our nabe, but I wanted to check it out. I thought the bread selection was excellent. One of my favorite breads is the rosemary round from Amy's Bread, in NYC. I bought a rosemary bread at Whole Foods that was delicious. But, as I said, too far to shlep just for bread.

                        The Pathmark in Marlboro carries a few varieties of artisanal breads from Ecce Panis. I've tried a couple, and they are very good. I did a store locator search on Ecce Panis's website, and it indicates that the Pathmark in Belmar carries them.


                        1. How is that bakery "My Way" on Route 9 North in Freehold? I just always see the sigh..never have been. I just thought of it now. I WISH we had a Whole Foods by us. Too far the Middletown location and I hate driving to Princeton on Route 1.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Angelina

                            I've never noticed a sign for this bakery. Do you know where on 9 North it's located?

                            1. re: RGR

                              I think it is in the same plaza ast "Cafe Colore"..if that is still there. I have never been in this strip mall, just see the signs. I wish I had more for you. Whenever I see my friend in Howell, I go down Route 9, and on the way back see the sign.


                              I just forund this link!

                              1. re: Angelina

                                Cafe Colore is still there. Iirc, there used to be a day-old Taystee Bread outlet in that strip. Or maybe it was a different brand. I don't go that far down 9 too often. Every once in a while, we used to go to Fritzy's, but since it was sold, we haven't been back.

                          2. My choice for bread shopping depends on what I am in the mood for. Sourdough....Whole Foods Good Semolina......Ferrucci's in Little Silver Funky Artisian Breads..........Panera

                            1. thanks everyone for your suggestions!

                              I think I'm looking for the whole atmosphere thing, in addition to the quality of the bread itself...It was that darn show, made me long for a small town bakery!

                              I used to work at Bovellas Pastry Shoppe in Westfield, maybe I'm just harking back to the good old days (though they don't bake their own bread either! :)

                              1. I assume you are aware of Wegman's bakery. They obviously don't fit the bill for an non-chain, but their bread is very good. The Marco Polo bread is a round bread with rice flour on top that adds an interesting little crunch. Very good bread that is a perfect density (not overly dense, nor overly light/airy.)

                                Mendokers bakery in Jamesburg (about 40 minutes west of Red Bank) is a german bakery that has fabulous rye and other breads. Mendokers is very well known in the area as being a premier bakery --- great desserts, great breads. Not sure though if you'll find french bread there. Maybe. Good luck.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: marls

                                  ooh, thank you. reminded me that that was the first time i've tasted cake for an event that was not only edible, but truly delicious. a great cake, outstanding.

                                2. Not to long a haul from Red Bank to Brick. Mulberry Street is a great italian grocery / pork store on Brick Blvd. They're not doing any baking there but they import daily from Brooklyn. Its real and crusty wheat and semolina sticks and rounds.