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Best Bread in Chicago

Anyone?

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  1. what type of bread - challah - IMHO nothing beats Tel Aviv Kosher Bakery on Devon - artisan type breads my favorites Breadsmith in Skokie and Great Harvest in Evanston

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    Breadsmith
    3327 Dempster St, Skokie, IL

    Great Harvest Bread
    2126 Central St, Evanston, IL

    1. If you like artisan bread, I would suggest that you pass up the chains and go for Red Hen in Milwaukee Ave or Heavenly Hearth in Wilmette. Bennison's in Evanston also makes wonderful bread.

      3 Replies
      1. re: chicgail

        I agree with Red Hen. All of their bread is heavenly. I want to like Bennison's, but I just don't. I have picked up several varieties of their bread at the Green City market and I wasn't a fan. The baguette was tasteless and had an almost airy texture that I didn't like Have I just had bad luck or have others experienced this? Plus, it's expensive!

        1. re: elc515

          Third the Red Hen! They make a fennel/raisin bread that is ridiculously good toasted (and I don't even *like* fennel that much). I am new to Chicago and have also fallen in love with pretzel bread, which I'd never seen before. I think Labriola makes a good loaf; I buy it at Olivia's Market in Bucktown but there's a long list of retailers at /www.labriolabaking.com/locations.htm.

          1. re: mcgeary

            Labriola is opening a Bakery Cafe in Oak Brook. Bread, sandwiches, pizza...
            I found a link for a free event this week
            www.labriolaevents.com

      2. Let us not forget our favorite, the Austrian Bakery on Clark below Diversey on the East Side. He bakes many different types of bread, and for those of us who miss a real honest German bread, it is here. Our favorite is Landbrot but the Sunflower is also great, as are the many types of Rye. And for a treat as you leave, don't forget to try the Bienen Stich which is to die for. They make all of it for the German fest in Lincoln Square but the pieces they sell in the store are the best. Also, pieces of any of the cakes...especially chocolate mousse...or Sacher Torte...enough!
        Austrian Bakery 2523 N Clark St Chicago, IL 60614 Phone: (773) 244-9922

        1. This might sound crazy, but...

          Beograd Meat Market
          2937 W Irving Park Rd

          They have a white bread and the ingredients are listed on the bag. I am going from memory, but it's something as simple as wheat, water, yeast, salt and maybe one or two other ingredients.

          I used to get this from a European market right next door to where I lived at Lawrence and Damen. The market was on the northeast corner about 3 storefronts in. It's also available at what I would call a "fresh market" right near Devon and Kimball Avenues.

          Anyway, my tastes in bread run from a great Pumpernickel to a fresh Baguette, it all depends on my mood. Beograd's bread was a lightly crusted, with a light and fluffy interior that smelled and tasted of fresh yeast (is there such a thing?). I would go down to the European market on Saturday morning, buy a loaf and cut a few slices and toast them. I'd usually eat a slice or two just plain before I could bring myself to toast it. At dinner, it often became a meal-killer because anyone eating this bread warmed up and served with a little butter could not stop eating it until it was gone.

          You really have to get this bread the morning of, because come the next day or beyond, you lose just too much of the taste. That said, I have been known to freeze it and then toast a slice or two and be back in heaven.

          I cannot think of other places off the top of my head. But if you are looking for what might be the simplest bread in the city with the freshest taste, give this a try.

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          Beograd Meat Market
          2937 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL

          1. My vote goes to the Tel Aviv Bakery on Devon Avenue. Their rye is the best in town. Their challah is the best in town. Their rolls are the best in town (try the ones with the onion filling, or the challah rolls). Go mid-morning for the best selection.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Querencia

              forgot about TA's onion pocket rolls - they have replaced hot dog buns in my house -

            2. Fox and Obel. They have so many baked goods that are great, including their croissants, their muffins, and their yummy cinnamon swirl rolls. But don't overlook their breads, either! They do a wonderful brioche (available as individual rolls as well as a loaf). And their rustic style breads are outstanding too! One of their rustic breads, they call it "raisin nut" but it has a couple other fruits (I know there are apricots, and maybe dates), and it's the best fruit-nut bread in the Chicago area. www.fox-obel.com

              1 Reply
              1. re: nsxtasy

                I agree! Followed closely by Red Hen.

              2. By far a place called Markellos Bakery 3520 w lawrence its open 24hrs and its CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP,and the bread is always HOT all day and so many things to choose from,it use to be sort of old but i was there last week and the place is completly remodeled,and this place is PACKED anytime you go there,i guess there stuff is always fresh and hot because they sell evrything out all day LOL

                  1. Labriola - the best-tasting bread I can remember eating in Chicago. This bread is what makes otherwise so/so sandwiches at Xoco taste good.

                    1. Convito's parmesan peppercorn sourdough.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: ferret

                        I haven't had this in years. In fact, I sort of forgot about it, but at one point in my life, a loaf of this and a bottle of wine was dinner for two.

                        1. re: lulubelle

                          I forgot their daily rotation, but the variations with added sweet peppers and sauteed mushrooms are a meal unto themselves.

                          1. re: ferret

                            Isn't there a bacon version too?

                            1. re: lulubelle

                              Used to be. Just checked their website and they list only parmesan and parmesan/artichoke varieties.

                      2. Labriola bread is the best there is, here, there or anywhere