Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chicago Area >
Sep 11, 2008 09:40 PM

Best Bread in Chicago


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  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

    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 /

          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

      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.

          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 -