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Apr 15, 2009 01:20 PM

Best Bread Bakery? Nominations Please

Best Bread Bakery? Nominations Please

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  1. Fox & Obel, for both variety and quality. They have a rustic-style raisin nut bread that's amazing; it even has chopped apricots in it! I love their brioche loaf too. They do a nice Jewish chollah. They have a sesame semolina that's excellent. Best bran muffins anywhere, their cinnamon swirl rolls are the best anywhere (I'm not sure these qualify as breads...?), etc.

    1. Red Hen is very good and it supplies a lot of Chicago restaurants:

      7 Replies
      1. re: rubinow

        Red Hen is definitely my top choice.

        2nd is D'Amato's, 1124 W Grand in Little Bari. Excellent sourdough, thick focaccia. Going beyond bread, best Italian cookies and cannoli.

        3rd is La Patisserie P, 1052 W Argyle for Hong Kong style breads. Best sweet top buns.

        4th and a bit out of the way is Casa Nostra, 7138 W Belmont. Best italian bread. If you'd had the bread at any Francesca's, you know what i'm talking about.

        1. re: ms. chow

          D'Amato's is an Italian bakery with primarily Italian breads. They do a wonderful whole wheat Italian bread too. Those in the northern suburbs who don't want to travel that far can find D'Amato's whole wheat bread at Marketplace on Oakton in Skokie; try to go early in the day, as it has a tendency to sell out.

          There are numerous Chinese-style bakeries in Chinatown; I'm not sure which is best or how they compare with La Patisserie P, since Chinese baked goods aren't my thing.

          If you're interested in the best croissants in Chicago, check out the test results posted by u. of c. eddie at

          1. re: ms. chow

            I vote for Red Hen, but it sounds like I need to make a pilgrimage to F & O.

            1. re: chicgail

              Quick tip - if you're looking for their cinnamon swirl rolls or muffins, the bakery counter sometimes sells out of them but even when they do, you can often find more in the cafe in the rear of the store.

              1. re: chicgail

                The olive ciabatta pillows are pretty good at F&O. They have it in single-serve size, so perfect for making sandwiches too. I've brought them to the Pritzker, Ravinia, and such, and they are always a hit.

                For baguette, i prefer Red Hen's. For crostini, the sourdough logs at D'Amato's.

              2. re: ms. chow

                Casa Nostra moved from Belmont to somewhere in the western suburbs several years ago. The space remains vacant.

                1. re: Eldon Kreider

                  I cut down on carbs, and they moved further away??? ;-(

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. Some of my favorites are in the suburbs - I enjoy breadsmith in skokie, Great Harvest in Evanston - for challah nothing beats Tel Aviv Kosher Bakery in Rogers Park on Devon -

                1 Reply
                1. re: weinstein5

                  If there were a subcategory for Jewish bakery, Tel Aviv would be my vote, too. Great poppyseed danish, best sugar kichel, etc.

                  I still like Kaufman's in Skokie for the best Jewish rye bread, though.

                2. It's not necessarily comparabel to the other places listed here, but the long, flat loaves from Argo Georgian Bakery on Devon are unbelievable when fresh out of the oven. A bread peak experience.