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Sep 20, 2009 05:55 AM

ISO Great Olive Bread in DC/nearby suburbs

Way back when--when Marvelous Market first came out with its Kalamata bread, I was in heaven. There were big chunks of olive throughout the bread, but in recent years I've found that it's greatly diminished. Have been in search of something better. I discovered Firehook Bakery's green olive bread--which is quite good, but is only made certain days with its availability being something of a mystery.

I stumbled upon a delicious Kalamata olive bread a month or two ago at the Foggy Bottom Farmer's market. I think, but cannot remember for sure, if it was from Bonaparte Bread (?). What I remember is that the bread was incredibly fresh with lots of whole pieces of olive throughout. I also found some olive rolls at Dean & DeLuca (definitely from Bonaparte) that were great.

Can anyone think of another place (preferably in DC but I'll also travel to the nearby MD/VA suburbs) where I can find great olive bread? Also, do you you happen to know where Bonaparte bread is sold (besides Dean & Deluca)--maybe farmers' markets? Thanks a lot.

P.S. As an aside, not too long ago while dining at Volt, I had a heavenly sea salt roll. I think the bread is house made at Volt but if that's not the case, I would love to know where to find more of those amazing sea salt rolls...

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  1. Bonaparte has an outlet (I think also where the baking is done) at Savage Mill, a drive up 95 but closer than Fell's Point. See the HowChow blog for a review.

    14 Replies
    1. re: Trip Klaus

      There was a time when Bread Line had the best olive bread that I've found east of Acme in Berkeley. But Bread Line was sold and their olive bread changed. Now, I am just as starved for great olive bread as "Gigi007." There must be somewhere, somewhere! that has great olive bread.


      1. re: Joe H

        Joe, I'm pretty sure that Bonaparte is our best hope. I need to go back to the Foggy Bottom farmer's market (it's either Weds. or Thurs afternoon; I think Weds.) and find the amazing olive bread I got earlier in the summer. It might also be worth a trip to Bonaparte's outlet at some point (thanks, TK!), but if I can get the bread closer to home, all the better.

        And if you like green olives, you might check one of the locations of Firehook Bakery although like I said before, one never knows which days they bake their green olive bread.

        But the Kalamata olive bread is my favorite, so I'll try to make it to the FB farmers market soon and will report back.

        P.S. Joe, If I get a hold of a good olive bread, I'll trade you for some of the amazing heirloom tomatoes you posted about earlier. :)

        P.P.S. I just checked, and Bonaparte Bread is at the Foggy Bottom farmer's market on WEDNESDAYS, 2:30-7:00 pm.

        Looks like I'll have to take a late lunch or an extended coffee break Wednesday....

        1. re: Gigi007

          I am now craving olive bread -- a good reason to pay a visit to Firehook Bakery out in Chantilly this Saturday.

            1. re: Gigi007

              I've liked the olive bread from Atwater's, also bought at farmers' markets. It's kalamata.

              1. re: mselectra

                Is this the Baltimore Area Atwater's with a location (among others) at Belvedere Square?

                1. re: Trip Klaus

                  Checked their webpage, and yes, seems so. They sell at the Mt. Pleasant and DuPont Circle farmers' markets in DC, which are the two I shop at the most, so that's where I see them. Haven't bought the olive bread in a while though, and I'm having some trouble remembering it, except that I liked it.

                  1. re: mselectra

                    Thanks, mselectra. I was about to ask which farmers markets to check, but see you mentioned Dupont & Mt. Pleasant. Good to know.

                2. re: mselectra

                  mselectra, the bread I've been searching for is from ATWATER'S! I went back to the scene of the crime--the Foggy Bottom Farmer's Market (24th between New Hampshire & I Streets--Wednesdays from 2:30 pm-). I couldn't remember who made the one I originally tried and as Atwater's doesn't have a sign up, I thought that perhaps it had been from Bonaparte Breads.

                  Seriously, it is the best kalamata olive bread I've ever had. They use whole olives (unlike Whole Foods and Marvelous Market who use miniscule pieces), and the bread itself is very fresh and tasty, kind of rustic-style with a thick crust. Perfect for eating with cream cheese although right now I'm eating a piece with a homemade eggplant spread.

                  Also picked up some other goodies at the market--delicious honeycrisp apples (huge, crunchy, and yes honey-ish)-Quaker Orchards, spicy salsa and tomatoes from Sunnyside Farm & Orchard (W. Va.), It's a pretty small market, but good for picking up a few things and tasting (lots of apples to taste; some pears too--but they weren't so good--probably too early).

                  Atwater's is at several local farmers' markets, including Dupont Circle (check their website for other locations).

                  I'm thrilled to say the least! Thanks everyone for your interest and help.

                  1. re: Gigi007

                    That's great! Thanks for letting me know. It sounded like Atwaters when you first described it, but Bonaparte made a good red herring. I haven't had the olive bread in a while, so I couldn't quite remember except that I've liked all their breads. When you're ready to try something else, they make an amazingy good raisin pumpernickel, with, I believe both coffee and cocoa in it -- might sound weird, really delicious.

                    1. re: mselectra

                      Thanks! The raisin pumpernickel sounds interesting. I may go to the Foggy Bottom FM tomorrow. The people at Atwater's are really very nice. I noticed that they even sell 1/2 loaves of bread. Of course, I have to get a whole kalamata olive bread! Thanks again.

                    2. re: Gigi007


                      Whilte Atwater's kalamata olive bread is still my favorite (I'm only sorry that I can't always make it early to the farmers' markets to get it regularly!), I've recently found that Firehook's black olive and thyme loaf (also made with kalamata olives) is also quite good.

                      The bread smells of fresh thyme, and the other ingredients include Greek Kalamata olives, oil-cured olives,: organic white flour, and sea salt. It's not as hearty of a bread as Atwater's which is more likef a traditional sourdogh boule with whole olive pieces, but it is delicious nevertheless.

                      I also picked up a loaf of Firehook's green olive bread, which is made with Sicilian jumbo green olives, fresh sage, and a hint of cracked pepper. Very tasty too! :)

                3. re: Joe H

                  I have not tried the olive bread at Baguette Republic in Falls Church City, but it is a great source for serious rustic European breads judging form the breads that I have had.

                  1. re: Joe H

                    The kalamata bread from ACME is the best I ever had. My brother and I once ate an entire loaf with cream cheese before we got across the Bay Bridge. Proof Bakery in Frederick occasionally has it.

                4. Thanks for the advice and comments, hounds. I'm encouraged that I'm not alone in my love of olive bread...Nor of olives either, apparently. See:


                  1. I just had some delicious olive bread last week from Best Buns in Shirlington. It was a sourdough base with pieces of Kalamata olives and herbs throughout. Good stuff.

                    1. The recommendations are great. I love Atwater's breads, as well as Panorama which sells at the 14th and U St. Market on Sat.'s.
                      I can personally attest to the olive bread that's made at Restaurant Eve in Alexandria. Their breads are sold retail at Grape and Bean, just a block away on S. Royal. I happened to get an olive (kalamata, I believe) loaf some time ago because they were out of ciabatta (which is served at the bar and lounge at Eve and is absolutely addictive). My dinner guests proclaimed it the best olive bread they'd ever eaten.
                      I pick up bread on Saturdays-loaves arrive fresh out of the oven at around 10:30-11am. If you go, give Grape and Bean a call the day before to check on what breads they will have delivered, and ask them to hold a loaf for you!