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Help me find a GOOD Bakery on the North Shore

Just came back from a vacation in Europe and I could not believe how much better fresh baked bread is there.So I am curious if others have noticed this difference as well. Does anyone know of any really good bakeries around the Salem, MA area? I am specifically looking for european style bakeries and ones that focus on bread and not pasteries. I am a big fan of the italian pastry shoppes in the north end, but thats not what I am looking for here. Thanks for the help.....

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  1. A&J King Bakery in Salem. Better than some I've been to in Europe.

    http://www.ajkingbakery.com/

    5 Replies
    1. re: pdude

      Here is a review and a photo of their croissants: http://bistrobroad.com/

      1. re: pdude

        Does A&J King distribute their breads to any retail outlets in Boston/Cambridge? I'd love to try the bread but don't get out to Salem much.

        1. re: bella_sarda

          Taken from their web site, these are all their retail outlets. Looks like they are all North Shore.
          The Coastal Greengrocer – Ipswich
          Common Crow Natural Foods – Gloucester
          Cornerstone Books – Salem
          The Fruitful Basket – Beverly Farms
          Grapevine Restaurant – Salem
          Green Meadows Farmers Market – Hamilton
          Henry’s Market – Beverly
          Marblehead Chowder Co. – Marblehead
          New Meadows – Topsfield
          The Northey Street House B&B – Salem
          The Peabody Essex Museum – Salem
          Shubie’s Market – Marblehead
          Tiger Lily Catering - Beverly
          Whole Foods Market – Swampscott
          Zumi’s Espresso and Ice Cream – Ipswich

          -----
          Coastal Greengrocer
          55 Market St, Ipswich, MA 01938

          Marblehead Chowder Co
          10 Bessom St, Marblehead, MA 01945

          1. re: hhookk

            thanks. Looks like it's worth the trip to Salem, which isn't that far anyway. If they're selling to Whole Foods in Swampscott, others can't be far behind, although I just checked the website too and they said they're not taking new wholesale customers at this point. they must be doing well. I wonder how they will compare to Clear Flour, B&R, etc.

            1. re: bella_sarda

              A&J is amongst the top tier of Boston bread bakeries, period.

              I imagine the reason they are limiting wholesale is their bakery itself is not huge along the lines of an Iggy's, etc. Though Iggy's started small too...

      2. A&J King in Salem and Annarosa's Bakery in the Tannery Mall in Newburyport, MA are the two finest artisan bakeries on the North Shore that I know about.

        1. I am a major fan of excellent breads and feel very lucky to live in boston , home to the superb Iggy's breads. I too agree with the excellence of A&J's product. I was very impressed with their bread when I first had it a few months ago at Soma restaurant in beverly. Now I'll make a point of visiting and getting some other things.

          1. mamadou's artisan bakery - winchester ma

            3 Replies
            1. re: phonelady

              Annarosa's in Newburyport, especially for the croissants and pain au Levain; Mamadou's in Winchester,

              1. re: phonelady

                wow I stopped in there yesterday...what GREAT BREAD!!! I'm going BACK!

                1. re: sinned61

                  Yes, also a big fan of Mamadou's. Some of the best bread I've had in Boston, not just the North Shore.

              2. Yep, I've got to concur with everyone else here. A&J King are really worth checking out, both their breads and their specialty items are top-notch.

                http://www.northshoredish.com/

                1. A&J King is *terrific*. First had their bread at the Marblehead farmers market and have had additional opportunities to have their fabulous bread and incredible pastries. Really, really good.

                  1. Wow thanks all.... looks like I will have to try A&J King Bakery ,here in my hometown of Salem.... I will be heading there soon..... to be continued........

                    1. Although I've heard good things about A& J King I've never been...I am however, a PASSIONATE fan of Annarosa's and urge you take the drive up and give us a comparison!