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Bakeries in Calgary?

m
matter Jun 19, 2010 09:50 AM

Hello! I am from Montreal and am spending the summer in Calgary. I'm having trouble finding decent bread here. Does anyone have any tips? I like all kinds of bread from baguette to a good multigrain.

  1. s
    Shazam Mar 7, 2014 03:07 PM

    Is it just me or has the quality of bread (and pastries, etc) in town gotten better the last few years? I've been buying stuff from a few random places (whatever's at whatever FM I'm at) and, well, they've all been really, really good recently. Some places I've never been a real fan of (*cough* Rustic Sourdough) seemed to have radically improved.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Shazam
      c
      Cookiemaker Mar 7, 2014 04:40 PM

      I am still under-whelmed with Calgary's bread scene. Cobbs (which I eat) is merely OK. They rave about their fancy breads like jalapeno and cheese, and the ones I make at home are better. Crossroads Market has a lady in the back with all kinds of bread. They are tasteless and textureless. Downtown has an avid bread maker guy (Avi Fried?) whose products are nice but pricey and I don't work downtown. Same for Inglewood . .. pricey boutique bread there too. I have taken to making my own bread, which I truly rather not need to do. Where are you finding inspiration? Superstore's Ace baguettes?! (they're quite acceptable!).

      1. re: Cookiemaker
        s
        Scary Bill Mar 8, 2014 05:41 AM

        Try the rest of the Ace products, they're good as well. Though not made all the time Superstore makes their own sourdough and dark rye boules , both are pretty good also.

        1. re: Cookiemaker
          plateofshrimp Mar 9, 2014 02:51 PM

          Cobs is a terrible chain- it's not part of "Calgary's bread scene" any more than it's part of Vancouver's or any city it has infected with its vile products. The artisanal breads are Safeway are better than Cobs and I mean MUCH better. Meanwhile ACE is at every Co-op, not just Superstore. Cobs? Life is too short for it.

          It's "Aviv" Fried, and his stuff (as Sidewalk Citizen Bakery) is sold at many outlets including Janice Beaton Fine Cheese and at a standalone bakery inside Sunnyside Market as well of course at his storefront on 1A St SW north of Chinook Centre.

          Other outstanding breads to inspire you are at Rustic Sourdough, Yann's, Manuel Latruwe, Itza Bakeshop, Urban Grainz... things have improved hugely in Calgary the last few years, not just for bread but for pastries and more. Yann's has the single best almond croissant I've ever tasted, and in Crossroads maybe skip the bread but pick up some of the macarons at Michelle's and pray your heart doesn't stop beating when you bite into them and go into shock. Amazing.

          1. re: plateofshrimp
            c
            Cookiemaker Mar 9, 2014 04:16 PM

            Oh, didn't realize Sidewalk Citizen had a shop on 1A St. near Chinook. I will definitely stop in and check it out. In agreement that Cobs is not part of a "scene", but where I live in the deep southeast, the pickings are slim . .. grocery store bread or Cobs. Maybe I'll give the Safeway line of artisanal products a try. Checked in on Manual Latrue a couple of weeks ago and it was still closed from damages sustained during the flood of last summer. Any idea when it will re-open? Their pastries are sublime. Have been known to eat a whole chocolate-dipped meringue in the car on my way home. .. .

            1. re: Cookiemaker
              k
              kayahead Mar 9, 2014 08:17 PM

              Manuel Latruwe re-opened mid February, so you should be able to get you pastry fix! Also, Aviv has another outlet in. Kensington, operating out of the Sunnyside natural market (opposite Safeway), not that that helps you being in the deep southeast....I also second Yann's for their sourdough baguette and almond croissants, as well as Ace products as reliable stand bys

              1. re: Cookiemaker
                cellophane_star Mar 10, 2014 12:16 PM

                Check the hours on their web site before you go to the near-Chinook location. SWC isn't open all the time like some of the other bakeries mentioned!.

                I drove by Manual Latruwe this weekend and noticed a sign that said it just reopened.

        2. y
          yycyummy Feb 28, 2014 08:19 AM

          I hear you. I moved here a couple of years ago and found the same problem. I've been having decent success at places like Cobs, as they're open year round. I do like to hit up the summer farmer's markets, though, as there's usually decent fresh bread, veggies, etc...and it can be a fun way to kill a Sunday! Of course, that's just the summer. Is it summer yet? :)

          1. a
            Albertagirl Jan 15, 2014 10:20 PM

            Sidewalk Citizen!

            1. c
              Cookiemaker Aug 3, 2010 08:32 PM

              Same story with me: former Montrealer longing for great, crusty European-style breads in Calgary. A reliable source (from Quebec!) just tipped me off to a new bakery that she says is excellent: Wilde Grainz Artisan Bakery, 1218c 9th Ave SE in Inglewood. I also second the Manual Latrue mention. Cobbs has a decent multigrain farmer's loaf, but not much else. Their pastries are made with margarine = YUCK! Prairie Mills does a nice sunflower whole wheat bread, heavy, earthy, but their crusty breads are too sour for my taste. Believe it or not, Costco's ciabatta breads are acceptable in a pinch. Brace yourself for a whole new bread culture here. Don't you miss Premier Moisson??!!

              2 Replies
              1. re: Cookiemaker
                John Manzo Aug 3, 2010 09:20 PM

                Cobb's is not only not local; they're not even Canadian.

                The ciabatta at Lina's is superb.

                Brace yourself for a great life here.

                1. re: Cookiemaker
                  s
                  Scary Bill Aug 4, 2010 09:12 AM

                  Premier Moisson, truly masters of bread. Wish they were here.

                2. Lingcullen Aug 3, 2010 12:56 PM

                  Located in the food court at the calgary farmers market on currie barracks there is a place called The Bakery@The Market. The owner is there all week baking up a storm for thrusday - sunday market.

                  I recently started buying my bread there because I am so sick of the preservative battle I have to go through looking for bread at the grocery store.

                  This place has a lot of very unique flavours to offer, the first that I tried is still my favourite: Stilton Walnut. Wild Rice green onion was very good as well. not the smoothest, prettiest mararons i have seen made, but there is always an array of different flavours, and their buttercreme is VERY good. smooth, light and barely sweet.

                  Local bakers rock my socks off.

                  1. l
                    LindaInCalgary Jul 22, 2010 08:44 AM

                    Cobs bakeries are popping up all over the place these days and for good reason ... their bread is awesome and their pastries are delicious. Find a location near you ... http://www.cobsbread.com/home/

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: LindaInCalgary
                      s
                      Scary Bill Jul 22, 2010 09:09 AM

                      I've bought a couple of items there and found them to be expensive and not great, rather acceptable, therefore not really good value.

                      Also thei motto for thier buns "bigger, fresher, softer" What about a nich crispy crust? I can buy soft buns from and grocery store for a lot less.

                      I guess I just don't get Cobs.

                      1. re: Scary Bill
                        s
                        slingshotz Jul 23, 2010 11:37 AM

                        Sadly I have to agree, there's a lot of hype for Cobs and I just can't get it. I've tried them a few times and have never been impressed. But different tastes for different people.

                        I wish that some bakery would focus on "correcting" the water they all use. Our water here is quite hard and it just doesn't work well with most breads. Before anyone jumps down my throat, there have been blind taste tests done with NY vs LA vs Chicago water and it's the water that makes those pizzas more distinct.

                        That being said, Gourmet Croissant in Canmore manages to make incredible croissants but they sell out so fast it's frustrating when you are driving from Calgary and they are out :(

                        1. re: slingshotz
                          2
                          23skidoo Jul 23, 2010 12:43 PM

                          I'm not sure that's true. Where did you hear about the blind taste tests?

                          1. re: 23skidoo
                            g
                            graemejw Jul 23, 2010 01:16 PM

                            I don't think water hardness has much to do with bread flavour - if anything.

                            Paris has hard water, yet is recognised as oneof the bread making capitals of the world.

                            Vancouver has very soft water, yet mediocre tasting bread is readily available there.

                            Flavour in bread will be down to how it is made (fermentation time & process) & ingredients (flour, salt (in particular), sugar etc etc). I would be very suprised if the flavour imparted by the water is distinguishable at all. The hardness would have an effect on fermentation time in extreme cases & that may influence the taste - but as most breads here are no time doughs or recieve mimimal bulk fermentation, that isn't the case).

                            Thumbs up from me for Gourmet Croissant though -I am pleased they survived the ownership transition a few years ago. I would also recommend trying the pastries at Mountain Mercato on Main Street, the Cherry Cake I had yesterday was superb!!!

                            -----
                            Mountain Mercato
                            817 8 St, Canmore, AB T1W 2B3, CA

                            1. re: graemejw
                              s
                              Shazam Jul 24, 2010 08:06 AM

                              What graemejw said.

                              Having said that, Calgary has crazy hard water - it's harder than most well water.

                      2. re: LindaInCalgary
                        nutellaluvr Aug 4, 2010 09:29 AM

                        Although a chain, I do find Cobs to have a place in the market, and I feel they beat grocery store alternatives in both quality (or lack of preservatives) and I hesitate to say artistry, but how about interesting-ness. I love Cobs Turkish Loaf, it is VERY much like that which P&S uses for their breakfast sandwiches (fantastic BTW), and their Cinnamon Scones I adore. Whole Wheat, Cape Seed, whatever, I'm sure someone likes them. The Vienna Sourdough became petrified within 2 days, better to think of it as Melba Toast. I tried their Blueberry Teatime and Cinnamon Logs once, but wouldn't bother again. The Lemon Tarts were definitely lemon-y and worth doing again, but at 400 Calories each *ouch*, it will be a while.

                        I'm all for supporting local establishments, but "interesting" is of great value to me, as is experience. My husband won't go near "My Bread Lady" out at the Bearspaw Market for her crabbiness, so all that said, I'll be back to Cobs for the Lekkerbrot, Turkish Loaf, and Cinnamon Scones; Gus's in Cochrane for Cocktail Buns, and Urban Baker for the Chocolate Sourdough, Cinnamon Buns, and Chocolate Banana Bran Muffins.

                        -----
                        Urban Baker
                        802 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, AB T2E, CA

                      3. l
                        Lainey1978 Jul 15, 2010 08:37 AM

                        Any good bakeries for sweet baked treats near Dover in the SE? Like cookies, cakes, muffins, cupcakes, other things that I don't even know the name of, etc.?

                        1. 2
                          23skidoo Jul 14, 2010 12:16 PM

                          Yann on 23rd avenue (or thereabouts) has baguette? I thought they only made a sourdough type bread, and everything else was sweet pastries.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: 23skidoo
                            Love to dine out Jul 15, 2010 09:57 AM

                            The term baguette describes the shape of the dough. Long and thin with a hard crust. Yann does make it from a sourdough base as is the very traditional method in France. The same dough (at least I think it is the same as it has the same taste) is made in a square.

                          2. s
                            Scary Bill Jul 9, 2010 09:41 AM

                            Living in Evergreen means one is not too close to any of the bakeries mentioed, so you are forced to look for the best that the big stores can offer. I can highly recommend a few loaves at Superstore. The make quite a few styles, including several baguuttes, their "Parisienne" being the best of the bunch, and excellent sourbread boule-which is improved by tossing it in a hot oven for a few minutes, and if you want a very good burger bun, try the foccacia buns. All their breads have good chewyness factor.

                            Question: Who carries a good light rye with a hard thin crust?

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Scary Bill
                              2
                              23skidoo Jul 9, 2010 10:52 AM

                              Rustic Sourdough has good rye but the crust is pretty thick. Probably not what you want.

                              I like the European Light Rye at Safeway. The crust is a bit soft and chewy, though, so that might not be what you want either.

                              1. re: Scary Bill
                                ybnormal Jul 12, 2010 08:09 PM

                                The Urban Baker has a nice rye bread with a thin hard crust. I don't recall it being "light" though.

                                Also, The Bakery at CFM by the food court is getting better and better. I had an awesome Hazelnut Chocolate Tart there the other weekend.

                                -----
                                Urban Baker
                                802 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, AB T2E, CA

                              2. c
                                crazy_eoj Jul 9, 2010 07:49 AM

                                What, no love for Glamorgan Bakery in here yet? 37th Street and 33rd Ave SW in the strip mall.

                                The cheese buns are outrageously good. But great breads all around.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: crazy_eoj
                                  Jasz Jul 9, 2010 07:05 PM

                                  I thought I'd be accused of working for them if I plugged them one more time ;)

                                  1. re: crazy_eoj
                                    c
                                    cancowboy Jul 9, 2010 07:56 PM

                                    katidyd mentioned them up above on June 22 - 8th comment from the top.

                                  2. s
                                    Shots Stantinople Jul 8, 2010 05:54 PM

                                    Really looking forward to these recommendations - as a former Montrealer myself, I found the same problem here - a lack of good bread. Yann Haute Patisseries is fantastic for a very specific loaf, croissants and macarons, but I've been craving a good variety of breads!

                                    -----
                                    Yann Haute Patisserie
                                    329 23 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2S 0J3, CA

                                    1. girlwithafork Jul 7, 2010 04:56 PM

                                      There is a new bakery opening in Inglewood in late July, launched by a couple of SAIT Baking and Pastry Arts instructors. www.wildegrainz.com

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: girlwithafork
                                        John Manzo Jul 7, 2010 07:06 PM

                                        Nice site! That ciabatta looks mouth-watering... and real plum cake! Can't wait!

                                        1. re: John Manzo
                                          g
                                          graemejw Jul 8, 2010 08:47 AM

                                          I discovered a real little gem up on Centre Street, a few blocks north of Linas in Simons Valley Plaza..

                                          Orchid Pastries is an Iranian run patisserie, they have imported Persian foods including incredible pistachios & a really nice selection of intricate pastries all made in the sparkling new bakery out the back.

                                          Well worth a visit!!!

                                          http://www.orchidpastry.com/

                                          1. re: graemejw
                                            John Manzo Jul 8, 2010 10:36 AM

                                            Great stuff- unfortunately the Roj Supermarket on 11th Ave next to Ruan Thai, which sold its products, has closed.

                                            -----
                                            Ruan Thai Restaurant
                                            1324 11 Ave SW #101, Calgary, AB T3C 0M6, CA

                                      2. Münchner_in_YYC Jun 30, 2010 01:09 AM

                                        Gunther's in forest lawn: 4306 - 17th Avenue S.E. - It's a bit out of the way, but well worth the trip.

                                        The Kaisersemmeln (kaiser buns) are the best in the city and the selection of heavy, dark breads is outstanding. Also worth mentioning are the Mohn-Kipferl (poppy seed filled, crescent shaped pastry).

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: Münchner_in_YYC
                                          John Manzo Jun 30, 2010 09:36 AM

                                          Thanks for the reco Münchner- und Wilkommen!

                                          1. re: John Manzo
                                            Münchner_in_YYC Jun 30, 2010 10:36 AM

                                            Many thanks for your greeting! (Vielen dank für Ihre Begrüßung!)

                                            1. re: Münchner_in_YYC
                                              John Manzo Jun 30, 2010 06:36 PM

                                              You're welcome! (Bitte!)

                                          2. re: Münchner_in_YYC
                                            worldwidestuff Jul 8, 2010 07:44 PM

                                            I agree. it's a while since I was there. Time to pay a visit!
                                            Esterhazy Slice as authentic as in Vienna.

                                          3. ybnormal Jun 22, 2010 06:12 PM

                                            Shout out to Urban Baker in Bridgeland

                                            http://www.urban-baker.ca/

                                            The Chocolate Cranberry Sourdough, Pesto Cheese, and Pear Pepper breads are truly terrific. Make french toast out of the Chocolate Sourdough. The baguette and foccacia aren't slouches there either.

                                            If you are in Chinatown, search this board for Bliss Cupcakes. You won't regret it!

                                            In the NW around Varsity is a good little European Bakery called Watermill Bakery. Their breads are quite good. I just got a really good challah/egg bread there.

                                            -----
                                            Urban Baker
                                            802 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, AB T2E, CA

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: ybnormal
                                              c
                                              cancowboy Jun 22, 2010 08:13 PM

                                              Watermill Bakery is also one of the vendors at the Hillhurst Sunnyside Farmers Market.
                                              Wednesdays 3:30 - 7:30
                                              1320-5th Ave NW

                                              Just a shorter hike from downtown.

                                              1. re: ybnormal
                                                w
                                                whackamole Jul 13, 2010 11:07 AM

                                                I've actually been by the Watermill Bakery a couple weeks ago and I wasn't all that impressed by their breads. I bought a challah bread, a couple of croissants and their ciabatta. Their croissants....well I wouldn't even call them croissants. They were more like bread roll, very chewy and dense, no flakiness what so ever. And their ciabatta seemed like the same kind of dough was used except cut in a rectangular form.
                                                The challah bread on the other hand had a decent flavour to it, but it was still really chewy to me.
                                                I'm not sure if it was just that day I went or not, and I'm not sure if their other breads are like this (I hope not)
                                                Does anyone else have some experience with this bakery?

                                                1. re: whackamole
                                                  ybnormal Jul 13, 2010 03:06 PM

                                                  Their croissants aren't croissants - they are more like danishes. When I had the challah, I don't believe it was chewy. I haven't been there in a little while though. It is not like Manuel Latruwe or Ladybug.

                                                  Haven't tried their ciabatta - its not my favourite bread, but I'll have to try some of their other breads and see what is going on.

                                              2. a
                                                aktivistin Jun 22, 2010 03:10 PM

                                                Rise Bakery does great breads, but on the pricey side. They are located Downtown in Bow Valley Square, and only open during office hours Monday - Friday.

                                                ETA: Whoops, I see John has already mentioned Rise. Well, consider this a second endorsement!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: aktivistin
                                                  2
                                                  23skidoo Jun 22, 2010 04:00 PM

                                                  There's a second Rise Bakery on 9th Ave. S.W.: http://risebakery.com/F3.cfm

                                                2. s
                                                  shopwinedinefine Jun 20, 2010 07:12 PM

                                                  Yann Patisserie (4th street sw)

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: shopwinedinefine
                                                    k
                                                    katidyd Jun 22, 2010 04:38 AM

                                                    Eclair De Lune does great pastries...but not breads. Almadine on Centre St and about 25 Ave north does pretty good bread...but a trip out to Glamorgan Bakery (33 Ave and 37 St SW) is worth it.

                                                  2. sharonanne Jun 20, 2010 05:49 PM

                                                    Prairie Mill Bread Co for more rustic loaves and a great chocolate chip banana bread..
                                                    129-4820 Northland Drive Northwest
                                                    Calgary, AB T2L 2L4
                                                    (403) 282-6455

                                                    1. John Manzo Jun 19, 2010 01:42 PM

                                                      There are excellent bakeries here. Any particular part of town?

                                                      Incidentally if you like any stripe of Asian food, I guarantee it's better, for some variants much better, in Calgary than Montreal.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: John Manzo
                                                        m
                                                        matter Jun 19, 2010 07:42 PM

                                                        thanks to everyone for the suggestions so far!

                                                        I'm willing to travel for good bread, but anywhere around Kensington, downtown, West Hillhurst, Capitol Hill, Marda Loop would be great.

                                                        I just tried Chinatown for the first time the other day and had a decent meal. I've read the posts on good restaurants and dimsum. Any recommendations for Chinese bakeries?

                                                        1. re: matter
                                                          John Manzo Jun 20, 2010 02:45 PM

                                                          Since the inner city is your focus, you have to check out:

                                                          Rustic Sourdough on 17th Ave and 12 St SW, excellent German bakery- amazing Brötchen but get there early before their pretzel rolls run out!

                                                          Manuel Latruwe on 1st St SE near 11th Ave, by Castle Callebaut

                                                          Euro Bakery on 17th Ave SW near 5 St- the best thing there IMHO is their Kosovar bureks but they have nice breads too

                                                          Rise Bakery (a couple of downtown locations, sadly not open weekends) has small pricey loaves that seem to be made to fit into a briefcase :) but I've had some epic breads from there

                                                          We got some ciabatta buns from the Market Bakery at CFM last weekend that just blew us away. Also Lina's Italian Market is a local treasure that has some very good breads.

                                                          There's a start- there are lots of posts/threads about Chinese in Calgary incl dim sum, have a search around, and enjoy your summer!

                                                          1. re: matter
                                                            TSAW Jun 20, 2010 08:14 PM

                                                            Eclair De Lune 1049 40 Ave NW is a great french bakery, and a little cheaper than others in town. Their croissants were comparible to what I had in Paris last year. They also make wonderfuly flakey turnovers with a mushroom or spinach stuffing. And the mini-fruit flans are a nice small light dessert I serve to my dinner guests regulary @ about $2 each.

                                                            1. re: matter
                                                              a
                                                              aktivistin Jul 13, 2010 09:39 AM

                                                              Missed your ask for Chinese bakeries. Here are my family's favourites:

                                                              St Laurent Cake House in the City Centre Mall (the one with Thai Tai on the corner) has great raisin twists and Swiss rolls.

                                                              Jing Jing Bakery, in the basement of the building with Happy Valley Restaurant (kiddie corner from City Centre Mall) has yummy pineapple buns and cocktail buns.

                                                              ABC Bakery has okay bakery items, but the real attraction there is the cheap HK-style breakfast.

                                                              And don't forget Bliss Cupcakes as suggested by ybnormal below. Excellent cake, delicious pies. Not a Chinese bakery, but definitely not to be missed.

                                                              Outside of Chinatown, I love the coconut and the red-bean bread loaves at T&T.

                                                              -----
                                                              Happy Valley Restaurant
                                                              100 3 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0B6, CA

                                                              ABC Bakery & Cafe
                                                              112 3 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0B6, CA

                                                          2. c
                                                            cancowboy Jun 19, 2010 10:44 AM

                                                            Montreal Bagels

                                                            http://maps.google.ca/maps/place?hl=e...

                                                            -----
                                                            Montreal Bagels
                                                            8408 Elbow Dr SW #103, Calgary, AB T2V 1K7, CA

                                                            1. s
                                                              smyth39 Jun 19, 2010 10:29 AM

                                                              A new Italian Country Bakery opened on Meridian Road S.E. next to Jugo Juice Corporate Headquarters in the same complex as Mr. Cappuccino. They sell bread by weight and I find the bread to be fantastic, typically European style, Hard crust and lasts for a few days. They are no relation to either companies mentioned above.

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