Best Bread Bakery in NYC
I'm not sure what kind of bread you are looking for, either. But Il Cantuccio in the West Village does a fantastic, salt free, authentic Tuscan loaf bread (pane sciapo), as well as smaller, sweet rolls. The lack of salt in the loaf is disconcerting at first, but it's meant to go with salty cured meats and cheeses and works beautifully when eaten in that context. It's a dense crumb bread with a hard crust, not the kind of loose, squishy, insubstantial loaf you might see called Italian bread at a chain grocery store.
91 Christopher Street
New York, NY 10014
91 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014
Ahhh, finally some feedback.
In addition to the tip above, if you're looking for crusty, and rustic, Sullivan Street or Grandaisy are the two places you should hit up, followed by Amy's Bread.
They all carry an "Italian bread", with thick crust. The trick will be finding the crumb density you're after, and depend if you want a country bread or a more spongey elastic crumb found in the rustic breads similar to sourdoughs (Sullivan is the only one that pulls this off anyway, in my opinion).
Sullivan Street Bakery
533 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036
250 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014
The reason why your dad went to GV in the old days was that the corner grocers did not get good Italian loaves, unless the shop owners were Italian or were in certain areas of NYC. Good bread was hard to find...(1970's especially) If you want to relive some memories: here are some places that will have varieties of Zito-type breads: Parisi, Joe's Dairy, Alleva, Russo's, Raffetto's: they sell breads that will remind your or you dad of Zito's including semolina breads...I'm sure others will offer more ideas...
144 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012
188 Grand St, New York, NY 10013
Russo's Mozzarella and Pasta
344 E 11th St, New York, NY 10003
156 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012