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Bakeries in DC?

kcwarr Jun 6, 2011 10:02 AM

I'm moving to DC from San Francisco and wondered where I can get great bread in DC. Any ideas?

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  1. woodleyparkhound Jun 6, 2011 10:08 AM

    Nothing as good as Acme here, but I like the Breadline, near the White House. They are only open at lunchtime M-F, unfortunately. It's a great lunch spot, especially on Fri. when their special is a wonderful pulled pork - ask for it on ciabatta. They sell loaves of bread as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: woodleyparkhound
      kcwarr Jun 6, 2011 10:23 AM

      Thanks. I remember Breadline fondly from when I lived in DC before. Didn't know they sell bread as well.

    2. m
      MrsWheatie Jun 6, 2011 10:11 AM

      Sadly DC lacks great bread bakeries, no Tartine. There are passible ones. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/720123

      1 Reply
      1. re: MrsWheatie
        kcwarr Jun 6, 2011 10:29 AM

        Sadly indeed. There's nothing like a hot loaf of Tartine bread . . . Thanks for the link though. I'll check it out.

      2. t
        Teddybear Jun 6, 2011 10:56 AM

        Lyon bakery has decent bread, I think. Not always easy to find but right now it is being sold from a kiosk outside Union Station

        1. d
          Doh Jun 6, 2011 11:19 AM

          Paul just opened up in Penn Quarter, although I haven't tried much from it.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Doh
            ChewFun Jun 6, 2011 12:46 PM

            Honestly, your best bet is Metropolitan, but they are in Philadelphia. I wish it were otherwise, but sadly it is not. Marvelous Market and Firehook are blah! The Swiss bakery sold me a burnt loaf. Le Pain Quoditian has bread that would be good except that it is covered in burnt flour. Lyon is okay. Heidelberg is okay. Whole Foods is hopeless, though their baguettes aren't bad. Oh, and no real good Jewish rye. Otherwise, it's a nice area.

            Marvelous Market
            4832 Bethesda Ave, Bethesda, MD

            1. re: ChewFun
              ClevelandDave Jun 9, 2011 09:17 AM

              You have to go to Philadelphia to get good bread? Well go then...

              No, DC is not a bread town but you can do better than driving three hours for a decent loaf if you look...

              Start with the French baker at the Bethesda farmers market on Wisconsin Ave on Saturdays... very good at decent prices.

              Most farmers markets have at least one or two fresh bread vendors.

              As previously mentioned, Pauls has recently opened up at Penn Ave and 7th NW and it is good, if not very good.

              I find the bread at Whole Foods to be consistent and acceptable. Go in the morning when they bake off the par baked loafs. Also Harris Teeter has LaBrea which they bake off in the store. If you ask they will sell you frozen and you can finish off in your own oven.

              While not gourmet, Golden Krust bakery off Jeff Davis in the Mt. Vernon area of Old Town has a factory store. Good bread that is super fresh.

              Le Pain Quoditian is also quite good and located in DuPont Circle.

              1. re: ClevelandDave
                kcwarr Jun 9, 2011 09:45 AM

                Thanks Dave! That's really helpful and I'll definitely check out the places you've mentioned.

                1. re: ClevelandDave
                  4X4 Jun 9, 2011 10:06 AM

                  Costco also sells LaBrea.

                  Wegman's sells some good loaves (I think made or baked in-store.)

                  There's a baker from Frederick (can't remember their name) that sells at farmer's markets. I sometimes buy their bread at the Old Greenbelt market.

                  I work near Union Station and buy bread from the Lyon stand at least once a week.

                  1. re: ClevelandDave
                    ChewFun Jun 9, 2011 10:37 AM

                    Perhaps I am just too critical, but God Crust (who bake TJs house bread) too often has holes. It is okay. Whole Foods has bread that is pretty blah. Le Pain Quoditian burns their bread and covers it in flour (which burns and leaves a terrible taste). If LPQ would just stop with the flour coating and not burn their bread, it would be pretty great. DC is just not a bread town. I wish it wasn't so. Metropolitan in Philadelphia is pretty great and freezes well. I suppose it depends on what you want in a bread. LaBrea is not bad, but it is shipped frozen from a central plant. I want a good baguette, a good German or Jewish rye, a good Pain au Levain.

                    1. re: ChewFun
                      kcwarr Jun 9, 2011 11:03 AM

                      Thanks! This is helpful. I've found the same with LPQ and wonder why they continue to do the weird flour thing.

                      1. re: ChewFun
                        ClevelandDave Jun 15, 2011 11:58 AM

                        Just because something comes from a factory does not mean it isn't good. LaBrea is quite acceptable bread. Gold Crust, as you say, isn't the worlds best but when you can pick it out fresh hot on the rack it is mighty good- and they do some specialty breads they make in smaller batches that they sell in the store.

                2. o
                  odkaty Jun 9, 2011 09:52 AM

                  I've been pleased with Uptown Bakery. They have a stall at the Bowie Farmer's Market.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: odkaty
                    kcwarr Jun 9, 2011 11:03 AM

                    Uptown is close to where we will be living so I'll definitely give them a try. Thanks!

                    1. re: kcwarr
                      ChewFun Jun 9, 2011 01:20 PM

                      I haven't had bread from Uptown for years (not since they closed all their stores). I liked it then, but that was quite a long time ago (more than 10 years). Good luck.

                  2. v
                    Vidute Jun 9, 2011 08:06 PM

                    If you want great bread you don't have to go to Philadelphia. Atwater's, out of Baltimore, has fantastic breads and sells at several of the Washington farmers markets. The varieties range from sunflower flax, to sourdough, to baguettes, to rye, to seasonal and sized from the cutest litle loaflettes to crowd feeders. The only problem with the farmers markets is that they don't have the soups. OH! MY! THE! SOUPS! And the pastries ain't too shabby, either.

                    1. h
                      hamster Jun 10, 2011 07:12 AM

                      A few years ago at least, I thought quite highly of Bonaparte Breads, which sells at the Sunday Dupont Circle market.

                      Actually, I usually rely on Whole Foods for convenience, where lately I discovered the Harvest bread. A lovely chew and crust studded with sesame seeds and sunflower seeds, etc. I am hooked.

                      For a totally different style, I have also enjoyed the Spring Mill Bread Co. in Bethesda. It's a lot like the Great Harvest chain, if you are familiar.

                      They also sell Lyon bread, though a very small selection, at Cork Market over on 14th St (Logan circle area), for those of us for whom Union Station is not convenient. I have found the baguettes there to be lacking, but the large flat country style bread to be pretty amazing.

                      Bonaparte Breads
                      8600 Foundry St, Savage, MD

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: hamster
                        Teddybear Jun 10, 2011 07:41 AM

                        I would only go to Spring Mill if you like very sweet expensive bread

                        1. re: Teddybear
                          Doh Jun 10, 2011 08:45 AM

                          I like Spring Mill, although I did not recommend them earlier because I wouldn't say they are worth a trip from DC and it sounded as though the OP was looking for more of the "artisanal" loafs offered by places like Atwaters. I do like some of their sweet products, but I also like their whole grain breads, which I think make great sandwiches or toast. My impression is that Spring Mill is not more expensive than most of the places being discussed here and they are certainly cheaper than places like LPQ.

                          1. re: Doh
                            ChewFun Jun 10, 2011 10:11 AM

                            I do like Atwater's bread. Spring Mill and Great Harvest are not what I'm looking for. I would like a good East European/German bakery and a good French bakery. We have okay versions of these but nothing better.

                            1. re: Doh
                              Teddybear Jun 10, 2011 10:58 AM

                              I've found Spring Mill to be more expensive than Lyon -- and I was talking about the whole grain bread which tastes overly sweet to me. But to each his/her own, naturally.

                              1. re: Teddybear
                                MoCoMe Jun 10, 2011 04:26 PM

                                I've bought bread at Firehook Bakery in cleveland park, and enjoyed it quite a bit.

                                Firehook Bakery
                                3411 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC

                        2. woodleyparkhound Oct 18, 2011 10:34 AM

                          Bread Furst to open in Feb. This could be a very exciting development!


                          1 Reply
                          1. re: woodleyparkhound
                            kcwarr Oct 18, 2011 10:40 AM

                            OMG, that's so exciting! Best news I've heard today. Thanks for sharing!

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