Our 10 Best Loaves of Bread in NYC

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The rustic loaves at Balthazar are cradled in a birch branch.

As Pablo Neruda says, "The best poet is the man who delivers our daily bread: the local baker." And indeed he was right. Little gives as much pleasure as a freshly baked loaf, and here are the 10 that please us most. Note these are all breads from European traditions. There are plenty of other types of bread to be found in the world, from the toki of Uzbekistan to the bao of Beijing; these will be covered in a future list.


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10. Baguettine at Amy's Bread - Increasing the crust-to-crumb ratio for a baguette by making it smaller is a stroke of genius. Grab yourself a scatter of these tiny breads, thickly smear them with butter -- also provided in little packets at Amy's, along with plastic knives and recyclable paper trays -- and you can have yourself a bread orgy in the halls of Chelsea Market. 75 Ninth Avenue, Chelsea Market, 212-462-4338


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9. Beer Bread from Orwasher's - Yes it tastes very faintly of beer, but that's good, isn't it? Especially if you spread it with, say, limburger. The loaf is from a venerable baker of rye bread for delis, and this semi-experimental product stays well within the confines of sandwich bread, which is good, because there may be too many loaves in this collection that resist sandwiching for one reason or another. 308 East 78th Street, 212-288-6569


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8. Organic Sourdough Levain from Bread Alone - Compared with other traditional French sourdoughs, this one is mild, more like San Francisco sourdough. It's also fine grained, and goes just as well in a bread salad as with cheese or charcuterie. Though made in the Catskills not far from Woodstock in Boiceville, NY, it's distributed so widely in area farmers' markets, you should have no trouble getting your hands on a loaf. 3962 Route 28, Boiceville, NY, 845-657-3328


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Bread Alone bread is baked in the Catskills just north of the Ashokan Reservoir in Boiceville, NY.


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13 comments
Gabe726
Gabe726

wow. kind of a terrible list. mazola's lard bread? scratchbread focaccia? roberta's levain? how about some with real flavor?

Woodhullv
Woodhullv

The best wood oven sour dough baguette in NY we had driving through Catskill, NY from Retriever Roaster on Main St. from Mr. Lugo.  Also the best latte Sumatra bar none!  We kid you not, worth the trip.  But, he only bakes the bread on Thu. and only sell it on Friday.  He is a roaster and baker.  He is a true eccentric.  Don't try this on the weekends.  He won't open.  Guess he's with the retrievers.  Simply amazing bread! Best I've had this side of La Grenier of Montmartre.  

Rhani Acker
Rhani Acker

Bellaciaco's Italian was my favorite-is it still made?

Rhani Acker
Rhani Acker

Bellacico's Itallian was my favorite!

Lisa Teiger
Lisa Teiger

just devoured a loaf of jewish rye from zabars - it makes my top ten along with amys fennel raison semolina and tomcats baguettes and their picholine olive rosemary and their brioche like pullaparts with carameliZed onions and poppy seeds (another old school jewish delicacy that's hard to find)

Drew Hunkins
Drew Hunkins

Back when I lived in Greenwich Village in the mid 1990s there used to be a place on Bleecker Street called 'Zito's Bakery'.  The place had the best bread I've ever had.  I think it's been closed down.

RALPH
RALPH

HEY!! WHERE IS FRANCESE LOAF FROM HUDSON BREAD ???? HUDSON  DOES A LOT  OF AMAZING BREADS.

Steve
Steve

That green olive loaf is indeed amazing. Grandaisy also does a nice roll-sized version of it. Tom Cat does a respectable baguette, but no way it's better than Almondine's.   

Rsietsema
Rsietsema

It closed down about five years ago, and hadn't had a tenant until recently. There's a grandfathered-in coal oven in there that used to be used to make the bread, but the new tenant has taken it out, I think.

Rsietsema
Rsietsema

Thanks for the tip, Steve, will definitely check out Almondine's baguette.

Garsleat
Garsleat

Good new Roberts. Pizza Roma is now baking bread in that very same oven. But only white bread.

Drew Hunkins
Drew Hunkins

Thanks for the response Mr. Sietsema. How would Zito's rank on this list if it still existed?

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