Best Of Chicago

Best Bread Bakeries In Chicago

January 31, 2013 2:00 PM

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(Credit: redhenbread.com)

(Credit: redhenbread.com)

By Rachel Azark

When I think of really good bread, I picture Paris. Having the ability to pick up a nice, fresh baguette on your way home from work to bring to your family each night. The crunchiness on the outside and the softness in the inside is what makes it so Parisian. But in Chicago, we have to do without that elegance. There are a few bakeries here though, that are doing bread right.

(Credit: redhenbread.com)

(Credit: redhenbread.com)

Red Hen Bread

1623 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
Phone: 773.342.6823
www.redhenbread.com

In 1996, Red Hen started their journey with a simple philosophy of “bake great bread.” They take pride in hand crafting their breads rather than commercially producing them on assembly lines or in machines. They make their breads with only five basic ingredients. Just visit their website to see the multitude of breads that they bake from Brioche, Ami du Fromage to Roasted Garlic Ring and Velvet Ciabatta. Just reading the names will make your mouth water.

(Credit: fox-obel.com)

(Credit: fox-obel.com)

Fox & Obel

401 E. Illinois
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 312.410.7301
www.fox-obel.com

The artisan bakery at Fox & Obel is one to try for good bread. They pride themselves on using no commercial yeast in their breads and never using machines to shape their bread. Each loaf of bread is hand shaped by their bakers. Customer favorites include: French baguettes, peasant sourdough, whole grain breads, challah and brioche.

(Credit: damatobakery.com)

(Credit: damatobakery.com)

D’Amato Bakery

9416 W. Irving Park Rd.
Schiller Park, IL
Phone: 847.678.0400
www.damatobakery.com

D’Amato’s, a family-owned business, is operated by two brothers who are dishing up high-quality bread for their customers. They bake their breads with all natural ingredients and no preservatives. If you’re looking for some Italian bread, head to D’Amato’s for old world breads, focaccias and while you’re at it some pizza too. They also have a sub-sandwich shop serving up sub-sandwiches and paninis.

(Credit: greatharvest.com)

(Credit: greatharvest.com)

Great Harvest Bread Co.

2126 Central St.
Evanston, IL 60201
Phone: 847.866.8609
www.greatharvest.com

Great Harvest started in the 1970s in Montana. The founders were a couple of college kids that were really good at making whole grain bread from scratch. Slowly, Great Harvest began to grow to be the nation’s first family of independently owned and operated whole grain bread bakeries. Their bread is made with five pure-and-simple ingredients to make their legendary bread: fresh ground whole wheat flour, water, fresh yeast, salt and something sweet (normally local honey).

(Credit: floriole.com)

(Credit: floriole.com)

Floriole Café & Bakery

1220 W. Webster Ave.
Chicago, IL
Phone: 773.883.1313
www.floriole.com

Floriole started as just a stand at the Green City Market. But in 2010, they opened their own store in Lincoln Park. And in an April 2012 issue of Bon Appetit, they listed Floriole as one of the 10 Best Baguettes in America. So clearly, if you stop in, you must eat a baguette or try their numerous other types of bread like yeasted corn bread, brioche, and miche. And if you want to be a little bad, get a really good French pastry too.

Rachel Azark is a writer and lives on Chicago’s northwest side. Read more of her work on her blog parksandpancakes.com.

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