92 Comment

  • Lately I’ve been into Spring Mill for basic sliced bread. One of their grainy loaves is a good thing to have around for toast or impromptu sandwiches.
    A good crusty bread has been far more elusive.

    • I agree they are good but that seems to be because they are so sweet. I’d rather have a bread that is great without so much sugar or honey and is more earthy.

  • Breadline. Years ago it was the only game in town; I think it’s still one of the best. Lyon Bakery is also great.

  • I’m pretty biased, but I’m going with Le Diplomate.
    Lyon is really good for wholesale, and their shop at Union Market is nice.
    Pan Quotidien is good as well but pricey (I know, they use organic everything).

    • I love Lyon! Looks like that little market outside Union Station is getting ready to open soon. I hope Lyon is there again this year.

      • They come to our farmers market every Sunday – can’t wait until they start up again!

        • There’s a Frederick based bakery that sells at some of the local farmer’s markets. I can’t remember their name, but their bread is really good.

  • I’m pretty biased, but I’m going with Le Diplomate.
    Lyon is really good for wholesale, and their shop at Union Market is nice.
    Pan Quotidien is good as well but pricey (I know, they use organic everything).
    TBH, I just bake my own bread at home.

  • Atwater’s…available at many local farmer’s markets. Superb. I wish they’d open a branch in Union Market — MUCH better than Lyon.

    • +100. Agreed. Lyon seems to sell their day-old bread at Union Market while selling the fresh stuff to the restaurants. Still, Lyon is better than the plastic you get at the supermarket ala Giant & Safeway.

  • Breadline or Le Caprice.

  • my kitchen 😉

  • Central has the best French-style bread by far. Much better than Le Diplomate.
    St. Michel in Rockville makes mean take-out baquettes.

    • I totally agree. Central has amazing bread. I still have love for Le Diplomate, but Central holds a special place in my heart.

  • Hands down, Wal-Mart Great Value brand sandwich bread.

  • Catania bakery on North Cap.

    • Where can you buy their bread though? I thought they mostly did wholesale since their store got robbed way too often when they opened their bakery for retail sales?

  • Paul bakery is great. Best baguette in town.

  • Cheesecake factory.. lol

  • People still eat wheat?

  • I love the baguette at Le Caprice, but I haven’t had anything else there. Magruder’s in Chevy Chase, however, gets awesome bread every morning but my Google-fu is failing me this morning so I don’t know where they get it from. They have one with sunflower seeds that is absolutely fantastic.

    • You should try le Caprice’s sourdough if you like a jaw workout. I LOVE a chewy sourdough myself, so that’s usually what I get. I like their rosemary/ olive bread, too. Their slicer only has one thickness, though, which I think is too thick for sandwiches, so if you like thin sliced bread, take it home unsliced and do it yourself. Stays fresher longer that way anyway.

  • I am anxiously awaiting Bread Furst to open May 5 (hopefully) in Van Ness!

  • As far as lunch spots, I like the bread from Cosi.

  • Bagels and Baguettes

  • Batter Bowl bakery on H. Cheap and great quality. Try to resist the after work cookie

  • For us non-gluten tolerant types, Whole Foods has a selection of sliced frozen bread that’s actually not bad, especially when toasted 🙂

    • What brand? My girlfriend’s gotten frozen gf breads from wf and they’ve all been terrible (like so dry it’s impossible to get through a slice). I was going to try the gf bread at spring mill once but they wouldn’t slice it for me because the slicer was contaminated with gluten (even though I insisted it didn’t matter since none of us have gluten sensitivities). If you’re willing to slice it yourself it looks pretty good though.

  • I may not be remembering this correctly, but I think I read a post on POP regarding some Italian bread place near U Street. They were mainly wholesale, but were open early morning Saturdays? Anyone have any idea?

  • Lyon Bakery is incredible. I’ve been to their facility in Southwest (near Secrets 😉 ) and it’s so impressive. So are the guys who own it. They bake much of the bread for the better restaurants in town.

  • Not in town, but in Arlington (Shirlington). Best Buns Bakery.

  • Palena’s Market sells very good baguettes and loaves.

  • I’m a big fan of the bread from Paul.

  • Becks

    Le Caprice in Columbia Heights has the best croissants and french bread. Their loaf bread is good. When I am having a bad day, nothing turns it around like a chocolate croissant from le Caprice. Yum!

  • Some good options offered here, but on the whole, this city is so underserved for good bread.
    Lyon is ok, but they seem to be the only decent option in many grocers across town. Problem is, the variety I find in retail shops is so poor. No crusty breads, few hearty loaves. Mostly loft boules, pre-sliced.
    Bread Furst is my last great hope. If we are lucky, they will kill it, prove the demand, and inspire others.

  • Breadline when dramatically downhill when Furstenberg sold it. Atwater puts out a lot of great bread — I’m tasting some of their rye right now — and Lyon is pretty good quality, but no one seems to produce a serious baguette (or ficelle). Fingers crossed for fussy old Furstenberg’s new bakery to fill that gap.

  • I want so much to like Pan Quotidien, but so many of their loaves are sourdough. OK on occasion, but really not my favorite.

    I know Firehook gets little love, but I do think their multigrain is quite good (and not much else).

    Based on comments above, does Le Diplomate actually do take-out sales of bread, or are people just saying they like it in the restaurant?

    • If you ask in the restaurant for a baguette, they may sell you one. We’re looking to start it being a daily thing (even from the morning when the restaurant isn’t open). Still nailing down the details.

  • Oh, you know, I’m partial to the bread vendor at the Thursday Penn Quarter Farmers Market.
    The Amish vendor there aside displays an enclosed frame of workers bees I watched yesterday.
    Bread and bees. Life is good.

  • It’s totally different than the types of bread mentioned here, but I have a soft spot for the Olive Oil bread from Greek Deli downtown. Sure, you have to buy some soup to get it, but it’s worth it. And the soup is awesome too.

  • Lyon baby!! Their Jalapeno Cheddar is amazing!!

  • El Latino Bakery on 11th. Every wonder why it smells so good around M. Pint?

  • LYON BAKERY IS THE BEST! I think they are primarily a wholesale bread bakery selling directly to restaurants, but I live in the U st. area and you get buy their bread at Cork Market and Glen’s Garden Market has a really big selection. Street’s Market and Cafe that just opened on 14th also uses their bread in their deli.

  • This is probably testament to the dearth of nearby options than anything else, but Harris Teeter’s La Brea stuff is pretty good for everyday basics, particularly the wheat options. Definitely better than Whole Foods, and cheaper than anything more interesting.

  • Spring mill bread- Bethesda, Gaithersburg, MOMs in College park. Try the pesto asiago or the peasant white for the best PBJ ever. Canela’s in Gaithersburg or found at farmers markets. Great variety try the kalamata olive, and fresh empanadas and Mexican pastries!

  • As a baker myself, I definitely think Lyon Bakery has the best quality bread in this city. I usually buy their bread at Union Market since they sell such a wide variety there

    +1 Jalapeno Cheddar!!!

  • Is Le Diplomate selling their bread to walk in’s? I live in the neighborhood and remember them talking about selling their bread to the public when they opened

  • Cafe Parisien (closed) had the best baguette in the DC area for years.

    Paul is pretty decent.

  • Maybe not the best in town, but I used to get decent bread at Giant in Columbia Heights, of all places. For years that was my go-to place for convenient and (relatively) inexpensive bread, and it has been such a disappointment lately. For some reason they discontinued their best breads, and the “artisanal” breads they offer now are pretty poor (and expensive!). The “french loaf” is just awful. Their best bread now is the italian boule, but it’s almost never on the shelf.

  • I’m not rich enough to be gluten-free.

  • Here’s the run-down, below – Takeaways: Lyon is clear winner, though likely because they have biggest distribution at high quality grocers.
    Lyon – 9
    Paul – 4
    Atwaters – 3
    Le Caprice – 3
    Catania – 3
    Spring Mill – 2
    Breadline – 2
    Le Diplomate – 2
    Harris Teeter (La Brea) – 2
    Bread Furst – 2
    Batter Bowl – 2
    Pan Quotidien – 1
    Some Frederic Bakery – 1
    Central – 2
    St. Michel – 1
    Magruder’s – 1
    Bagels and Baguettes – 1
    Best Buns Bakery – 1
    Palena Market – 1
    Firehook – 1
    Canela’s – 1
    Amish Vendor – Penn Quarter Farmers Market – 1
    Greek Deli Olive Bread – 1
    El Latino – 1
    Walmart – 1
    Whole Foods – 1

    • I like this! I wish someone would tally up responses every time there’s a question like this.

    • It’s not an Amish vendor at Penn Quater.
      It’s a vendor beside the Amish vendor at Penn Quarter.
      I don’t know the bread vendor’s sobriquet, but the bread is great and I love buying it in the open air.

  • Does anyone know of a bakery in town that sells that old fashioned, hearty thick-sliced Italian sandwich bread? I’ve never been able to find it around here.

  • Lyon Bakery for sure! I love their brioche and jalapeno cheddar bread. Definitely check out their location at Union Market, they have a wide variety of breads.

    • Union Market is the one place where you can get a wide variety from them. Most markets (Glenn’s, Smuckers, Yes) seem to only sell their baguette, a soft sourdough, and a sliced whole wheat boule. I want crusty bread, damnit!

  • I personally looooove the stand that Lyon Bakery has at Union Station, wish it was open year round! Used to get cranberry walnut rolls on my lunch break. Their dark honey wheat bread is my favorite! Best bread hands down!

  • Can I hijack this thread a little bit, and ask where can you find good bagels in DC? I still have not found a good place since I moved here three years ago.

  • Lyon Bakery has the best bread in town by far!
    The Jalapeno Cheddar boule is my favorite from Union Market.

  • Lyon Bakery rocks! Awesome bread quality and their staff is great. They have a nice variety of breads at Union Market as well. I love their brioche cinnamon raisin parkerhouse rolls as well as the multigrain loaves. I’d urge anyone interested to check them out at Union Market.

  • Wegman’s. Maybe not the best bread, but the best you can buy in a grocery store. I’ve never been to Whole Foods, so I guess I can’t compare what they sell there.

  • In DC? Le Caprice

    Mail Order? Zingermann’s

  • Bonaparte Bread in Baltimore is pretty wonderful. Hmmmm. Maybe a good TaskRabbit project would be to arrange a weekly baguette run….

  • Each Peach in Mt. Pleasant. they don’t make their own, but I don’t know which bakery it’s from.

  • Best Buns in shirlington has fantastic bread. Full stop. Every variety, from their herb and cheese loaves, to the apple monkey bread, and even the multigrain rolls, are absolutely delicious. They’re, IMHO one of the best kept secrets of the DC area.

  • I’m surprised no one’s mentioned Upper Crust bakery, found at Columbia Heights and AdMo farmers’ markets. Puts Lyon to shame. Their bread is fresh from the oven Saturday mornings, and worth the effort to track them down.

Comments are closed.