Dear PoP – Fresh Bread?

by Prince Of Petworth November 17, 2010 at 11:00 am 53 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

“Dear PoP,

Hope you’re well. I’m going to a “Friendsgiving” party this weekend and have been searching the web for a decent bakery to supply dinner rolls for the party. Sure I could go to Safeway – the one at City Vista has a bakery on site – but I’d love to be able to get bread from a local supplier. With all the cupcake places you would think there would be at least one decent bread maker in this town, but I keep coming up empty.

Any thoughts from your readers?”

How about the Dupont (or any that are still running) Farmers Market? Where do you guys get fresh bread?

  • Jessica

    The olive bread at the U St market is very good. All of the bread I’ve purchased at Atwaters at the Dupont market has been good.

    The Whole Foods on P Street now has surprisingly good fresh bread – I am not a fan of that store, but the bread has gotten really good (maybe since the remodel?)

  • herewegoagain

    Heller’s in Mt Pleasant!! You’ll need to order rolls in advance.

    • Sue

      Really? I love the idea of Hellers, but have always found the food to be terrible. I hear the same folks run Marx Cafe, which has the same problem – great idea, poorly made food.

      • Dr. Action

        Bring donuts from Heller’s. You will be invited back for years to come.

      • Delrae

        Hellers is fabulous…everyone has different opinions, but I’ve never been dissappointed.

      • Anonymous

        I love Hellers. I have had their donuts, empanadas and sugar cookies. Sugar cookies were a little dry and not that great, but the donuts and empanadas were great.

        Out of curiousity – are people here bigger fans of the yeast or cake donuts there? I definitely prefer the cake.

  • mmm

    Breadline? (during the week only, I believe…)

  • David Magee

    I bake my own…it is easy AND it by far tastes better than anything you can get at a bakery. Be bold, and learn how to do some bread making!!!

    • JM

      +1! Really, it doesn’t even require being bold. Making dinner rolls is SUPER SUPER easy and yours will taste better than anything store-bought.

    • Anonymous

      I have wasted so much flour and yeast on failed bread attempts. Why is it so easy for everyone else? I can make pies, cookies, even a wedding cake in my sleep, but bread is just impossible!

      • StubsDC

        Check out smittenkitchen dot com. She makes bread really easy (and talks you through all the mistakes she makes…)

        • Anonymous

          I’ve tried her rye bread, actually. Had to throw the whole loaf away– no good!

  • x

    dinner rolls are surpisingly easy to make yourself (even from scratch)! try it out!

  • Anonymous

    The Yes! on Georgia sells seven grain rolls from Cazuela Bakery. They are SO delicious. I ate three and a half last night!

  • j

    If you can make it to Bethesda, Spring Mill Bread Co. can’t be beat. They also supply to Mom’s I believe and you can put in an order for rolls, pies, etc.

    Firehook is also accepting orders, but I think their quality is just okay.

  • Anonymous

    Lyon Bakery, which supplies The Heights and is based in Maryland, has a stand outside Union Station where they sell fresh bread. I have not bought bread there, but the bread at The Heights is among my favorites.

    • PG

      The stand outside Union Station is gone. I think it will return next spring. I bought bread there just about every week this summer and fall.

  • fz

    When I moved to the US I was surprised by the lack of good bread. The only place I have found to have good bread is Vie de France. Buy 1 or 2 baguettes, cut it, and you will make everyone happy. Trust me, nothing compares to this bread.

    600 Maryland Ave., SW
    Washington, DC 20024

    • anonymous

      I have to respectfully disagree. I find the bread at at Vie de France to be generic and fairly tasteless. Their French bread is certainly Americanized (pasty and doughy). No, this isn’t a crime, but just don’t head to the Vie if you’re looking for a traditional baguette.

  • Dr. Action

    Potenza bakery on 15/H – very good breads, baked fresh daily.

    • K St.

      I agree, I work nearby and bring their stuff home frequently

  • Eric

    The Lyon Bakery stand at Union Station isnt there (at least it wasnt yesterday). I think all the outside stands went away in Novemember. I dont know where else you can get Lyon’s stuff.

  • rooty tooty

    firehook in cleveland park?

  • b

    second vote for spring mill. they have an actual store in bethesda (and i think gaithersburg?) but they also supply to Mom’s Organic Market. my household is totally hooked on their stuff. very fresh and full of ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen right now.

    the bethesda location is downtown, maybe a 5 minute walk from the metro

  • erin

    Marvelous Market (they’re all over the place). Also Firehook

    • Anonymous

      If you go to Marvelous Market, skip the rolls and get the chocolate Babka. I don’t even think they make it, but it is one of the most heavenly indulgences in the city.

  • pascal
  • ess

    I like Potenza’s rolls, and I bet the rest of their bread is good too: http://www.potenzadc.com/bakery.php

  • taylor.nmt

    Not really local, but if you’re okay with going from a chain, Le Pain Quotidien (Georgetown, Eastern Market & Dupont) has really excellent crusty rolls and baguettes.

    • Jessica

      ooo yes they do have excellent bread

    • Capitol Hill

      Just bought a baguette from Le Pain today — do you know if they bake it on-site or if it comes from a regional distributor? I was curious.

      • Stephanie S.

        my girlfriend is the kitchen manager @ dupont. they bake all of their bread fresh at the georgetown location and supply it daily to the other locations

  • ML

    Actually, here is a very easy recipe for baguette – you can make small rolls with it too… I have made this several times and it always turns out great.


  • jaynuze
  • Delrae

    Hellers in Mt. Pleasant!

  • Mike

    It might not make your list, but I’ve bought some excellent fresh-baked bread at the new Safeway in Georgetown recently. I don’t know if they do dinner rolls, but their baguettes are delicious.

    • dc_chica

      +1 – I bought a loaf of sourdough there recently and it was so good that my mouth is watering just thinking about it again!

    • Anonymous

      Harris Teeter’s not bad either.

  • The bakery at the Sweet Shop in Eastern Market is also very good, open e’ery day but Monday.

  • Rukasu1

    Pain Quotidien

  • BG

    Lyon Bakery’s bread can be purchased at several retailers:
    Arrowine in Arlington, Cork Market in DC, The French Confection in Olney MD, Cecile’s Wine Cellar in McLean, and the new Potomac Gourmet Market in the National Harbor.

  • mmm

    Heller’s is basically awful. The grumpiest staff, slow service, and very sub-par products.

    It’s got to be the only “bakery” I’ve ever been to that doesn’t smell like anything is being baked at all.

    Got to say, with a few exceptions, mediocrity is the norm with Mt. Pleasant food.

    • Anon


  • Anonymous

    what is “Friendsgiving”

    • jolly

      I’m guessing it’s a gathering of people who don’t have family in the area and can’t get out of town for the holiday because it’s too far/expensive/whatever. What a ridicuous name for it though.

      • Anonymous

        i just call it “thanksgiving”.
        but i’m kind of a simpleton

  • Anonymous

    this post makes me sad.

    i really wish we had more fresh bread available around the city.

  • mglls

    Seconding the bakery inside Eastern Market for loaves– Italian farm and regular farm (light sourdough) are pretty crusty and good, especially if you don’t let them sweat in plastic (I try to wrap them in foil or wax paper as soon as I get them home). But their rolls and baguettes aren’t impressive.

    Agreed re: the surfeit of cupcake places. I wish some of them would expand their offerings and be more like full-service, old-school bakeries. The dream:fresh bread, pie, cupcakes, birthday cakes, etc. all in one place. Extra points for an Italian or Jewish bakery (I miss pignoli cookies. And babka).

    • Anonymous

      Agreed. Even if they bake ok breads and cakes on-site and ship their cookies in from Philly or NJ I’d be happy.

  • Pru

    The bakery stand at the Columbia Heights farmers market has some really good authentic baguette, and they told me which bakery they’re related to, but I forgot. Somewhere in Bethesda, I think, but I can’t remember the name. Anyone knows?


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