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Where are the Best Gourmet Bread Bakeries in the World?

Where are the Best Gourmet Bread Bakeries in the World?

Sometimes the greatest luxuries in life are the simple ones. Salt. Butter. And really good bread. Maybe with a drizzle of phenomenally good local honey. Or a spoonful of artisanal jam or jelly. But what are the best gourmet brands and bakeries for a life-affirming fresh loaf of bread?  Our correspondent Julie Chang Murphy shares where to find the best artisanal bread and local gourmet bakeries in the world.

Where are the best gourmet bread bakeries in the world right now?

Still cant get that sourdough starter to rise? Yeah, neither can we. But one valuable lesson this pandemic has taught us is that bread is OK again. After a few years of intense anti-carb and gluten sentiment, there has never been a better time to break bread together (or alone, with a stick of gourmet craft butter.)

Where are the Best Gourmet Bread Bakeries in the World?

Where are the best gourmet artisanal bread bakeries in the world?

Were talking about real bread baked in wood-burning ovens with wholesome ingredients that are actually as nutritious as they are delicious. From traditional country boules to crusty baguettes to spectacular umami varieties with nuts, seeds, olives – the comfort of a loaf of bread is micro-luxury at its finest.  

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Were gluttons for bread and punishment so we went in search of the best bread bakeries in the world. These renowned artisans and establishments have perfected the art of what has been a primary source of sustenance for thousands of years. As Spanish author, Miquel de Cervantes said, All sorrows are less withbread.” We couldnt agree more. Ahead, our list of the top 10 bread bakeries around the world.  

What are the best bread bakeries in the world right now?

1. She Wolf Bakery– New York City 

I first discovered She Wolf Bakery after taking an Uber home late at night. While nodding off, I could smell a delicious salty-sour aroma from the drivers third row seating. When the driver offered me as many loaves as I wanted, I thought maybe he was trying to poison me. Turns out he was a good friend of one of the bakers.  

best gourmet bread bakeries in the world

Where are the best gourmet artisanal bread bakeries in the world? She Wolf Bakery- New York City. Courtesy Photo.

I lived to tell the tale and it is this- you cant go wrong with any of their bread. My personal favorite is the Classic Batard with a slightly sour crumb and perfectly crispy crust. My neighbor swears by the Miche, a traditional French Bread made with farmer ground half-white and whole wheat flours. The breads are available at greenmarkets across the city.  

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2. Clear Flour Bread– Brookline, Massachusetts 

A trip to this renowned bakery near Boston is a lot cheaper than flying to Europe. Their specialty is in making the authentic breads and pastries of France, Italy and Germany in stone hearths, from simple ingredients. Waiting in the inevitable lines are worth it whether youre craving German rye or the rustic Fougasse with roasted pumpkin seeds and kosher salt.

best bread bakeries

Where are the best gourmet artisanal bread bakeries in the world? Clear Flour Bread- Brookline, Massachusetts. Courtesy Photo.

Owners Christy Timon and Abe Faber have not only been recognized by Zagat, the Globe and James Beard, but have won awards for their community minded business as well. Over the years, the duo have mentored bread bakers who have gone on to set up their own successful businesses 

3. Grand Central Bakery – Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington  

Named one of 20 Great American Bread Bakeries by Saveur, Grand Central Bakery introduced their rustic artisan loaves to Northwest tables in 1989. Theres a lot of local love- breads are made from sustainably grown white flour from Shepherd’s Grain in Palouse, Washington and whole wheat flour from Camas Country Mill in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, which is bringing back heirloom wheat varieties like Red Fife well suited to the local climate. 

best bread bakeries

Where are the best gourmet artisanal bread bakeries in the world? Grand Central Bakery – Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington. Courtesy Photo.

Must tries are the buttery and earthy Yukon Gold Potato bread, Campagnolo with a touch of honey, and the Como, a golden, Italian-style hearth bread. 

4. Tartine– San Francisco, California  

The bread at San Francisco’s legendary Tartine Bakery sells out within an hour almost every day. Chad Robertson is considered the best bread baker in the United States, having developed his unique bread over two decades of apprenticeship with the finest artisan bakers in France and the United States, as well as experimentation in his own ovens. There are seven types of bread made fresh daily from sourdough, grain porridge bread to Danish-style sprouted rye.  

Where are the best gourmet artisanal bread bakeries in the world? Tartine- San Francisco, California. Courtesy Photo.

Cant make it there in person? You could always try learning from one of their acclaimed cookbooks 

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5. La Farm – Cary, North Carolina  

This small town bakery has an Old World soul thanks to Paris-native Lionel Vatinet. La Farm reflects the baking traditions Vatinet learned during his seven-year tenure with the prestigious guild, Les Compagnons du Devoir.

Where to find the best local gourmet bread brands and artisanal bakeries all around the world. La Farm – Cary, North Carolina. Courtesy Photo.

 Vatinet and his wife produce 15 different styles of breads, and an additional 20 seasonal breads throughout the year using a European-style hearth oven. The breads benefit from a unique and lengthy 3-day process which give each variety its characteristic depth of flavor 

6.  E5 bakehouse – London, England  

The eclectic team here has academic degrees from neuroscience to theoretical psychoanalysis but come together over a passion for sourdough and the lost traditions of their baking ancestors. The country loaf is made with a blend of heritage and modern wheat grains, grown and milled in the UK. 

Where to find the best local gourmet bread brands and bakeries all around the world. E5 bakehouse – London, England. Courtesy Photo.

The chewy and open-textured crumb just needs a pat of butter or dip into olive oil. Or, consider a delectable currant bun made with 100% UK grown heritage wholemeal flourto go with jam for breakfast or tea time.  

7. Braud & Co– Reykjavik, Iceland 

This small bakery is listed as a must-visit on every Reykjavik travel blog and guide. When something is hyped up so much, it makes me naturally skeptical. But on a girls trip to this small island last year, my friends and I could not resist going every morning and trying everything.

Where to find the best local gourmet bread brands all around the world. Braud & Co- Reykjavik, Iceland. Courtesy Photo.

The breads and pastries are thick and hearty and last you all day. The Kanilsnúðar (Cinnamon Buns) are their most famous offering but their savory sourdough breads with mix-ins like tomato, ham, and olives were our favorite. 

8. Maison Julien– Paris, France 

When in Paris, a real baguette is a must. 2020s winner for the best baguette is from Maison Julien and the winner gets to serve as the official supplier of baguettes to the Elysées Palace in Paris, seat of the French President.

Where to find the best local gourmet bread brands all around the world. Maison Julien- Paris, France. Courtesy Photo.

 A reviewer described the winning baguette as well-proportioned, pleasingly golden” with a slight nuttiness” and an interior that is chewy and tender but not mushy.” Not a fan of baguettes? This bakery has also won prizes for their croissants and pain au chocolat.  

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9. Antico Forno Giglio – Florence, Italy  

One of Florences best kept secrets is Via Gioberti, coined by locals as Via delle Centovetrine,” the boulevard of 100 storefronts. On this block is a humble, family-run bakery that has been making bread, pizza and focaccia for 70 years. It has a cult following amongst locals and foodies in the know. Salty flatbreadschiacciatarustic Tuscan bread and square tomato pizza sit alongside butter cookies and chocolate cakes. Go in the afternoon for their special afternoon bread – the result of a very slow rising, as well as another secret that stays within the family.  

10. Bricolage Bread & Co– Tokyo, Japan  

The breads at this smart and casual Roppongi bakery combine traditional French-boulangerie style with a Japanese twist. There are freshly baked sourdough loafs and crunchy croissants made from Japan-grown wheat and/or spelt

Where to find the best local gourmet bread brands all around the world. Bricolage Bread & Co- Tokyo, Japan . Courtesy Photo.

Butthe bakery excels in more unique goodies like the signature Bricolage Bread that has a caramelized crust and a deep umami flavor and a Danish pastry with exoticgoma(sesame) andyomogi(mugwort) flavors. 

Where to find the best bread and artisanal bakeries in the world right now

There you have it- our list of the top 10 bread bakeries in the world. Let’s go on a bread-tasting tour when the pandemic is over! Are you in, dear reader?

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Crediting her training as a cultural anthropologist at Wellesley College, Julie has immersed herself in various industries in the last 15 years including fashion design, event planning, and fitness. Julie lives in New York where she loves trying every ramen and dumpling restaurant with her husband and three children. She finds joy in bold prints, biographies of fierce women, kickboxing. And spending way too long finding the perfect polish color to express her mood.

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