Where can I buy great bread?

The selection from The Bread Ovens at Quail Creek.


"Can you recommend a good bakery for bread in the city? I live on U St. I'm tired of going the store-bought route with an endless ingredient list of juice concentrate, soybean oil, etc." - Justin

Amanda says:

I've been timing my bread buying with the local farmers markets, one of the best sources for artisanal breads. Here's who I seek out:

* The Bread Ovens at Quail Creek at the Penn Quarter FreshFarm Market and a few others. Try the rustic Italian potato loaf with a hint of truffle oil. (They make great tarts and sweets, as well.)

* Panorama's breads at the 14th & U Farmers Market on Saturdays, Bloomingdale on Sundays, or at the FreshFarm Market by the White House on Thursdays.

* Atwater's sells at the Dupont market and plenty more. I buy the super hearty wheat loaf. It weighs a ton!

* Bonaparte Breads, which also sells at the Dupont Circle FreshFarm Market, makes a good baguette and I always get a pain au chocolat to fuel my shopping, even if I have to wait in line.

For bricks-and-mortar options, two of my favorite restaurants also turn out beautiful bread available for purchase. The bakery at Potenza sells baguettes, cherry pistachio sticky buns, black olive loafs, ciabatta and more. And if you happen to be out in NoVa between 5-7 p.m., you can stop in the cafe at 2941 for one of bread master Patrick Deiss' amazing baguettes. The cherry chocolate is ridiculously good.

Closer to U Street, stop in Cork Market to grab a baguette (and some vino, of course).

I picked up a nice loaf of bread once at Le Pain Quotidien, and I have to say I've grown very fond of the "Seeduction" loaf behind the bakery counter at Whole Foods. It makes great mini slices of toast.