What constitutes a good baguette?
Physically: crusty exterior, soft interior. Internally: flour, salt, yeast, and water. Simplicity is key. Yet, to separate the best from the great, there has to be something more. Which of Chicago’s bakeries have the best baguettes? Read on to find out.
Maison Parisienne’s baguette has a beautifully sweet and soft center. The café opened only last September in Lake View, but its owners’ infectious energy is sure to give the place as much soul as older bakeries in the area. Free wifi makes Maison Parisienne the perfect place to do work while enjoying French treats, and if you are looking for a more serious dining affair, check out the weekend brunch that offers boeuf bourguignon.
3307 N. Clark Street,
Tuesday-Friday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Sunday 10 p.m. – 4 p.m.
La Farine Bakery
It was the baguette that drove La Farine Barkery’s owner to get out of the lab and into an apron. The biologist turned baker honed his craft and received the 2010 “Best Bread” award from Time Out Chicago. The bakery not only sells loaves, but also untraditional gourmet sandwiches on slices of those loaves (i.e. Not Your Momma’s Grilled Cheez, Got Beef with Basil, and Garlicky Broccoli Rabe are a few options that have this writer looking at bus schedules). Follow them on twitter and look out for the Word of the Day to get a free macaroon to finish up the meal.
2909 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Sunday-Saturday 8a.m. – 5p.m.
This bakery isn’t French, but they ended up still winning the Fan Prize of Chicago’s Battle Baguette 2017, hosted by Sofitel Chicago. Hewn Bread is all about connecting the community to nourishing foods, and its pastries and breads are 100% organic. Check out their bread schedule if you are hankering for a particular type of bread- I’ve got my eye out for Thursday’s roasted heirloom potato and rosemary loaf.
810 Dempster St.
Evanston, IL 60202
Tuesday-Friday 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday 8 a.m. – 1p.m.
La Boulangerie Chicago
La Boulangerie Chicago not only has two storefronts, but also a food truck zipping its beautiful loaves across the city. They create sandwiches on crepes, croissants, and, of course, their bread.
916 W. Belmont Ave.
Monday-Saturday 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
1945 W. Wilson Ave.
Monday-Friday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Since 1938, Bennison’s Bakery has been a landmark for baked goods. Not only do they offer Parisienne pastries, but also everything from Weihnachtsstollen to Bavarian Pretzels. The quantity of goods offered does not come at the cost of quality, and Bennison’s Bakery took home Best Specialty Bread from the Baguette Battle.
1000 Davis St.
Evanston, IL 60202
Monday-Friday 6 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Farmer Markets: Green City, Andersonville, Evanston, Glenwood
David Lebovitz approved and recommend. Need I write more?
1220 W. Webster Ave.
Tuesday-Friday 7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Saturday–Monday 8 a.m. -5:30 p.m.
Baker and Nosh
Hands down the best multigrain loaf I have ever had. Baker and Nosh is focused less on French tradition and more on local connection. Check out their sandwich selection, which includes braised short rib on baguette and ratatouille on ciabatta, and their weekend specialties like monkey bread.
1303 Wilson Ave.
Monday-Friday 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Awarded Best Baguette AND French Morning Reader’s Choice in Chicago’s Battle Baguette 2017, La Fournette is the champion of the night. La Fournette’s head chef Pierre Zimmerman is the 1996 World Baking Champion. Stop by the storefront for traditional French fare for all meals, including dessert, or simply grab a loaf to go; you can’t go wrong either way.
1547 N. Wells St.
2468 N. Clark St.
Monday-Saturday 7 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Sunday 7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.