Where to Find the Best Artisan Bread in Los Angeles

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Photo courtesy of The Rose Café & Restaurant

The Los Angeles bread world has changed drastically since Nancy Silverton launched La Brea Bakery in 1989. Now that company has gone national under Aryzta’s direction, and LBB’s legacy has impacted many of the city’s bakers. Of course, other bakeries and bakers have inspired and influenced a new generation. The current batch of artisan bread bakers simultaneously utilize modern traditions and pay respects to the past by using time-tested techniques and now incorporate ancient grains that impact flavor, texture, and nutrition. If you’re looking to buy a loaf for home, learn about 10 of your best bets.

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Sandwich at Bread Lounge | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Bread Lounge



Israeli born baker Ran Zimon was one of the early adapters to the Arts District. His Bread Lounge is an industrial space with a glass-fronted kitchen, packed shelves and pastry case, and relaxed back patio. Zimon makes over 10 different breads to sell as loaves and to use for sandwiches, including classics like baguette, ciabatta, multi-grain, and brioche. Bread Lounge also excels with Mediterranean breads like fig and walnut, Kalamata olive “stick” with za’atar, and sunflower poppy seed. On Fridays, you can even score challah.

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Whole wheat levain at Clark Street Bread | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Clark Street Bread - Grand Central Market



Zack Hall worked at high-profile L.A. establishments like Proof Bakery and The Eveleigh before staging at Portland bakeries like Little T American Baker and Roman Candle. He also scoured Scandinavia. Now he parks a bread cart near Eggslut in bustling Grand Central Market. Hall favors simplicity, traditional European methods, and long fermentation to produce eight different breads. Current offerings include baguette, country, seeded, Alpine brot, Danish rye, brioche, and miche, Hall is particularly proud of his whole wheat levain, which is made in homage to the golden age of French bread, between WWI and WWII. This loaf contains only three ingredients - flour, water, and salt – and supports Pasadena-based Grist & Toll millworks.

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Anadama bread at Dolce Isola | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Dolce Isola



This bakery from The Ivy owners Richard Irving and Lynn Von Kersting resides near Alexander Hamilton High School in L.A.’s South Robertson neighborhood, aka SoRo. The space features a mural of Capri, the island of Sun, and sells five different breads. Dolce Isola’s roster ranges from baguette and sourdough to more deluxe brioche and fig, apricot and pecan brioche. You can also find The Ivy’s signature anadama bread, a New England-style wheat bread baked with wheat flour, molasses and cornmeal that the owners serve with butter to start at each meal at either The Ivy or Ivy at the Shore.

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Hemp nori whole wheat bread at Gjusta Bakery | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Gjusta



Executive chef Travis Lett and his merry band of Venetians built on the success of Gjelina and Gjelina Take Away with this sign-free bakery, café, deli, and coffee bar on a side street across from Gold’s Gym. Lett oversees head Baker Jose Mateo and GM Greg Blanc, who produce loaves like sourdough, pumpernickel, olive, hemp nori whole wheat, seeded rye, sprouted rye, and huge miche rounds. There’s even bread made with dried fruits like apricots, raisins, figs and prunes. Bonus: most breads are available as half loaves.

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Bread at Hygge Bakery | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Hygge Bakery



This bakery from Rasmus Lee dates to 2009 in downtown’s South Park. The contemporary space fuses “Glass, Concrete, and Stone,” just like the David Byrne song, and promises a “true taste of the Danish.” Hygge, which is Denmark’s answer to La Dolce Vita, displays the good life in loaves in French baguettes, three-grain bread, Mediterranean bread, and rye made with sourdough, rye flour and malt. At lunch, you’ll also find focaccia pizza and sandwiches made with ciabatta (aka “Italian bread”).

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Sourdough at Larder Baking Company | Photo by Aaron Cook / AACK Studio

Larder Baking Company



Chef Suzanne Goin and business partner Caroline Styne have been working with baker Nathan Dakdouk since 2008 to supply AOC, Lucques, and Tavern with bread. Larder Baking Company is the byproduct, which now supplies wholesale clients as well. Dakdouk, a native of Venezuela, has overseen the production of over 20 different breads, including textbook sourdough, multi-grain, and ciabatta, plus unconventional offerings like blueberry boule and cranberry pecan batard. In all cases, Dakdouk preaches “the old fashioned way,” eschewing commercial yeast in favor of grape-fueled wild yeast and dough that ferments for 20-30 hours before baking. Larder Baking Company sells bread at Tavern in Brentwood and The Larder at Burton Way in Beverly Hills.

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Lodge Bread | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Lodge Bread Co.



Or Amsalam and Alex Phaneuf, who previously worked together at Goldie’s, debuted in west Culver City to end 2015. Their space houses a grey tile counter and dark wood banquette with cream-colored tables. They bake five kinds of sourdough bread in plain view, some designated for toast, others designed to travel home. Country, seeded, whole wheat, olive, and Khorasan are all fermented for 28-29 hours. Khorasan is made with a nutty ancient Middle Eastern grain - kamut - similar to spelt. Bread’s best friend, butter, is made in-house with Petaluma dairy and yogurt yeast and topped with Maldon sea salt.

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Bread at Milo & Olive | Photo by Rick Poon, courtesy of Milo & Olive

Milo & Olive



This Santa Monica café and bakery from Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb is a draw for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Their bakery fuels in-house menu items, though you can easily just swing by the counter for a loaf to go from Nathan and longtime culinary lieutenant Laurel Almerinda, who both oversee the bread program. Options include a sourdough-like country loaf, sunflower and rye, multi-grain, fruit and nut, ciabatta, brioche, and baguette. A smaller selection is available at sister café, Huckleberry.

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Photo courtesy of The Rose Café & Restaurant

The Rose Venice



Few establishments are as ambitious as The Rose, a business on the Venice border that dates to 1979 and received retooling from Sprout Restaurant Group and chef Jason Neroni. A big part of the renovation involves the bakery. Pastry Chef Jacob Fraijo and his team of three bakers now produce a serious bread spread, including baguettes, pain de Campagne, pain au olive, ciabatta, dark rye, and brioche. The common thread for these French leaning, European-style breads is a base of organic, whole-grain flours.

Seed Bakery Olive Bread

Olive bread at Seed Bakery

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Seed Bakery



This brick-fronted bakery from Joseph Abrakjian resides on a sleepy corner of north Pasadena. The airy café with yellow and purple walls has quickly become a destination for breads crafted with organic, house-milled flour, water, sea salt, and natural levain. Dough ferments for 18-24 hours, leading to sourdough loaves that take different forms. Breads utilize ancient grains like kamut, farro, and spelt. Seed also bolsters loaves with ingredients like walnuts, Kalamata olives, and cranberries.