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Eat and Drink

Best bread in Brooklyn, all from family-run bakeries

Some of the highest-quality carbs in the the five boroughs can be found at Brooklyn’s family-owned bakeries and wholesale businesses.

From traditional loaves of Italian bread to French classics like baguettes, seasonal varieties (Irish soda bread) to flavorful twists (cranberry-raisin with sunflower seeds), the possibilities are nearly endless for anyone in need of a bread fix.

Here are eight of our Brooklyn favorites.

Bakeri, Greenpoint & Williamsburg

Opening Bakeri in 2009, Norway native Nina Brondmo
Photo Credit: Diana Colapietro

Opening Bakeri in 2009, Norway native Nina Brondmo serves up about 10 to 12 different types of breads, most of which are made with a natural yeast. On a regular basis you'll find, among others, baguettes, sea salt-rosemary focaccia, pan de mie, brioche, vollkorn, which is 100-percent rye and more.

The bakery has become known for its workers' blue jumpsuits, a practical solution to keeping clean when handling flour and dough, Brondmo explains. "So much love and hard work is put into that piece of bread," she says of Bakeri's baguette.

Locations at 150 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg, and 105 Freeman St., Greenpoint; and at a small coffee shop at 627 E. Sixth St., East Village.

Pasta Fresca, Dyker Heights

Photo Credit: Diana Colapietro

"The secret to our bread is that we don't bake in the middle of the night," says manager Calogero "Charlie" Rao, whose father, Samuel, opened the business in 1986; Pasta Fresca, at 6406 11th Ave., has been serving the local community fresh bread, pasta and other Italian classics ever since. While some bakeries produce their breads overnight, Pasta Fresca refrigerates its rolled-out loaves to allow them time to slowly rise. The breads, which take about 10 to 15 minutes in a 375-degree oven, come out fresh at about 8:30 every morning.

On average, Rao said, Pasta Fresca produces 150 loaves a day, and closer to 200 or 250 on weekends. Anyone checking out this neighborhood spot should try the classic Italian bread and/or a loaf of semolina bread. Insider tip: The business also makes incredible lemon drop cookies. (718-680-7193)

Lopez Bakery, Greenwood Heights

The family behind Lopez Bakery has been making
Photo Credit: Diana Colapietro

The family behind Lopez Bakery has been making bread since 1996; with various locations throughout Brooklyn over the years, the bakery is now at 647 Fifth Ave., where it's been since 2010.

"Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside" is how the owners' daughter, Eloisa Martinez, described their French-style bread. The bakery's range of baguettes and other breads include sourdough, Kalamata olive, raisin-walnut (pictured) and alsacia, which is made with caraway, sunflower, sesame seeds and a little bit of honey. We recommend coming to Lopez Bakery for breakfast (a full menu is offered) and leaving with a loaf of bread, preferably the raisin-walnut, pictured, but you can't really go wrong here.

Baked in Brooklyn, Greenwood Heights

Baked in Brooklyn, a division of Aladdin Bakers
Photo Credit: Diana Colapietro

Baked in Brooklyn, a division of Aladdin Bakers Inc., at 755 Fifth Ave, produces about 400 loaves per day. Basically, a gluten-free eater's worst nightmare. While standing in the retail storefront of the Kosher bakery, visitors can look through floor-to-ceiling windows that reveal the production process. Products, available throughout New York City and regionally, include pita chips, flatbread crisps and bread sticks.

The bakery offers a wide selection of breads, but the most popular is the cranberry-raisin-sunflower seed loaf. "It's a neighborhood spot," manager Kathy Dadario says. "We get to know each other," a reference to local customers likely drawn in by the smells that waft down the block.

Northside Bakery, Greenpoint & Williamsburg 

Shortly after immigrating to the United States from
Photo Credit: Diana Colapietro

Shortly after immigrating to the United States from Wroclaw, Poland, in 1985, Richard Podedworny opened Northside Bakery in an 800-square-foot space at 192 Nassau Ave. in Greenpoint in 1992. "The vent of the oven was positioned towards Nassau Avenue and the local residents knew the bread was ready to purchase as they smelled the aroma in the air," Christian Podedworny, sales manager and Richard's son, says. In 1994, the family-owned business outgrew the space and moved to North Eighth Street in Williamsburg.

It now operates two wholesale bakeries, two retail stores (149 N. Eighth St., Williamsburg, and 190 Nassau Ave., Greenpoint) and one factory outlet (in Glendale, Queens), making more than 15 types of breads daily -- focaccia, Amish buttermilk and pumpkin seed boule among them. We recommend the seven-grain bread, pictured, to newcomers for its richness.

Mazzola Bakery, Carroll Gardens

A family business open since 1928, Mazzola Bakery
Photo Credit: Diana Colapietro

A family business open since 1928, Mazzola Bakery at 192 Union St., transferred from one family (the Mazzolas) to another (the Caravellos) in 1980. The bakery is predominantly known for its lard bread, made with Genoa salami, provolone cheese, black pepper and prosciutto. The variety of breads includes pane Italiano, pictured, an artisanal bread made with white flour and wheat and baked in a brick oven.

"The taste is always the same so people always come back for it," says Josephine Messina, who runs Mazzola with her brothers, Frank and Anthony Caravello. Coffee, cookies and breakfast items (bagels, muffins and croissants) can be found at Mazzola as well. (718-643-1719)

Caputo's Bakery, Carroll Gardens

In business since 1904, a fifth generation of
Photo Credit: Diana Colapietro

In business since 1904, a fifth generation of the Caputo family is now in charge. Current owner James Caputo, who lived above the bakery at 329 Court St. growing up, gives a nod to his father for the business' success: "As the neighborhood changed, we adapted to it." More recently, the inventory has grown with additions including olive bread, cranberry-walnut and brioche.

A bakery and thriving wholesale business, Caputo's is known for its lard bread, pictured, an Italian bread with prosciutto baked into it. It's a must-try for any meat eater. For our vegetarian friends, check out the olive bread. "We don't settle," Caputo says about how the bakery develops its breads. "We keep going until we get exactly what we want." (718-875-6871)

Regina Bakery, Park Slope

Regina Bakery, which dates to the late 1960s,
Photo Credit: Diana Colapietro

Regina Bakery, which dates to the late 1960s, is the epitome of a family business: Current owners Marie and Frank Guerriera met there in the '80s and their three daughters, Julia, Bianca and Marisa, work there, along with their grandfather, Joe. Marie initially began working for Frank's brother Vincenzo, the original Regina owner, before meeting her husband after he came to America from Italy.

Breads offered at this Regina Bakery, 256 Prospect Park West, run from the expected -- whole wheat, sourdough, Italian -- to the less-so - semolina, soft-top Italian, prosciutto. "We have special types of bread throughout the seasons," Julia Guerriera says, noting that in March, for example, the bakery sells Irish soda bread for St. Patrick's Day. And do not leave this bakery without picking up a loaf of bread and either a black-and-white or seven-layer cookie. You're welcome. (718-499-0377)


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