Better Off Bread

Eight of the best loaves in Chicago

It's the staff of life. It's the scourge of Atkins. It's one of our absolute favorite foods, even if it does put us into a coma.

Of course, we're talking about bread. Here are our favorite loaves around Chicago.

① Garlic Ring from Red Hen ($6.50)
Stuffed with roasted garlic and scattered with salt, this loaf is impossible to stop eating. Go in prepared to consume the entire thing.

② Baguette at Floriole ($4)
Despite the shelves filled with pastries, our favorite thing from this multiple-award-winning bakery is the simple, classic, crunchy, perfect baguette.

③ Garlic Asiago Ciabatta from Bennison's ($5.50)
This long, airy loaf, available on Thursdays only, is perfect for dipping in oil or eating on its own.

④ Challah at Southport Grocery (Sandwiches $10 to $12)
This delicious, light-as-a-feather egg loaf is only available as sandwich bread. We'd seriously consider buying a bunch of sandos and hoarding the slices.

⑤ Old World Rye at Peerless Bread and Jam ($7)
This super-crusty, delightfully dense loaf, made at The Plant and available at markets around town, is stick-to-your-ribs delicious. It makes wonderful toast and sandwiches.

⑥ Country Loaf at Cellar Door Provisions ($6)
This new Logan Square bakery has the best simple country loaf we've found in the city. Natural yeast gives it extra tang.

⑦ Baguette at Medici ($2)
Thin, chewy, filled with huge air bubbles and one of the best values in town. This baguette is worth the trip to the south-side staple.

⑧ Little Goat Bakery ($2 to $12)
We couldn't choose just one, although we're quite fond of the sweet onion brioche and the fat bread, made with duck fat and mustard seed. Availability may vary.