Bakeries Around the World You Have to See Before You Die. By definition, I don’t like bucket lists. Why does impending death have to be motivator to seek out the new or unique. Nomenclature aside, these lists can be a good reference point for said seeking, whatever IT is that you are seeking. It is not difficult for me to seek out bread, anywhere I go. But if I am going to ingest all that gluten, I would prefer it be the tastiest darn gluten around. Did you look at the list? If you live in these cities or have visited these cities – you may contest their selections by pushing for your own local favorite. Please, feel free to share yours in a reply below. Personally I loved La Pâtisserie des Rèves (literally pastry of dreams) and everyone must see the iconic pastel macarons at Ladurée in Paris (J’adore the St. Germain location). The best darn baguette we ever ate was from Le Grenier à Pain, located a block-ish from the Abbesses Metro stop on Montmartre, near our flat we had taken for my birthday trip in 2010. In Portland, Oregon, my go-to is St. Honoré, not only because it was walk-able from my house, but the bread is superb – warm, fresh chouquettes by the bag please. You will notice a pattern here. Your favorites are all FRENCH bakeries, you may be thinking. It’s because I didn’t know DANISH bakeries before coming here. I have not yet been to the Copenhagen contingent from the above list – Conditoriet La Glace – but it is definitely a priority now.
One of the things that I love about Danish bageri’s has to be all the good grains and seeds they use. While you wait for your coffee at the little Meyers Bageri outpost on Classengade in Østerbro, there is a window where you can watch the bakers calmly working down below. On the board is large smiley face and the list of all the breads they must bake that day. As I watched, the baker scooped healthy quantities of oats, seeds, grains and gracefully spread them down on his work surface, as if painting his canvas. Into the bed of crunchy goodness he plunk a soft-ish lump of leavened dough – it seemed much looser than I would have deemed easy to seed. Rolling and scooping and prodding, he covered that loaf in the grains and oats and seeds – carefully picked up the seeded goo with his hands and placed it gingerly on a board, which was then in a turn, swifted directly into the large ovens behind him. I imagined my epic Pinterest-fail efforts to do the same – envisioning flour, seeds, grains and goo all over the counter, floor, oven AND myself. His performance was impressive. Bottom line. He must have felt my semi-tranced bread awe because he self-consciously looked up at the window and nodded. Oh – coffee’s ready, time to go. Probably best.
If you follow food shows or food culture, call yourself a “foodie” perchance? then you are probably familiar with the name Meyers from Meyers Bageri. None other than Claus Meyer, self-labeled gastronomic entrepreneur and co-owner of #1 restaurant in the WORLD – Noma. No, ma… I haven’t eaten there yet. Have to save half our salary and book months in advance – besides, I’m waiting for you! Just kidding – I’ll take you to the bakery though! No wonder the bread is good.
But Classengade, while in my ‘hood, is not as close as a block away (anything that ends in “gade” means street here, for those who don’t know). And why tromp all the way down there, when just a block away is a bageri equally as yummy and just as organic with a cozy place to sit and watch the bikes and people and ever-changing weather through the window. Det Rene Brød. Their classic pretzel shaped neon illuminates the block – calling to you… come here, it’s warm, it’s cozy, it smells fantastic, it’s delicious. It will probably be my undoing.
Det Rene Brød means “The Pure Bread.” They are 100% okologisk. (Organic – it’s big here, really big. I thought it was big in Oregon. Easy to find an excellent selection of okologisk produce, meats and BREAD.) Back when we were first in our unfurnished flat with no wi-fi, we would come connect at Det Rene Brød and enjoy a kanelsnegl (direct translation: cinnamon snail aka cinnamon roll), or a frøsnapper (twisty, flaky, poppy and sesame-seeded, lightly sweetened deliciousness), or a pretty pink hindbær snitte (raspberry chopper = best darn spelt-flour pop tart in the world) or just a simple pain au chocolate. A cortado espresso to balance the sweet and life is good. This is one of my definitions of happiness in Denmark.