From morning toast to late night sandwiches, the plethora of amazing Eugene bread bakers make it harder to reach for a slice of Wonder Bread when craving a carb fix. Walk into any of the following bakeries with the warm smell of yeast in the air, and piles of fresh-baked bread – and the hardest decision will be which loaf to choose.
For the past 35 years, bakers have been rolling out 12 different kinds of loaves seven days a week at Metropol Bakery. Find their bread (our favorite is the Birdseed, a multi-grain seeded loaf with a mix of whole grain and rye flours) at their shiny European-inspired shop on South Willamette, or at a variety of local grocers including Market of Choice, The Kiva, Long’s Meat Market, Red Barn, and the Friendly Street Market. The friendly staff, decked out in darling black chef hats, is more than happy to answer questions and help you find the bread that best suits your taste.
For those in a New York state of mind, look no further than the Humble Bagel Company. Churning out bagels the traditional way (formed, boiled, and baked) since the late 1970s, the South Eugene shop is known for bagels that are crisp on the outside, and dense and chewy on the inside. Every type of bagel is made from scratch and fresh ones roll out of the oven throughout the day to satisfy each customer that walks through the door. Break from East Coast tradition (plain or sesame) and try the jalapeno cheddar. Indecisive? Go with the everything bagel – you won’t be disappointed, but you may want to carry floss.
2435 Hilyard St, Eugene
Bread Production Manager Nicolai Otte has been overseeing the dough for DeeAnn Hall at Eugene City Bakery for around three years. Helping to feed a 14-year-old sourdough start originally procured from Santa Cruz, California, Otte and Hall have a commitment to using organic flours. The tiny shop opens daily at 6 a.m. Come early to get your hands on either the chocolate cherry sourdough or polenta breads, as they fly off the shelves hot from the oven. The bakery works on a rotating schedule, and although the polenta is available every day, the chocolate cherry is only baked Saturdays, and is available both at the shop and the Saturday Market.
1607 E 19th Ave, Eugene
If gluten is not your friend, never fear – the New Dawn Bakery is here. Owner Dave Martin opened his doors in downtown Eugene September 2010, and is currently Eugene’s only gluten-free deli. Bakers on duty daily bake their herbed and white breads along with pizza crust – available for sale as loaves or part of a sandwich. As gluten-free peeps know, the two most important things about gluten-free bread is taste and texture, two things New Dawn has down pat.
868 West Park Street, Eugene
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Jackie Varriano is a sucker for olive loaf, be it green or kalamata, at any bakery. Keep up with her at seejackwrite.tumblr.com.