With its low self-esteem and high urban blight, Hartford is the ultimate underdog city. Sad City Hartford documents the joys, sorrows and eccentricities of New England's Rising Star.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hartford's Best Bread

For over a decade Sad City has searched the Hartford area high and low for "Hartford's Best Sandwich." Though we have identified many contenders, we have never been able to crown an official winner. One of the disappointments we find with otherwise great sandwiches is a lack of attention to the bread used. For some reason many places seem to overlook this critical element of the sandwich. Although we still don't have an official "Best Sandwich," we are confident that the have found Hartford's Best Bread.

The Hartford Baking Company is a fairly new business, having been open just over a year. It's located on 625 New Park and closed Mondays. The Hartford Baking Company serves coffee, pastries, sandwiches, and fresh baked breads. We've only had coffee there once and we have never eaten a pastry there, but from the steady stream of customers and the smells and look of the coffee and pastries, we are pretty sure they are very good. What we love at Hartford Baking Company is the bread.

We have long searched for a good sandwich bread in the area. Ciarca Bakery has good rolls, but they are either too small or too large for a good sandwich and turn into bricks after just a day. Mozzicato's has good but not great bread, and Trader Joe's has a very good tuscan panne. Hartford Baking Company trumps them all.

We have tried four different loaves of Hartford Baking Company bread and each one has been excellent. Really as good as bread gets. The crust is always very crunchy and the inside fresh and spongy. Not only is the bread great for sandwiches, it is so good it can be eaten on its own. The loaves range in price from $4-$5.75 and there is a variety available every day. Quite simply, this bread is as good or better than any bread we've ever had.

With "fresh and local" being the in vogue mantra in food these days, you can't get any more fresh and local then the Hartford Baking Company. If you're going to spend the time to make sure you get local produce and eggs, you should definitely invest the time to get fresh and local bread. In this case you won't only be getting fresh and local, you will be getting the best.


  1. You can get their bread at the West End Farmers Market too, which is held Tuesdays and Fridays.


    Also, the Hartford Baking Company is technically in West Hartford, but I don't fault them, it is cheaper to do business in West Hartford.


  2. a few of the old italian bakeries in the south end that are still around have crazy awesome bread

  3. I worked at the WEFM, and the owner of the Hartford Baking Company is amazingly friendly and makes FANTASTIC bread. The baguette is simply fantastic.

  4. the lattes and scones--wow!

  5. I've driven past it on a full stomach too many times. I'll have to stop there on my next trip to J.Rene's.

    "For some reason many places seem to overlook this critical element of the sandwich." All too true, and I'll never understand why. The bread usually accounts for 50% of a sandwich, it's the first thing you taste, and it provides most of the texture. Skimping there is a fatal flaw.

  6. This place is now on the top of my list of must get to places! Thank-you Sad City! My wife and I are bread/pastry/cookie-holics.

  7. Their price make this a bread for the elite. Too bad.

  8. I heard halfdoor which you guys are fans of are using their bread in almost all their sandwiches... bravo to scott at HBC for making such a great product keep up the good work