So many of our favorite Chicago restaurants source their loaves from Publican Quality Breads—and for good reason. Head baker Greg Wade is somewhat of a local legend and was even honored with the James Beard Award for Outstanding Baker in 2019. Taste his craftsmanship at Publican Quality Meats in the West Loop, where, in addition to a laundry list of amazing sandwiches, you can order Bread & Spread ($6), which includes a daily selection of fan-favorite bread, pickles and your choice of pork and duck rillettes or pimento cheese.
We love emulsions and foams and pâtés just as much as the next food-obsessed Chicagoan, but there’s something to be said about taking it back to the basics. High on our list of dinnertime essentials is a basket of fresh-baked bread to tide us over until the main event. Following a rather sad low-carb decade, where even measly dinner rolls all but disappeared (thanks a lot, Atkins diet), bread service is making a major comeback. Chefs at the best restaurants in Chicago are happy to oblige with sourdough loaves, pillowy brioche buns and flame-kissed pita rounds. Take a look at the all-time best bread service in Chicago—we even tossed in a few freebies.