Bread-lovers will notice that some of Dakar’s best-known bakeries (La Graine d’Or, La Royaltine, Eric Kayser…) are not included. They are definitely worth discovering though if you’re new in town!
The bread: Whole wheat sandwich loaf
The baker: Shady Shack
Details: Also available with white flour. Comes sliced and bagged. 1500cfa/loaf of about 22 slices. Freezes very well. Made fresh several times a week.
Verdict: Great for PBJ, BLT, grilled cheese and tuna or chicken salad sandwiches. Makes good toast too.
The bread: Hamburger buns
The baker: Shady Shack
Details: 200cfa each, available in white or wheat, topped with sesame seeds.
Verdict: The best burger buns I’ve ever had. Period. They are light and fluffy, but tall enough to hold up to hamburgers with loads of toppings and sauce… and amazing for BBQ sandwiches.
UPDATE: SAM’S BREAD HAS CLOSED. 😦
The bread: Brick-oven sourdough loaves
The baker: Sam’s Bread
77 689 9730 / email@example.com
Details: Naturally leavened hearth breads made from 100% organic stoneground flours, unrefined sea salt and filtered water. 1-kilo loaves baked fresh twice a week and delivered the same day. 14,000 cfa/month for weekly delivery.
Verdict: If Sam’s ever stops baking, there will be some very sad bread-lovers. His breads are unmatched in Dakar and his fans (including my three-year-old) love his round sourdough loaves.
The bread: Whole wheat English muffins
The baker: Marie Simone
77 536 7887
Details: Homemade, freshly baked English muffins. White flour also available. Made every Wednesday and for sale in the parking lots of ISD and DA, or made to order and delivered. Freeze well. 2000cfa/dozen. Delivery available.
Verdict: The first bread I ever tried from Marie was an English muffin and I was hooked right away. I’ve never been a huge fan of them in the US, but these were so fresh and delicious that I’ve been buying them every week for a year now. Good with a little honey, jam, or peanut butter… or go all out with eggs, ham or bacon, cheese – and still add a smidge of jam. Also good for quick mini-pizzas.
The bread: Whole wheat tortillas
The baker: Marie Simone and Oureye
77 536 7887
Details: Homemade soft tortillas. White flour also available. Made every Wednesday and for sale in the parking lots of ISD and DA, or made to order and delivered. Refrigerate them and they’ll store well. (Freezing tends to make them crumbly.) 1500cfa for 15. Delivery available.
Verdict: Light and thin, but not fragile. Perfect for soft tacos, quesadillas, burritos, enchiladas… and also in layered Tex-Mex casserole.
The bread: Bagels
The baker: Presse Café
Details: Freshly baked REAL bagels from a Canadian coffeeshop chain. (Oh, and REAL Philadelphia cream cheese too.) And they deliver.
Verdict: Bagels the way they should be: soft and chewy on the inside with a gentle crust.
The bread: Small loaves featuring local grains
The baker: Milmais
Details: Original flavors that highlight local ingredients like nebeday, sorghum and millet. Some are soft and gently sweet, others are more structured with bolder flavors. Prices around 1500 cfa/loaf. Delivery available.
Verdict: Perfect for breakfast or brunch, or their mixed selection tray makes a nice gift.
The bread: Tapalapa
The baker: Traditionally made by Guineans
Details: Available for a couple hundred francs in buutiks all around Dakar, especially in the morning. Freezes well.
Verdict: Makes wonderful ham sandwiches, garlic bread, baguette pizzas… And I personally like it with PB and jam for breakfast.