I recently read on the Chowhound kosher forum the thread under “Best Kosher Bakery in the World- Willing to Travel” People tried to help this fellow out with their top picks in Brooklyn, Silver Spring, Miami…
Surprise, surprise the best kosher bakery in the world is actually in Israel. It is called Lechem Artisain and it is out of this world. The walls are covered floor to ceiling with wooden shelves with an endless variety of European style breads. Hearty, thick-crusted, artistic and needless to say delicious. They have many kinds of sourdough, a range of whole wheat, sundried tomato, walnut raisin, olive, rye, baguette, corn… They have great challah too, but we find it too boring in comparison.
Last year we stocked up on bread, 9 loaves, had them sliced for the freezer and only on our way home realized we had a little over a month till Passover. Let’s just say we didn’t have to sell any of this bread.
Bread aside, there is a beautiful selection of desserts, pastries and quiche. Brownies, cheesecake, babkas, strudels, fruit tarts, croissants, Danish, cookies, crackers. The best part is that these are dairy- that means NO margarine. Butter is used and therefore everything tastes that much better. If you are going to do dessert, do it right, too many kosher bakeries use margarine in everything, even goods that are dairy for other reasons.
Actually, THE best part is the gigantic wooden table in the middle of the store with tastings of EVERY product they sell- really everything. The cheesecakes, brownies, quiche, cookies – all there for self-serve sampling. Every kind of bread is piled on there too, with a crock of butter to make sure you get the full effect. Store employees float around to make sure that you properly match up what youa re tasting and want to buy with what you pick off of the shelf. There is no shame in eating from everything, twice if you want. They have an espresso machine to help you wash it all down. This is great business, everyone leaves the store with a stockpile. It is such a pleasure to go there and celebrate your taste buds. They get very busy, so it is recommended to arrive early, but it is also fun to see the hum of shoppers as they taste their way around the table.
I know of two locations, one is Raanana and the other is in Netanya. Word on the street is they are in Petah Tikva as well. It is worth the drive, don’t think twice.