James Beard Award-winning baker Joanne Chang’s chain of local bakeries may be most frequently associated with a mighty cinnamon bun, but Flour also bakes a delectable Banana Bread. The iteration served at nine locations in the Greater Boston area is notable for being super-moist and generously filled with bananas and bits of walnut.
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Not as decadent as a brownie or a doughnut but not as well-behaved as an acai bowl or whole-wheat granola, banana bread is a perfect anytime treat. From well-executed classic versions served at traditional bakeries to spins featuring tahini or a cream cheese-slathered swirl, check out these six banana bread renditions at Boston-area bakeries next time you need a quickbread fix.
Union Square’s Vinal Bakery earns a lot of press for its savory offerings, particularly sandwiches made on house-specialty English muffins; however, the Banana Bread here is a sleeper hit. Vinal cuts this quickbread into extra-wide slices, which pair marvelously with a cup of Tandem Coffee Roasters coffee or a maple latte.
Venture beyond the signature—and award-winning—croissants at teeny South End patisserie Cafe Madeleine, and you may discover a rich banana bread that is available by the loaf or single slice. It has a tendency to sell out in the afternoons: Plan to visit earlier in the day to secure yours.
You’re not guaranteed to find banana bread every day at Brookline’s back-to-basics bakery, Clear Flour Bread. Get a heads-up by checking the weekly Tea Cake Schedule online: Your diligence will be rewarded by a shockingly moist wedge of Banana Bread topped by sweet cream cheese frosting.
This longstanding Cambridge bakery led by acclaimed chefs Ana Sortun and Maura Kilpatrick earned its reputation by folding Middle Eastern flavors into traditional pastry-making. One fine example of Sofra’s craft is the Tahini Banana Bread prepared with Maine buckwheat, chocolate, and the requisite sesame condiment. In fact, it’s a perfect match for a Sesame Caramel Latte.
Pizza takes a backseat in the cafe section of Area Four, which is open daily from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. Within the airy environs, you can settle down for an afternoon of work on your laptop aided by a slice of Banana Date Nut Bread, an iteration with an intensely caramelized crust and rich brown butter flavors.