Trader Joe’s bread comes in many, many, many varieties. In this search for the best bread at Trader Joe’s, I tried 28 different loaves. That’s almost 30. That’s a lot of bread. It filled an entire cart. And kudos to the checkout person who didn’t bat an eye as she filled bag after bag with loaf after loaf. The TL;DR of it all is that Trader Joe’s isn’t great at your basic loaves. You’re better off buying white bread or wheat bread elsewhere. But if you’re looking for a specialty loaf with some signature flavors, that’s where Trader Joe’s bread shines.
In tasting all of these breads, I primarily looked for great texture and good flavor. I knew I wasn’t going to find anything super crunchy. These aren’t straight-from-the-oven loaves. This is grocery store bread. So, I was looking for loaves that rivaled brands like Dave’s Killer Bread and Oroweat, rather than something you’d get from an artisanal bakery. And I didn’t try any of the cakes that masquerade as bread (pancake bread, banana bread, etc.). That’s a whole different category. And I think 28 is enough, don’t you? My stomach certainly does.
Here’s all the bread at Trader Joe’s (all the bread that we could find, at least), ranked from worst to best.
- Gluten Free White Sandwich Bread
A lot goes into Trader Joe’s gluten free sandwich bread to make it taste like real bread—they include potato flours and sorghum in order to give it a soft texture and bread-ish flavors. But it’s just way too sweet.
- Sliced Cracked Wheat Sourdough Bread
This Trader Joe’s bread is a lot of extremes: It’s very, very, airy, and very, very dry, and extremely sour. It’s not for me.
- Stone Hearth Baked French Loaf
Another way-too-dry loaf with no real flavor. There are many better options for bread at Trader Joe’s.
- Carb Savvy Sliced Bread with Sunflower Seeds & Flax Seeds
Trader Joe’s low carb bread is okay as long as you’re planning on spreading something flavorful onto it. It’s very light. It’s very dry. And it’s very plain. But it only has 21g of carbs and 60 calories per serving (two slices).
- Organic Whole Wheat Bread
There’s better whole wheat bread at Trader Joe’s. This one lacks tang and texture.
- Organic French Rolls
Trader Joe’s French rolls look incredible. They’re soft and pillowy with a lovely rise, if I may sound like I’m on The Great British Bake Off (aka the Great British Baking Show here in the States) for a second. But they’re not crusty at all. And there’s not a lot of flavor. They would be good for sopping up gravy or soup, I guess.
- Challah Braided Egg Bread
Look, it’s hard to make a really good challah bread and I commend Trader Joe’s for trying. But it doesn’t have the snappy crust of a real challah. And the flavor, while decent and eggy, just isn’t quite right. And the innards should peel away in tender swaths. This one is too tough.
- White Bread
This Trader Joe’s white bread is not a Wonder Bread dupe, like I thought it might be. It has actual bread tanginess. But the texture is lacking—it’s middling. It’s not super soft and squishy like Wonder Bread. And it’s not crusty. A dip in the toaster should help do the trick.
- Whole Grain Bread
Trader Joe’s standard whole grain bread is a straight-down-the-middle, simply okay bread. I like the chunky oat bits on the crust. I like that it’s a little bit savory. But there’s nothing special about it.
- Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Trader Joe’s cinnamon raisin bread comes in thiiiiiick slices. There are tons of raisins and a visible cinnamon swirl. Sounds super positive right? Alas, it is way too dry. Toast this and swab it with butter if you buy it.
- Garlic & Cheese Bread Sticks
I was so excited about these. I love breadsticks—particularly cheesy breadsticks. And these are covered in a layer of crunchy cheese. But, while the cheese does add some nice crispy, crunchy texture, it doesn’t have a ton of flavor. And there isn’t nearly enough garlic in the mix. If you buy these, be sure to dip them in some sauce.
- Multigrain Bread
I love that this bread is so seeded! The crust has so many seeds on it. But it doesn’t give me that multigrain flavor. It’s sweet. Still, love them seeds!
- Buttermilk Bread
This is some seriously thick sliced bread. The slices are big and giant. It’s dense—much denser than other buttermilk breads I’ve had—and a little bit sweet. Toast this up, top it with some butter, and enjoy with a cup of tea.
- Focaccia Bread with Roasted Tomato & Parmesan
On paper, Trader Joe’s focaccia bread with tomato and parm sounds irresistible. But in practice, it doesn’t have enough flavor. The parmesan is seriously lacking in the saltiness department. It’s quite puffy and the texture is pleasantly chewy. But without some marinara sauce or olive oil and balsamic, it just falls flat when it comes to flavor.
- Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread
I’m not sure why gluten-free bread is so small. But it is. And Trader Joe’s gluten-free white bread is very small. But, guess what? It’s good! It’s better than so many regular gluten-full Trader Joe’s breads! The texture is open and airy, it’s soft, and it has a nice chew—like real bread. And while it does leave some of that telltale gluten-free coating in your mouth, Trader Joe’s GF bread tastes like actual bread.
- Organic Ancient Grain & Seed Bread
There are oats and seeds coating every inch of the crust on this Trader Joe’s bread. It’s soft and chewy with moments of crunchy seeds. And the flavor leans oaty. It walks that line between being wholesome and healthful while still tasting like a piece of bread you actually want to eat.
- Sprouted Wheat Multigrain Bread
So far, many of the breads on this list have been very soft, airy breads. Not this one. This Trader Joe’s multigrain is extremely dense. It’s a hearty, fill-you-up bread with a sweet grain flavor and little crunchy bits of wheat berries and flax seeds. It tastes like you’re really getting your fiber. What tastes better than the knowledge your pipes are staying healthy?
- Whole Wheat Bread
I liked Trader Joe’s whole wheat more than the organic whole wheat because it had much more of a tangy whole wheat flavor. It is also doughier than the organic and I like a doughy bread. If you’re looking for whole wheat bread that tastes more like white bread, go ahead and get the organic whole wheat. But if you buy whole wheat bread because you like the taste of whole wheat bread, this is the best Trader Joe’s bread to buy.
- Vegan Brioche Loaf
This thick-cut loaf might not be quite as buttery as real-deal brioche, but it’s pretty darn convincing. It’s sweet. It’s eggy. It’s pillowy. Use Trader Joe’s vegan brioche bread to make vegan French toast with one of these vegan egg alternatives.
- Sprouted Wheat Sourdough Bread
I love the little pops of crunch you get from this Trader Joe’s wheat bread. In terms of flavor, it’s deep and tangy, like a true sourdough should be. It’s not like any other bread out there. It would be absolutely stupendous as the bread for a veg sandwich with hummus.
- Organic White Bread
This is the best Trader Joe’s white bread to buy. It’s softer than the non-organic white with a tighter crumb and a chewier texture. It’s much more of a Wonder Bread dupe. It’s a great blank canvas with an almost milky flavor.
- Everything Ciabatta Rolls
Trader Joe’s will never say no to everything seasoning. And, most of the time, it works! (We particularly enjoyed it on smoked salmon.) I love how savory the rolls are. The everything seasoning is heavy on the garlic and the onion and the salt. The bread is a touch dry (the rolls come pre-cut so that’s inevitable). But that’s easy to fix with some condiments and sandwich fillings. Be careful, though—the everything seasoning does come loose. You absolutely will make a mess. Maybe save these for an al fresco meal.
- Pumpkin Brioche Twist
This seasonal Trader Joe’s brioche bread packs so much fall flavor into every pre-sliced slice. It has the sweetness of pumpkin and a cinnamon-sugar-nutmeg swirl. I’ve had it toasted and untoasted, and it’s good either way. I have yet to try it as French toast, but I have a feeling it would be incredible.
Credit: Liv Averett / Trader Joe’s
- Focaccia with Caramelized Onions and Cheese
I love the flavor of the onions in this Trader Joe’s focaccia bread. They’re pungent and sweet and rich. And the focaccia itself is puffy and doughy and not dry at all. If I had to quibble, I’d say the cheese could be more flavorful, but really it’s all about the onions. Serve this as a side with some roast chicken.
- Cheddar Jalapeño Pull Apart Bread
You might be noticing a pattern here. Trader Joe’s is very good at flavored, savory bread! And this one is a huge home run. It’s actually spicy! But the peppers also give it that fruity, grassy fresh pepper flavor, which pairs perfectly with the salty, savory cheese. This is not just bread. This is a treat and a meal. But because it’s actually spicy it’s not for everyone.
- Sweet Pull Apart Aloha Rolls
You’ll never top King’s Hawaiian rolls. They are truly the best dinner rolls you can buy. But Trader Joe’s does a pretty good job of nearly matching them at their game. These rolls are very sweet and soft, like a quality milk bread. They’re not the absolute best slider buns (those would be, shocker, King’s Hawaiian), but they’d be totally perfect topped with some saucy BBQ pulled pork.
- European Style Whole Grain Bread
This Trader Joe’s bread looks like punishment. It resembles a brick. But don’t let that discourage you from trying it. Each very thin slice is extremely dense, packed with seeds and nutty chunks. And it’s really flavorful and well seasoned with a deeply malty flavor. At first I was dubious of how thin the slices are, but you really wouldn’t want it cut any thicker. This is perfect for afternoon tea.
- Pain Au Lait Chocolate Chip
This is how you eat chocolate for breakfast and feel like you’re getting away with it. This isn’t a chocolate croissant or pain au chocolat (if you’re feeling French today). It’s bread—with chocolate chips. Okay, yes, it’s milk bread, so it’s enriched with milk and eggs, but it’s still not straight-up pastry. The bread is not sweet, but it is tender and doughy. The chocolate chips are scattered throughout—there’s a lot of them—and they are good quality chocolate. I was afraid they would be hard and flavorless because of their size, but they instantly melt in your mouth. One of these little rolls with a double espresso would be a dream-come-true breakfast for me. It’s definitely some of the best Trader Joe’s bread out there if you like a little sweetness to start the day.
Credit: Liv Averett / Trader Joe’s
- Sourdough Bread
As a Bay Area native I am required to be a sourdough snob. And this Trader Joe’s sourdough bread passes muster with me. It smells just right—tangy and yeasty. And that tang continues through to the taste. So many store bought sourdoughs are bland. But this one really goes heavy on a long, tangy finish. It also has great chew and nice, big holes in the bread itself, just like a good sourdough should. Toast this up, slather it with avocado, and enjoy a true Cali breakfast.
- Olive Fougasse
You MUST follow the instructions and warm Trader Joe’s olive bread in the oven before trying it. When you do, you unlock an incredible crispiness that contrasts with a chewy, doughy inside. The olives are deeply flavorful and they’re not dry at all. You could serve this as a starter at dinner with some olive oil for dipping and everyone would be very satisfied. Or you could just nibble at chunks of it throughout the day until it’s suddenly all gone, like I did. This is the best bread at Trader Joe’s. I’m sorry if you don’t like olives, but it’s the truth.
Gluten Free White
Cracked Wheat Sourdough
Low-Carb Sunflower Seed
Organic Whole Wheat
Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Cheesy Bread Sticks
Tomato & Parm Focaccia
Gluten Free Whole Grain
Ancient Grain & Seed
Everything Ciabatta Rolls
Pumpkin Brioche Twist
Onion & Cheese Focaccia
European Whole Grain
Pain Au Lait Choc Chip