Best Baguette - 2012
Le Diplomate Cafe
We can all agree the Vietnamese perfected French baguettes. They took the crust, originally tough and unappetizing, and turned it into something crisp and delicate. They took a crumb that was doughy and full of holes and made it soft, velvety and smooth. Le Diplomate Cafe went a step further and perfected the Vietnamese baguette. While it may be more famous for its sandwiches, which have both the students at UC Irvine and office workers in University Tower wasting hours each day in line for lunch, the biggest reason it's so successful is the bread. Slightly wider than a traditional baguette, Le Diplomate's bread is perfect for sandwiches (tough enough to hold together against the wateriest of sauces) and balances crisp and crunch perfectly. While other, inferior Vietnamese baguettes might destroy the roof of your mouth in pursuit of crunchiness (I'm looking at you, Lee's), Le Diplomate's yields gently to chewing. It's tiptop. If you get a baguette fresh, buy as many as you can. Most of them will be gone by the time you get home anyways.