614 West South Street, Raleigh
The crew at Raleigh's Boulted Bread represents neither the oldest, most experienced, nor most lauded bakery in the Triangle. No James Beard nominations or massive distribution chains to speak of here, just a small space on a shabby strip on South Street. But every time you visit, it's hard not to leave well fed and totally excited about the possibilities of yeast, flour, water, and air. Maybe it's the smells that waft through the closed doors, or the stone mill kept on display in a small room with big windows, like a prized possession. Maybe it's the constantly evolving pastries, some of which seem to spin like pinwheels or wrap around themselves like a cobra, or the loaves that can incorporate grits or smoke. Boulted is one of the most aspirational upstarts in the Triangle, boasting an enviable level of execution that makes you want to work there, at least temporarily, and eat more bread forevermore.