San Francisco's Best Bakeries
A bread and pastry boom is taking place as new bakeries and cafes pop up throughout the city’s trendiest neighborhoods. Whether you seek a classic croissant or prefer pastries with innovative twists, these are the hotspots turning out some of the best-baked goods the city has to offer.
Serving modern French-style treats with local flavors, one bite of a kouign amann from b.Patisserie and your search for the perfect pastry has ended. It redefines flaky as the buttery crust gives way to a delicate interior that may be filled with guava jam if you are lucky enough to get a seasonal offering. The creation of renowned bakers Belinda Leong and Michel Suas, b. Patisserie is a cheerful café in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights’ neighborhood with a selection of pastries that will not disappoint.
Jane the Bakery
Considered to have the best baguette in the city, Jane the Bakery is an ideal stop before heading to nearby beaches for a San Francisco picnic. There are also options for a loaf of rustic bread made with ancient grains or olives and polenta. Just don’t forget dessert. The Blackberry Ginger Chamomile Brioche has a creamy, sweet filling tucked inside, not to mention its beautiful pale purple color from the fresh fruit used to make it. If you’d rather sit and stay a while, this location does have seating, but consider Jane on Fillmore or Jane on Larkin if you prefer a café experience with a breakfast and lunch menu.
In 2016, Arsicault Bakery was named best new bakery in the U.S. by Bon Appetite magazine and the queue to snag one of their coveted croissants has lined the street near their Inner Richmond location ever since. While the standard croissant is a perfect balance of flaky and tender, consider the delicate almond croissant, the rich version filled with chocolate, or the heartier ham and cheese.
Craftsman and Wolves
Best known for their genius creation, The Rebel Within, a runny egg inside a savory cake, the bakery Craftsman and Wolves also happens to be a strong contender for the best kouign amann in the city. With options such as the Sea Salt Caramel Lavender kouign amann, expect it to be difficult to make your decision. The bakery has several locations throughout the city. Along with the shop on Valencia Street, you can find them on Pacific Avenue and Yosemite Avenue as well as at the Ferry Building Farmers Market every Saturday.
Opened in 2015 by Greg and Christine Mindel, Neighbor Bakehouse is a small, inviting bakery located in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood. Neighbor turns out delicious sweets such as their ginger pull-apart and German coffee cake along with rustic breads. Visitors should also take note of the savory menu, featuring one-of-a-kind creations such as kimchee toast with the tangy fermented cabbage and cheese atop a thick slice of country loaf and the croquet madame piled high with crispy bacon and a perfectly cooked egg.
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Words: Lori Rice
Photos: Lori Rice unless otherwise stated