The next time you’re feeling self-indulgent or just plain hungry, don’t hold back – San Francisco is filled with too many incredible baked goods to deprive yourself. Treat yourself to a delectable pastry from one of the best bakeries in town, featuring everything from traditional goods of the highest quality to innovative pastry combos that you couldn’t have dreamed up in your hungriest moments.
Perhaps the most Instagram-famous bakery on this list, Mr Holmes Bakehouse has become extremely popular in recent years thanks to its signature pastry – the cruffin. This piece of flaky deliciousness is a cross between a croissant and a muffin, served in flavors that change daily. The bakehouse inspires locals to wait in crazy lines to get hold of a cruffin before lunch, and the shop sells out daily. Other pastries on offer include classics like donuts and tarts, and of course there is coffee served here, too.
Tartine Bakery is another foodie hotspot, this one located in the Mission District near Dolores Park. The goods here are so delicious that they’re critically acclaimed – the owners have won James Beard Foundation Awards as the best pastry chefs in America. Tartine Bakery has been around since 2002, drawing crazy crowds over the years. Thanks to the bakery’s success, the brand has gone on to open Bar Tartine and the Tartine Manufactory, and even published a book of recipes from the bakery.
Arsicault Bakery opened up in the Inner Richmond in April 2015, and it was just a hidden neighborhood gem until Bon Appétit named it the best new bakery in America for 2016. Since then, the bakery has drawn hoards of visitors to try the flaky, tender, and buttery croissants that made it famous. You’ll have to wait in line to get hold of one of them, but if you have faith in the bakery’s hundreds of five-star Yelp reviews, you won’t be disappointed.
Neighbor Bakehouse is a bakery located on 3rd Street in the Dogpatch neighborhood. The bakehouse opened its doors in 2015 thanks to the efforts of Greg and Christine Mindel, who are striving to bring you the best morning pastries, sourdough breads, and coffee drinks possible. If you can’t make it out to the Dogpatch, you can find Neighbor pastries at coffee shops around the city, including Contraband Coffee, Elite Audio Coffee Bar, Four Barrel Coffee, Red Door Cafe, Sightglass Coffee, and The Mill. The pastries include both classic and innovative treats to satisfy your sweet tooth’s every whim.
La Victoria is a bakery specializing in Mexican pastries, located on 24th Street in the Mission district. The bakery has been around for over 60 years, making pan dulce in the most authentic and traditional way possible, including whole ingredients that are never frozen or drowned in sugar to mask poor quality. Some of the local favorites on the menu include Niño Emvuelto, Rebanadas de Pasas, Cubilete de Queso, La Cocada, and La Concha.
Craftsman and Wolves is a contemporary pâtisserie offering three locations to choose from around San Francisco, including in the Mission, Nob Hill, and the Ferry Building. The bakery serves up confections, confitures, cakes, sandwiches, salads, and more food, accompanied by coffee, tea, hot chocolate, beer, and wine. The bakery is famous for its ‘rebel within’ specialty – a muffin with a soft egg cooked inside, which has gained nearly as much Instagram coverage as the cruffin. Other innovative menu items include matcha snickerdoodles and scones made with green curry, ginger, and coconut.
Arizmendi Bakery is a worker-owned bakery and part of the Arizmendi Association cooperative, aiming to promote social justice and support the local community. The bakery strives to provide high quality, affordable foods made with mindfulness for natural resources and sustainability. Arizmendi has locations all around the Bay Area, including in the Mission, the Inner Sunset, Oakland, Berkeley, Emeryville, and San Rafael. Stop by to enjoy the pastries, pizza, and bread that earned this spot the title of ‘best bakery in the east bay’ by East Bay Express. By Courtney Holcomb