San Francisco’s sourdough bread dates back to the Gold Rush when French migrants discovered that the natural yeasts and bacteria in the air could be used for fermentation of the dough. Today, San Francisco is regarded as the country’s best place to find delicious bread, with lots of talented bakers. With so many to choose from it’s difficult to decide where to go, so check out our selection of must-try bakeries around the city.
Regarded as one of the best bakeries in the San Francisco area, Tartine is one that cannot be missed. Opening in 2002, Tartine, by pastry chef Elisabeth Prueitt and baker Chad Robertson, Tartine has established itself as one of the best bakeries in the city as well as one of the best breakfast spots. Using a wood fired brick oven, their breads hold an elegant flavor, which is evident in not only the chewy, moist center but also the crispy crust. Fresh out of the oven everyday at 4:30pm, it is definitely worth it to wait in the long line that fills their store, or pre-order three days ahead, and try their sourdough, the Country Levain.
Opened in 1849 by Isidore Boudin, Boudin bakery is known as the oldest running company and the creator of the sourdough French bread in San Francisco. Boudin has mastered the art of sourdough bread with texture and taste. Their bread not only comes in the classic round shape but sculpted bread can also be purchased, with various shapes for the holidays. Head down to Fisherman’s Wharf, grab some sourdough bread, watch the bakers at work during the bakery tour and learn about the history of bread in San Francisco in their museum.
Josey’s Baker Bread At The Mill
Started by Josey Baker (yes, that’s his real name) in 2010, Josey Baker Bread has taken over the bread world and become a local favorite. Beginning in his apartment, Josey has expanded to The Mill, which sells bread and coffee, and continues to use the same sourdough starter he got from his friend’s grandmother when he first started. Their Country Boule bread is a combination of sourdough culture, whole wheat and bread flour and sea salt, which is baked to perfection, with a deep, rich sourdough flavor. The bread is sold freshly everyday at 8am at The Mill.
Noe Valley Bakery
The Organic San Francisco Sourdough found at Noe Valley Bakery introduces the new and improved white sourdough loaf. Their small sourdough loaves resemble that of a baguette in both their look, with a thin shape, and texture, with a very crispy crust and a soft chewy inside. Without the wheat flavor, which is found in most sourdoughs, the strong sourdough flavor is apparent with each bite. Stop by to grab a loaf of their sourdough, baked fresh daily, and try out their other tasty sweet treats.
Acme Bread Company
Opened in 1983, Acme Bread Company continues to make some of the best bread in the city. Acme is a wholesale bakery that sells to restaurants all over the Bay Area, including Chez Panisse, as well as to a select number of grocery stores and retail locations. However, they have two small stores in the Bay Area, one in Berkeley and the other in San Francisco’s Ferry Building, just for selling loaves of their bread. Their sourdoughs come in many forms, baguettes, batards as well as rounds, and are flavorful with a thick crispy crust.
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