San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl

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love2bake
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2013/03/22 12:57:58 (permalink)

San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl

It's a tough job, but someone has to do it!  A baking buddy of mine and I headed for San Francisco's Mission District to check out as many of the bakeries there as possible.  Although we soon discovered that our stomachs were no match for our eyes, we were grateful that baked goods are easy to take home.
 
First up was Tartine, a bakery/cafe that has become a San Francisco icon. 
http://www.tartinebakery.com/
One must be willing to stand in line for this place.  Thankfully, for us it was only 20 minutes.  Their bread pudding, which varies from day to day, is legendary.  I'm sure if we'd sat in cafe instead of getting it to go, it would have been much better to look at.  Still, it's not bad...

This is made with their house-made bread, and, as you can see, is more of a soft-type of bread pudding--very sensuous.  The brightly flavored berries and creamy pudding were a lovely contrast--a total winner!
We also tried their frangipane tart:

And a ham and cheese croissant that was almost the size of my head:

It was one of the flakiest, most buttery croissants I've ever had.
Just around the corner and down the street is Bi-Rite Creamery (okay--not a bakery, but forgive us for straying!). 
http://www.roadfood.com/R...w/6285/birite-creamery
They had some of the best ice cream in very fun, creative flavors.   After all the samples, I got a scoop of the brown sugar-candied ginger, and the salted caramel.  Amazing flavors, but not much to look at:

 
One very cool thing about this place is that if you are interested in a particular sundae but don't know if you'll love it, they'll put all of the components into a spoon and let you try it!  I love this place.
 
Fully equipped for a bakery crawl, we made our way to Arizmendi Bakery.

 
Arizmendi is a worker-owned cooperative and is more of a bread-based bakery than desserts, although they certainly have a few of those, too.
http://valencia.arizmendi.coop/
Their baked goods were simple--some great, some average, but very "California" with global influences. For instance, here's a vegan curry focaccia:

 
And a vegetarian pizza with basil pesto, roasted tomatoes, and arugula (I loved this):

 
We also got a sticky bun:

 
A bialy:

 
and a cornmeal cherry scone:

 
Isn't that enough? 
Nope.  We headed for Dianda's Italian-American Pastry:  http://www.roadfood.com/R...andas-italian-pastries
It turns out that neither of us loved this place, but I think it has to do with maybe not appreciating Italian pastries in general, though, as this place is very popular!  We skipped all the pastries that had brightly colored frosting on them, and opted for a cannoli and some cookies.

 

We did notice what we perceived as somewhat "rude" looking pastries (after all this is San Francisco...)

 
After Dianda's we stumbled upon Mission Pie!  Yes, I'm embarrassed to admit I hadn't mapped this one.
http://www.roadfood.com/R...rview/7052/mission-pie
It's a warm, community gathering place with both savory and sweet pies, salads, and sandwiches.  We instantly felt comfy here, and they had free coffee, too.  (Not sure if that's all the time, but it was when we visited.)
We got a potato, fennel, and caramelized leeks tart:

A fig galette:

And a plum frangipane tart:

I loved their beautiful, rustic pastries!
 
We were ready to pop, so started back to the train station but got lost.  Maybe it was Providence, however, as we ran into another San Francisco icon, and in spite of ourselves, had to stop at Humphry Slocumbe.  http://www.humphryslocomb...be.com/Home.html  There's always room for ice cream, right?
These guys have some very edgy flavors, and after trying several I ended up with:

Yep, it's vanilla ice cream with bourbon and cornflakes in it!  Now, I'm not thinking it's REAL bourbon, but by association, I felt like I was getting tipsy from it.   Very fun and one of their most popular flavors.
 
So concludes this brief bakery crawl.  We did a lot, but of course, there are many more places and neighborhoods in San Francisco to visit.  And I'd really like to have more people along, so we can try more stuff!  Being as SF is just 25 miles away from me, I'll plan to do more "investigating" in the future.  Bye for now!
post edited by love2bake - 2013/03/22 13:04:42
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33 Replies Related Threads

    CCinNJ
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/22 13:12:46 (permalink)
    Those little brutti are no match for the big bad chocolate bar.

    I hope to get to San Francisco in a few weeks from now. It's a good time to start plotting desserts.

    Lovely crawl!
    post edited by CCinNJ - 2013/03/22 13:46:29
    #2
    love2bake
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/22 14:35:48 (permalink)
    Awesome!  If you do and have time, we should meet up.
    #3
    phlmaestro
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/22 14:54:25 (permalink)
    Great report! My wife and I hit Tartine while visiting a friend in San Francisco a few years back and I still remember how blown away I was by that ham and cheese croissant.
    #4
    CCinNJ
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/22 15:39:35 (permalink)
    The San Joaquin Amtrak will take me right from Bakersfield! Very different & interesting scenery than I'm used to on the lines traveled here....trees trees trees.

    Gotta get you on the Italian pastry track!

    We'll have oodles of fun!
    #5
    EdSails
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/22 15:50:56 (permalink)
    Great report and pics! I'm going to look forward to my next trip to SF!
    #6
    mr chips
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/22 15:54:01 (permalink)
    Great report and great photos. Looking forward to more.
    #7
    mar52
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/22 19:17:16 (permalink)
    Forget my niece,  I'm going to San Francisco for the pastries!
     
    How did you get around?  I know it's difficult in the city.  No one drives in that lives there.
     
    LOVE your traveling and eating equipment photo.
     
    Glad to see your day included some protein.
     
    You are my idol.
    #8
    ann peeples
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/22 19:29:18 (permalink)
    Oh My God. Thats all I will say......
    #9
    mar52
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/22 20:10:25 (permalink)
    Ann, that's exactly what I was thinking!
    #10
    Poverty Pete
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/22 20:21:26 (permalink)
    You guys are going to have a great time.  I expect to be in Santa Clara and Stanford this summer, but I'll miss the dessert-fest.
     
    East meets west, this should be good.  You should have a cannoli-off.
    #11
    ann peeples
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/23 01:29:02 (permalink)
    Mar-hope you got thru the tests okay........by the way, I have found a new bakery that you and lovetobake, would love-its a Milwaukee tour for sure!
    #12
    CCinNJ
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/23 10:39:31 (permalink)
    I know Macarons are very popular in San Francisco. They are very popular in NYC...as well.

    The great things about Macarons (other than being delicious) they are very light perfect for variety sampling...and they travel well so as to an answer to the question..."what did you bring back for your Mother ...huh runs to San Francisco... Ms. Fancy Pants?" Macarons!

    #13
    love2bake
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/23 11:35:37 (permalink)
    Thank you, everyone, for the shout out!! 
     
    Mar - we took public transportation and then walked our fannies off--good way to burn some of those calories.  The thing about SF, though, is you look at the map and think--oh, that's an easy few blocks to walk, without being able to tell from the map that there's a big-ass hill or two in some of those blocks. " />  (Hope you're feeling better and that the worst is over.)
     
    Please--PovertyPete, Ed, and others: If you're coming to the Bay Area, send me a PM to let me know, and I'll try to meet up with you!  There's food mischief to be had all around the bay.
     
    CC - I just had some fabulous macarons at Chantal Guillon in Palo Alto (they also have a shop in SF).  http://chantalguillon.com/
    What I liked about them was that they didn't have so much filling that they were deadly sweet.  The salted caramel was incredible.  And it's around the corner from one of the best hot chocolates I've ever had, too.  Also, there's a great local diner in easy walking distance: http://www.paloaltocreamery.com/ 
    #14
    CCinNJ
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/23 12:08:15 (permalink)
    I have  my SUGARBOX messenger bag all ready to fill with sweet SF mischief! 
     
    #15
    pnwchef
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/23 12:42:08 (permalink)
    l2B, I always loved walking San Francisco, it isn't really a bad city to walk if you stay away for the hills. I took a lot Of Classes at CIA in Saint Helena, and also loved that area, good wine, good food. The Farmers mkt these is also fun..................Great pictures, great idea for a nice day in San Francisco.................pnwc
    #16
    love2bake
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/23 17:52:34 (permalink)
    Ann - Milwaukee tour sounds like a blast.  It's on my bucket list now.
     
    Perfect bag, CC!   
     
    pnw - Yes--they do put on great classes at Greystone.  What have you taken?  If you'd rather put all that in a PM, please feel free to.  While I was in their B&P program I volunteered at their Worlds of Flavor and Worlds of Healthy Flavor conferences - both very interesting and stimulating!  Since then I've taken a couple of short wine classes:  basic wine tasting class with their sommelier and a food and wine pairing class with John Ash.  Both were fun and informative, and not at all "wine snob"-by.  And yes--the SF Ferry Building Farmers Market rocks!
    #17
    CCinNJ
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/24 11:59:37 (permalink)
    We're gettin' Hooker's! We're gettin' Hooker's!
    #18
    pnwchef
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/24 17:24:41 (permalink)
    l2b, I think I just loved going to that area, the classes were a plus. I never took any wine classes, I did drink wine when I was there. I loved the Opus1 wine tour, after you do that tour there is no reason to go anyplace else. They make wine the way every winery wishes they could. I remember taking some Stock/sauce classes, a Hot Wok Pasta class, and 4 or 5 others. The Restaurants are great in that area, it was a fun time.....OK, back to San Francisco, once you bypass the tourists, its a fun town with lots of great food choices. San Francisco is one of my favorite towns, it really is a Culinary Paradise........
    #19
    Poverty Pete
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/24 19:44:26 (permalink)
    Love2bake,
       I think I'm going to be on tour with a band this summer that is based in Santa Clara.  If it all works out, I'll be in the bay area around the middle of June. 
     
    #20
    love2bake
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/25 21:02:13 (permalink)
    Great!  That's close.  If/when you're out here and are able to find time, send me a PM and we'll see if we can schedule something.
    #21
    love2bake
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/25 21:05:42 (permalink)
    pnw - I've not been on the Opus 1 wine tour, but it must be fabulous.  Wine country is such a fine place to visit.  Good wine, good food, mud baths and massage...  Ahhhhhh 
    #22
    pnwchef
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/26 12:02:12 (permalink)
    The Opus One tour and wine tasting is my Appointment only. Opus was a joint venture between Mondavi and the Rothschilds in Europe. They build this winery to make the perfect wine. They also built the building with the wine barrel storage cellar under ground, so it will be cooled below ground. The only thing they didn't take into account is, this is California, the ground is warmer. Needless to say, they had to put in air conditioning to keep the wine barrels aging at the right temperature. They also only use the barrel once to age the wine....The reason I liked the tour is, in todays world we see everything being done fast and cheap. It is nice to see this wine made under perfect conditions, from picking the grapes by hand, to storing and aging the wine in new barrels....................I plan on putting in a small vineyard next year......will see if I can match the masters..........I don't think so..........tack care....Bill
    #23
    CCinNJ
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/26 20:49:58 (permalink)
    L2B...if you enjoy classes Bonbini has very popular (sadly very booked) Macaron classes...

    http://bakingmehungry.com...ro-hill-san-francisco/
    #24
    mar52
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/26 21:31:40 (permalink)
    Macarons!
     
    #25
    CCinNJ
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/26 21:40:15 (permalink)
    Let's ring her doorbell & yell trick-or treat
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    love2bake
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/27 10:04:39 (permalink)
    There are some things I'd rather let other people bake, especially when I don't think I can do a better job, and macarons are one of those!  But that Web site was lovely.  I see they also teach how to make Kouign Amann, which is an absolutely divine pastry.
    #27
    CCinNJ
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/27 10:55:15 (permalink)
    Macarons do look so much easier than they are to make...for sure.

    It is a cool site...and a very cute name for a site.


    #28
    Scorereader
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/03/27 23:23:54 (permalink)
    this thread makes me miss Bernard. a great resource of all things SF
    post edited by Scorereader - 2013/03/27 23:42:19
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    billyboy
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    Re:San Francisco Mission District Bakery Crawl 2013/06/03 13:20:42 (permalink)
    L2B, this all looks fantastic!  Hope to make my way back there again one day.  
    When I saw the pic of the "fork in pocket" I couldn't help but think that you brought Joey Tribbiani along for the tour:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdiG3pSavqU
    post edited by billyboy - 2013/06/03 17:03:24
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