In a week and a half my family will be beginning our vacation in San Francisco. In addition to Boudin Bakery, WHERE should we visit for the best bread baking experience.
I'd check at least these places out:
Have a great trip, and let us know what else you see/do!
I will do my best to check these out. Thanks!!!
I second the suggestions above. To get a loaf at Tartine, make sure to call at least 3 days before the evening you want to pick up a loaf to guarantee getting one (see the bread tab on their website). Without a reservation, the bread typically sells out shortly after coming out of the oven at 5:00 PM.
The basic country loaf is excellent. The deep caramel smell of the crust will perfume your whole car! The olive loaf is also great for dipping in flavorful oils and sauces. The sesame loaf has a very strong toasted sesame flavor, which was not my cup of tea, but you may enjoy it.
As for SFBI, it's not in San Francisco proper, but a bit further south. I've never tried this, but perhaps you could ask for a tour? Either way, it's a good opportunity to pick up some reasonably priced supplies (linen couches, proofing baskets, etc) as souvenirs. You can always call beforehand to place your order, and then the receptionist at the front desk will retrieve it for you when you show up.
I'm anxious to visit both of these places. Any idea where you can run into some really good dipping/olive oil out there in San Francisco?
If you have a car, visiting SFBI is not far from SF (20-30 min. from downtown, depending on traffic), especially if you want to pick up supplies. Note that SFBI also has a neighborhood bakery in SF that is a nice place for breakfast or lunch, or just to buy some of their delicious breads and pastries. See: http://thoroughbreadandpastry.com/
The Tartine bakery also has a cafe with great food, but the lines tend to be long to get in, especially on weekends for breakfast.
I'd add Acme to the bakery list. They have an outlet in the Ferry Building, which is worth a visit for any foodie. There's a wonderful farmer's market there on Saturday mornings and some other day I can't recall.
Have a great time!
I just came across the Farmer's Market (Ferry Building) idea in another link. This looks like a really great idea. Thanks!
If you plan to visit Golden Gate Park (recommended), Arizmendi is a coop bakery that is very good. It is on 9th Ave. just south of GGP. http://www.arizmendibakery.org
Also, if you visit the Saturday morning Ferry Building farmer's market, Della Fattoria usually has a booth there (or at least they used to). They make a number of different breads, but one that stands out IMHO is their meyer lemon loaf. http://www.dellafattoria.com/bread/bread.html
I will try to make it to these great suggestions of yours. I will let you know about the "meyer lemon loaf" if I make it there.
Thank you very much!
Arizmendi has several locations and I'm not sure if they carry the same products across all stores, but if you go there, I would HIGHLY recommend their Cherry Corn Scone, Brioche Knot, and any of their pizzas and foccacia. It's an excellent bakery and something that my brother and I treat ourselves to once a week. :)
Making a stop off at Tartine Bakery would also be worth your time. I would order a loaf of their country bread (~$7) and get their Morning Buns if they have any left. Their frangipane croissants (almond paste croissants) are also very good.
If you find yourself with time, definitely stop by Thoroughbread Bakery. It's a lesser known bakery but I find that their products are very good and I'm glad it's not as popular as Tartine because I don't have to stand in line when I go there. ;) Their almond croissants are better than Tartine's IMO. Also, their chocolate bread, bostock, and cranberry walnut loaves are excellent as well.
Saturdays at the Ferry Building Farmer's Market is a great place to stop by. You'll find a lot of fresh produce (though a bit pricey) and lots of olive oil and unique items.
Ah, yes, Thoroughbread! I've never been there myself, but I believe it's owned and operated by SFBI.
If you like pie, Mission Pie is also great, and not too far from Tartine (especially if their lines are out the door).
If you have some extra time in S.F. and want to drive north of the Golden Gate Bridge, you might try Rustic Bakery in Larkspur: www.rusticbakery.com. They specialize in flatbreads and both their locations (they also have a second bakery in Novato) have lovely cafes, great for brunch or lunch. I hear they have delicious bread pudding. For the true "wine country" Sonoma County experience, check out www.wildflourbread.com and visit the little town of Freestone, which is near Occidental and Sebastopol. They are open Friday through Monday (get there early--before 10:30), and the garden adjacent is something special. Their mushroom fougasse is to die for, and the sticky buns are legendary. It is a wonderful bakery and the location is extraordinarily beautiful. Do check their website.
If you are short on time, Rustic Bakery flatbreads are sold at Cowgirl Creamery in the Ferry Building in S.F., also at the creamery location in Point Reyes Station. The creamery has tours in Pt. Reyes and also in Petaluma (further north again in Sonoma County). Check out their web site: www.cowgirlcreamery.com.