Who’s hungry? San Franciscans with a sweet tooth have it easy in this glorious city, because SF bakeries absolutely do not mess around. We’re talking enormous flaky croissants, meticulously decorated cakes, buttery danishes, sweet and simple tarts, savory empanadas, SF-style sourdough bread, and basically anything else you can imagine.
We wanted to get to the bottom of where San Franciscans get their baked goods, so we posted an Instagram poll asking for recommendations. Read on for a running list of spots recommended by locals, in no particular order.
This iconic bakery comes very highly recommended! Their formidable menu is in-tune with the seasons, so you’ll find many different flavors year-round in their croissants, bostock, coffeecake, and quiche. Popular pastries also include their 10-hour apple tart, assorted macarons (weekends only), and vanilla cassis cake. Pictured are their popular Thanksgiving tarts, which are likely to return soon!
Location: 2821 California St
This beloved spot in the Castro boasts authentic French-style pastries. Think raspberry almond and chocolate banana croissants, spinach artichoke turnovers, coconut macaroons, carrot cake, cream puffs, cheesecake, and more. An added bonus: they have a secret garden patio where you can enjoy your meal!
Location: 248 Church St
Noe Valley Bakery pulls out all the stops when it comes to seasonal baked goods. Halloween season especially means pumpkin everything including mini pumpkin cheesecakes, pumpkin spice cookies, and more. Aside from their exquisite breakfast pastries, house cakes, and breads, they also sell packs of bake-at-home mixes for cookies and scones.
Locations: 4073 24th St and 28 W Portal Ave
Here’s another very highly-recommended bakery with a straightforward menu and a no-fuss facade! Their daily pastries include a variety of incredible croissants (flavors include chocolate, almond, and ham & cheese), kouign-amann cakes, morning buns, and a selection of scones (cranberry coconut and current are just a few).
Locations: 397 Arguello Blvd and 87 McAllister St
Cinderella is a popular Russian bakery dating back to 1953 on Balboa Street. It’s a must for authentic Russian pastries including piroshki and pelmeni (various types of buns with fillings) and pirogi (Siberian-style pies). This is also one of the only places in the Bay Area to get homemade kvas, a type of fermented grain drink.
Location: 436 Balboa St
Tartine has been a San Francisco staple forever! It’s even expanded to LA and Seoul, which means this is the real deal. Tartine is well-known for their excellent breads, but the pastries themselves receive the same amount of careful attention. In 2007, food columnist Mark Bittman of the NY Times crowned Tartine as his favorite bakery in the US. The owners have also won awards from the James Beard Foundation.
Locations: 600 Guerrero St, 595 Alabama St, and 1226 9th Ave
Arizmendi is a worker-owned cooperative famous for its work with Cheeseboard pizza in Oakland. The menu varies each day and seasonally, meaning you’ll always find new flavor combos! This bakery boasts an impressive bread selection, including challah, sourdough, and focaccia. Not to mention delicious scones, muffins, sweets, and more.
Locations: 1331 9th Ave and 1272 Valencia St
This upscale bakery chain has an excellent variety of baked goods alongside their delicious food menu. Everything is baked in-house at Jane the Bakery, where you’ll find the best selection, but you still find baked goods at their other locations. Get amazing fresh bread, scones, muffins, cakes, cookies, and much more.
Location: 1881 Geary Blvd (bakery), 2123 Fillmore St, 925 Larkin St, and 401 Clement St
Here’s a bright kitchen and cafe where you can see everything being made before your eyes! Morning pastries include croissants, coffee cakes, danishes, muffins, and buns with flavors such as pistachio blackberry, chocolate hazelnut, caramelized banana, guava and cream cheese, blueblerry sunflower, and more. Don’t forget their bread selection which includes sourdough, ciabatta, bagels, and honey whole wheat.
Location: 2343 3rd St
10. Eastern Bakery
This old-school favorite is the oldest Chinese bakery in Chinatown and remains largely unchanged since it was founded in 1924. Some of the most popular items are their Coffee Crunch cake adorned with toffee crumbles and their impressive mooncake selection with an impressive range of sweet and savory fillings.
Location: 720 Grant Ave
11. Le Marais Bakery
Le Marais Bakery serves up a delicious French menu including avocado croissant toast, brioche and jam, eggs benedict, croque madame, scones with seasonal fruit, and brownies. Their bistro menu is unreal, making this a great place for breakfast, brunch and lunch.
Locations: 2066 Chestnut St, 498 Sanchez St, and 1138 Sutter St (coffee and bakery only)
12. Vive la tarte
Vive la tarte uses classic pastry technique but produces something truly modern and delicious. Pastry offerings range from a classic pain au chocolat to exotic combinations like an orange blossom and zaatar croissant, turmeric monkeybread and more. Their lunch menu is equally exciting with a variety of unique sandwiches, salads and their popular taco-croissants.
Location: 4026 24th Street
13. Kings Bakery
This no-frills, cash-only bakery in the Mission cranks out a delicious selection of Chinese and Mexican baked goods. Locals often flock here to pick up warm bread fresh out of the oven as well as coconut and coconut cream buns, which sell out quickly.
Location: 2846 Mission St.
The Castro’s Poesia Italian restaurant recently started serving baked goods during the day to supplement their amazing lunch and dinner menus. Think fresh-baked focaccia, flaky cornettos stuffed with Italian deli meat and cheeses, sweet and gooey danishes, and more in their moody dining room.
Location: 4072 18th St
15. La Boulangerie
La Boulangerie serves creative takes on classic French pastry courtesy of their new chef Lisa from Brittany. One of their most popular items is Croissant Toast, a type of bread loaf made using a croissant technique for a flaky pastry that you can slice into sandwich bread. In addition to this you’ll find all of your favorite French pastries including financiers, tarts, fondant, quiche, and cookies.
Locations: 2325 Pine St, 500 Hayes St, 1000 Cole St, and 3898 24th St.
This family-run bakery has been an SF staple since 1911, and some favorites from that time including the Neapolitan and the Opera Cake are still served to this day. The bakery is known for creating colorful specialty cakes that line their display cases, but you can also find plenty of simpler pastries to go along with your morning coffee.
Location: 521 Clement St
17. Rize Up Bakery
San Francisco sourdough gained a valuable player when Rize Up Bakery came onto the scene in 2020. Azikiwee Anderson started making bread out of his backyard during the height of the pandemic, mainly as a Covid quarantine hobby and coping mechanism after the murder of George Floyd. Two years later, he’s created a flourishing online operation with some of the most unique bread in the city including flavors like ube; garlic confit thyme; the “K-Pop loaf” with Gochujang, toasted sesame, and roasted garlic; and countless others. They are still operating as an online bakery but are raising funds to open a brick-and-mortar location as soon as possible.
Read our article about Rize Up to learn more.
Here’s a lovely bakery and cafe serving Asian dishes with a Californian twist. Some of their most popular menu items include the kaya buns, char siu sandwich, Mt. Tam Basque cheesecake, fig and honey danish, and Gyeranbbang (Korean egg bread).
Location: 1308 Clement St.
Hahdough is an essential for delicious German cakes in a spectrum of eye-catching colors and flavors. But customers flock here for the bakery’s famous Berliners (German donuts), which come with fillings including vanilla custard and various marmalades.
Location: 1221 Fell St.
20. Maison Nico
Michelin-starred chef Nicolas Delaroque is the mastermind behind this French-inspired bakery in the
Financial District. They specialize in pâté en croûte, which is a type of meat pie with flavorful savory ingredients layered inside pastry. Maison Nico showcases the best of California produce while keeping up with sophisticated French pastry techniques.
Location: 710 Montgomery St.