Cameron and I are making our way back to Brooklyn after a week in lovely California. We had a great time seeing his family near Grass Valley, camping in the Sierra Mountains, driving around all of Lake Tahoe and spending our anniversary (5 years!) in San Francisco.
We had the perfect amount of time left before our flight this afternoon for a mini bakery crawl through SF.
Stop #1: Start at the Ferry Building. Located on the bay at the foot of Market St.
STAY STRONG here, people. It's the first stop and you have three more incredible bakeries to visit after this. PACE YOURSELF. There's a lot to see and eat.
If you or someone you know has a nut, gluten or dairy allergy check out Mariposa Baking Company. They have packaged treats like cinnamon toast biscotti, triple chocolate brownies or made to order breakfast and lunch items. Everything is gluten free.
Walk down to the other end to Blue Bottle Coffee for a yummy coffee. Then across the way to the adorable Miette. Miette means 'little crumb' and is an impossibly cute lime green stall selling assorted candy, chocolate bars and their own house made cupcakes, buns and shortbreads.
Walk down Market St to Stop #2: Mazarine Coffee located at 720 Market St. between 3rd + 4th St
Coffee and toast heaven. Toasts are huge, 1 inch thick mega toasts with artfully arranged toppings like avocado and radish; ham and egg; or simple jam. My advice is to get one and share it. Though there are drip and espresso offerings, pour over is the thing to get. Pick a variety from the menu of 4 and watch their baristas expertly prepare your cup. There's lots of comfortable seating, a few tables outside if you're dressed warm enough. This is a great place to pick up coffee beans. Offerings from local favorites Ritual, Linea Caffe and Supersonic.
Walk to Stop #3: Mr Holmes Bakehouse located at 1042 Larkin St between Post + Sutter St.
This one is probably the most instagrammed bakery in SF right now. Expect a caramelized sugar scented line with a bit of a wait. (Take turns popping up into the tiny shop to decide what you might want because you really don't see the goods until it's your turn to order.) Their famous Cruffns sell out about as soon as the doors open but there are many other tasty items available. Get a box, fill it with an assortment of 6. If you're stumped or just can't decide innt he face of all this deliciousness, ask one of the sassy, energetic servers what they like best. Ours picked the savory California Croissant and the Ube Puff for us. Bless him. Don't forget to take a selfie in front of their pink neon sign stating "I got baked in San Francisco" and pick up a canvas tote with the same saying and hand peace sign logo.
Take a taxi or drive to Stop #4: Tartine Bakery located at 600 Guerrero St at 18th St.
If you live in SF or are just visiting or read any kind of food blogs or news, you have probably heard of Tartine Bakery. Opened by bread baker Chad Robertson and pastry chef Elisabeth Prueitt in 2002, this place is the reason people are crazy for bread. Beautiful, crusty San Francisco sourdough to be exact. There's way more than bread here - think everything you would want in a bakery. Sandwiches, tarts, cookies, croissants, slices of cake, daily quiches, coffee and wine. What to get: the morning bun, a croque Monsieur with mushrooms or ham, a pressed hot sandwich, giant chocolate chip cookie.
There's going to be a line when you get there. Probably down the block but once you get inside grab a menu and then start ogling the pastry cases as you make your way to the register. It's still going to be shorter than what you'd wait for a good brunch. Just remember that very good baked goods come to those who wait. So be patient and if you get bored start chatting up the people in line near you.
It's a busy bakery so my advice is place your order to go and head to Dolores Park two blocks away on Dolores + 18th St. Walk up the hill, pick a bench or throw down a blanket and enjoy a bit of people watching while you dig into your treats.
Bonus Round: If you still have any room left in that overwhelmed stomach of yours, head back down the way you came and stop at Bi-Rite Ice Cream for a treat. Hits are the Salted Caramel and Balsamic Strawberry. They're known for their creative flavors and have been line-out-the- door favorite for 10 years.
In case you're wondering, my final stop is my home kitchen and AIP lifestyle. Those of you who read this blog know I am currently on the Auto Immune Protocol. This was definitely a cheat day, one major beautiful cheat storm, actually. I still feel good and don't feel like my progress was deterred by what I ate on this crawl but will be going back to my AIP tomorrow. So, while I REALLY enjoyed the sugar, flour, butter splurge - I realize it's not a sustainable way to eat and will be returning to my more responsible food ways.
That said, I hope you enjoyed the guide and sugar rush! xo Mea