Short on time? Our top pick for the best bakery in San Francisco is Tartine.
The best bakeries in San Francisco for all the sweet treats and savory snacks you’ll need to brighten up your day.
Whether you’re planning a trip to San Francisco or you’re a Bay Area local, start your day right with a visit to one of these incredible bakeries.
Most bakeries in San Francisco fall into one of two categories.
The first is take-out, with quick transactions and long lines. The second type of bakery is eat-in: that spot where you go to meet friends who can’t fit into your tiny apartment.
You’ll also find bakeries influenced by the diverse cultures found throughout San Francisco.
You can experience the flavors of Mexico, China, France, Italy, and Russia for under $10, a pretty good deal in this city.
So, whether you’re after a quick bite to eat, a long brunch with friends, or want to try a new cuisine, I’ve rounded up the best bakeries in San Francisco.
Don’t miss out on the best croissant, morning bun, or cream puff that this city has to offer!
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Table of Contents
Map of San Francisco’s Best Bakeries
Best for: A delicious grab-and-go breakfast
Address & Neighborhood: 2343 3rd St #100, San Francisco, CA 94107; Dogpatch
Contact info: (415) 814-2544; email@example.com
Don’t miss: Everything croissant
Go through the door of this Dogpatch bakery and walk straight into a bright, cheery kitchen where bakers prepare pastries from an inventive menu right in front of you.
Husband and wife team Greg and Christine Mindel began Neighbor Bakehouse to supply delicious pastries to upscale cafes across San Francisco, and in 2015 opened their doors to the public.
Neighbor Bakehouse isn’t a sit-down place. However, if you’re looking for creatively flavored morning pastries from one of the best bakeries in San Francisco, stop by and find out why customers are happy to line up for their breakfast.
Their exciting flavors include pistachio blackberry, caramelized banana, and guava and cream cheese.
Savory treats are also available, like the everything croissant (think everything bagel seasoning), which comes with sesame seeds, green onion, garlic, and cream cheese inside.
Tartine is a San Francisco staple, always with a line outside the door. If you only have time for one bakery in the city, make it this one.
Although there’s some streetside seating, I usually take my goodies to-go and eat in nearby Dolores Park, which is always an exciting place to hang out and observe San Francisco city life.
Allegedly there is more to Tartine than its morning buns, but I have never bothered to find out.
The croissant dough, rolled in sugar and citrus zest, has just the right amount of zing to balance the buttery richness.
Now a famous bakery in San Francisco, Tartine has several outlets within the city and beyond, but the original Tartine bakery remains my favorite bakery.
If they’ve run out of morning buns, don’t be too sad: the case is full of freshly baked bread and treats, like bread-and-butter pudding, cookies, and fruity tarts.
Noe Valley Bakery
This bakery is where Noe Valley families go for all their celebratory cakes, and the window display shows why.
Aside from the beautifully decorated cakes, Noe Valley Bakery is a great place for delicious San Francisco pastries, bread, classic croissants, and cookies.
The cheesecakes receive exceptionally high praise, and you see for yourself when you bite into the perfectly crispy base and creamy, tangy topping.
The cupcakes are equally sought after, especially the salted caramel and carrot cake flavors.
It’s best to visit this bakery in the morning since the bread often sells out by the afternoon.
Pick up a bake-at-home mix for cookies and scones, and you too can turn out impressive baked goods from your own kitchen.
Thorough Bread and Pastry
Buzzy, hole-in-the-wall spots are great, but sometimes you want somewhere quiet to read your book or catch up on a podcast.
If you’re looking to linger over your baked goods and coffee, try Thorough Bread and Pastry in the Castro.
Choose from authentic French-inspired pastries like cream puffs, carrot cake, brioche tarts, and flaky spinach artichoke turnovers.
Then, head to the hidden garden patio with your sweet and savory treats. Don’t leave without picking up a baguette for later.
Craftsman and Wolves
Unlike most of the bakeries on this list, delicate pastries are not the main draw at Craftsman and Wolves.
This Mission bakery has made its reputation on The Rebel Within, a sausage-inflected savory muffin with a whole soft-boiled egg nestled improbably in the center.
Aside from savory treats and hidden soft-boiled eggs, Craftsman and Wolves offers desserts like chocolate chip cookies, kouign amann with raspberry peanut butter ganache, buttery croissants, and delicate Japanese milk bread.
Add a Howling Wolf to your order. It’s a cup of coffee infused with nitrogen to make it a foamy, fizzy, and above all, cold experience. Strange but definitely unique.
Best for: Lunch on the go and stocking up on sourdough bread
Address & Neighborhood: 1331 9th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122; Inner Sunset
Contact info: (415) 566-3117
Don’t miss: Sourdough pizza slices
Arizmendi Bakery is a worker-owned bakery in the Inner Sunset.
Stepping up to the counter puts you practically in the kitchen amid the irresistible scent of freshly baked bread, a signal you’re in one of the city’s great bakeries.
It’s best to arrive at Arizmendi Bakery hungry enough to appreciate the generous slices of sourdough pizza, served hot from the oven and with toppings that change daily.
Also, skip the coffee and try a Mexican hot chocolate with a delightful spice kick.
If you’re in the mood for something sweet, browse the case by the counter for buttery morning buns, cookies, and the best cinnamon rolls in San Francisco.
Whatever you go for, grab a loaf of Arizmendi Bakery sourdough bread to take home.
Hungry for more pizza? Check out our top picks for the best pizza places in San Francisco.
For authentic Russian-style pastries, head to Cinderella Bakery in Inner Richmond. They’ve been serving baked goods in the Little Russia neighborhood for over six decades.
The extensive menu features dark rye bread, pirogi filled with salmon, and piroshki buns with beef and cheese.
And for those with a sweet tooth, there’s an array of Old World European cakes like strudel and sour cream cake.
Cinderella Bakery is also one of the only places in the Bay Area selling homemade kvas, a fermented drink.
Head to Cinderella Bakery, conveniently close to Golden Gate Park, to stock up on filling pies and sweet treats for a delicious picnic.
Le Marais is a traditional French bakery in San Francisco with a Californian twist.
Expect authentic French-style pastries, soft brioche with jam, and flaky croissants combined with an avocado toast for a delicious trans-Atlantic lunch treat.
If you’re feeling indecisive, taste a little bit of everything by ordering the breakfast board, then wash it all down with a cup of Stumptown coffee.
This bakery is perfect for breakfast or lunch, but it’s also one of the bakeries in San Francisco that delivers, so you can stay in your pajamas while enjoying the best pastries.
Bakeries in San Francisco need an “It” cake, and at B. Patisserie, that’s the kouign amman.
The former pastry chef of two-Michelin star restaurant Manresa doesn’t mess with a classic: this is simply a delicious take on the classic, buttery pastry.
But don’t skip the rest of the display stand, which showcases some of the best cakes in San Francisco.
These include a popular vanilla cassis cake and a ten-hour apple tart. Pastry offerings change often with seasonal flavors but are consistently delicious.
On weekends, make a trip to see the colorful macarons on display.
Pineapple King Bakery
When you’re next in the Outer Sunset area, make a trip to Pineapple King Bakery for some fresh Hong Kong-style baked goods.
The menu is long, but Pineapple King Bakery helps first-timers decide with a “family tree” of buns.
Great Grandpa is the OG pineapple bun, while the younger generations feature wilder mango and matcha flavors. Savory buns with BBQ pork are also available.
Aside from buns, you’ll also find Portuguese and Chinese egg tarts, plus Hong Kong milk tea.
La Boulangerie de San Francisco
I have a soft spot for La Boulangerie, as its spacious Noe Valley branch was perfect for meeting friends when I was new to the city.
With plenty of seating, huge cups of coffee, and perfectly baked almond croissants behind the counter, this local chain provides a community hub for the neighborhoods they operate in.
These bakeries have a welcoming, stay-as-long-as-you-like vibe.
My favorite locations are the Noe Valley and Hayes Valley cafes, but the original is on Pine Street in Lower Pacific Heights.
Any of their locations are a great option for a light lunch or mid-morning pick-me-up with tarts, quiches, sandwiches, and croissants.
La Boulangerie also makes products for the home, like its sliced croissant bread that’s ideal for French toast.
Vive La Tarte
Vive La Tarte combines classic pastry techniques with unexpected flavors to create delicious desserts.
This is one of the best bakeries in San Francisco, and you’re guaranteed to find something new here to wake up your tastebuds.
The flaky croissant filled with mocha, strawberry, or orange blossom and zaatar takes breakfast to the next level. The turmeric monkey bread is also a must.
The lunch menu is impressive as well, with egg sandwiches, salads, and taco croissants. However, the pastry case is what’s worth exploring, so indulge your sweet tooth.
Best for: Mexican baked goods
Address & Neighborhood: 3329 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110; Mission
Contact info: (415) 655-3622
Don’t miss: Conchas (aka pan dulce)
No online menu
La Mejor in the Mission is a Mexican bakery offering conchas (cookie-topped sweet rolls, also known as pan dulce), cookies, cakes, and buns.
If you’re after a savory treat, you could also try one of their tamales.
The light and fluffy conchas in bright colors are where it’s at though. This old-school panaderia is cash-only, but the prices are very affordable.
Breadbelly, founded by fine-dining chefs from Atelier Crenn and Mourad, offers Asian-inspired pastries and sandwiches from its bright, airy Richmond cafe.
The bakery has become Instagram-famous for its bright green kaya toast, made from fluffy milk bread and topped with a squiggle of coconut pandan jam.
You could also try the kaya bun or the chocolate croissant if you have a sweet tooth.
Hit up this bakery at lunchtime and grab one of the enormous sandwiches for a delicious lunch.
The char siu sando has the perfect balance of sweet and savory, while the kakiage egg salad bunwich is equally satisfying.
La Mexicana Bakery
Best for: Mexican sweet and savory snacks
Address & Neighborhood: 2804 24th St., San Francisco, CA 94110; Mission
Contact info: (415) 648-2633
Don’t miss: Conchas
No online menu is available
La Mexicana is known for its fun assortment of conchas shaped like turtles, seashells, and alligators—perfect for a quick and satisfying snack if you’re in the neighborhood.
The quesadilla rounds with sesame seeds are another excellent option, especially if you want something to eat on the go.
Serve yourself with tongs and trays, then head up to the counter to find out how much it all costs. La Mexicana is cash only, but the prices are low.
The Mill is one of the best bakeries in San Francisco for its delicious toast.
Choose from dark mountain rye or molasses brown bread, and top it with pesto and cream cheese or butter and chocolate hazelnut.
However, the most popular item on the menu is cinnamon sugar toast, which has just the right balance of sweet and salty; crunchy toast and creamy butter.
Aside from the food, the large, bright inside space invites you to spend some time just hanging out with a book or a group of friends.
The Mill gets busy on weekends, so be prepared to wait if you go then.
Arsicault Bakery gained a big boost in popularity after Bon Appetit named their croissant the “best croissant in America,” so expect a line at this Richmond spot.
Morning pastries include morning buns, those classic best croissants, along with a delicious almond version, and more.
It certainly deserves its reputation for making the best croissant in San Francisco and is easily one of the best bakeries in San Francisco.
Don’t worry if you can’t make it in the morning; there are usually still plenty of fresh pastries in the afternoon, and the line moves pretty quickly.
Given the popularity of Danish pastries, I’m not sure why we don’t have more Scandinavian bakeries, but fortunately, we do have Kantine.
Kantine is perfect for brunch, especially if you can’t decide between savory and sweet; are you in the mood for smoked fish or a fragrantly-spiced pastry?
To be on the safe side, order the brunch board, which allows you to select up to seven items from a list of bread, eggs, fish, meat, salads, porridge, and yogurt, plus one of the buns.
Pastries include cinnamon knots, cardamom-spiked morning buns, and a layered danish with sesame, flax, and pumpkin seeds.
Eastern Bakery is the oldest and best bakery in San Francisco Chinatown, offering an impressive mooncake selection with sweet and savory fillings.
Their coffee crunch cake, a San Francisco classic topped with toffee crumbles, is one of their most popular menu items.
However, it’s the mooncakes that have kept this bakery in business since 1924, an impressive accomplishment in a constantly changing city.
Mariposa Baking Company
Mariposa Baking Company is a gluten-free bakery offering some of the best cupcakes in San Francisco.
Everything is made in a dedicated gluten-free kitchen, so there is no danger of cross-contamination.
Although the draw here is the gluten-free options, these flourless treats lack nothing in flavor or texture, making this one of the best bakeries in San Francisco for everyone.
The butter cookies and cupcakes are the most popular things on the menu, but other baked goods are available too.
Mariposa Baking Company also ships nationwide if you’re longing for your favorite sweets after returning home.
If you like home baking, pick up a bag of the gluten-free flour blend, bake-at-home pizza, croutons, or bread crumbs.
Head over to Fisherman’s Wharf afterward to make it a full day’s outing.
Best for: Amazing focaccia
Address & Neighborhood: 1700 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94133; North Beach
Contact info: (415) 421-3786
Don’t miss: Jalapeno and cheese topped focaccia
No online menu
Liguria Bakery is an old-school Italian bakery in San Francisco that sells just one thing: focaccia. However, the line of hungry customers shows just how well they do it.
Bake Off Fans take note: Paul Hollywood, the bread guy from The Great British Bake Off, loves this place and featured it in an episode of his TV show, City Bakes.
Choose from basic options like plain, rosemary, sweet, or a bubbling-hot cheese-topped slice.
Bring cash and head over in the morning, as Liguria closes whenever it sells out, often by midday.
However you order it, the benches at nearby Washington Square Park make the perfect location to enjoy your perfectly baked loaf of focaccia.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah McDonald is a travel writer based in the Bay Area. She writes for the national parenting website Red Tricycle and on her own family travel blog, Tiny Trailblazers. She loves exploring California’s outdoors and has a weakness for a national park gift shop.
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