San Francisco is full of incredible bakeries serving up world-renowned sourdough bread, intricate seasonal pastries, and comforting carbs inspired by international destinations. Handheld sweets and salty treats are often best savored on the go as you enjoy one of the city’s beautiful parks, head out on a hike, or lounge at the beach. Below, you’ll find our can’t-miss guide for the best bakeries in San Francisco.
You’ll Love the Best Bakeries in San Francisco
9. Cinderella Bakery & Cafe
Cinderella Bakery and Cafe is an absolute classic, serving Russian-style pastries, cakes, and breads to SF locals since 1953. Go to Cinderella Bakery for must-haves like their Baked Piroshkis filled with mushrooms, and Russian Honey Cake. We could talk about all of the other crave-able dishes (lots of traditional dumplings like Pelmeni and Vareniki) but this is a guide about baked things (here’s to hoping we do a guide on steamed things in the near future). San Francisco isn’t traditionally known for its sidewalk cafes, but Cinderella is one of the greats, so bring a jacket and plan to dine outside.
8. Arizmendi Bakery
Arizmendi is one of those bakeries that feels so good to support, and it totally flies under the radar unless you’re a local. It’s a fantastic worker-owned cooperative that is mixing everything up from scones and cookies to cheesy breadsticks and daily afternoon pizzas. Walk in and help yourself to the tall pastry cases brimming with sweet and savory treats. Don’t miss the Corn Cherry Scone in the morning, and come back for a slice of the vegetarian pizza of the day and a ginger molasses cookie in the afternoon. Add Arizmendi to your list of best bakeries in San Francisco and be sure to check out their Mission location for a rotating selection of Latin panadería favorites.
Breadbelly is serving up out of this world Asian-inspired pastries with a California twist. Their vibrant Kaya Toast, pictured here, has nothing to do with avocado, and we like it that way—house-baked milk bread (the most delicious white bread on the planet) cut thick and topped with coconut-pandan jam (a Southeast Asian Custard made from green pandan leaves). It’s truly a feast for all the senses. For those who like everything bagel seasoning on everything, try the Everything Bun with onion jam and a cream cheese center. Okay, back to the milk bread. You can’t afford to miss Breadbelly’s grilled cheese with gochujang (Korean chili paste) or their Char Siu (roasted pork) Sandwich, both built on milk bread. The space here is friendly and comforting, so bring something to do and stay awhile.
Kantine brings a unique edge to San Francisco’s bakery scene, serving from-scratch Scandanavian pastries, cookies, breads, and farm-to-table dishes for breakfast and lunch. Get a taste of a traditional Scandanavian palate with a brunch board, and choose from a selection of breads and crackers to pair with a variety of meats and seafood like Bay Shrimp Salad or Kantine’s Spiced Bacon, and some other seasonal sides like beet hummus and melon salad with mint tarragon sugar. If you’re in-the-know about Smørrebrød (a Scandanavian open-faced sandwich) you should race to Kantine, and if you’re aren’t in-the-know yet, you will be soon, and when you know, you know. Kantine is beautiful and sun-lit, perfect for catching up on work or reading during quieter off-hours. Kantine offers the whole package, and that’s why it’s included in our guide as one of the best bakeries in San Francisco. P.S. before you leave, do yourself a favor and get a package of the Danish butter cookies to go (you’re welcome)!
5. The Mill
The Mill has become synonymous with toast. Sure you can make toast at home, but visiting The Mill elevates the simple act of eating toast into something truly special, which is why this spot is one of the best bakeries in San Francisco. We’re talking inch-thick slices of dark mountain rye or molasses brown bread with toppings such as seasonal pesto and cream cheese, or butter with chocolate hazelnut. For the most nostalgic toast of all time, order The Mill’s timelessly popular cinnamon sugar toast. It’s everything you forgot you wanted—plenty of butter, a generous topping of cinnamon sugar, plus a pinch of salt—and after one bite you’ll agree that The Mill is one of the best bakeries in San Francisco. It gets busy (rightly so), so plan to go with time on your side.
4. Mr. Holmes Bakehouse
Mr. Holmes Bakehouse is the place to go in San Francisco for inventive pastries. We’re talking gorgeous, architectural wonders like their garlic and herb croissant roll. Get here early for a full selection of the most popular items such as their famous Cruffin, matcha croissant, cream-filled donuts, and other savory snacks like the pastrami manchego croissant. Take your pastries to go (it’s a tiny spot, so you’ll be in and out), or if you’re like us and can’t wait, just cozy up by the register and savor every bite.
3. Vive la Tarte
Vive la Tarte is a breath of fresh Belgian air in SoMA and is a great place to go for breakfast, lunch, or a late afternoon pick-me-up. They excel in everything from classic pastries and quiches to more unique creations like key lime croissants, which is why they are absolutely one of the best bakeries in San Francisco. Their pizza, cheesecake, and watermelon juice are not to be missed. In fact, their San Francisco Cheesecake is the best we’ve ever had. It’s a close-your-eyes-and-float-away-on-a-fluffy-cheesecake-cloud kind of experience. If you’re feeling extra hungry don’t just buy a slice, take a whole cheesecake home (sharing optional).
2. Arsicault Bakery
Arsicault is easily one of the very best bakeries in San Francisco. You will leave wondering how a croissant this good made it out of France (until you hear the owner’s accent). Don’t be intimidated by the line—sure it may move slow, but even if lines aren’t your thing, it’s always 100% worth it. Just patiently meditate on soon sinking your teeth into one of the best croissants of your life. When you get inside, order an assortment of croissants—both sweet and savory—for a perfectly balanced breakfast. The warm ham and cheese and chocolate croissants are sure to blow your mind, but don’t forget to try the buttery, flaky classic before you leave. If you’re in the area on Sunday morning, take your croissant for a walk to the Clement Street Farmers Market just a block away and watch as people drop their jaws in jealousy.
1. Tartine Bakery
There are so many reasons to love Tartine, and that’s why it’s our pick for the very best bakery in San Francisco. Tartine exemplifies craft in every detail, from their house-roasted coffee to the locally made ceramics they serve their thoughtfully crafted pastries on. The first Tartine location opened in San Francisco in 2002 and they’ve been opening new spots across the Bay Area, LA, and Seoul ever since. We love that you can find Tartine locations across San Francisco—each one has a unique vibe while maintaining its distinctly Tartine DNA. Believe us when we say EVERYTHING is unbelievably delicious here, but it’s the bread that made them. And we don’t think there’s anything better than a day that starts and ends with great bread. To do so Tartine-style, begin your day by venturing to Tartine Inner Sunset and treat yourself to the signature Morning Bun (before they run out) and a plate of perfectly toasted country bread and butter with seasonal homemade jam to fuel up before a visit to Golden Gate Park. Park hop over to the Mission’s Dolores Park after grabbing a hot-pressed sandwich and banana cream tart (pictured above) to go at the original Tartine Bakery. When evening strikes and you still can’t get enough, take a digestive walk to cap it all off with a round of shared plates at Tartine Manufactury. Now that’s how you Tartine all day.