Bakeries of the SF Mission

November 10, 2016

 

No one would be surprised to learn that lists of best bakeries in San Francisco always lead with the Mission's Tartine and finish with us noting with pride that the Inner Mission District has the most noteworthy bakeries by far of any neighborhood[1]  The superstar Tartine is clearly  denoted by critics, reader polls, and constant lines is Tartine Bakery and now we can enjoy 2016's Tartine Manufactury (see above), which began taking reservations for dinner late in 2016. The operator owners, Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt, won the 2008 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef.  A darling of the food critics, Tara Duggan [formerly of sfgate.com] hails it as "the epitome of modern Bay Area aesthetics" Further she points out that while Tartine is considered "among the best bakeries in the world, most of Tartine’s press in recent years has revolved around Robertson’s influential breads" However the lines owe more to Prueitt's pastries." [2]

The late Scott Dinsmore,  was quoted by the SF Chronicle  from his "Live Your Legend blog", "Stepping back is important. The pause is where the magic happens. That gap between stimulus and response is where the real world takes place.” [3] Some places are easier to step back that others and other times and places assistance is needed to mark the moment. A combination that works for many in the Mission is visiting Dolores Park with a picnic to catch some sun and people watch. The only Mission Park to get free wifi.[4] Dolores Park offers still more, something intangibly extra special beyond its great views and many amenities.

Another place where magic happens is the mystery combining the simple ingredients of flour, water, yeast, salt, sugar and waving wands and heat to transform the concoction into the magic of bread or cake. Thus our presentation of how the Mission District  can offer you a rich choice of dessert and Dolores Park moments. Consider now your proper preparation for a visit to an other worldly feeling away from the hustle of the daily grind might include stopping off hereabouts for sharing sweets or breaking bread with by bringing some part of the Mission magic.  Take some of these desserts to your next gathering and be a star.  Sell the treats as the way to self-knowledge, after all here in the Mission there is a tradition that the best way to way to deal with temptation is to yield to it.

Editor's Note: The inspiration for this Directory of Mission Bakeries was our very own International  Superstar Bakery Tartine choosing to open its 2nd location not in the Far East as was rumored but right here in the Mission and also on a corner of 18th Street. There is a Tartine in the works to open in Los Angeles in late 2017 that will be even larger than the 5000 sqft Manufactury  la.eater.com/2016/11/16/ has the story.

North Mission Bakeries


[1] sfist.com/2013/12/11/best_bakeries_in_san_francisco.php

 

nytimes.com/2016/11/09/dining/tartine-bakery-elisabeth-prueitt

[3] sfchronicle.com/warriors/article/Warriors-GM-Bob-Myers-finds-hope-in-loved-one-s Life is short. Be here now.

[4] - sfgov.org/sfc/sanfranciscowifi Look for the #SFWiFi wireless signal on their laptop, tablet or cell phone devices to get instant access. 

  • CREAM Desserts, 3106 16th St   (415) 400-4551 CREAM (Cookies Rule Everything Around Me) - Freshly baked cookies and super-premium ice cream. Amazing ice cream sandwich 

    • People talk about: double chocolate chip cookie, banana walnut fudge and white chocolate macadamia. Long but fast line. Low prices, Open to 11pm. rated 4.9 out of 5 

    • creamnation.com

  • Goody Goodie Cream & Sugar 1830 Harrison St  (415) 864-6370

  • Katz Bagels 3147 16th St [b/t Albion St & Valencia]  (415) 552-9050

 

Lower 24th Street & 24th Street BART

 

The best place to consider your sweet tooth cravings by virtue of both variety and quantity is Lower 24th Street including the block surrounding the 24th Street BART station at Mission. Here you can find an impressive concentration of 6 Panderias both Mission style and traditional; (La Mexicana,  La Victoria,  La Mejor,  La Reyna,  Kings, and Arizmendi.  A specialty treat in Latin America is their tres leches cake which literally translates as "three milks bread" is a sponge cake  soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. The New Sweetheart Bakery is famous for theirs but they only sell it by the cake. Wise Sons Deli makes their own bagels and according to the NY Times meets the NYC high standard. Since 2009 Danny Gabriner has been operating his Sour Flour [1], a quixotic bakery school at community hub La Victoria, where you can get a free Bagel on Mondays as a way of fostering community giving. They can also be found every Saturday at the Noe Valley Town Square.  
 

Closer to the busy 24th Street BART station are three Citywide famous spots,  Anthony's Cookies is celebrated for the "cookies and cream" as the best cookie in the City. Mission Pie at the corner of 25th & Mission serves both sweet and savory and is filled with both regulars and tourists. Its classy classic neon sign together with the Mission Cultural Center and La Taqueria's neon let you know, this is the spot. There is also the spot of Dianda’s, the Mission's oldest bakery.  On the same block is another 50 year old plus bakery: King's sell high volumes of fresh baked bread and window treats at amazingly low prices including its much loved coconut buns.  There are two critically acclaimed Donut Shops on 24th St., the Dynamo with its incredible Maple Glazed Bacon Apple Donut  & Jelly Donuts at the corner of So. Van Ness.
 

  • Dynamo Donut & Coffee 2760 24th St (at Hampshire St),  

    • "Dynamo changed everything for donuts. Everything. Its opening in 2008 was the biggest thing to happen to donuts since some really smart guy decided to have a pastry and punched a hole out of the center of it one morning. Dynamo is our donut purveyor of the food-centric, seasonal, organic generation, complete with delightful constantly changing flavors like apricot cardamom and lemon thyme" thrillist.com/eat/san-francisco/the-18-best-donuts-in-san-francisco
       

  • The Jelly Donut 3198 24th St (corner S. Van Ness),

  • New Sweetheart Bakery 2956 24th St  (415) 826-0876

    • "The original pandan tres leches cake and it's something you have to specifically ask for since they don't advertise it. Now, a perfectly moist tres leches is hard to find in the Bay Area, so I think this place is as close as it gets to perfection. But then it transcends it with the addition of heavenly pandan. Pandan is a very aromatic leaf that is popular in Southeast Asia. The result is a true marvel.  this place is very unimposing and easy to miss, but it is truly a gem worth a trek from anywhere." yelp.com/biz/panaderia-la-mexicana-bakery-san-francisco
       

  • Wise Sons Deli  3150 24th St [corner of Shotwell St]  (415) 787-3354  wisesonsdeli.com  Opened in 2012 and added their bakery location in 2015. 

    • "People wait for hours when NYC [bagel] versions are on offer. Pop-ups inspire lines every weekend with the end result always being: sold out. It's clear that San Franciscans are starving for a bagel savior, and back in July [2015], the New York Times declared Evan Bloom and Leo Beckerman of Wise Sons to be just that. It's a lot to live up to. Here's how they intend to do it. sf.eater.com/wise-sons-bagel-sandwiches-san-francisco
       

  • Sour Flour at La Victoria 2937 24th St,  (b/t Florida St & Alabama St) Cat Shimizu teaches students here how to care for their wild yeast in crafting artisanal breads.

    • "Time is up on the bread when their bursting cuts begin to turn brown and their tight skin has achieved a dark amber tone. Emissions of sour, earthy, and umami scents fill the bakeshop as peers stop work to inspect what their nostrils are sensing. When all of the bread has made it onto the rolling rack and rests aside the door leading to the Mission, a sigh of relief is exulted by the baker."  www.sourflour.org/blog 

Upper 24th Street
Noe Valley Town Square at 3861 24th Street, between Sanchez and Vicksburg. Congratulations to Noe Valley on their 2016 new town square, officially San Francisco's newest park!  This is where to find Noe Valley Farmers’ Market every Saturday, from 8am-1pm. Including baked goods from Lower 24th St. by Sour Flour noevalleyfarmersmarket.com

 

 

24th St BART

  • La Cocina a non-profit incubator kitchen in San Francisco that works with women who are launching and formalizing food businesses. They often sell baked treats that clients manufacture on site for off-site distribution.

  • Anthony's Cookies 1417 Valencia St (at 25th St), San Francisco, CA

  • Dianda’s Italian American Pastry 2883 Mission St (nr 25th St) (415) 647-5469 diandasbakery.com

    • "...what we have tasted is so uniformly delicious that we're willing to try. Everything made with either of Dianda's two specialties — high-quality almond paste and a particularly fragrant rum custard — is irresistible. ....We can't go on; we'll go on: tiramisu, cannoli, freshly baked pannetone (worlds different from packaged pannetone), 24 varieties of pastries, 35 different cookies. And, oh yes, the staff loves to decorate cakes" sfweekly.com/best-bakery-san-francisco

  • Mission Pie 2901 Mission St (at 25th St),  vegetarian quiche and apple pie are amazing  but my favorite is the Apple Rhubarb Pie. 

    • What a discovery! We were staying around the corner and happened on this place. We ended up going twice in our three day stay. Once for breakfast and once for lunch. The food was super fresh and tasty, the atmosphere was great (good toys for kids) and the staff were lovely. We even returned to buy a t shirt" tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Reviews//Mission_Pie

 

 

 

Panaderias 
Today, Mexican bakers are among the most inventive in the world; it is estimated that there are between 500 and 2,000 types of breads currently produced in Mexico. Not everyone succumbs to the allure of pan dulce, which can be a little dry for some palates. Though many pan dulce resemble French pastry and American Danishes, their flavor and texture are often different because they are made with shortening, margarine or lard instead of butter. 

 

  • Panaderia La Mexicana Bakery 2804 24th St (415) 648-2633  

  • La Victoria Mexican Bakery & Cafe 2937 24th St San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 642-7120  

  • La Mejor Bakery 3329 24th St (415) 518-8241 

    • Originally from Mexico, Carmen Elias opened her biz in 1993.  “Everything has changed because it’s clean. Because of the BART cleanup, more people are coming to my business because they aren’t afraid to walk down the street. They take their time, pass by the store, get a coffee. They feel safe. I see the neighborhood change and I see it growing and I’m very happy.” The Mission Panaderia in the Time of Tech @missionlocal.org/2014/02
       

  • La Reyna Bakery & Coffee Shop 3114 24th St [btwn Shotwell & Folsom] (415) 647-6502 

    • Coconut macaroon is amazing. This location opened on July 7th, 1977 and is still owned and operated Josephina Gutierrez and her family. They are committed to bringing you the best Mexican and most authentic pastry possible. We still make our pastries the way they were made in 1965 by only using fresh eggs, milk, fresh yeast, flour, water, sugar, salt, to make the most authentic pastries. facebook.com//La-Reyna-Bakery/reviews

  • Kings Bakery Cafe 2846 Mission St [btwn 24th & 25th]  (415) 282-4550 

    • "Wonderful history of over 50 years. Brownie and coconut bun are out of the world. This bakery sells at least 2000 breads everyday in the morning." "Always busy, Chinese operated with a big cake businees. They make amazing strawberry cakes.... So moist.. Fresh tasting... They put out hot fresh rolls and there is a line to get them.. The only issue is parking but it is still worth it" tripadvisor.com//Reviews-Kings_Bakery_Cafe
       

  • Arizmendi Bakery Panaderia & Pizzeria 1268 Valencia St (at 24th St), San Francisco, CA 

 

Mission Bernal

 The other nearby hub of Latin food is South of Chavez on Mission, which has been in the news for a June fire in the 3300 block (see [5] above). Here you can find the Universal Guatemalen Panderia relocated from 24th St. and La Cosina graduate from Mexico City, Isabel Caudillo doing boom business at her new sunny corner fresh mex restaurant called El Buen Comer.

  • Universal Bakery 3458 Mission St [near Cortland] (415) 821-4971 universalbakeryinc.com

    • Fresh Guatemalan sweet bread, good breakfast. The bread sells quick... So get up early Started going back when they were located on 24th St. Great place to go for breakfast or lunch. Universal Bakery by google.com

  •  

    ​​[5] townsquared.com/blog/2016/06/mission-fire 3300 Block Fire: On June 18, 2016, at approximately 2:30pm, the San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD) responded to a five-alarm inferno in San Francisco’s Mission District. The SFFD was able to contain the Mission fire within the 3300 to 3322 blocks of 29th Street but not before 58 residents were homeless and nine small businesses had been damaged.

     


    mbmasf.org Eden Stein from Secession Art & Design at 3235 Mission Street is the very active president of the Mission-Bernal Merchants Association formerly the South of Army-Mission Merchants Association 

 

 

Mid Inner Mission

Or say you just finished another excellent meal in the Mish and there is still time to stroll to assist digestion and conversation.  Chances are your close to mid-Valencia where so much change keeps happening. This was also a hot spot in the 1860s when the Willows attacted downtowners to enjoy a repast around the lagoon. 

  • Craftsman and Wolves 746 Valencia St,: St [ b/t 18th &19th St] (415) 913-7713 Chef William Werner presents his modern take on taste treats alongside traditional and seasonal baked goods.

    • “contemporary patisserie” offers a beautifully curated selection of sweet and savory treats, from muscovado morning buns and exquisite little cube cakes made with chocolate and blood orange to the signature Rebel Within—a soft-cooked egg housed inside a muffin made with asiago, green onion and Boccalone sausage timeout.com Feb-2015
       

  • Flour Chylde Bakery at the Thursday Evening Community Market bakes from scratch in small batches sweet or savory gluten-free treat at their Novato bakery
     

  • Mission Community Market (MCM) 84 Bartlett & 22nd btwn Mission & Valencia missioncommunitymarket.org  Thursday 4-8pm

      • a great way to do some after work grocery shopping  Only a block long, but packed with goodies from small business  The prices are competitive and people are friendly. Let the Mission air cast a relaxing spell of community connection.  Enjoy the live music. facebook.com/mission.community.market/
         

  • Joey & Pat’s Italian Bakery & Cafe 2499 Folsom St  [corner of 20th]  (415) 655-3918 

    • My Italian relatives are always asking when I am going to bring another Almond Tort for dessert. The corner storefront does not emphasize its table seating and closes by 5pm each but it opens at 6:30am and has many Yelp fans calling it out the blueberry cheese danish as the Best Anywhere.
       

  • Mission Minis 3168 22nd St San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 817-1540

  After all, we are all a dessertarians! 

 

 This is the view as you leave Tartine Manufactury which also sells ice cream. Check out our other Mission Desserts page Triple Treat Time: Famous Mission Ice Cream on Facebook here.

 

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