I have a guest coming from London to visit me here in SF later this week who has a major sweet tooth and loves good coffee. I am relatively new to SF myself so I would love your recommendations that are truly special! Even that feature special desserts from any culture is welcome! Here is my current list:
B Patisserie (LOVE this place)
Craftsman and Wolves
Mr Holmes Bakehouse (to take somewhere else…)
Arsicault (can you sit inside? I’ve only read about it here, but haven’t been yet)
Thanks in advance!
The jasper hill farm cheesecake at In Situ (museum of modern art ), originally from Tickets in Barcelona
Arsicault has just a couple small tables
Those are all good choices. Maybe check out Golden Gate Bakery in Chinatown for some egg custard tarts if they are open (they are on vacation a lot - http://www.is-the-golden-gate-bakery-open-today.com ).
Anyone been to Jane on Larkin? Their pastry chef’s Instagram feed looks pretty great.
Your guest may or may not have a notion of “good coffee” that corresponds to Third Wave brews. At any event, stop at XOX Truffles in North Beach and order a cup of Graffeo Coffe (my idea of good coffee and roasted just across the street) and get a free truffle with it.
Also in North Beach, Brioche Bakery on Columbus, which flies under the radar, puts out as good a baguette as you will find anywhere in SF.
I don’t recall any seating at Arsicault other than a single table outside.
And if he/she is in town long enough to get homesick, go to John Campell’s Irsh Bakery for scones, Irish soda bread or a Belfast Bap breakfast sandwich.
20th Century Cafe for the Russian Honey Cake
Neighbor Bakehouse for pistachio croissant
Mr. Bread for an egg custard tart
Dandelion Chocolate for tasting and souvenirs
Tartine Manufactory (shorter line, better seating situation, and they can sample savory stuff as well)
Ariscault isn’t worth the hype IMHO (based on only a single visit before it hit big), but people are going bananas over it so …
Old school in Japantown— Benkiyodo mochi; Coffee (or lemon) Crunch cake from Yasukochi’s
Doughnut Dolly (at The Market in SF; Temescal; Berkeley)
Arsicault has 2 tables in the mezzanine seating area overlooking the main floor, as well as in the seating area outside. I think their almond croissants are much better than those at Tartine fwiw.
I vote for the chocolate croissant at Arsicault - as good as I’ve found in Paris.
Be aware that Arsicualt has limited hours, does sell out, and is closed Mondays.
Also consider Thorough Bread & Pastry on Church Street. It has an interesting ownership and history connected to San Francisco Baking Institute. Not quite the highest of high end product but good breads and pastries. They have a nice patio in the rear.
i guess i didn’t hang around long enough to notice the mezzanine seating (this was pre-Bon Appetit article). i was in and out in a flash, though i did pause at the outside table to down a decent coffee and a very greasy croissant.
+1 for Neighbor Bakehouse. Ginger pull apart is great.
I like the crunchy caramelization on the bottom of Arsicault’s almond croissant, I don’t recall seeing it on their other croissants, except the kouign amann. Also the generous marzipan inside. Tartine does have a good lemon tart and opera cake.
If you take them to Arsicault, don’t miss the kouignettes (B. Patisserie also has these, but I prefer Arsicault’s).
In a slightly different vein, if they have a sweet tooth, they might also enjoy the (boozy and non boozy) ice cream drinks at Ice Cream Bar (off the Carl /Cole stop of the N line). if they like coffee, they should try the Kawfee Tawk cocktail at PCH (Sutter near Mason).
Give me a box of Cinderella’s old fashioned sweet cheese blinchkis with sour cream and homemade raspberry jelly over any new soulless bakery like Craftsman & Wolves, serving fancy sous vide egg muffins, any day!
I used to take home John Campbell’s shepherd’s pies and beef & curry pasties for lunch constantly. I’m due for a return visit one weekend soon!
What’s the name of that Russian bakery on Geary with the great piroshky and those heavy cakes ? On the right hand side if your headed towards the ocean . Love that place .
I’m not trying to be e. e. cummings; I spilled beer on my keyboard last night and one of my shift keys is kludged. It took me a while to notice that (I’m blind as a bat in the morning until I’ve had my second coffee.)
Moscow Tbilisi Bakery?
(Tangentially, I wonder if they felt conflicted back in 2008…)
That sounds delicious also. I would take blinchkis AND fancy egg muffins.
I would be curious to try a drink like that in general, but I don’t really like the quality of their ice cream. Maybe theirs works well in a drink?