Pareve Babka?

Does anyone know of a bakery in the Bay Area that makes a pareve babka? The wise sons babka looks good but is made with milk. I had an amazing one in Montreal a couple years ago and have been craving it since. The Trader Joes babka counts, but just isn’t very good (to me). I’m in SF, but I maybe I could take a drive. I thought Frena did them at one point…

Pomella in Oakland sometimes does a chocolate babka. I had it once when they made it during beginning of pandemic.

Sadly, it wasn’t nearly as good as the fluffy yet rich chocolatey babka that Hof Kelsten makes (I assume that’s the one you’re referencing in Montreal). I don’t blame Pomella though - it seems like one of those things have to make a lot of, and keep selling it fresh.

Grand Bakery in Oakland seems to take pickup orders for their pareve babka, but it looks more like just a chocolate swirl in bread

So far, I have yet to find any other babka in the Bay Area, comparable to Hof Kelsten.

As a final option, Goldbelly ships babka from a number of bakeries in NY

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Seriouseats has an interesting piece about NYC babka……apparently Green’s Bakery in Brooklyn supplies Zabar’s, Russ and Daughters et al with pareve babka. Ordering directly from Green’s appears to be the most cost effective route.

I was actually thinking of Boulangerie Cheskie a few blocks away from Hof Kelsten, though now that I think about it, that place was great too. I was just overwhelmed by good bakery items in my short visit there. Cheskie’s was maybe gooier and more chocolatey. The clientele at Cheskie were hard core Hasidic folk unlike Kelsten’s hip urban crowd.
Thanks for the tips!

Oh cool! I worry that 3 days of shipping might kill the freshness but I know people do that kind of thing all the time. Might be worth experimenting as a treat. Apparently I just need to finally go to New York some day.

We’ve gotten babka as part of a gift box from Zabar’s and it arrived moist and good - froze one along with the rugelach ( also, apparently Green’s). Ah, but a NYC babka crawl could be a fine post- COVID adventure! My husband still talks about babka he got at a deli on Amsterdam Ave……but which one??? The ongoing babka quest….

I’ve been getting Montreal bagels shipped to me from St Viateur through Goldbelly and they turn out great. But of course with bagels, you can just slice, freeze, and bring them back up to temp later.

Shipping on things I’ve ordered from Goldbelly generally seems to be flat rate per location. So if you order 1 babka or 4, it’s the same price. Get a few people to order with you, and you’re just paying the marked up Goldbelly prices for most part.

As an ex-New Yorker who had Green’s babka regularly, I can say that it is the most chocolatey babka I’ve ever had–not stingy with the filling at all. You’ll hardly believe that it’s pareve. They make cinnamon babka too, if that’s your thing.

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