Yelp is an online community of locals, business reviewers and food lovers. It’s a great place to go when you’re visiting an unexplored city or you’re just looking for a new place to try at home. But their extensive lists of area favorites and the constantly changing opinions of reviewers can make it tough to narrow down your next venture.
And when you’re craving fresh baked breads and sweet pastries in San Francisco, opinions and emotions run high.
The Yelp algorithm looks at the number of reviews for each location and the star rating from every review. This means their lists frequently change to incorporate menu changes, new spots and fresh innovations.
We rounded up the San Francisco bakeries that are consistently ranked as the best in the city, according to Yelp. Preview the treats and learn the histories and stories here; then venture out to taste these local favorites!
Find it in Inner Richmond
According to one reviewer on Yelp, “[Arsicault Bakery has] the most delicious croissants you will find on the west coast.” And it’s no secret! The line may be long, but you’ll be rewarded at the front with rich, creamy and buttery pastries you’ll come back for again and again.
Find it in Dogpatch
Neighbor Bakehouse serves delicious pastries alongside killer sourdough breads, and heart-warming coffee and teas. Though they’ve been baking professionally since 2012, the bakehouse opened its doors in 2015. Ever since, it’s been a go-to for every San Francisco local — including one Yelp reviewer who said, “I’ve tried a lot of things here and they’re ALL good — plain croissant, chocolate croissant, almond Bostock, chocolate chip cookie, ginger pull apart, the list goes on.”
Find it in Lower Pacific Heights
Photo courtesy of b. patisserie and Albert Law
It’s not surprising to see b. patisserie on any list of SF’s best bakeries. The brainchild of chefs Belinda Leong and Michel Suas, this open pastry kitchen produces French style pastries with local influence and ingredients. Grab an individual cake, a few entremets, tarts, verrines, macarons, viennoiseries and tartines made with housemade levain bread.
One Yelp reviewer insists you try the Chocolate Banana Almond-Croissant — and we agree! Learn more about Belinda Leong and b. patisserie in our article, Meet the Women Behind Some of Our Favorite Restaurants in San Francisco.
Find it in Lower Nob Hill
Photo courtesy of Mr. Holmes Bakehouse
Mr. Holmes Bakehouse may be one of the coziest, industrial bakeries in the city, but they also serve some of the most delicious pastries. Their sassy character and signature style have found a perfect home in SF, and we couldn’t be happier. Taste an original Cruffin in flavors like S’mores (photographed above) and Papaya Passion Fruit or an Elderflower Orange Champagne Donut! Check Facebook for the weekly flavor update before you go!
Find it in the Mission
Tartine Bread (Chronicle Books, September 2010), photo courtesy of Eric Wolfinger
Tartine makes an appearance on every list of San Francisco’s best and most well-known bakeries. Its national renown has made it an SF classic. In 2008, chefs Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt brought home the James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef, and they’ve been producing mouth-watering breads and treats consistently ever since.
One Yelp reviewer said, “I’ve come back twice more, trekking in from Berkeley and standing in that line, to proclaim once more that yes, this place is magical and worth all the … hype.” So no matter the distance, make the trip to taste some of the city’s best breads and pastries.
Find it in Chinatown
Little Swan Bakery is one of the newest additions to Chinatown. They’re one of the only places to find traditional mille-feuille crepe cake — and they offer it in multiple creative flavors, including Matcha, Black Sesame, Mango and Durian! Get a slice with a side of Japanese cheesecake for a real treat!
Find it in Chinatown
Golden Gate Bakery has a cult following in San Francisco. So much so that an entire online community has appeared to let us know when the bakery is open! Check the daily hours on the website and Facebook page. Then, get ready to taste what Yelp reviewers consistently call the best egg tarts in the US. Bring cash and expect to wait, but it’ll all be worth it!
Find it in Inner Sunset
Photo courtesy of Arizmendi Bakery
Forty years ago the infamous Cheese Board Collective opened in Berkeley. Their success inspired Arizmendi founders to open their original cooperative bakery in Oakland and today, you can find other cooperative Arizmendi Bakeries in San Francisco, San Rafael and Emeryville. Check the Inner Sunset bread schedule to find out what loaves you can get daily and which are daily specials.
We suggest grabbing a slice of pizza, a fresh sourdough baguette, and don’t skip the Vegan Chocolate Mint Cookies! One reviewer said, “Next time you come here, do your mind, heart, soul and stomach the goodness of pleasing it with these [Chocolate Mint Cookies].”
Find it in Castro
Photos courtesy of Thorough Bread & Pastry
Owner Michel Suas, is a native of France, an SF transplant, and founder of the San Francisco Baking Institute. Thorough Bread is his creation — a space for artists, thinkers and friends to gather. On the menu, you’ll find authentic French style pastries, viennoiseries, cakes and various artisanal breads from French baguettes to leavened ancient grains. Everything is made fresh, from scratch, in-house and each taste will inspire you to try more.
One review on Yelp said, “The only thing to hate about Thorough Bread is how ridiculously close it is to my house. Because it’s dangerous.”
Find it in SoMa
Photos courtesy of Frena
At this Kosher bakery, you’ll find pastries and breads made from recipes the owners and chefs grew up with. Their Grandfather Mosheh carried them from Iraq to Israel and each item offers a glimpse into the rich culture, heritage and history of the region. You may find items you’ve never heard of before, but you’ll leave with a bag full of new favorites and a happy belly!
Let us know where you go for fresh baked breads, donuts and croissants. We would love an excuse to try more sweet treats and warm, savory breads!