Sunday, April 10, 2011

Best Bakeries in North Beach

The  French distinguish between their bakers of sweets and their bread makers by calling the former "patisserie" and the latter "boulangerie."  Similarly, the Italians use the terms "pasticceria" and "panetteria."  In English, we have just one word:  bakery.  For the purpose of this post, I am just talking about bakers of sweets.

While North Beach is the old Italian Neighborhood in San Francisco, two of my three favorite bakeries are French.  La Boulange (yes, I know that's a bread baker) is a San Francisco chain of French-style cafes with salads, sandwiches, and delicious pastries.  The North Beach Branch is 543 Columbus Avenue, between Green and Union Streets.  

Technically just outside of North Beach, since it is south of Broadway, is Brioche Bakery and Cafe.  This small cafe also has salads, sandwiches, and wonderful pastries.  The croissants are terrific!  Brioche is at 210 Columbus Avenue between Pacific Avenue and Broadway.

Lastly, Stella Pastry and Cafe has great Italian (and a few French) pastries.  Be sure to try the Sacripantina, a multilayered cake made with sponge cake, zabaione, cream, rum, and other good things..  Stella is at 446 Columbus between Vallejo and Green Streets.

If you have a real sweet tooth, you can visit all three bakeries in one short walk.  If you would like to take a private tour of San Francisco that includes stops at one or more of these bakeries as well as other great bakeries or chocolatiers, contact Blue Heron Custom Tours and Travel at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or