America’s best bakery?

I’m spoiled because NYC has a lot of great bakeries like Amy’s Bread, and I’ve visited amazing spots in other cities such as Flour in Boston, but Tartine in San Francisco may be my all-time favorite. If you’re in town, don’t let the perpetual line out the door scare you — it’s actually nothing compared to the line at nearby Bi-Rite Creamery — because it moves fast. But you also should not expect to be able to beat the line by showing up early, because breakfast is one of the most popular times to go. Then if you’re like me, you can pick up a stunning banana tart (an unbelievably good value at about $6) in addition to coffee and early-morning treats.

Full-disclosure time — I ordered my banana tart to go, and then I opened the box to take a photo, and then we ate the whole thing on the spot. It was that good. The inside of the pastry was coated in chocolate, which is nice for taste and helps keep the pastry dry. That’s what I usually do at home too.

The staff was super nice. There are some popular NYC bakeries where you really feel like you’re nothing more than herded cattle, so this made me happy. Tartine is the kind of place where, despite the crowds, you want to sit back and relax for a while.

Deciding what to order for breakfast was a real challenge, but I have a feeling we couldn’t go wrong. The morning bun with orange cinnamon sugar is a must-try. They were going through pans and pans of these. And the savory gougere with gruyere cheese was a delight. I’ve made these at home myself a few times, and that’s tough to beat, but these come pretty darned close. Tartine is a short walk from the 16th Street Mission District BART station, and then there is so much more you can do in the neighborhood, so now I can’t imagine making a trip to SF without this place at the very top of my list of spots to visit.

61 thoughts on “America’s best bakery?

  1. An amazing bakery is as good a reason to relocate as any! 8-)That banana tart is awesome and thanks for pointing out the chocolate coating inside – what a great idea! I'll have to ask you how it's done. Now, I have to figure out how to visit SF to try this place! Everything you've shown here is going down on my list to try.

  2. I will definitely add it to my list if I ever get to SF. The morning roll sound amazing! I just love orange in my breakfast pastries! Great tip about lining the pastry w/ chocolate as well, I'll remember that!

  3. This was not good to read on an empty stomach, excuse me while I go eat a cookie! That banana tart looks awesome, especially knowing that it's coated with chocolate on the inside.

  4. I like to go there have have the tartines themselves. As well as those DIVINE lemon tarts. Their chocolate pudding is also out of this world. All time favorite is their bread pudding and quiche. SWOON.I was stuck on tartine for the first 6 months I discovered it. Eating take out boxes a Dolores park is decadent.

  5. Ooooo…another place to add to my list of when I travel up to SF. Love it!! It's really been too long since my last trip there. Those look really tempting right now. Heck I'd make a trip just for those alone. i don't mind the 7 hour drive!!!

  6. tangled noodle: the chocolate coating is simple — just choose a chocolate, melt it, and brush some on. or you can pour a thin coating. i have a zillion more places in SF to recommend.jess: i know, I stared at the bread pudding, drooled even, but had to cut myself offzoe: you're welcomegirlichef: definitelybaconista: right, me toolynda: it was calling my name toostephchows: agreedrosie: thanks for visitingphyllis: ha, good pointpeachkins: thanks for stopping bykatie: i know, i know… i figured bread pudding is something i can make at home any time, so I opted for other stuff. that's funny because I took so much food to go in SF and ate it in parks…jennifer: i hate to tell you that bi-rite is like a block away from tartine! wait, maybe half a block!rose: it's worth a tripjenn: oh man, i'd totally drive 7 hours to sf for mad-crazy food tripsdivya: thanks so much

  7. talita: funny, i assume they sell bread there, but i was so blown away by the sweets, I didn't think about buying anything else. and wow, the bi-rite market nearby had such a great selection of breads too.dessert girl: oh man, you're right. I did some google searches and found more evidence. i didn't think coldstone was that bold.ungourmet: thanks for visitingbridgett: definitely worth itdawn: i hope you're not saying you live nearby boston and haven't been to flour yet… omg the cinnamon buns are the best on earth, period.

  8. Thanks for the comment! I'm so jealous…I haven't had the chance to visit Tartine or the Bi-Rite Creamery! They've been on my list for a while, I can't wait to try them out.

  9. Oh my…it is such a good thing that I live in a little town/suburb of my city here. I should be at those bakeries non stop I am afraid. My boys like ONLY homemade so that keeps me trying…grin…but I am not a chemist. This all looks so very very good. Hey, thanks for stopping by….I'll be back here too real soon.

  10. jamie: you're welcometintin: thanks to you toochristelle: for me, junior's is a favorite for cheesecake, and now you can just visit the one in Times Square (or even Grand Central Station) if you don't want to go to brooklyn.amanda: thanks for visitingangie: right, of coursejaime: me toom*: it's worth a trip to SF just for those two spots — big lines though.jackie: i hope you do itraj: thanksmurasaki: well, I love to bake too, so there's nothing wrong with thatcucinista: if you used to live in SF, I'm jealous

  11. When I read this, I didn't know whether to feel sad or delighted. I LOVE banana anything…and that tart made my mouth water. But then it reminded me of what could have been – and the fact that we had to cancel our trip to SF this summer. 😦 But, I have something to look forward to. Glad you enjoyed your yummy goodies at Tartine. The other treats looked good as wel. Thanks for the great pics!

  12. i think i missed some comments:belle: i keep seeing people talk about masterchef, but I don't think they mean top chef masters, so it must be an australian show or something like that? i'm curious.jamie: sorry!suzanne: oh, sorry, well at least I can give you some good recommendations when you do decide to go. you'll have a great time.morta di fame: back in NYC now though…

  13. I've tried their brownies and those are AMAZING! probably best brownie I've ever had!It's nice to be treated nicely at popular spots. After all, it's people that gave them their popularity, if they treay people poorly, the popularity can easily be taken away.

  14. Wowwwwww….I am drooling over that banana tart! Does it have chocolate on it?! Yum.I love San Francisco, would love to go back. We definitely had some great food there, especially the breakfast food at the weekend fresh market. So delicious.

  15. The banana tart looks amazing! These are the times when I wished I lived in New York so I can experience all the great food. I'm super jealous!

  16. joanna: it's a good one, but this is in SanFranasian kitchen: i am definitely a fan of magnolia… nyc is a pretty good city for bakeries, I must say

  17. Have you ever visited the Sweet Melissa Bakery in NY? I'm part of the SMS baking club (we bake a recipe from Melissa's book every week) and was curious about the "real deal".

  18. I went to Tartine several years ago and your post brought back great memories: Thank you!If you ever go there again, I'd recommend their chocolate croissant (which they serve warm!) and organic orange juice.

  19. olga: I know, I was drooling over the chocolate croissant, but there were only so many things I could try.pinkstripes: i wish i had the book

  20. YUM! I had a ball running around NYC eating all things delicious last November. Can't wait to go back again!! Heading to LA this October, might have to drop by NYC again 🙂

  21. apparentlyjessy: oops, missed your comment. flights to SF are pretty cheap these days, and I got a good deal on a hotel too. it's a good time to go there.

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