San Francisco is home to more than a baker’s dozen of braggadocious bakeries. In fact, the entire Bay Area boast bakeshops selling cursty sourdough loaves, flaky kouignoù-amann, airy choux puffs, and more with new outlets sprouting up like so many spores in an episode of The Last of Us — okay just the third, really lovely episode, actually. To get to the point, there’s no shortage of top-notch bakeries from Marin to San Jose.
Most importantly, though, are all the new bakeries popping up around San Francisco this year. There’s North Beach’s Butter & Crumble, which started selling its gorgeous croissants at the end of October; farmers market favorite Saltwater Bakeshop, which will open a permanent location in the Richmond District any day now; and Juniper, from the Saint Frank Coffee family, which brings new life to Polk Gulch with seasonal treats like white chocolate and cranberry choux.
These three newcomers, though, are worth adding to your must-visit list straight away.
Opening just off of Market Street in early August, Holy Nata serves Portuguese treats that have gained a solid fanbase in short order. The San Francisco Chronicle spoke to owners Julia Pfeiffer and José Abreu who say their tiny bakery pumps out about 400 pasteis de nata a day, those iconic egg yolk custard tarts of Portugal. The pastry’s surface is caramelized in a creme brulee sort of way, with optional cinnamon dusting, and the sweet goes for just $3.50.
The buzziest opening on Irving Street in quite some time has to be Daymoon Bakery, a longtime farmers market staple and ardent acolyte in the church of San Francisco sourdough. There’s more than reasonably-priced baguettes and einkorn loaves at the forest green storefront and coffee shop that opened quietly in mid-2023. Everything from the peanut butter cookies, simple and lovely, to tomato tarts and strawberry scones, are high-end. Plus, Linea Caffe espresso is on the bar and other titanic bakers including Patty Lu of Year of the Snake are liable to pop up.
A sourdough doughnut outfit from the same team behind Michelin Guide-listed Spruce had better be good, and, thankfully, Magic Donuts rises to the challenge. Part of a new development on Mariposa Street from the Bacchus Management Group, hit items include the campfire doughnut — a chocolate ring topped with an enormous toasted marshmallow — and the pleasant and more subtle matcha doughnut. After opening in early October, the pink-riddled storefront has found a niche in the area, selling some 500 doughnuts a day already.