clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Shortbread cookies from Batter Bakery Batter Bakery

15 Festive Cookies in San Francisco

From gingersnaps and shortbread to speculoos and spritz, it’s high cookie season

View as Map

San Francisco has legendary sourdough and excellent croissants, but for everyday afternoon cravings, it’s wise to know where the best cookies are lurking around town. Sure, it’s possible to pick up a chocolate chip cookie in nearly any coffee shop, but there are only a few spots that treat the classic right and hand it over warm. A couple of dedicated cookie shops mean serious business, and focus on all cookies, all the time. Plus, a dozen other bakeries happen to have strong contenders, even if they’re tucked away in the back of a big case.

From old-school Italian bakeries and Mexican panaderias to new spots playing with crushed cookies and cereal, there’s a cookie out there for every palate. Here are the 15 places to find the most festive cookies in San Francisco.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Stella Pastry & Cafe

Copy Link

What’s a cappuccino without a biscotti? A North Beach institution, this Italian-American bakery does sacripantina cake, tiramisu, and is big on biscotti. They set out full sheet trays stacked with baci, amoretti, Florentines, Lindsor hearts, and thumbprints, including cookies that are dipped in chocolate or stuffed with jam. 

Batter Bakery

Copy Link

Jen Musty is a hardworking baker putting out a high volume of classic American treats, including respectable chocolate chip cookies and what might be the fudgiest brownie in town. Her sweets are easy to spot at a small storefront on Pine Street just off Polk Street, a stand at the Ferry Building Farmers’ Market, and in various stores and coffee shops. And for the holidays, she has an online store filled with sugar cookies and gingerbread people, as well as decorating kits.

Shortbread cookies from Batter Bakery Batter Bakery

b. patisserie

Copy Link

B. Patisserie is known best for its kouign amann, the sugar-crusted cake from Brittany. But do not neglect the rest of the very generous pastry case, which includes macarons, madeleines, diamant (shortbread), chocolate sable (chocolate shortbread), and more.

Cookies at B. Patisserie B. Patisserie

Jane The Bakery

Copy Link

The Jane cafes are known for coffee and salad, but when Amanda Michael opened the bakery in 2013, she doubled down on pastry. In addition to excellent sourdough and croissants, the cookies loom large. The selection often includes a blackout double chocolate, chewy molasses ginger, and if you’re into cereal mashups, there are options with corn flakes and Cap’n Crunch. 

Miette Patisserie

Copy Link

Miette boasts lots of sweet and stylish treats. The macarons are denser and chewier than the traditional French meringues, and come flavored with everything from pistachio to rose. But the best cookies might just be the humble biscuits, which are exceedingly crunchy and flavorful, including a fiercely spicy gingersnap, dark chocolate wafer, and malty graham cracker. Locations have shifted during the pandemic, but as of publication time, the Hayes Valley shop and Ferry Building stall are both open.

Hahdough

Copy Link

Baker Ha Do grew up in Berlin, and while she focuses on traditional German cakes and tortes for most of the year, she breaks out the big cookie guns for the month of December. That means vanillekipferl (powdered moons), spritzgebäck (hazelnut dipped in dark chocolate), spitzbuben (stuffed with jam), and more fun-to-pronounce treats. A bag of crisp and generously spiced cookies only costs $12.50, and don’t sleep on the mini stollen, either.

Hahdough Christmas cookies Hahdough

Arizmendi Bakery

Copy Link

Arizmendi, the bakery co-op with separately-operated locations in the Sunset, Mission, and the East Bay, might be better known for alternative grains, vegan options, and veggie pizza. But the cookies run thick, especially the cowgirl, which is richly textured with oats, chocolate, walnuts, and coconut. And this time of year, they’re also filling cookie tins with gingersnaps, muddy snowballs, and brittle, as well as offering buche de Noel, stollen, and even fruitcake.

Cookies at Arizmendi Arizmendi Bakery

Le Dix-Sept Pâtisserie

Copy Link

Le Dix Sept opening during the pandemic in the Mission, with a beautiful array of botanically inspired pastries. Pastry chef Michelle Hernandez trained in Paris before bouncing home to the Bay, and she’s known for buttercream cakes, brioche knots, and impeccable canelés. But she also makes beautiful sables, brownies, and bars, so keep an eye out for seasonal flavors, including chai tea sables.

Chai tea sable cookies from Le Dix Sept Le Dix Sept

Tartine Manufactory

Copy Link

Tartine may be known for iconic sourdough and orange-scented morning buns, but, of course, its cookies and brownies are of equally high quality. The oatmeal cookies with dark chocolate and walnuts are thin and lacy, and the chocolate chunk cookies get more dimension from earthy buckwheat flour and a sprinkle of sea salt. During the holidays, they also often offer bags of coconut macaroons and gingerbread tiles.

Dandelion Chocolate

Copy Link

San Francisco’s modern chocolate factory doesn’t just craft single-origin bars, it also chops them up into sweet treats. In the cookie category, an excellent chocolate chip was obviously expected, but the brownie bite flight is a transcendent experience. Not to mention the s’mores with house-made graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate, torched to order. The big factory location on 16th Street is still closed, but the original Valencia location and Ferry Building kiosk are open and covering hot chocolate and cookie cravings.

Holiday cookies from Dandelion Dandelion Chocolate

Sunday Social

Copy Link

The Sunday Family of restaurants is digging into French pastries with Asian American flavors, starting with Sunday Bakeshop opening in Oakland in spring 2021, followed by Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous rebranding as Sunday Social in the Dogpatch in summer 2021, and both have good cookies. Pastry Chef Elaine Lau has several big drop cookies on the menu, and flavors rotate through Ube Snickerdoodle, White Rabbit Matcha inspired by the favorite candy, and a Dim Sum Cookie flavored with red bean paste and toasted sesame seeds. Stroll in to see what’s available that day, or order a pack of four in advance, if you must try every flavor. 

Dim sum cookie at Sunday Social Sunday Social

Devil's Teeth Baking Company

Copy Link

Most people venture to the foggy Outer Sunset in search of Devil’s Teeth bigger-than-your-face egg sandwiches on buttery biscuits. But the bakery also cranks out at least a half dozen cookies, brownies, and bars. The shark cookies are cute for small children and surfers, and the ginger cookies are big, chewy, and spicy.

Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen

Copy Link

In addition to bagels and babka, the Bay’s leading Jewish deli also makes rugelach, the rolled and sliced cookies. Cream cheese is the tenderizer in the crumbly dough, and a sprinkle of coarse sugar adds crunch on top. Choose from dark chocolate, apricot jam, and spiced walnut fillings, but they’re really so small, a grandmother would press you to take all three.

La Mejor Bakery

Copy Link

It’s always Christmas at La Mejor Bakery, the old-school Mexican panaderia boxed in at 24th and Mission, right on top of the BART Station. Behind the decorated windows, there are racks on racks of sugar cookies, conchas, and pan dulce. Bring cash and load up on crumbly butter cookies.

Anthony's Cookies

Copy Link

A self-described people pleaser, Anthony Lucas started handing cookies out to friends when he was an accounting and engineering student at SF State. Baking at Valencia and 25th for more than a decade now, he’s the Mission’s go-to cookie monger. The favorite remains the cookies-and-cream cookie, which, yes, is a cookie mashed up within a cookie. The toffee chip and German chocolate come in close behind, and the cinnamon spice and chocolate-dipped shortbread star this time of year.

Stella Pastry & Cafe

What’s a cappuccino without a biscotti? A North Beach institution, this Italian-American bakery does sacripantina cake, tiramisu, and is big on biscotti. They set out full sheet trays stacked with baci, amoretti, Florentines, Lindsor hearts, and thumbprints, including cookies that are dipped in chocolate or stuffed with jam. 

Batter Bakery

Shortbread cookies from Batter Bakery Batter Bakery

Jen Musty is a hardworking baker putting out a high volume of classic American treats, including respectable chocolate chip cookies and what might be the fudgiest brownie in town. Her sweets are easy to spot at a small storefront on Pine Street just off Polk Street, a stand at the Ferry Building Farmers’ Market, and in various stores and coffee shops. And for the holidays, she has an online store filled with sugar cookies and gingerbread people, as well as decorating kits.

Shortbread cookies from Batter Bakery Batter Bakery

b. patisserie

Cookies at B. Patisserie B. Patisserie

B. Patisserie is known best for its kouign amann, the sugar-crusted cake from Brittany. But do not neglect the rest of the very generous pastry case, which includes macarons, madeleines, diamant (shortbread), chocolate sable (chocolate shortbread), and more.

Cookies at B. Patisserie B. Patisserie

Jane The Bakery

The Jane cafes are known for coffee and salad, but when Amanda Michael opened the bakery in 2013, she doubled down on pastry. In addition to excellent sourdough and croissants, the cookies loom large. The selection often includes a blackout double chocolate, chewy molasses ginger, and if you’re into cereal mashups, there are options with corn flakes and Cap’n Crunch. 

Miette Patisserie

Miette boasts lots of sweet and stylish treats. The macarons are denser and chewier than the traditional French meringues, and come flavored with everything from pistachio to rose. But the best cookies might just be the humble biscuits, which are exceedingly crunchy and flavorful, including a fiercely spicy gingersnap, dark chocolate wafer, and malty graham cracker. Locations have shifted during the pandemic, but as of publication time, the Hayes Valley shop and Ferry Building stall are both open.

Hahdough

Hahdough Christmas cookies Hahdough

Baker Ha Do grew up in Berlin, and while she focuses on traditional German cakes and tortes for most of the year, she breaks out the big cookie guns for the month of December. That means vanillekipferl (powdered moons), spritzgebäck (hazelnut dipped in dark chocolate), spitzbuben (stuffed with jam), and more fun-to-pronounce treats. A bag of crisp and generously spiced cookies only costs $12.50, and don’t sleep on the mini stollen, either.

Hahdough Christmas cookies Hahdough

Arizmendi Bakery

Cookies at Arizmendi Arizmendi Bakery

Arizmendi, the bakery co-op with separately-operated locations in the Sunset, Mission, and the East Bay, might be better known for alternative grains, vegan options, and veggie pizza. But the cookies run thick, especially the cowgirl, which is richly textured with oats, chocolate, walnuts, and coconut. And this time of year, they’re also filling cookie tins with gingersnaps, muddy snowballs, and brittle, as well as offering buche de Noel, stollen, and even fruitcake.

Cookies at Arizmendi Arizmendi Bakery

Le Dix-Sept Pâtisserie

Chai tea sable cookies from Le Dix Sept Le Dix Sept

Le Dix Sept opening during the pandemic in the Mission, with a beautiful array of botanically inspired pastries. Pastry chef Michelle Hernandez trained in Paris before bouncing home to the Bay, and she’s known for buttercream cakes, brioche knots, and impeccable canelés. But she also makes beautiful sables, brownies, and bars, so keep an eye out for seasonal flavors, including chai tea sables.

Chai tea sable cookies from Le Dix Sept Le Dix Sept

Tartine Manufactory

Tartine may be known for iconic sourdough and orange-scented morning buns, but, of course, its cookies and brownies are of equally high quality. The oatmeal cookies with dark chocolate and walnuts are thin and lacy, and the chocolate chunk cookies get more dimension from earthy buckwheat flour and a sprinkle of sea salt. During the holidays, they also often offer bags of coconut macaroons and gingerbread tiles.

Dandelion Chocolate

Holiday cookies from Dandelion Dandelion Chocolate

San Francisco’s modern chocolate factory doesn’t just craft single-origin bars, it also chops them up into sweet treats. In the cookie category, an excellent chocolate chip was obviously expected, but the brownie bite flight is a transcendent experience. Not to mention the s’mores with house-made graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate, torched to order. The big factory location on 16th Street is still closed, but the original Valencia location and Ferry Building kiosk are open and covering hot chocolate and cookie cravings.

Holiday cookies from Dandelion Dandelion Chocolate

Sunday Social

Dim sum cookie at Sunday Social Sunday Social

The Sunday Family of restaurants is digging into French pastries with Asian American flavors, starting with Sunday Bakeshop opening in Oakland in spring 2021, followed by Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous rebranding as Sunday Social in the Dogpatch in summer 2021, and both have good cookies. Pastry Chef Elaine Lau has several big drop cookies on the menu, and flavors rotate through Ube Snickerdoodle, White Rabbit Matcha inspired by the favorite candy, and a Dim Sum Cookie flavored with red bean paste and toasted sesame seeds. Stroll in to see what’s available that day, or order a pack of four in advance, if you must try every flavor. 

Dim sum cookie at Sunday Social Sunday Social

Devil's Teeth Baking Company

Most people venture to the foggy Outer Sunset in search of Devil’s Teeth bigger-than-your-face egg sandwiches on buttery biscuits. But the bakery also cranks out at least a half dozen cookies, brownies, and bars. The shark cookies are cute for small children and surfers, and the ginger cookies are big, chewy, and spicy.

Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen

In addition to bagels and babka, the Bay’s leading Jewish deli also makes rugelach, the rolled and sliced cookies. Cream cheese is the tenderizer in the crumbly dough, and a sprinkle of coarse sugar adds crunch on top. Choose from dark chocolate, apricot jam, and spiced walnut fillings, but they’re really so small, a grandmother would press you to take all three.

La Mejor Bakery

It’s always Christmas at La Mejor Bakery, the old-school Mexican panaderia boxed in at 24th and Mission, right on top of the BART Station. Behind the decorated windows, there are racks on racks of sugar cookies, conchas, and pan dulce. Bring cash and load up on crumbly butter cookies.

Anthony's Cookies

A self-described people pleaser, Anthony Lucas started handing cookies out to friends when he was an accounting and engineering student at SF State. Baking at Valencia and 25th for more than a decade now, he’s the Mission’s go-to cookie monger. The favorite remains the cookies-and-cream cookie, which, yes, is a cookie mashed up within a cookie. The toffee chip and German chocolate come in close behind, and the cinnamon spice and chocolate-dipped shortbread star this time of year.

Related Maps