Scrumptious Pastries in San Francisco

Photo: C. Axelrod

Photo: C. Axelrod

The line for Tartine Bakery is daunting.  It spills out the door and stops in front of large kitchen windows where bakers are stirring bowls of icing and piping cakes.  Watching the pastries carted off to be devoured, we could already tell it would be worth the wait to sample these morning treats.

Once inside, the seemingly large space has limited seating.  Tourists hover around communal tables, the rare two-seater, and a long bar near the door hoping a spot will open up.  Strategically it worked well to have one of us stake our claim for seating while the other ordered at the pastry counter.  Tartine, for the locals at least, is very much a pick-up and go spot.  Except for a vase of white flowers by the entrance, the lack of decoration gives off the vibe that this bakery is more preoccupied with crafting exquisite pastries than catering to the lingering diner.

Looking around the bakery, the chocolate croissant was clearly the top choice for most patrons. The waitress served it fresh out of the oven since it quickly sold out.   As we cut the golden brown dome in half, a gasp of steam gave way to two melted sticks of decadent chocolate nestled inside the flakey buttery layers of laminated dough.

Another hot commodity that proved to be an absolute must was the Morning Bun.  Cinnamon and sugar (which could be seen on many of the youngsters faces) topped the orange zest sticky bun.  Although very dense, when paired with the self-serve Tartine coffee, we managed to devour the bun in just a few minutes.

If you’re looking for something a bit more savory (but still just as buttery) then the Gougere is the breakfast pastry for you.  Nutty gruyere cheese baked into each fold of pastry leaves one with a less sugary but every bit as tasty experience.  What appears to be one big puff opens with air pockets that lets the pastry be light while still maintaining is rich cheese flavor with bits of gruyere baked on the outside for that added little crunch.

Hot-TipFor savory fare the kitchen opens after 11:30 am and the fresh bread is served after 4:30 pm. 

Tartine Bakery
600 Guerrero St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
ph: +1 (415) 487-2600


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Correspondent:Caren Axelrod and Andrew Siwoff

Originally from New Jersey, Caren and Andrew have traveled throughout Europe and parts of the Middle East during their time in college. For a semester Caren resided in Rome while Andrew lived in Prague, both traveling from city to city on weekends and breaks. Now, both live in New York City, Caren working at Ralph Lauren and Andrew making his living as a film editor for various projects. Caren and Andrew love hosting dinner parties for friends and are constantly on the hunt for hidden culinary gems in New York.
  • Venti210

    This place (and the chocolate croissant) was just as you described! Absolutely amazing and well worth the wait!! Great write-up!