Greeted with a display of beautiful and exquisite looking pastries, it's just so hard to choose just one! What do I recommend? The walnut loaves! Especially when the loaves are freshly baked and are literally piping hot. So good. yummmmmm
Downside: Where oh where are you going to sit? Very limited number of tables with most patrons sitting for more than half an hour makes it a challenge to find a place to enjoy the pastries.
Among the selection of bread, pastries, cookies and cakes, I always found myself hesitating over the number of possible choices. Grab a baguette and pile on the jam for a nice thick spread of fruity goodness. Else grab an assortment of cookies and sit down with a nice tall glass of milk.
During my last visit, I got to try their sandwiches, which were very filling and very delicious. I would definitely recommend this place... why not purchase a sandwich or two and an assortment of light snacks for a nice picnic? (Remember not to pick any items with a temp restriction - i.e. don't pick a creamy pastry if you don't plan on eating it right away when you're out on the beach or in the park.)
A small-ish bakery with a peaceful atmosphere and a number of tables to sit down, eat, and enjoy the day with a couple of friends or a nice book. My suggestion: the croissant is delicious! Usually I wouldn't go for a croissant because of its buttery/oily texture. However, Chestnut Bakery's croissant is worth the extra fat/calories. Ask them to warm it up a bit for you and slather on your favorite jam (don't use butter - there is enough butter in the croissant for a whole week).
Other goodies are just as delicious, but (as always) consume in moderation.
I use to enjoy their breads and pastries as I found them soft and with just the right amount of moisture and sweetness. However, as time passed, I found the quality of their products declining. Whether it be my changing taste or a change of management at West Portal Bakery, I rarely stop by for a bun or a baguette anymore. I find myself trailing towards the bakeries on Geary Street, Clement Street, etc...
I always think its important to give everything at least one try - someday. So give it a try, but don't be too disappointed.
With a decent assortment of pastries and buns, J & J Bakery has a "do it yourself" attitude where a customer serves and helps themselves to the pastries with a pair of tongs and a tray. My suggestion: grab a pineapple bun (no there are no pineapples in it - it's just the name) - try to aim for a fresh or warm bun. If it's cold ask them to reheat it for you. Nothing beats a nice warm pineapple bun.
As another bakery located within the Chinatown area, this place has a decent amount of foot traffic and tends to be visited by faithful patrons. With a selection of buns and pastries, aim for the baked goods. I especially enjoy the baked buns - so good - and they are so affordable. But, for those who do not enjoy the baked buns, try the steam chicken and vegetable bun! They are wonderfully soft and only lightly salted with a nice chunk of meat in the center.
Downside: Overpriced drinks. Go a couple of stores over to buy a can of iced coffee to down the steam buns with.
Golden Gate Bakery has got to have the best dan tats (custard cups) in the whole wide world! Well, maybe not the best in the whole world - maybe just within the Bay Area. Nevertheless, the dan tats are wonderful and baked daily. I am not the only one who believes this is true... Early in the morning their is already a line in front of the bakery! But, with relatively quick service, the line moves with speed. On top of dan tats, their is a selection of pasties - including moon cakes that is very appealing!
After having tried the tiramisu cake, the mango/berry cake, and the princess cake, I must say that I do enjoy The Cakery's cakes. With soft, spongy layers and delicious berry-tart-jam-like-layers, I can't seem to get enough of them! Recently, I had the chance to try the Princess Cake which is basically (from bottom to top) a layer of cake, a thin layer of raspberry filling, another layer of cake, a layer of yogurt-y cream, a layer of cake and then a layer of cream. This is then covered with a lovely pale green shell made of almond marzipan. Yum! Definitely give it a try!
Downside: Delicious cakes and pastries but a bit pricey! For such a small cake, it's going to take a nice bite out of your wallet.
As a friendly and usually not-to-crowded atmosphere, it's a good place to stop by for a pastry and some tea. My favorites include the BBQ pork buns (baked type) and the dan tats (custard cups), because driving to Chinatown just to get my custard cup fix is a bit taxing at times and the crust is actually decent. Pass on the "mini pot pies" - I find them a bit salty and sometimes a bit fatty.... But at such decent prices, one can hardly complain too much.
Give it a try.
Greeted with a large display of baked goods and pastries, I found myself wondering if I should just buy one of each just for the sake of tasting everything. Grab a bag of soft, delicious buns or aim for a nice roll - among friends the pecan roll seems to be the most popular. Another bonus is that it's cheaper than Andersen Bakery and tastes just as yummie! Definitely go and give it a try. It's good.