I remember once entering this cool coffee shop and bakery in downtown Vancouver on a rainy day. The owner would bake and serve customers at the same time and had her bookshelf decorated with Tartine Bakery cookbooks with recipes for the delicious items it produces. That's when I knew the San Francisco Tartine had made it big!
Tartine Bakery is a San Francisco institution and is heralded by many as America's best bakery. The bakery is decidedly snobby about its creations, but make no mistake – the quality of taste comes first here. The owners push the boundaries of what dessert can taste like every day and the quality of items is astounding.
I love the coconut and banana cream pie that probably has the best cream you will ever eat – anywhere. The caramel is just not from this world.
Check out these pictures to see what you would like the most.
The bakery has about 2,000 customers every day. The space is tiny, though, and the crowds are unrelenting. The service at the counter is slow, which can seriously deter your appetite. I suggest getting some dessert for take-out and eating it at the nearby Dolores Park on a sunny day (well SF days are mostly sunny and temperate).
Don't even think about finding parking nearby – there won't be any (legal) parking. It's best to walk here from the BART station or use an Uber.
The Tartine owners know they are creating something unique and they are using their pricing power! Double up what you'd usually expect to pay. Still, $10 for a mind-blowing dessert is a good investment in my opinion.
But a loaf of bread for $13? That's too much if you ask me.
What not to get here
The coffee here, including espresso, are downright horrible. Given the fact that there are so many amazing coffee brewers just around the corner, you should resist the urge and buy coffee somewhere else (e.g. at Four Barrel Coffee).
Also, don't eat the salad here and the warm sandwiches are just OK – don't expect the same high you will get from a banana cream pie.