Nov 2014

San Francisco Sweets: Morning Buns, Russian Honey Cakes, Egg Tarts, Doughnuts and more!

Bi-Rite Creamery - Mission - San Francisco

The Astronomer and I traveled to San Francisco back in October for the super-sweet nuptials of two friends (with a side of super-sweet treats).

We don’t always have time for serious gastronomic endeavors when we head north, especially with so many friends and family to see, but we somehow manage to fit in desserts. Lots of desserts. Priorities, priorities.

Tartine Bakery & Cafe - San Francisco

After years of pining for Tartine‘s famed morning bun, I finally got my paws on one. Dusted with cinnamon and sugar, imbued with candied orange, and most importantly, perfectly flaky and buttery, the bun was as lovely as hoped.

Tartine Bakery & Cafe - San Francisco

We also indulged in a slice of cake (before noon!) along with our morning bun because that’s what vacations are for. Our choice pick featured lime-moistened genoise cake with passion fruit Bavarian cream, topped with sweetened cream and coconut. Mmm…cake for breakfast—that’s how we do.

20th Century Cafe - Hayes Valley - San Francisco

Based on a recommendation from Dylan, we swung by 20th Century Cafe in Hayes Valley for more cake: a krasinski torte, to be exact.

20th Century Cafe - San Francisco

Also known as Russian honey cake, the krasinski torte was comprised of ten delightfully fluffy layers of caramelized honey mousse and genoise cake. We loved how the honey’s distinct flavor was front and center with each bite.

I regret not tasting more of 20th Century Cafe’s positively tempting new school Jewish menu on this visit. Next time, for sure.

Golden Gate Bakery - Chinatown - San Francisco

The egg tarts from Chinatown’s Golden Gate Bakery came highly recommended to us by Cousin Michael. We grabbed one to-go while in the neighborhood.

Golden Gate Bakery - Chinatown - San Francisco

Served up hot, the tart’s custard innards were nice and jiggly, while its crumbly crust held down the fort. While I tend to prefer Portuguese-style egg tarts, with their caramelized tops and flaky crusts, this Hong Kong-style specimen was tops.

Bob's Donut & Pastry Shop - Nob Hill - San Francisco

Bob’s Donuts & Pastries, which is considered to be one of America’s premier purveyors of deep-fried delights (See: Travel & Leisure and Saveur), happened to be located a block away from our lunch destination on our final day in the city.

Bob's Donut & Pastry Shop - Nob Hill - San Francisco

So, while The Astronomer waited in Swan Oyster Depot’s line to procure us a seat, I hopped on over to Bob’s for some pre-lunch snackables.

Bob's Donut & Pastry Shop - Nob Hill - San Francisco

The dense and craggly apple fritter, the shop’s number one seller, was spiked with cinnamon and plenty of fruit.

Bob's Donut & Pastry Shop - Nob Hill - San Francisco

I especially liked the maple-glazed old fashioned, which was even denser than the fritter.

Bob's Donut & Pastry Shop - Nob Hill - San Francisco

The glazed French cruller impressed with its lightness.

While all three doughnuts were solid, considering the shop’s numerous accolades, I was disappointed that none were superior to the ones found at any of L.A.’s mom and pop doughnut stores. When it comes to doughnuts, we’re a lucky bunch of Angelenos.

Bi-Rite Creamery - Mission - San Francisco

And last but certainly not least, a stop at Bi-Rite Creamery in The Mission.

Bi-Rite Creamery - Mission - San Francisco

After sampling my way through a few flavors—it was my first visit after all—we settled on a double scoop: one salted caramel and the other, ricanelas (cinnamon with snickerdoodle cookie pieces).

Bi-Rite Creamery - Mission - San Francisco

We enjoyed our ice cream in the warm, San Francisco sunshine. Now, those are words I never thought I’d type.

Tartine Bakery & Cafe
600 Guerrero Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Phone: 415-487-2600

20th Century Cafe
198 Gough Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: 415-621-2380

Golden Gate Bakery
1029 Grant Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94133
Phone: 415-781-2627

Bob’s Donut & Pastry Shop
1621 Polk Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
Phone: 415-776-3141

Bi-Rite Creamery
3692 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Phone: 415-626-5600

There’s a lot to eat in San Francisco!

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6 thoughts on “San Francisco Sweets: Morning Buns, Russian Honey Cakes, Egg Tarts, Doughnuts and more!

  1. San Francisco usually never disappoints when it comes to food and it looks like it didn’t here. What’s your favorite hole in wall restaurant in San Francisco? Share it on your Besty List!

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