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Boudin Bakery, San Francisco

4.0 stars


Boudin Bakery

You can’t go to San Francisco without enjoying some traditional San Francisco sourdough bread. If you are in the Fisherman’s Wharf area, the obvious choice is the Boudin Bakery for all your bread cravings. Boudin Bakery has been in San Francisco since 1849. The bakery/ restaurant is a great place to have lunch, pick up some local food items to bring home, relax and people watch. Even at night, the bakery’s yeasty aroma fills the air and you’ll be craving bread without thinking about it.
For lunch, the restaurant offers sandwiches on homemade baked bread, clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls, salads, as well as baked dessert items and coffee. They take your food order at a counter and then call your number when it’s ready and you can seat yourself. The clam chowder in a sourdough bowl is easily identified as the most popular dish. All you really need is the soup - between the hot chowder and the spongy, soppy bread - you’ll be full before you know it! If it is a cool day, it’s nice to sit outside because they have an outside fireplace that adds a toasty warmth. Glass walls around the outside seating help to block the wind. It makes all the difference in that area near the water where the wind can get especially cold. It also allows a clear view to watch people or whatever activity is going on in the area.
For breakfast, you’ll fall in love with the freshly baked muffins. Get a couple extra and throw them in your bag. Later in the day when your sitting in the perfect spot in the park or at the beach - or just starving waiting for a bus, those extra muffins can make your day! Peets coffee is also housed in the Boudin Bakery. If you are tired of Starbucks, Peets is a good alternative (and it’s next to those muffins!).
Inside the store there is a really nice variety of Northern California food items, house wares and kitchen accessories. There’s something for everyone - California olives, olive oils, various condiments, jams, chocolate, and sauces. If you are looking for a souvenir that isn’t a tacky magnet or a t-shirt, you could get a traditional Boudin Bakery bread bag apron or tote.
If you want to go on a picnic or just want some snacks for the hotel room, there is a refrigerated section with meats and cheeses - even small bottles of wine. Pick up a loaf of your favorite bread and you have a nice treat.
Although we completely missed it when we were there, a friend told me they had a fun time going through the Boudin Bakery museum and Demonstration bakery. I checked their website ( and they have more information regarding the exhibits. I think it’s free, so it may be a cheap way to learn a bit about the history of the bakery and the area [more ]

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