All posts tagged “baked goods

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Jane the Bakery

Jane is and always will be my favorite cafe in San Francisco, so I could not have been more thrilled when they opened a third location in December! Jane the Bakery, on Geary and Steiner by Japantown, is more focused on the bakery side of the business than the cafe side, a shift from the other two cafe locations (Fillmore & Larkin).

While it still has counter seating and a couple tables, Jane the Bakery is suited more for the to-go breakfast goer, as the bakery offers a larger selection of pastries and desserts, as well as 37 different kinds of fresh baked loaves of bread.

The usual menu of sandwiches, salads, avo-toasts, and breakfast options are still available, but with the limited seating, it may make more sense to grab pastries and coffee to go. At Jane the Bakery, they offer pastries that aren’t at the other locations, including many new creations that are produced right in that space, as well as flatbreads.

I had the immense pleasure of being invited to Jane by Amanda, the owner. She brought out all of these amazing pastries for me to try, like the lemon poppyseed knot, the raspberry danish, and my personal favorite, the cinnamon roll. The pastries are always the perfect amount of flakiness, butteriness, and sweetness, and are truly one of a kind.


I’m taking calculated bites of each of these three pastries, wondering how I’m going to be able to finish them, when Amanda walks out with a plate of two fresh-from-the-oven flatbreads.

These flatbreads were incredible. On the left is the Three Cheese, but with a hint of spice, giving it a bit of a kick. On the right is a seasonal special, which was a sort of Mediterranean style flatbread with tomatoes, cauliflower, and za’atar spices. I loved every single bite. The bread itself was perfectly fluffy with a thick crust, and the toppings literally made my tongue ache for more (especially with the savory flavors from the za’atar spice). One of these would make a perfect lunch meal (with a cookie too, because how could you resist?).

At this point, I’m sitting at the counter by myself with 5 pastries looking like a complete fatass. Amanda brings a to-go box over to me, so I start wrapping things up to take home. As I’m closing the lid, she brings over another plate, this time with an entire meal: the Mango Curry Chicken Sandwich. I’m thinking, how the heck am I going to eat this? But I proceed to take a few bites (because how could I not), and put it into another box to take with me. The sandwich was phenomenal, with the creamy, curry chicken with melted cheese, and it’s definitely something I would order.

I’m finally thinking I’m done when Alex, the Pastry Chef, comes over to me with this beautiful egg tart on a cookie sheet. Now this looks way too good not to eat, so I take a few nibbles, being careful not to break the yolk (that’s for later). This pastry, the Brunch Croissant, is a Jane the Bakery weekend exclusive; it is a baked over-easy egg on a bed of spring onions and Dijon mustard, sprinkled with chives, maldon, and black pepper. This is definitely one of the best things I’ve eaten at Jane so far. The croissant was buttery, flakey, and the perfect home for the silky egg with sweet mustard and onion flavors.

I pack everything up to leave, all of my 1000 pastries, when Alex scoots back over to show me his newest creation before it went into the oven, the Fruit Brioche. This is a pastry with lightly sweetened cream cheese in the middle scented with orange, basil, and lemon, topped with delicately poached blood orange and pistachio around the outside. I’m hoping to go back there soon to try it out!

Jane completely spoiled me with all of these pastries, and while I looked a little crazy having 7 different items to myself, I have absolutely no shame (and honestly I order that much when I usually go anyway). Jane’s third location has only proved how much amazing food they can produce, and I’m very fortunate to have had the opportunity to try everything out!

1881 Geary St.
San Francisco, CA 94115

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Alfred Coffee

Alfred Coffee, with multiple locations across LA, embodies everything that the hip coffee shops of San Francisco has.

While the Brentwood location (pictured) is small, there is plenty of outdoor seating and to-go options for coffees and pastries. Their slogan, emulated by many new coffee shops, “But First, Coffee” is splattered across their cups, gift items, and even the wall.

Alfred Coffee has a great selection of pastries, with Farmshop baked scones, croissants, danishes, and muffins (GF too!). They also have pressed juices from The Pressed Juicery, and other small snacks and to-go items.

The coffee itself comes from Stumptown Coffee Roasters (my favorite), so I was already sold before I even tasted it. And for the record, it was perfect with my gluten-free blueberry muffin 🙂

Shoutout to my friend Katie for taking me to Alfred Coffee knowing that I would love it and want to post about it! If you’re in the LA area, Alfred Coffee should definitely be first on the agenda!

11908 San Vicente Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90049

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vive la tarte

Viva la tarte has become one of my new favorite bakeries, with healthy competition from Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. Located on Howard St in Soma, vive la tarte gives off a warehouse/industrial kind of atmosphere, but its wide open interior and pristine set up creates a clean and airy environment.

The large bakery is only one room – with a section of tables, counter seating by the entrance, and stadium-like bench seating on the left, with complete visibility into the actual kitchen area where all the baking and prepping is done. A vintage stereo system sits on one side, and the coffee bar sits across from the food counter, where the pretty pastries wait to be eaten.

While Mr. Holmes Bakehouse has sweet, indulging pastries, vive la tarte is more in the style of Tartine Bakery, where there are sweet and savory options, some which are on the healthier side (and even gluten free options!), others on the exquisite French pastry-esque side.

The pastries and food options differ depending on the time of day – there is always a mixture of sweet and savory, but the morning offers more quiches, while in the afternoon they bring out pizzas and dessert pastries.

I enjoyed a latte (which was amazing) and the Tomatillo and Jalapeño quiche, which had just the right pinch of spice. The foods offered in the morning include Vanilla Donuts, Rum Raisin Donuts, Chocolate Gateau, Raspberry Lemon Tarts, other quiches like the Spinach & Goat Cheese or Lorraine Quiche, as well as the Baked Pancetta Pizza (for breakfast with an egg on it!). All of these items were flavorful and rich, fresh and baked to perfection.

After I was already in love with vive la tarte, at 11AM, they brought out more foods – the lunch menu round 1. This included the SF Cheesecake, Mixed Berry & Vanilla Tart, Apple Tart, Hazelnut Brittle Tart, Creme Brûlée, and a variety of Focaccia Pizzas, including the White Truffle Mushroom Ragout and the Tomato Basil Burrata.

I was already full, but I couldn’t resist splitting the Creme Brûlée with my friends – which I did not regret one bit. The crust was a perfect cup shape and thick enough to almost feel like a plate! The top layer was torched to perfection and the inside was very sweet, a soft pudding like consistency that melted in your mouth.

Vive la tarte may be the prettiest, most photogenic bakery I’ve found in San Francisco with their perfect geometric shapes and the vibrant colors used in their foods. The pastries are beautiful and delicious, classy and tasteful rather than overly sweet belly bombs. It’s definitely going to become a massive hit on Instagram and in the foodie world!

1164 Howard St
San Francisco, CA 94103   

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Better Buzz

Life’s Better Buzzed

With their fun slogan, cute interior, and drool-worthy avo-toast, it’s no wonder that Better Buzz has become a hot spot for coffee sipping and brunching in Downtown Encinitas.

As soon as I walked in, I felt like the cafe KNEW me – “Coffee First” are my thoughts exactly every morning. There were many seating options, from loungey to more quiet study corners, and the area was spacious and clean.

Of course, the avo-toast was a must, which came on a fluffy sourdough toast, sprinkled with feta cheese and cherry tomatoes, served with a small cup of arugula with balsamic vinaigrette.

Since I was in Encinitas for the holidays, it was only right to get the Acai Bowl as well, a summertime favorite in this hip beach town.


While I love having a poached egg on my avocado toast, Better Buzz’s feta cheese version was still fulfilling, with an almost Greek twist to the avocado toast (from the feta and the balsamic on the arugula). The toast was softer than the usual Levain toasts from bakeries in San Francisco, which made it easier to eat and less hassle to split up.

The Acai Bowl, filled with vanilla granola, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, honey, and bee pollen, was sweet and fresh, with a large helping of fruits mixed with a good balance of granola.

Their other menu items include sandwiches (egg, ham, cheese, etc) and other variations of toasts, such as Nutella (with strawberries), and different Acai Bowl toppings with healthier twists (hemp granola, etc).

As for drinks, they offer coffees and teas, as well as smoothies and fresh squeezed juices. Better Buzz is known for their “Best Drink Ever,” a classic Americano with their signature creamy vanilla. I’m not sure if it was the best drink I’ve ever had, but it was definitely sweet and delicious! Better Buzz also has various iced and blended coffee drinks, and offer many varieties of sweetness and coffee flavors.

With not many cute, hip cafes in Downtown Encinitas (besides my favorite, Pannikin) Better Buzz is definitely the new go-to spot for coffee and breakfast. If you’re looking for a more artsy/hipster vibe in a cafe, Better Buzz is the place to go!

Go Get Buzzed!

578 S Coast Hwy 101
Encinitas, CA 92024

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Pannikin

Pannikin Coffee & Tea has been a longtime favorite of mine. Growing up, my family and I would always go to Pannikin in La Jolla to rest after a day at the beach, sipping hot chocolate and playing chess while sharing cream pies and coffee… Read More

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Mr. Holmes Bakehouse

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse stands out amongst all other San Francisco based bakeries because of its Instagram fame and their one-of-a-kind CRUFFINS.

Located in the Tender-Nob, the bakery is small and can be hard to find, but the crowds and lines of people standing outside are a dead giveaway to its location.

Aside from the Cruffin, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse offers a variety of pastries, such as danishes, croissants, breads, cookies, scones, and muffins. Many of the pastries come in classic flavors, like pear danishes and chocolate croissants, but the bakery also introduces new flavors and pastries daily, such as the White Chocolate Blueberry Brioche bomb (my favorite!) and savory danishes.

Everyday, Mr. Holmes has a different flavor of donuts and Cruffins, which are announced on their Instagram account every week. Donut flavors range from fruity fillings like Passion Fruit and Strawberry, to more decadent flavors like Peppermint Mocha or Chai Tea.

The Cruffins, however, are the main reason anyone goes to Mr. Holmes. Released at 9AM daily, the Cruffin is one of the most sought-after foods by San Francisco foodies and tourists, and are guaranteed to run out within a short time. To obtain a Cruffin, one must line up outside the shop before 9AM, sometimes for up to an hour and a half.

While lining up this early for a Cruffin seems like an absurd waste of time, it’s totally worth it on the rare occasion! The Cruffin is essentially the product of a croissant mated with a muffin – the center is filled with the cream flavor of the day, and topped with a small garnish, such as a fruit slice or a tiny cookie.

I went last weekend for the Gingersnap Cruffin – a holiday flavor, and it was worth every minute in line (which was short that day, luckily). The Gingersnap cream made an incredible gooey center, and the Cruffin pulled apart like a softer kind of croissant, not as flaky and more flavorful. It’s like nothing I’ve ever had before, and I can understand why people wait for hours for this amazing, sweet pastry.

The shop itself is an Instagram celebrity, with foodies around the world posting Cruffins and photos of themselves in front of the “I Got Baked in San Francisco” sign, their clever slogan that can only be found here. Of course, it had to be done.

Tartine Bakery, named “Best Bakery in San Francisco,” has a lot of competition because of Mr. Holmes’ rich flavors and famous pastries. While Mr. Holmes is sweeter and has more dessert-like pastries, no one can deny that the Cruffin is one of the best baked goods they’ve ever had. Next time you’re up early on a Saturday morning, I would highly recommend sucking up waiting in the Cruffin line – you won’t regret it!

1042 Larkin St
San Francisco, CA 94109