This review is superfluous, because if you live in San Francisco, you’ve probably been to Tartine Bakery. You have stories about the levain, or the morning bun, or the bread pudding. You tell tales of Saturday mornings in line at 7:30am, but it was all worth it, because you got that warm frangipane croissant.

If you came here for confirmation that Tartine is the best in the city at bread, here it is. Their bread is possibly the best in the country. It’s the alpha and the omega. We don’t know precisely what they do with their loaves here, but it liquefies in your mouth in a way that’s almost unbelievable. And the flavor—it’s incredible.

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All that being said, it’s no surprise that the fundamental recipe for Tartine bread is approximately 37 pages long. E = mc^2 was concise, but this bread is much more complicated—things like temperature, humidity, and other factors are in play. The Tartine team has 100% nailed it, and you should absolutely experience one of their loaves at least once in your life.

Is Tartine a spot you’re swinging by multiple times a week? Probably not. There’s usually a line. And although their pastries usually hit the spot, when the bar for a bakery is so high, sometimes they leave us wanting slightly more. But thanks to the flawless bread they’ve been churning out for years, Tartine’s legendary status is well-deserved. It’s a foolproof place to impress friends who are new to the city, or hit up when you want some truly glorious bread.

Food Rundown


The #23 of bread.

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Morning Bun

Tartine’s take on a morning bun involves orange zest, which gives it all a light, citrusy feel. The bottom and inside get caramelized, making for a satisfying crunch.

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Pain Au Chocolat

An excellent chocolate croissant. There are better versions in the city, but you won’t be disappointed.

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What matters most with Tartine’s pastries is how fresh they are, because there’s a difference between an hour-old croissant and one that was just pulled out of the oven. But this thing is a technical masterpiece regardless.

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Prosciutto & Arugula Sandwich

This pressed sandwich is a great option if you’re on the hungrier side. The provolone and prosciutto get all melty and warm, but the bread is still the best part.

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