Review: Tartine Bakery

Tartine Bakery
600 Guerrero Street
San Francisco, CA 94110-1528
(415) 487-2600

So dear friends, I finally made my way over to the legendary Tartine Bakery – and for the most part, I was somewhat disappointed.

Nestled in the Mission and with Delfina and BiRite as neighbors, Tartine really is in good company. As was I, when I trekked to Tartine with my favorite partner in crime, Annie Tran.

Even at 8 in the morning, Tartine is packed full of patrons – both sitting down at the rustic wooden tables and those standing in the looong line that curves around the bakery perimeter. Lines were out the door, and on that cooold Saturday – it was a miserable feeling. But once you get your feet in the door, you are instantly welcomed by the warm scent of buttery cinnamon and charmed by the sweet sugar. You will quickly get over the fact that you’ve waited 20 minutes just to get your foot in the door and get a peep of the display window.

And what a display it is! Very expensive cakes, exquisite frangipane croissants, pain au chocolat, custard-filled eclairs, various tarts and quiches, not to forget the scones, homemade muesli, bread pudding — and the most anticipated – the famous Tartine Morning Buns. The sights and smells made my mouth water, and I had to lick my lips several times while in line to prevent from drooling.

Annie and I ended up getting 4 items, totaling just over $20 for our breakfast. Of the bunch, we conceded that the frangipane croissant was the best. Perfectly flaky and baked just past golden-brown, filled with a fragrantly sweet almond paste, and topped with toasted slivered almonds dusted with the a light coat of powdered sugar – this croissant is absolutely delectable! It is quite possibly the best frangipane croissant I have ever had… and trust me – I’ve had a lot.

Next up, we shared a generous bowl of bread pudding – a very economical way to use up old bread and other in-house baked goods. Pretty good, but doesn’t beat out Cesar or Crixa (they use real cake!) in Berkeley.

We also split a coffee cake with streusel topping – decent, tight crumbed, delicious streusel. But we were so full and had to pack it home.

So after eating all that, our morning bun arrived and what a hot mess!! And not in a good way! I’ve had my share of amazing morning buns (Acme Bread Co & La Farine), and I am sad to say that Tartine’s is NOT one of them. The fresh-from-the-oven morning bun was heavy and dense – soaked with melted butter! I was expecting flaky and beautiful, but instead, I got a sopping pastry, drenched in butter. It was soft and lacking in texture… or maybe I caught Tartine on an abnormally busy day? I don’t know – it just wasn’t heavenly… Le sigh. I waited HALF AN HOUR for it too! Quite disappointed.

Will I wait in looong lines at Tartine again? Probably not. It’s not worth it, and there are plenty of better options out there. If I have offended any Tartine lovers, my apologies. How about I make it up to you by taking you to Crixa’s or stopping by Acme at the Ferry Building instead?


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