With so much choice out there when it comes to buying bread, I’m recommending a few Californian bread bakeries that you might want to sample. Some of these bakeries' products are available in the supermarkets and some are exclusive to those living in California. Who doesn’t love the smell of freshly baked bread? To me, bread is a staple ingredient in our diets and is one of those traditions that can bring people together. Whether you have a gluten-intolerance or you’re vegan, there are options at all of these bakeries. I hope you get to give these Californian bread bakeries a try.
Starting out with the Southern Californian bread bakeries, I’m touching on Bread & Cie, not only because it’s a famous European-style bakery for local San Diegans, but their products are amazing creations which are simply delicious! Their bread is available in supermarkets as well as in their café in the eclectic district of Hillcrest, San Diego. The blueberry pecan pie is awesome (made to order) and one of their most popular breads is in fact challah (the sweet-braided bread traditionally used at Jewish Sabbath dinners).
I can’t speak of San Diegan bakeries without mentioning V.G. Donut & Bakery, located in the North County town of Cardiff. I worked with the owner’s daughter a while back and she’d bring in boxes of their fresh-made donuts to work once a week. V. G. stands for ‘very good’ and for many locals, it’s become a traditional place where they get their coffee and favorite pastry from - to satisfy their sweet tooth cravings! One of their most popular items is the blueberry buttermilk donut.
Moving up the coast to Santa Monica, Milo and Olive is a neighborhood bakery that also serves up fresh wood fired pizzas, as they’re open for dinner and serve alcohol from small production winemakers and brewers. What they’re really famous for however is their bread. So start your day with a honey soy latte made with Caffe Luxxe coffee (a local Santa Monican hand-crafted coffee shop), and a date bran cake (with caramel sauce), or take a chance with their vegan gluten free banana walnut chocolate cake!
For some fresh hand-made bread in downtown Los Angeles, head to the Bread Lounge on South Santa Fe Avenue. Relatively new (it opened wholesale in 2010 and retail in 2012), this bakery bakes up some delicious croissants (which you can try with all-natural jams) and sandwiches topped with some of their homemade spreads. Their bread is baked using natural yeast as opposed to commercial, making the bread taste better and healthier!
Heading northwards to the Bay Area where there are plenty of bakeries to choose from, look no further than Semifreddi’s. In a typical week, this bakery that operates out of a green-energy efficient building in Alameda, churns out 190,000 loaves of bread. Their products can be found in plenty of grocery stores from Costco to Trader Joe’s in the Greater Bay Area, as well as their two cafés. One of their most popular items is their sourdough baguette, and I happen to love their almond croissants; with almond paste inside which softens lovely when heated up.
Another Bay Area bakery famous for their sourdough bread is Boudin, which started back in 1849. All the bread buffs out there will want to head to the Boudin museum, located in Fisherman’s Wharf, or you could join their bread club! Members of the public can get a sneak peek through the street-level windows at their demonstration flagship bakery in Fisherman’s Wharf. One of their most popular items is their sourdough bread and they’ll even bake up a mean chocolate raisin version of it, sculpted in a variety of shapes!
Tartine is an award-winning bakery offering up to 7 loaves of bread daily, using locally milled organic flour and baked in a stone hearth oven. Loaves come out of the oven daily at 4:30 p.m., so stop by after work to grab your freshly sliced loaf at 600 Guerrero Street in San Francisco. Their café offers hot pressed sandwiches and pastry items, like éclairs and chocolate soufflé cakes, accompanied by Four Barrell’s coffee (see the article on 7 Coffee Houses in San Francisco You Have To Sample travel.allwomenstalk.com). If the bakery doesn’t strike you, head to Bar Tartine for a full course dinner.
If you’re traveling through or live in the state of California, I hope you get to check out some, if not all of these amazing bakeries. What are some bread bakeries you’ve purchased from and would recommend in California, as well as beyond?
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