San Francisco is a renowned food mecca, for both casual eats and high-end restaurants, not to mention everything in between. Those looking for a sweet escape need look no further than the plethora of patisseries around the city. As rich and smooth as the pastries are the stories of the artisans who have made a name for themselves making delicious treats. Carefully crafted with passion, precision, and attention to detail, here is a roundup of San Francisco’s most decadent patisseries.

Tartine Bakery 

Tartine Bakery was established in 2002 by owners Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt. Located in the heart of the Mission District, Tartine Bakery serves up artisanal pastries and cakes that fuse classic French techniques with modern flavors made with the freshest available, seasonal ingredients.

The shop is well known for its moist, flavorful croissants; paper-thin, flavorful cookies; light, airy éclairs; tart, creamy lemon tarts; and their famous Morning Buns, which are like a cinnamony cross between a croissant and a cinnamon roll.

Kara’s Cupcakes 

Kara’s Cupcakes has become the go-to cupcake shop in SF.

Established in 2006, the flagship store in San Francisco’s Ferry Building offers luxury cupcakes made from scratch each morning with natural ingredients and no preservatives.

The menu contains traditional favorites like moist chocolate, strawberry shortcakes, red velvet, and strawberry buttermilk, as well as seasonal varieties like pumpkin spice, cranberry pear and eggnog. Signature flavors include Salted Caramel, Grandma’s Chocolate Chip and the decadent Girl Scout Samoas cupcake that combines sections of Samoa cookie with milk chocolate ganache and meringue coconut cream frosting.

b.Patisserie 

Chef Belinda Leong has been crafting her signature croissants and other French-style pastries since launching b.Patisserie in 2013. The shop is based in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco, and located right off bustling US Highway 101.

A pack of b.Patisserie’s signature Kouign-Amann–French pastry dough made into thick, layered disks layered with sugar, butter, and sometimes caramelized sugar– is enough to draw crowds from all around the city. Not to mention the buttery, flaky croissants whose golden layers cradle the most mouthwatering almond creams, ham and cheese fillings or fresh fruits.

AlaskaBake

If you’re in the mood for something different, head over to AlaskaBake. Established in 2013, the Nob Hill shop creates classic French and German pastries made entirely vegan and free of any eggs, dairy and nuts.

The menu includes vegan versions of classic desserts like sweet potato pie, apple turnovers and cream caramel, as well as a wide array of croissants.

Another must-try is their vegan Black Cocoa Butter Cake, made with toasted hazelnuts and flecked with a hint of cardamom. The shop also offers take-home vegan French macarons, chewy marshmallows, and ice cream in inventive flavors like seasonal pecan ginger, sourdough starter, and Philly cheesesteak.

Souvla

Souvla is a modern Greek patisserie that specializes in traditional desserts and pastries made using family recipes that date back to 1950’s Greece.

Their light and sweet mini cheese phyllo cakes or Kataifi with walnuts, honey and cinnamon are just a few of the delicacies offered on the menu, as well as the kouign amann classic and chocolate mousse tart that use classic, Greek ingredients in a contemporary style. They also serve fresh Mediterranean treats throughout the day such as smoothies, Greek yogurt with no additives or sweeteners, and a variety of frozen treats.

Chantal Guillon

Established in 1995, Chantal Guillon makes beautiful, traditional French macarons in unique flavors like salted pistachio, raspberry rose, and rose petal, as well as more conventional offerings like green tea, espresso, and lemon.

Their macarons are often featured in gift baskets for friends, family and corporate gatherings. In addition to macarons, their signature treats include an almond butter tart, classic French croissants, and seasonal delicacies like honey pannacotta, almond brioche, and cookies.

And a bonus:
La Fournée
If you’re looking for something a little more French or pan-European, La Fournée is the place to go.

Opened in 2014, La Fournee features a curated selection of French and European pastries as well as a variety of baked goods and other treats. Their signature items include their Joël Gontard Kouign-Amann and Fraisier cake. Customers can also find galettes des rois and raclette with house-made French charcuterie and artisanal cheese.

San Francisco is an amazing food city, and it’s no different when it comes to desserts. Along with the usual suspects such as cupcakes, there are plenty of unique, unusual and delicious pastries to be found, from traditional French macarons and almond butter tart, to vegan Black Cocoa Butter Cake and vegan French macarons. Whether it’s for a special occasion or just because, enjoy and savor the deliciousness of San Francisco’s top patisseries.