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Nov 8, 2007 02:22 AM

Pastry Chef Sister Visiting- Want to impress

So my sister just graduated from the baking and pastry arts program at the CIA and is coming to visit me (I live in the Mission) next week. I know next to nothing about pastries and baking generally. I'm much more interested and well versed in cheap ethnic eats, which is definitely not up my sister's alley. The only place I can think to take her is Tartine Bakery (a rec I got from y'all, and which I love.) So I'm looking not only for good bakeries but also cool foodie-oriented shops that I can trot my sister around to. She'll be here for about a week, so the more suggestions the better. Thanks!

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  1. For shopping I'd take her to Cookin' on Divisidero--a treasure trove of very high quality (despite the appearance of the shop) used and antique food and cooking paraphernalia, especially for baking. I can spend hours poking around the stacks of stuff.

    The other truly unique store that comes to mind is the one on Sutter in Union Square with all the molecular gastronomy kit. Le Sanctuaire.

    1. Rulli in Larkspur might be worth checking out if you go up that way. I think this location has better stuff than their other spots.

      Emporio Rulli
      464 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur, CA

      1. You must take her to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market on the Saturday morning of her visit -- she will love it! She can talk to artisan producers of jams, chocolates, pastries, breads, cheeses and taste all sorts of fruits, vegetables, and prepared foods.

        1. You might take a trip to Berkeley and go to the Cheese Board, Bake Sale Betty, Acme and a few other places.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ML8000

            I'd definitely add Crixa to that list.

            Crixa Cakes
            2748 Adeline St, Berkeley, CA 94703

            1. re: lexdevil

              Definitely. There's a few more I'd add too...I just can't think of them right now.. Might as well make a day of it, go to Chez Panisse (or Cafe), Berkeley Bowl, etc.

          2. a few more dessert-related places in the city:
            Cafe Jacqueline for a souffle
            DeLessio's either on Market or in the Panhandle, just to gawk at their desserts
            Mission Beach Cafe for pastries
            Mission Pie, as much for the program as the pie
            any of the La Boulangerie branches (pastries there are hit and miss, but some definite hits)

            Personally, I wouldn't go to Larkspur just to go to Ruilli--go to the one on Chestnut st in the Marina.

            And while I would go to Berkeley for lots of food reasons, if you don't get there, stop in at Arizmendi on 9th Avenue. More a bread bakery than pastries, but she might enjoy talking to the bakers about the whole coop.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Windy

              Let me add SoCha cafe on Mission Street, South of Cesar Chavez, if you happen to be nearby.

              Renee, the baker, was in this morning, and I had the best banana muffin (with white chocolate chunks). The pastry case was filled with interesting sounding scones, muffins, flatbread, all baked on site. Good coffee too. They've just added music in the evenings.