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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.


            2. What does your sister want to do with her career? Bakeries, restaurant work, morning pastries, breads? Depending on her area if interest I'd have totally different recs for you...

              1 Reply
              1. re: linz

                Good question linz, I think her ultimate dream is to run her own patisserie someday, which I'm told means fancy desserts and pastries.

              2. Bakesale Betty's, Sweet Adeline's, Ferry Plaza, Sketch,Tartine is fine but a bit over rated.

                Umm..Since your sis has just graduated(I'm sure you're proud & all that) please don't refer to her as a pastry chef..because she's not one....yet.

                2 Replies
                1. re: sugarbuzz

                  Thanks for the recs, didn't know that "pastry chef" was a term of art. I will avoid this culinary gaffe in the future. :-)

                  1. re: rfmarotti

                    I don't know what "term of art" means, but sugarbuzz is correct.

                2. Trite rec, perhaps, but I'm pretty sure Boulevard does their own deserts, and I've always liked them in a fairly classical french fashion. I remember my dad getting very exited and asking for the pastry chef's name one evening. Of course she was long gone at that hour, but he got her card. You needn't take an entire dinner there - - hit 'em on the late side, sit at the cafe tables by the bar, just have desert and a drink. Put this together with your favorite ethnic cheap eats, and you'll have a good night out

                    1. Hey Hounds,

                      So the original plan that inspired this post fell through, but the sis recently popped in for a day and I scrambled to find this post again. I have to give a big thank you to all the posters as we had a great day. We started with some clover coffee at Ritual, then croissants and pan au chocolat (sp?) at Tartine Bakery. From there we wandered over to BiRite, ogled food then got a cup of coconut gelato. Then we headed over to the Ferry Market (it was a tues and didnt seem that large of a farmers market, is it bigger on saturdays?) We spent some time sampling and wandering around, then headed over to Le Sanctuaire which was cool but strange. First time I've ever had to sign-in at a store just to look around. From there we BARTed back to 16th and Mission and hiked over to Cookin' on Divis. My sis LOVED this place. She wrote down the address so she could come back with a car and spend lots of money. :) We grabbed a quick bite at Fritz on the way back to the 21st street garage so she could go home and I could go to class. All in all a way better day than I would've been able to come up with on my own. Thanks again, Hounds!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: rfmarotti

                        The word on Saturday is HUGE or at least very large.

                        1. re: rfmarotti

                          I think the Saturday market is about four times as big as the Tuesday market. The Tuesday market is mostly for office workers (like me). Also, it's still not full season -- the Tuesday market is bigger in the last spring and summer.

                          Glad you and your sis had a great time -- thanks for reporting back.