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Sourdough near Union Square

Scott_R Jan 12, 2008 01:29 PM

I'll be in SF this Monday-Saturday. I'd like to be able to pick up some sourdough loaves to bring back with me.

I'll be staying about 2 blocks west of Union Square, and leaving for the airport at about 9 AM Saturday. Where's the best place to pick a couple of loaves that morning?

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  1. n
    Nina RE: Scott_R Jan 12, 2008 01:49 PM

    Acme is my preferred bread and their outpost in the Ferry Building is open at 8 AM Saturday. You could walk if you have time, or if you're taking a cab to the airport, have them stop off there. Allow a little extra time either way, since Saturday morning is the farmer's market and it can be a zoo.


    1. l
      laurenb RE: Scott_R Jan 12, 2008 02:42 PM

      There is a Boudin Bakery at Macy's both in the basement and just at the entrance. The one at street level is on O'Farrell between Powell and Stockton.

      And FYI to all the gourmands reading this. I loooooove good bread, the best possible, and would consider myself a rather gourmet palate and I think their fresh loafs of sourdough are excellent. I live just off Union Square and this is where I go to get a sandwich.

      11 Replies
      1. re: laurenb
        chipman RE: laurenb Jan 12, 2008 03:20 PM

        I completely agree with laurenb. As good a bread Acme is. It ain't the same as good old fashioned San Francisco sour dough. Great bread with a crust so hard it makes you wish you did a better job flossing your teeth.

        1. re: chipman
          wolfe RE: chipman Jan 12, 2008 03:29 PM

          The word you looking for is Larraburu. Gone but not forgotten.

          1. re: wolfe
            silverlakebodhisattva RE: wolfe Feb 4, 2008 02:31 PM

            I'll say; I have recollections of walking down Ortega to the corner market, circa 1966, for a loaf, and marching my little brother, then age 6, back up the hill by bonking him on the head with the Larraburu, which was crusty enough to be useful for this purpose. . .

            1. re: silverlakebodhisattva
              wolfe RE: silverlakebodhisattva Feb 4, 2008 02:39 PM

              Think concussion.

          2. re: chipman
            dinnerout RE: chipman Jan 12, 2008 03:46 PM

            A third for laurenb's comments.

          3. re: laurenb
            sugartoof RE: laurenb Jan 12, 2008 07:13 PM

            I fourth them. If you want the real classic San Francisco sourdough, Boudin Bakery is the best choice. The wider, and crustier the better.

            1. re: sugartoof
              Scott_R RE: sugartoof Jan 13, 2008 12:25 PM

              Boudin it is. Thanks.

              1. re: Scott_R
                wolfe RE: Scott_R Jan 13, 2008 12:32 PM

                If the wayback machine was working and Larraburu was available Boudin would be toast, or not.

                1. re: wolfe
                  sugartoof RE: wolfe Jan 14, 2008 12:08 AM

                  One rumor is that Boudin bought the Larraburu starter.

                  1. re: wolfe
                    Northside73 RE: wolfe Feb 1, 2010 07:08 PM

                    I hadn't thought about Larrabaru in a long time, but when I was a kid growing up in Berkeley it was a near daily part of life. My dad was a native San Franciscan, and I think it was probably true that families had preferences among the sourdoughs. We were definitely a Larrabaru family--once in while Toscana or Colombo. Don't think I ever had Boudin until I was an adult.

                    But what i remember about Larrabaru was being sent down to the store in the afternoon--timed for the late bake delivery. On winter afternoons when it was raining you could put the paper bag under your coat and feel the warmth of those loaves as you walked up the hill home. Like a lot of things, our memories can make things better, faster or tastier with time, but I'm pretty sure that Larrabaru was the best SF sourdough I ever had personally. And I agree that the advent of the plastic inner wrapper was a sad day for sourdough. It has to have a rind-like crust that is thick. Larrabaru was good with dungeness crab, some local cheese or abalone, a good local wine and a cloudy rainy day up on Tomales Bay or somewhere like that--Point Reyes was a Larrabaru spot. You needed a girl to share it with. God didn't make sourdough bread to last days and days. Sacrilege.

                    1. re: Northside73
                      wolfe RE: Northside73 Feb 2, 2010 02:50 AM

                      Here's another good Larrabalu good memory.

            2. rworange RE: Scott_R Jan 13, 2008 11:01 PM

              Don't they sell Boudin at the airport?

              5 Replies
              1. re: rworange
                sugartoof RE: rworange Jan 13, 2008 11:58 PM

                Best place to get Boudin is from their Geary factory, or the Boudin restaurant at the Wharf. They sell a lighter (less crusty, softer) bake intended for retail sale which is meant to stay on the shelves longer. For whatever reason, it doesn't taste the same.

                1. re: sugartoof
                  Scott_R RE: sugartoof Jan 15, 2008 06:51 PM

                  Geary factory? That's not Macy's (which is on Geary)? I looked at their web site and didn't see any other Geary locations.

                  1. re: Scott_R
                    rworange RE: Scott_R Jan 15, 2008 07:28 PM

                    No, it is the location on 10th Ave which is on the the corner of Geary and 10th. Not convenient to Union Sqaure and nothing special in terms of ambiance. Just a little counter. They just happen to bake the bread there. The Fisherman's Wharf location would be more convenient, though honestly I can't tell the diference between the bread sold in the cafes like the one at Macy's and the bakery itself.

                    1. re: rworange
                      Scott_R RE: rworange Jan 17, 2008 08:02 PM

                      Oh $#!/

                      Called Boudin, and you can't get bread at their Macy's location before 9 on Saturday. I have to leave for SFO around the same time--and it's a shared van, so I can't just stop by. Guess it'll have to be from the SFO airport location.

                      1. re: Scott_R
                        sugartoof RE: Scott_R Jan 18, 2008 12:03 PM

                        Might as well buy it the day before then. The stuff at the airport probably isn't going to be any fresher. The other downside with buying at the airport is price. Wherever you buy it. it's still going to be a fine sourdough.

              2. ChowFun_derek RE: Scott_R Jan 14, 2008 08:11 AM

                There's also a Bristol Farms Market in the San Francisco Centre on Market across from Powell..they have an in house bakery, although I have never tried their wares...


                1. wolfe RE: Scott_R Jan 18, 2008 12:08 PM

                  If bought the day ahead when you get home moisten the bread and into a 400 degree oven for 6 to 8 minutes to refresh.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: wolfe
                    marinrain RE: wolfe Jan 18, 2008 07:18 PM

                    or you can freeze it in large pieces and thaw then toast when want to eat

                  2. chefj RE: Scott_R Jan 20, 2008 02:39 PM

                    Bordenaves Is the best sourdough in the bay area. I imagine that you could get it at any grocery store in SF

                    ( 415) 453-2957
                    1512 4th St
                    San Rafael, CA 94901

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: chefj
                      chipman RE: chefj Jan 20, 2008 03:53 PM

                      You would be wrong. It might be the best sourdough, but I haven't seen it at Safeway, Lucky's or the smaller, Mollie Stones, Andronico's, or Cal Mart.
                      If your a fan of this bread maybe you could find out where it's available.

                      1. re: chipman
                        chefj RE: chipman Feb 3, 2008 12:04 PM

                        Here is their web site address you can contact them and see who carries their products in the city http://www.bordenavesbakery.net/ Good luck

                        1. re: chefj
                          McIntosh RE: chefj Feb 2, 2010 08:01 AM

                          Spengers has it,

                          I still like the sourdough at the 'feel good bakery' in Alameda, its the best.

                          1. re: McIntosh
                            chefj RE: McIntosh Feb 9, 2010 04:26 PM

                            I am afraid that I must retract my endorsement of Bordanaves. had a loaf a month ago or so and it was not good. I think that the new ownership (must be 4 years now) has killed it. Low quality flour, weak crust and very little sourdough flavor. A real shame!

                            1. re: chefj
                              sugartoof RE: chefj Feb 10, 2010 04:01 PM

                              Try Wedemeyer and see what you think. Still not it exactly....but a much, much better option than the Bordanaves, and they're similar old bakeries.

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