HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >

In search of the elusive Cinnamon Roll!

daveowld Dec 23, 2008 07:53 PM

I live in the east bay just on the other side of the Caldecott tunnel. I decided I wanted some cinnamon rolls for breakfast. So I went to Whole Foods, no cinnamon rolls, I went to shopping mall looking for Cinnabon (gone presumabley out of business), I went to Lunardis, no cinnamon rolls, I went to Safeway, real old crummy old looking cinnamon rolls.
How come nobody has cinnamon rolls? Is there anyplace where they have good fresh cinnamon rolls?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. h
    hummy RE: daveowld Dec 23, 2008 08:29 PM

    Ikea is the first place that comes to mind. I've never had them, but they sure smelled good yesterday as I waited in line to check out.

    If you ever go to Pismo Beach, you must stop at Old West Cinnamon Rolls.

    1. s
      Sharuf RE: daveowld Dec 24, 2008 01:47 AM

      Are your cinnamon rolls the same as "sticky buns"?

      1. m
        Mick Ruthven RE: daveowld Dec 24, 2008 04:46 AM

        I think I saw three Cinnabon locations in the East Bay. I remember way back when Cinnabon opened a place in one of the Embarcadero buildings (probably #2) in SF. I was one flight up and smelled the baking cinnamon and was just drawn right down to the place. Fresh baked and still warm, they were the best I've ever had.


        1. j
          jerry i h RE: daveowld Dec 24, 2008 05:37 PM

          Depends on your definition of "cinnamon rolls". There are at least 3 (probably more, if I can ever get my brain into gear) fantastically different thingies that use this moniker. I will try to illuminate.
          1) Breakfast Buns. This is a new-ish, unique creation by La Farine on College Ave. in Oakland. It is basicall puff pastry, lined with cinnamon, and dusted with gran sugar. It looks like a fat muffin.
          2) Snails. This is really just a really big donut:: lined with cinnamon, and topped with a thick layer of confectioner sugar/glaze, with perhaps raisins. The size of a dinner plate.
          3) Svenhard's. This is 6 or 8 (I forget, it has been so long) brioche-type flat buns in an aluminized cardboard tray wrapped in cellophane and with a rather thick layer of translucent frosting with a few raisins.
          Since you were searching in supermarkets, suspect you were looking for #3. Pity. No clue; if you were after #1 or #2, I could give you a good hint. There used to be 3 or 4 bakery outlets where you could get them, but today, not a clue.

          4 Replies
          1. re: jerry i h
            daveowld RE: jerry i h Dec 27, 2008 07:48 PM

            Definately not #3. That's what I found at Safeway. I think I would prefer #2 although I am not fond of raisins in cinnamon rolls.

            1. re: jerry i h
              Hunicsz RE: jerry i h Dec 29, 2008 10:13 PM

              La Farine actually call those "morning buns", rather than "breakfast buns". I don't really think of them as cinnamon rolls, although I see how one could call them that.

              1. re: Hunicsz
                bbulkow RE: Hunicsz Dec 30, 2008 07:09 AM

                La Farine's rolls are great. Far more butter than the cakey cinnamon rolls of youth, but lots and lots of cinnamon and sugar. Like if someone told the french about cinnamon rolls over a scratchy telephone line and the line went dead before they could ask questions or explain about the frosting or raisins.

                Did Grace Baking's now-defunct retail outlet on college used to have the same roll, or is my memory deceiving me?

                They're my go-to when I'm feeling that way.

              2. re: jerry i h
                jlafler RE: jerry i h Dec 30, 2008 08:19 AM

                A classic cinnamon roll is made from egg bread dough. This is rolled out thin, spread with butter, cinnamon, and sugar. It's then rolled up into a log, sliced, and baked. Most people frost them after baking; personally I think this is overkill.

                They're not that hard to make, and a lot of fun. The house smells like heaven. A good baking project to work on with kids.

              3. p
                peterme RE: daveowld Dec 26, 2008 06:53 AM

                I don't know about that side of the Caldecott, but in Berkeley, Sweet Adeline's reliably has tasty cinammon rolls. In the city, I'm a sucker for Specialty's, largely 'cause they don't skip on the frosting.

                Sweet Adeline
                3350 Adeline St, Berkeley, CA

                Specialty's Cafe & Bakery
                101 New Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA

                1. s
                  Solop RE: daveowld Dec 26, 2008 09:49 AM

                  Bit of a drive from your side of the hills, but since you mentioned Cinnabon, there is still one in the Hilltop Mall.

                  1. k
                    kc72 RE: daveowld Dec 26, 2008 09:56 AM

                    Which mall did you go to? On the Cinnabon site, it says Sunvalley still has one

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: kc72
                      daveowld RE: kc72 Dec 28, 2008 04:18 PM

                      Alas I looked and looked and looked at SunValley. No Cinnabon in sight :-( I even checked the mall directory.

                      1. re: daveowld
                        kc72 RE: daveowld Dec 28, 2008 04:34 PM

                        my bad, the SunValley site still lists it as being across from Mrs Fields and McDonalds

                        1. re: kc72
                          Bryan Gros RE: kc72 Dec 29, 2008 08:27 AM

                          Saw SunValley on the 26th. Still open, across from McDonalds, outside of Sears.

                          Sweet Affair, on Ygnacio Valley in Walnut Creek has good, cinnamon rolls. Big, bready yeasty rolls with cream cheese frosting. They also have the same dough with pecan sticky buns.

                          But you're right--it is hard to find good cinnamon rolls around. The doughnut shop on Ashby, just west of College used to have good rolls with lots of raisins, but the ones now are much smaller and more like "snails".

                    2. Ruth Lafler RE: daveowld Dec 29, 2008 08:53 AM

                      The Acme bakery in the Ferry Building has delicious (if non-traditional) cinnamon rolls. Does anyone know if they have them at the Berkeley location?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Ruth Lafler
                        wally RE: Ruth Lafler Dec 29, 2008 11:57 AM

                        They have a croissant dough type snail shape roll that I believe has cinnamon. I haven't had it.

                        1. re: wally
                          Ruth Lafler RE: wally Dec 29, 2008 12:19 PM

                          Yup. That's it. Try it!

                      2. a
                        Agent 510 RE: daveowld Mar 8, 2010 06:20 PM

                        Berkeley Bowl West's bakery now has a fantastic cinnamon roll, possibly the best I've found. It's made from croissant dough but it's not overcooked or burned, and topped with orange zest icing. It's huge and it's just $1.50.

                        I'm not sure if this is one of those Artisan Bakery items they carry, but it's yet another win for BBW's bakery.

                        So good I had to revive this old thread, the last one I could find on "Where's the best cinnamon roll at?"

                        Show Hidden Posts