HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >


King Cake in SF or Marin?

Does anyone know where I might find a traditional Mardi Gras King Cake in either SF or Marin? Ordering online from New Orleans is pretty expensive. Thanks in advance for your help!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. South Loooziana expatriate here - haven't found a King Cake anywhere out here in my 30 years of exile. Mam Papaul's is a good inexpensive mix, but dang if them things don't take a lonnnnng time to make.... http://www.cajunsupermarket.com/produ...

    4 Replies
    1. re: bayareatiger

      Thanks very much for the reply bayareatiger! That may be the answer if I can't find anything local...

        1. re: wolfe

          Thanks wolfe...I saw that thread. I'm actually looking for a traditional New Orleans Mardi Gras king cake. Something that looks like this:


          1. re: sweetestpea

            I finally made it to Cloe's French Cafe in Santa Rosa last week. They had stopped making of the French King Cake that Melanie mentioned in the link.

            HOWEVER, starting the second week in February they will be making the classic Louisiana version of King Cake. It will be $28. Don't know if they will sell slices, but probably not. Call to verify the start date.

    2. Oh... great planning! I'm a Tulane Green Wave and haven't had one in years! Sad.

      Just confirmed--- Arizmendi Bakery will be making it Sat, Sun before Fat Tuesday, and on Fat Tuesday. I've never had it from there but hopes are high based on their other things.

      11 Replies
      1. re: rln

        There was some scepticism at my work about the authenticity of their Day of the Dead bread. Hope they don't let you down.

        1. re: wolfe

          Actually the DOD bread matches the description of what people in Mexico eat. The local panaderias just make a normal pan dulce with DOD shapes.

          Thanks, I'll definately give the Arizmendi King cake a try.

        2. re: rln

          Awesome! Thanks for the info rln!

          1. re: sweetestpea

            I'm guessing you wouldn't want to drive to Cosentino's in San Jose,but saw two types of King cakes in the bakery there tonight.One a simple one and another a more elaborate filled one.Both very pretty.Brought back memories of my families six years in N'awlins.What a special and fun time Carnival is.

            1. re: casalbore spirit

              Picked up a simple $6.99 and an elaborate pecan and raisin king cake $8.99 today from Cosentino's San Jose (Bascom & Union). I confirmed with them that they will be making them through Fat Tuesday. Will report back as soon as we consume them. PS The king cake baby is on the outside of the cake (instead of the inside) due to the liability issues.

              1. re: bayareatiger

                OK here's the report. The simple standard issue king cake was moist and delicious. It wasn't as "thick " as other king cakes that I had growing up in La., more like a cinnamon roll, which isn't as chewy as a king cake. It was more like a pastry instead of a cake, however, heating it in the microwave works well. The elaborate king cake was filed with pecans & raisins, and I was not as impressed wiht this one. Still, it's good to get king cakes locally and not pay an arm and a leg for shipping. Laissez le bon temps rouillez! It's Carnival Time!

              2. re: casalbore spirit

                Thank you for the rec casalbore spirit...my BF had to be in San Jose yesterday for business so he stopped by Cosentino's to pick up a King Cake (the $ 6.99 version). I agree with bayareatiger...it was very good! Lovely too, decorated with beads, doubloons, etc. Thanks again!

                1. re: sweetestpea

                  My pleasure.Glad it worked out well for you.Enjoy this years Carnival season as Ash Wednesday is Feb 25th.End of the celebrating.My niece is celebrating Carnevale in Venice Italy this year.

            2. re: rln

              An update on the Arizmendi King's Cake. Only the SF location will be making it and it is $12. I talked to both the Oakland and Emeryville bakeries and they will not make it. I asked at Cheeseboard and they don't make it either.

              The person I talked to at Cheeseboard referred me to the Bread Garden bakery near the Clairmont. They will have it this weekend and on Fat Tuesday. The price is $15.

              1. re: rworange

                Thank you. After all this discussion, I realized I wasn't even sure when Fat Tuesday was this year, and it's this coming Tuesday!

                1. re: rworange

                  The Bread Garden's King Cake (filled with almond paste?) is excellent. Worth every penny.

              2. Great news! My friendly neighborhood baker, who uses only the freshest of ingredients, has agreed to bake authentic King Cakes (with cream cheese filling) by special order for $28, so you can have one anytime during the season. He is so into freshness that he discounts his baked goods by 50% after 2pm each day. You very well may have a King Cake that is even fresher than if you bought one in New Orleans since he uses no preservatives. I am so excited! He is in the Glen Park Neighborhood in San Francisco (near 280) and here's the info: Destination Bakery, 598 Chenery, SF CA 94131, 415-469-0730.

                3 Replies
                1. re: NOLAstateofmind

                  Previous mention of Destination as a good source for challah.

                  Destination Baking Co
                  598 Chenery St, San Francisco, CA 94131

                  1. re: wolfe

                    I totally recommend Destination Bakery! they saved my superbowl sunday, or guess I could say, it was the great King Cake that gave the Saints the power to win!!! They were awesome and the cake was moist, flaky and just the right amount of sugar/spice (I did the non-cream cheese filling one). The icing and colors were perfect too.

                  2. re: NOLAstateofmind

                    Well, I'm happy to report that Destination's King Cake was a big hit at the King Cake/Superbowl party. I liked it better even than Haydel's! Anyway, we've had lots of them from various places over the years, and everyone agreed that this was the best one. I'm so glad that I can now get one locally for future parties.

                    BTW, if you are local, I must encourage you to stop by for Joe's out-of-this-world Hot Cross Buns, available only until Easter. They are on the small side, so you can eat them relatively guilt-free. They are so fresh and the little extra bit is a subtle tang from orange peels.

                  3. Nora's Patisserie in Colma will be making King Cake for Mardi Gras. It's pretty much a straight-ahead french bakery, so don't know if it will be NOLA style or French.

                    Nora's Patisserie
                    29 San Pedro Rd, Colma, CA

                    1. My Tulane alumni SO special ordered a Destination bakery king cake with traditional cream cheese filling, which he is picking up this afternoon. He is a very tough customer when it comes to New Orleans food, so I am cautiously hopeful based on this thread. After recently encountering yet another inauthentic representation of New Orlenian food at Just for You Cafe (delicious breakfast, but beignet fail), I really hope Destination can deliver something not too far off from his favorite Gambino's.

                      I will report back, but note that tomorrow is the last day for king cakes at Destination, which requires 24 hours notice for a king cake so if you want your own, you'll need to order this afternoon. We also called Arizmendi, but the filling is some kind of pecan-raisin filling, which he thought was completely inappropriate.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: artemis

                        The Destination bakery king cake ($26) is delicious, but apparently not exactly right to my Tulane alumni SO. The cake is moist, eggy, sweet, tender, and has a faint orange flavor. The frosting is not too thick, and I appreciated that the mardi gras colors were somewhat restrained, as opposed to the solid electric neon colors I found personally unappetizing in the Gambino's pictures online. It's a lovely coffee cake, and it's quite large.

                        To my untrained palate, I thought the cake was a little bland, and a little sweet, but very tasty. It grew on me with each bite, and really tasted of quality ingredients. The SO enjoyed it a lot, but said there should be more orange and cinnamon flavor, and was somewhat disappointed from an aesthetic perspective that the brioche was folded over the cream cheese filling instead of braided as in New Orleans. I don't agree with the braided criticism, but I would have enjoyed more citrus notes in the cake. He would get it again.

                      2. Have no idea how authentic/good it is, but I saw King Cakes for sale at Bi-Rite Market last weekend.

                        Bi-Rite Market
                        3639 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                        1. Cost Plus World Market carries Mam PaPaul's King Cake Mix. I made it last weekend and it was really good. Very authentic in smell and taste.

                          Merritt Bakery in Oakland had King Cakes last year.

                          Merritt Bakery
                          203 E 18th St, Oakland, CA 94606

                          1. Bumping this thread for 2012...any King Cake sightings yet in SF or Marin? I know Arizmendi will be selling them this weekend. Any others?

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: sweetestpea

                              Destination in SF (Glen Park - see thread above) does them anytime that you want them for the whole season starting with First Night. Ever since he started a few years back, he has been getting more and more orders he tells me. If you want one for this weekend or Fat Tuesday, you might want to order it now.

                              Also, at least on the weekends, he has individual pieces so you can try one. I've seemed to find a reason to visit for the past couple of weekends just to get in the spirit! If you go, also don't miss the heavenly Hot Cross Buns that he makes only until Easter.

                              1. re: NOLAstateofmind

                                Thanks very much for the recommendation NOLA...very much appreciated. I will post back if I end up getting one there. :)

                            2. King Cake is made with yeasted cake dough, so not sure how good a boxed cake mix is. I'm making one for work since we all have to work Monday. I thought it might take a bit of the sting off our grumbly selves. I'm hoping the party supply store up the street has some cheap beads I can use to hand out for fun. I hate working President's Day, but our small company doesn't consider it a day off. So we'll eat cake while we work!!!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: isewinsf

                                The box has a packet of yeast in it. I made it again this year and it was good. I added pecans to the filling and made a bit more icing.

                              2. I just placed an order at Noe Valley Bakery in San Francisco. You can check out their facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Noe-Val...

                                There's a picture of their king cake on their page. They're accepting orders for 2/17 thru 2/21