Boulangerie Bay Bread is the best bakery in San Francisco, with the award to prove it. Rochelle and I cannot get out without spending $20, not because it’s expensive (it’s not), but because we are pigs, and there’s just too much good stuff.
Their croissants are heavenly, and customers (including many with French accents) regularly exclaim that you cannot get better without traveling to Paris. Their goodness comes from tradition, technique, and lots of butter. Yum!
They have a wide variety of wonderful breads, of which the walnut baguette is probably our favorite, especially to eat with cheese (Artisan Cheese is right around the corner). And they have some wonderful desserts, including fruit and chocolate tarts, and my favorites, their custard-based desserts (Ooh la la!).
Their main bakery is at 2325 Pine Street, just below Fillmore, but have two other locations with different names, one in Cole Valley and one at 2310 Polk Street. They also have a few restaurants, including Chez Nous and Galette, both on Fillmore Street, a couple of blocks away from the bakery.