San Francisco sourdough bread

In addition to fish, crab and Ghirardelli chocolate, San Francisco is also known for yet another culinary tradition: sourdough bread. A slightly sour taste, soft inside and crispy crust characterise this classic treat from the Bay Area. Although this bread can be bought throughout the city, there are a number of places that are worth going a little out of your way for.

Boudin introduced sourdough bread

Boudin introduced sourdough bread

Bread from the gold rush days

The Boudin Bakery was the first bakery in San Francisco to make sourdough. It quickly became tremendously popular and, each morning, the café was packed with miners who came to enjoy a solid breakfast before going out to seek their fortune in gold. The Boudin Bakery still exists and now has a number of branches in the city and elsewhere. The bread is still baked according to the original recipe from 1849. Although the queues are always long, many residents of San Francisco claim that, for the best sourdough bread in town, you need to go to the Tartine Bakery in the Mission District. On weekends, the queue easily goes around the block. It is mostly locals who return time and again, which says plenty about the quality. The bread is removed from the oven at 5 in the afternoon and is usually sold out within an hour. The Acme Bread Company in the Ferry Building is also a good place to get sourdough, which is baked fresh all day long.

Edible soup bowl

Edible soup bowl

Soup out of a bread bowl

Bread bowls made of sourdough bread are also very popular. On a typically bleak San Francisco evening with lots of wind, fog and salty sea air, nothing beats hot soup in a bread bowl. The soup bowl is made of sourdough bread, so it’s entirely edible. Although the city did not invent the edible soup bowl, it is a culinary specialty from the region when combined with clam chowder. The restaurants around Fisherman’s Wharf are highly recommended for this culinary treat.

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