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The Top Places to Get the Best Sourdough in San Francisco
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The Top Places to Get the Best Sourdough in San Francisco

Hit up these bakeries and pick up a few loaves of the fresh, famous San Francisco sourdough bread.

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5 min read

October 02, 2021

Sourdough is synonymous with San Francisco and we have the city’s naturally occurring bacteria, Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis, to thank for these crispy, tangy, and chewy loaves. Ask anyone where they think the best sourdough in San Francisco is and you’ll get a different response. However, a few bakeries continue to stand out as solid contenders for the number one spot. 

Hit up these bakeries and pick up a few loaves of the fresh, famous San Francisco sourdough bread. Eat them toasted and buttered, dunked in cioppino, topped with avocado, or filled with clam chowder soup—San Francisco-style sourdough is delicious in any and every way. 

These Are The Places To Get The Best Sourdough in San Francisco

Boudin Bakery is recognized as the oldest continually operating business in San Francisco. Photo courtesy of Boudin Bakery.

1. Boudin Bakery 

Location: 160 Jefferson Street, Lower Level, Fisherman's Wharf
                  160 Jefferson Street, Upper Level, Fisherman’s Wharf
                  Pier 39
                  170 O'Farrell Street
                  399 10th Avenue 
                  3251 20th Avenue

Established in 1849, Boudin Bakery is one of California’s oldest (if not the oldest) continuously running companies—they claim to make the original sourdough bread in town. With a mother sourdough starter in San Francisco that dates back to the Gold Rush era, this iconic bakery makes dense and tangy bread that you can’t get enough of. Today, this S.F. landmark has grown to be a full-blown Fisherman's Wharf tourist attraction, with museums, tours, and several locations around the city.

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2. Tartine Bakery

Location: 600 Guerrero Street
                  595 Alabama Street
                  1226 9th Avenue

Tartine Bakery is definitely hyped—but never overhyped. Tourists and locals alike line up to taste the fresh loaves from this San Francisco sourdough company every day, and a single bite will make you understand why. Ever since opening its doors in 2002 by baker Chad Robertson and pastry chef Elisabeth Prueitt, Tartine has established itself as not only one of the best bakeries in San Francisco, but also one of the best breakfast spots. A loaf of sourdough bread from San Francisco’s Tartine is enormous; it has a dark-colored crust and an inside that’s flecked with airy holes. The result? A loaf with a satisfying crunch, yet easy to bite into. Yum. 

Josey Baker Bread makes whole grain sourdough bread with fresh-milled, local, organic grains. Photo courtesy of Josey Baker Bread.

3. Josey Baker Bread

Location: 736 Divisadero Street

Started by Josey Baker (surprise, surprise) in 2010, Josey Baker Bread specializes in freshly milled, whole grain sourdough bread. Not long after the bakery first opened, Josey’s became the local favorite sourdough in San Francisco, and rightfully so. You can get fresh bread from the bakery every day and try its deeply charred, strong flavor, and moist and stretchy crumb yourself—you don’t want to miss out.

4. Della Fattoria 

Location: 143 Petaluma Boulevard North, Petaluma

You’ll have to drive a little further to reach the famous Della Fattoria. But, a flavorful bite into its whole grainy, fire-kissed loaves will make the traffic totally worth it. Since it was opened in 1995, Della Fattoria has received and continues to receive praise for making some of the best sourdoughs in San Francisco—it has won accolades from Bon Appetit Magazine, as well as beloved chef Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa.

If you really want to make a friend, go round someone's house with a freshly baked loaf of sourdough bread. Photo courtesy of Jane the Bakery.

5. Jane the Bakery

Location: 1881 Geary Boulevard

Jane first started as a coffee shop in San Francisco, but the spinoff Jane the Bakery opened in 2016, quickly climbing the ladder of the best sourdough in San Francisco. The crusty loaves at this lovely bakery are made from 100 percent California whole wheat, spelt, ancient grains, and a whole lot of love. While the sourdough is delish, they also carry an extensive variety of other delicious breads such as baguette, ciabatta, babka, and more.

Life is better with freshly baked sourdough. It's bread therapy. Photo courtesy of Avast Bakeshop.

6. Avast Bakeshop

Location: 1994 37th Avenue 

Matthew Jay Jones was a longtime baker at Outerlands (and previously Tartine), which is a restaurant known for serving outstanding sourdough. But, after a lengthy closure during the pandemic in 2020, Jones decided to start his own bakery—thus, the Avast Bakeshop was born. It hasn’t been long since the bakery was established, and Avast is already known for its excellent sourdough in S.F. Jones puts a big emphasis on baking naturally leavened bread through the use of whole grains and long fermentation. You’ll find his delicious San Francisco-style sourdough bread at the Outer Sunset Farmers Market on Sundays; go get a loaf of your own!  

True love is like bread. It needs the right ingredients, a little heat, and magic to rise. Photo courtesy of Noe Valley Bakery.

7. Noe Valley Bakery

Location: 4073 24th Street
                  28 West Portal Avenue

Unlike most of the other entries on this list, Noe Valley Bakery didn’t set out as a sourdough bakery from the get-go. This family business offers a range of other baked treats as well, from cookies and cakes to even gluten-free pastries, but their San Francisco-style sourdough is unparalleled. While it’s reminiscent of a baguette in its look—it has a thin shape, very crispy crust, and chewy crumb—the taste is unmistakably that of the famous San Francisco sourdough bread. Except, the sour flavor of Noe Valley’s loaves doesn’t have the overt wheatiness of the whole wheat doughs. While you’re there, try some of the bakery’s sweet treats as well; their raspberry and apricot hamantashens are amazing.

Happiness is the smell of freshly baked sourdough right of out the oven. Photo courtesy of Rize Up Bakery.

8. Rize Up Bakery

Location: 2129 Anza Street

Founded by Azikiwee Anderson—a former pro-skater-turned-baker—Rize Up Bakery is one of the newest additions to the impressive repertoire of delicious San Francisco sourdough companies. While we love a classic sourdough loaf any day, what sets Rize Up aside from other bakeries is the creative combinations of flavors. You’ll find jalapeno, bacon, and cheddar loaves, garlic confit and thyme, sesame and green onion, and more delicious combinations bursting with flavor. Each loaf is thoughtfully baked with natural, organic, and high-quality ingredients by Anderson. 

9. Acme Bread Company 

Location: 1 Ferry Building, Stall 15
                  1601 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley

Acme Bread Company is a beloved S.F. classic that never fails to amaze us. Acme supplies the best sourdough in San Francisco to your favorite restaurants like Chez Panisse, as well as select retailers and grocery stores. The bakery’s sourdoughs come in many forms—baguettes, batards, as well as rounds. They’re tangy and flavorful, with a thick crispy crust, perfect for dunking in a garlicky bowl of cioppino.

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