I just learned today that California produces 80% of the world's almonds. Wow! That is a lot of almonds! I suddenly thought of my favorite fragrant flaky bread - the almond croissant. Since most of the almonds come from this state, could this be the reason why there are a lot of bakeries in the city that make very good almond croissants? For that matter, could the city be the almond croissant capital of the world? Almond croissant capital or not, I know that the almond croissants here are good and I have a short list of favorites.
This one is by La Boulange. This bakery chain is everywhere in the City. I generally do not like chains but this one is different because aside from being a local chain, they make high quality breads and confections. They also make good almonds croissants. One thing that I think sets them apart from the others is that they put a generous amount of almond slivers on their almond croissants. Plus, you cannot miss their attention to detail. Their store interior, their product packaging, the paper bags designs are all well thought of they make you feel special when you buy something from them. La Boulange has eleven (11) locations in the city plus several more in the North Bay, East Bay and the Peninsula.
Ok, I am biased about this one because this is from our friendly neighborhood bakery - Destination Baking Company. This one is so tasty and flaky they must put tons of butter. This almond croissant is on the brown side so there is also a subtle crunch on the crust of the bread while the core is soft and delicious. Remember, DBC only makes almond croissants during the weekend. They also make another almond based bread called the Almond Bear Claw which is a good substitute during the week. DBC is on Chenery St. in San Francisco's Glen Park neighborhood.
Tartine Bakery and Cafe probably has the best almond croissant ever. It is thick, very flaky and generous with almond cream filling. It is also the most expensive among my favorite croissants. The bakery is popular so it is not surprising it has long lines especially on the weekends. To fully enjoy your almond croissant experience at Tartine, go there and share a table with a local during the week especially on Friday mornings. Tartine is located on Guerrero and 18th Sts. in San Francisco's Mission district.
An honorable mention goes to Cottage Bakery because they do make good and fresh breads including almond croissants. The bakery is located at the back patio of Liberty Cafe on Cortland St. in San Francisco's Bernal Heights neighborhood.
Another reason why I love this city! I feel so blessed to be surrounded by these bakeries and cafes! I am sure there are other bakeries that I haven't ventured in to and are located in the other neighborhoods in the city and around the Bay. Please do share your favorites bakeries and your good almond croissant experience because I'd also like to try them someday.