San Francisco is famous for its sourdough bread and the bakery that made it famous is Boudin Bakery. Their flagship location is right in the heart of the Fisherman's Wharf neighborhood.
You will find this large bakery on the main street of this SF District which is Jefferson Street. It is about half-way between Pier 39 and Ghirardelli Square
Boudin bakers have been crafting their breads in San Francisco from a similar recipe since 1849.
How do you pronounce Boudin? The first part is "boo" and the second part is "deen." With the emphasis on the second half, you pronounce it "boo-DEEN."
Some of the reasons I love stopping by here is to watch them making their bread in person at the Fisherman’s Wharf location. Now, that may sound a bit boring, but there is way more to this experience than just seeing the bread kneaded and cooked.
You might be wondering how making bread can be exciting and interesting at this point. The reason is that the Boudin bakers pride themselves on not only making the best sourdough anywhere, but also making their bread into true pieces of art.
How can bread become pieces of art? Instead of just cooking loaves of bread that look like any other you can find, they make bread in the shapes of teddy bears, scorpions, and lobsters among others! If you love bread as much as me, a stop here is a real treat!
There are four things to do at this location of Boudin Bakery in Fisherman's Wharf:
I just love stopping by Boudin Bakery for some bread or when I have time for a full, sit down meal. Some of my favorite items on their menu include:
Soups: As you can imagine, their soups are one of their top selling items and one of my favorites. They feature New England Clam Chowder (white, creamy) inside their famous sourdough bowls. If you aren't a fan of clam chowder, you will also find some other great soups served in their famous bread bowls. My other favorites include their tomato and broccoli cheddar.
Sandwiches: I love, love, love sourdough bread with my sandwiches, which is another reason I love stopping at Boudin Bakery in Fisherman's Wharf. My favorites here include their Tuna Melt (LOVE the Havarti) and the BLTA (the only way to eat a BLT is to add some avocado!).
Salads: The great thing about the Fisherman's Wharf location is that they also have some healthy and tasty salads. All are served with some of their bread, so you can enjoy both. My favorites here include the Sear-ious Steak Salad, Hello Portobello Salad, and the Quin-WOW.
The Boudin Bakery in Fisherman's Wharf is open daily from 8 am to 8 pm.
Most people think of Rice-A-Roni as the “San Francisco Treat”, but locals know that the real treat is Boudin’s Bakery’s sourdough bread. Supposedly Isidore Boudin was given some of the “mother dough” from a miner on his way to the mountains during the gold rush in 1849.
Why is this important? Because most bakeries use Fleishman’s cake yeast, but the Boudin family wanted to stay pure and honor the original style and taste.
Fun Fact: Boudin Bakery in San Francisco is the oldest continuously running business. And that means not just restaurants, but of all the businesses in the city!
Boudin Bakery is at 160 Jefferson Street about two blocks west of Pier 39 (the red start on the map above). It's easy to walk here from any location in Fisherman's Wharf.
From Union Square: The easiest way to get to the main Boudin Bakery location in Fisherman's Wharf from Union Square is by taking the F Streetcar. This streetcar picks up at several locations along Market Street and makes its way along the waterfront over to Fisherman's Wharf.
You will get off at the second stop in Fisherman's Wharf - at Jefferson and Taylor Streets - and walk less than half a block back. This ride takes about 20 to 25 minutes.
In addition to their flagship location in Fisherman's Wharf, you can also find several smaller cafes throughout the city. If you love sourdough bread, then check out the menu at one of these smaller locations.
You will also find others in and around SF as well as in the Bay Area, but these are the main options for those visiting the area.