There is almost always a line in front of Tartine Bakery, but don’t despair – the line moves quickly, and you will be surrounded by fellow foodies, eagerly anticipating the wait’s great reward – buttery croissants, lovely lemon tarts, and morning glory buns. My advice is to get there about a half hour after opening – at that time the initial line has diminished, and it’s unlikely that anything from that day’s selection is sold out.
If lunch or an afternoon snack is more your speed, Tartine offers creative and delicious hot pressed sandwiches, made with their own bread – pecorino and almond is my favourite, closely followed by spicy turkey with broccoli rabe pesto. Afternoon tea or Four Barrel coffee can be accompanied by any of the rich cream tarts (coconut, banana, or lemon), but a sunny afternoon out on the sidewalk tables is not complete without the frangipane tart. Follow this advice, and instantly become part of an iconic San Francisco scene.
If you can only get there later in the day, there is still an opportunity to take home some Tartine freshly baked bread – made from locally milled, organic flours, the loaves come out of the stone hearth oven after 4:30 in full or half loaves. Bring some home, and your friends and family will be grateful.