B Patisserie

A resounding 5 stars for what is probably the best bakery in San Francisco. Forget Tartine and the absurd lines and come here instead. My only regret is coming only once right before moving away from the city. My only consolation is I've moved to France, so there's no shortage of baked goods, but the uniqueness and creativity of the pastries at B Patisserie will be hard to find.
The kouign amann is amazing -- it looks unassuming, but each bite is heavenly. It's like a croissant with a sweet caramelised top and it's flaky, light, and buttery in every bite. I could go on and on about how delicious this is, but just trust me and get it. I had the original one and loved it - I tried the black sesame peanut butter one and liked it, but there were too many overpowering flavors all in one. However, my Mom liked this one better, so just depends on your taste. They also have one with chocolate on top.
The banana chocolate croissant is also amazing - I would definitely get this as well if you come with someone else and can share this and the kouign amann. I've never had a banana chocolate croissant before, but there's a thin layer of banana puree/pasta, a thin layer of chocolate, all enveloped in a flaky croissant. I don't normally love banana flavored things but I loved this and would get it again every time.
The pastries are not cheap, at ~$4-5 for most of the croissants / kouign amann, depending if there's filing or if it's plain. Totally worth the price though - I've had pastries equally priced at other places in San Francisco that don't taste quite as good. They also have other pastries (tarts, cakes) that look like they came out straight from a French bakery. They are pricey at $7 and look a bit small, but I'm sure they are worth every penny. They have macarons on the weekend too, and for Chinese New Year, they have special flavours of desserts - i.e. red bean macarons, black sesame flavored things, mango pudding.
The tables are quite small and there's always a constant stream of people in and out, or in line, so this is not really your place to come and do work or read for a while. Come with a max of 4 people if you're going to sit down because the tables are not that large. Great for two people so that you can relax and have a coffee and pastry and feel like you've been transported to France.

Author: Christina L.