After more than 30 years of being simply a bread shop in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf, Boudin Bakery super-sized into this swank, 26,000-square-foot flagship baking emporium into a place to eat and learn. Nearly half a block long, it houses their demonstration bakery, museum, gourmet marketplace, cafe, espresso bar, and restaurant. You can see the bakery by guided tour, and you might want to: the Boudin (pronounced Bo-deen) family has been baking sourdough French bread in San Francisco since the gold rush, using the same simple recipe and original “mother dough” for more than 150 years. About 3,000 loaves a day are baked within the glass-walled bakery; visitors can watch the entire process from a 30-foot observation window along Jefferson Street or from a catwalk suspended directly over the bakery (which is fun). You’ll smell it before you see it: the heavenly aroma emanating from the bread ovens is purposely blasted out onto the sidewalk.
- Erika Lennert