The Best Place For Sourdough During Christmas? Bistro Boudin


The holiday season is a great time to get nostalgic—and visit some of San Francisco’s most iconic places. Irish coffee at the Buena Vista Cafe, cioppino at Tadich Grill, and ice cream sundaes at Ghirardelli Square. While these restaurants are filled with tourists throughout the year, during December, locals flock to them to get in the Christmas spirit. Another place that I love stopping by during the holidays? Boudin at the Wharf.

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Boudin Bakery is the city’s longest-running bakery—it dates back to 1849—and is home to SF’s original famous sourdough. While there are several Boudin bakery outposts, its flagship is in Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s here that the mother dough (fun fact: Louise Boudin, wife of founder Isidore Boudin saved the sourdough starter from a fire after the 1906 earthquake) is stored. The busy bakery, which can serve up to 10,000 bread bowls during the holiday season, runs 24/7 365 days a year.

Bistro1-(2018)Photo Credit: Bistro Boudin

While the cafe downstairs offers sandwiches and bread to-go, I prefer to dine upstairs in the restaurant Bistro Boudin. Chef Misael Reyes serves a seafood-heavy crowd-pleasing menu of everything from iceberg wedge salad to pan-roasted petrale sole to sourdough baguette burgers. Of course, in winter, the menu is filled with Dungeness crab. With its proximity to the waterfront—the Bay is across the street—Bistro Boudin serves wildly fresh fish.

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Reyes receives crab first thing every morning and then uses it to make crab rolls, crab cocktail, crab omelets, crab cakes, and crab pizza. Although it’s messy, the Dungeness whole crab that’s served doused in garlic butter and covered in toasted sourdough breadcrumbs is to die for. Pair with a glass of champagne, and you’ll be in holiday food heaven.

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After having your fill of crab, walk through the museum to learn more about the legendary brand. Then head downstairs and pick up a loaf of their famed bread to go. During December, the bakers shape the loaves into fantastical creatures like sea turtles and alligators and holiday-inspired delights like wreaths and Santa Claus.