Whether you love fancy toast or you hate the fact that delicious, fancy toast costs way too much (in theory), you can’t call yourself an SF resident — or say you’ve visited our fair city — without eating our game-changing toast.
From the tiny coffee shop by the ocean where it all started (really!) to the newest place to get your carb-loading on, you’ve not really lived life to the fullest until you’ve experienced toast from one of these twelve places.
This little shop in the Outer Sunset is where the $4 (okay, now maybe more like at least $6) toast craze started with their classic cinnamon sugar toast. There’s even an episode of This American Life about their “artisanal” toasts beginning. You might be floored to learn it was born from a place of comfort and is way more humble than you would believe.
Besides some of the best coffee in SF, Mazarine also has nine different toast options at their Castro shop. You can order a classic like Nutella and hazelnut, or go a little crazy with tomato, ricotta & basil. Need a little more protein with your breakfast? Their ham, egg, and cheese or smoked salmon might be for you.
There might be a line out the door in the mornings, but the wait is worth it for Josey Baker’s (yes, that’s his real name!) bread famously milled in-house. His team bakes 350 loaves of bread, seven days a week — and that’s not counting all the yummy pastries they sell too. You can choose your own bread and toppings, but we like to leave it to the professionals and choose a combo from their weekly specials. If it’s too busy to find a seat, grab yours to go and sit in Alamo Square, a block away.
If you look at farm:table’s geotag on Instagram, you’ll see hundreds upon hundreds of photos of toast. Lightly toasted bread is topped with a creamy mascarpone spread and then layered with whatever fruit is in season. It makes the perfect small breakfast or light snack, especially when paired with their matcha if you’re near Union Square.
The toast menu (yes, it’s a thing) at Home in the Inner Sunset is constantly revolving — which just gives us more excuses to go back. Past favorites have included their condensed milk toast with poached egg, pesto and sausage toast, and tomato, truffle oil, and pesto toast. Plus, they all pair nicely with La Paz and Four Barrel coffees.
Cafe St. Jorge
Oookay, Cafe St. Jorge has unicorn toast, so you should probably just drop whatever you’re doing and head to the Mission now. (And it’ll light up your Instagram feed.). Their unicorn toast is topped with raspberry cream cheese, turmeric honey cream cheese, and blueberry cream cheese, then sprinkled with bee pollen. If you’re more of a classic toast type, their banana toast and avocado toast are pretty stellar, too.
There are seven (seven!) different types of toast on Jane’s menu. Choose from sourdough or multigrain bread with butter and homemade jam, gluten-free quinoa bread, walnut and fig bread, gluten-free nut and seed bread with almond butter and preserves, or last but differently not least — avocado mash. It’s topped with cracked black pepper, poached egg, pickled shallot, jalapeño, and (duh) avocado.
Samovar Tea Lounge
With locations in SoMa and the Mission, their food offerings are “mostly toast” (their words, not ours). Choose from Asian-inspired toasts like miso tahini or their new Singapore Egg Toast made with butter, sweet coconut, and a poached egg on top. Plus, who can say no to one of the best cups of tea in the city alongside their toast?
The team behind the famous Tartine Bakery opened Tartine Manufactory in the Mission, which is basically a Disneyland for foodies in SF. They call their toast “Smørrebrød” in Danish fashion and top it with whatever creation their chef has in their head that day. Past versions have included goat cheese and compote on Danish rye or stracciatella, rose, and Cara Cara oranges.
What makes Outerlands toast so special? Their sourdough levain bread is made in-house, specially formulated for the humidity and chill of the Outer Sunset. It’s served with house-cultured butter and jam, nori, cauliflower, arugula, and Meyer lemon vinaigrette, or almond butter and strawberries. Go early (or during the week) because there’s always a long wait.
You might not be in Mission Bay often, but Cafe Réveille is worth the drive (or Uber fare). There’s a salmon tartine (fancy word for toast) that will make you question your devotion to the avocado variety, and an almond butter, honey, and banana version if you prefer a sweet breakfast.