Boudin Bakery & Café, San Francisco

3.5 out of 5 stars 26 Reviews

156 Jefferson Street (415) 928-1849

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  • My kalamata olive loaf
    My kalamata olive loaf
    by Gypsystravels
  • The packaging -:)
    The packaging -:)
    by Gypsystravels
  • Signage outside
    Signage outside
    by Gypsystravels
  • Boudin Bakery: BOUDIN BAKERY SCAMS PEOPLE!

    by JREngland Written Jun 12, 2012

    BOUDIN BAKERY SCAMS PEOPLE! I ordered a loaf of sourdough from them online for my mom’s birthday, and the bread was perfectly good. About two weeks later, though, a second charge from them appeared on my bank account for around $50. I had not been on the site since the original purchase, so I emailed them to fix the error. They replied that the second charge was for a bread of the month club membership, and since the first month had already shipped, I was stuck with the bill (even though I hadn’t ordered it). They became increasingly unfriendly and condescending as I continued to try to explain the situation to them, refusing to admit that they could have made an error. As of today I have submitted them to the Better Business Bureau, as well as to my bank for credit card fraud. You have been warned!

    Favorite Dish: n/a

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  • Gypsystravels's Profile Photo

    Boudin Bakery & Cafe: We love their olive loaves

    by Gypsystravels Updated May 10, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    My kalamata olive loaf
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    Boudin is a San Francisco institution and has been around since 1849. They are known for the sourdough bread which are baked fresh daily and use the original recipe. There are a variety of breads with include the sourdough, Kalamata olive (my favorite), walnut, ciabatta and pain au levain.

    I've been buying bread here for years and everytime I'm in San Francisco I try to bring home a few loaves. My sister and I love their kalamata olive loaf made with delicious olives. The bread is so yummy, hearty and can last a few days if you use it for toasting.

    I've never eaten at the bakery, but it's always packed with people eating their signature bread bowl with clam chowder. The location at Fisherman's Wharf has a really large bakery, cafe and restaurant with beautiful large windows over looking the bay.

    Favorite Dish: I love their Kalamata Olive loaf and take home a 1lb loaf everything I find myself down by Fisherman's Wharf.

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    Boudins cafe: don't miss the sour dough

    by xymmot Written Feb 6, 2011

    Try Boudin on the wharf, they are bread makers that has a nice restaurant on the lot. Big picture windows face the bay and there are good sights. Here is a clipping of their story

    Real Flavor. Real History.
    In 1849, the Boudin family struck culinary gold. Wild yeasts in the San Francisco air had imparted a unique tang to their traditional French bread, giving rise to “San Francisco sourdough French bread.” Today, the Boudin family's initial recipe lives on in the hands and hearts of our expert bakers, with a portion of the original mother dough still starting each and every sourdough loaf we make. Boudin history since 1849
    Visit our flagship location, where bakers make bread with a recipe we've nurtured since 1849. Eat at our Bakery & Cafe in Baker's Hall, or shop for gourmet gifts in the marketplace. Stroll our museum to learn about Boudin's history. Enjoy the more intimate setting of our full-service restaurant, Bistro Boudin, or relax with a drink at our Bistro bar. Join us for a taste of authentic San Francisco, then and now

    I hope that you enjoy the bread at least and enjoy San Francisco most of all

    cheers tommy x

    Favorite Dish: soup and sandwich.....clam chowder

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  • SJTravel's Profile Photo

    Boudin's: A San Francisco Staple

    by SJTravel Written Jan 9, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you are walking on the street near Fisherman's Wharf, stop by and check out the windows at Boudin's. They make fresh sourdough bread there daily. The cool thing about looking in the window is that you may be treated to them making the bread in very fun shapes. Some things that I have seen them make include: crabs, bears, turtles, and alligators. It is very cool to see.
    Downstairs is a cafeteria type place, while upstairs offers more of a restaurant type experience. I have only eaten downstairs. You order your meal at a counter and bring it to a table. If you are there with more than one person, I recommend having someone stake out a table and someone going to get the food.
    While you are sitting downstairs, you are treated to the site of the bread being delivered straight from the bakery to the counter. It is a treat because they have this elaborate system where things are put in a basket that sits on a track that takes the bread up toward the ceiling and then down to the other side of the building where the food counter is. It is really neat and easily miss-able if you do not pay attention or know about it.

    Favorite Dish: I love Clam Chowder in a bread bowl. I definitely recommend it because it is a great it when San Francisco weather gives you chills while visiting the the wharf right on the water. Plus the Clam Chowder and the Sourdough Bread Bowl are big San Francisco staples. Boudin's is definitely a bread place. The Clam Chowder is good, but not the best I have ever had. However, it is edible. The sourdough bread is delicious.

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    Boudin's: Clam chowder bread bowls-Fisherman's Wharf

    by Dabs Updated Oct 3, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Boudin's sourdough bread chowder

    Stopping by Boudin's for a bread bowl filled with clam chowder was a suggestion I read frequently, we stopped here twice for a bowl. I don't know that it was the best clam chowder I've ever had but I love the idea of the delicious sourdough bread sopping up the chowder and then being able to eat your bowl. And it's especially nice at night when the temperatures drop a bit and you are looking for something to warm you up.

    We first stopped by after the Alcatraz cruise, it was late and we weren't sure if we be able to find a lot of places still open so we stopped here and then over at the takeout fish places. The 2nd visit was a little busier, it was mid afternoon and we joined a lot of people soaking up the sun on their patio. Upstairs at the Wharf location there is also a full service restaurant, we ate at the downstairs self service cafe which has soup, salad and sandwiches on the menu.

    In addition to the chowder, you can buy sourdough bread to take home including some loaves crafted into shapes such as crabs and lots of other goodies at their shop. There's a glass window on the outside of the building where you can watch the bread being made even later in the evening, if you are there during the day you might look into the museum and bakery tour.

    Favorite Dish: Clam chowder in a sour dough bowl of course! We also grabbed sandwiches at their airport location for the plane ride home, surprisingly only about 30 cents more than the Fisherman's Wharf location.

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    Boudin Sourdough Bakery & Cafe: The Original Source of Sourdough

    by TexasDave Written Sep 9, 2009
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    The original purveyor of sourdough bread in S.F.

    Favorite Dish: Although there is a restaurant overlooking the bay on the 2nd floor, prices are higher. I recommend you buy a bowl of clam chowder in a bread bowl and take it out to eat.

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    more crowded: At Pier 39

    by machomikemd Updated Aug 28, 2008

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    lots of people
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    This is the More Crowded Branch of Boudin (Ghirardelli branch is closed) since it is located in the touristy Pier 39 area (although it is just 1/4 mile away from the main branch) and again this San Franciscan Tradition, born of the Goldrush area was established in 1849 by Isidore Boudin, son of a family of master bakers from Burgundy, France, by blending the prevalent sourdough among miners in the Gold Rush with French techniques and they claim that thet still use that same mother dough.

    Favorite Dish: bread bowl filled with creamy clam chowder to die for! again like what I've said, sourdough bread is a 3,000 year tradition and was started by egyptians but why do san francisco sourdough bread taste the best? it is because of the AMBIANCE!!!! No trip to San Francisco would be complete without taking several loaves of San Francisco sourdough bread home (although clam chowders are better in seattle specifically at Ivar's, they don't have the tasty sourdough bread of San Francisco!).

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  • yann.ng's Profile Photo

    Bistro Boudin: MUST TRY the Clam Chowder Sourdough bread bowl!!!

    by yann.ng Written Apr 21, 2008

    My friends and I actually takeaway the sourdough bread bowl and sat by the wharf to enjoy our soup and bread! It was summer, but the wind was a bit chilly for us, but the hot soup warm us up!

    This is one of the 2 food items I've tasted during my travel that I long to taste again!

    Opens daily from 12:00am to 9:00pm

    Favorite Dish: BOUDIN SOURDOUGH BREAD BOWL US$14.95
    Choice of crab & corn chowder or the traditional clam chowder.

    I tried the Clam Chowder which was heavenly and totally complementary with the sour dough bread..

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  • Carmanah's Profile Photo

    Boudin's: Eating clam chowder out of a sourdough bowl!

    by Carmanah Updated Mar 24, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
    1 more image

    It was 11am and I had already checked into the hotel and had scaled down the stairs at Lombard Street before making my way to Fisherman's Wharf. And there is was in all its clam chowdery glory: Boudin's.

    Boudin's takes over a significant chunk of real estate at Fisherman's wharf, with an entire restaurant, bakery, and separate take-out restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating.

    The concept of eating clam chowder in a sourdough bowl is definitey a novelty, but if you're going to play tourist in San Francisco, it has to be done. The city, after all, is famous for its sourdough bread, and when you're famished at 11:30am and you've just teleported yourself to San Francisco, what else are you doing to do?

    Exactly.

    We ordered clam chowder from Boudin's take-out location. While waiting to be called, I learned something very important: when you order from the take-out window, choose to sit underneath the awning. There are literally dozens of pigeons and seagulls that permanently reside next to Boudin's outdoor seating areas - all awaiting left-overs from other people's bread bowl clam chowders.

    Needless to say, being rained on by seagull poop is not on anyone's agenda. (A family with kids sitting next to me learned this the hard way). To avoid this scenario entirely, I recommend eating the soup under some sort of covering, regardless of how much you want the sun in your face!

    Favorite Dish: The clam chowder in the sourdough bowl is pretty much the famous item on the menu here, but it ain't cheap. For 2 bowls of clam chowder plus one bottle of water costs $17. While not outrageous, they're tourist prices.

    The clam chowder was New England style - creamy with bits of potato in it. It was just simple comfort food, and was perfect on that cool spring afternoon. There's way more bread than soup per portion, and good luck to anyone who attempts to eat the whole bowl. I couldn't, but I tried. The bread is tasty, but bring a hearty appetite!

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  • poetjo's Profile Photo

    Boudin Bakery & Café: Great Sandwiches

    by poetjo Updated Jan 29, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This location has closed. So, check out the location on Jefferson street near Taylor or the one at Pier 39. They're all good.

    I'm writing about the one on Beach Street within Ghirardelli Square. It's a very small spot though the service is quick enough that you're really never waiting for a very long time.

    The sandwiches are very good though a bit pricey. My fav. is the vegetarian sandwich and the turkey and swiss with cranberry sauce. Yummy!!!

    They are known for their clam chowder served within a round sourdough bowl.
    There are various locations.

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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Boudin Sourdough Bakery & Café: A San Francisco Classic!

    by machomikemd Updated Oct 18, 2007

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Yum!
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    Boudin Sourdough Bakery and Cafe is located on Jefferson and Taylor, but there are also locations in the wharf area at Pier 39 and Ghirardelli Square. They have been making the original San Francisco sourdough bread since 1849 and it is like no bread you'll ever have anywhere else in the world. It was established in 1849 by Isidore Boudin, son of a family of master bakers from Burgundy, France, by blending the prevalent sourdough among miners in the Gold Rush with French techniques.

    Privately owned and operated, the cafes sell a variety of food and bakery products. In addition to its Sourdough bread, Boudin Sourdough Bakery & Cafes sell coffee and espresso drinks, Sourdough bagels, pastries, hearty sandwiches, soups in a bread bowl, salads in a bread bowl, and Sourdough pizzas.

    Opens: everyday from 11am-6pm

    Favorite Dish: Boudin Bakery is world-famous for its Original San Francisco Sourdough French Bread, which is baked with the same "Mother Dough" or Sourdough Starter used since 1849. Born in the Gold Rush, Boudin Bakery is the oldest business in San Francisco. The bakery still uses the same "starter" yeast culture it developed during the California Gold Rush.

    If you want a light lunch, you can get a bread bowl filled with creamy clam chowder to die for. No trip to San Francisco would be complete without taking several loaves of San Francisco sourdough bread home (although clam chowders are better in seattle specifically at Ivar's, they don't have the tasty sourdough bread of San Francisco!). It's a place to bring your out-of-town friends here to impress or entertain them. The glass building was built only 2-3 years ago. There're usually a small crowd gathered along the Jefferson St where you can peek in to see the making of the monstrous shaping bread: Lobster, big crab, and crocodile. San Francisco's famous clam chowder is hold in a sourdough bread bowl for ~$8. As you're waiting in line, you'll find yourself dazzled with the moving bread baskets on top

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  • heryanta's Profile Photo

    Boudin Bakery & Café: Sourdough

    by heryanta Written Aug 16, 2007

    If you have not had sourdough bread before you are missing out :)

    Boudin bakery prides itself as one of the original bakeries in San Francisco (it started operations in 1849). They have a restaurant at Fisherman's Wharf and a small outlet near Macy's Union Square.

    I like their Italian sandwich on a sourdough a lot - which is a cold sandwich with pepperoni, ham, olives and provolone cheese.

    How does a sourdough taste? Well, it taste a lot like white bread, only it has a really nice mild sour after taste...you should really try it.

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    Boudin Bakery & Café: Chowder and a sourdough cob on Pier 39.

    by worldkiwi Written May 7, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Boudin's Bakery and Cafe, Pier 39.

    The Boudin Bakery and Cafe seems to be a popular chain in this part of the world. I've categorised them as "fast food", because you basically go in, order, get served at the counter, go off and eat. For the average budget traveller tramping around on foot, Boudin's offers filling tucker. I enjoyed a chowder in a cob (a hollowed out bread bowl) that was made of sourdough, I believe. It was actually very yummy and just what I needed when I stopped for a break at touristy Pier 39.

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    Boudin Bakery & Café: You have to have the Chowder!

    by PrincessMonja Updated Apr 25, 2007

    I loved this place - A bakery downstairs and a gift shop as well (nice bits and pieces in there) and then upstairs a lovely bar and restaurant area.

    I loved the bar (well some things never change!) and even though twenty or so travel agents piled in and set them selves up to do some work for a while, the staff were friendly and polite even providing stationary for us - (small note to the Brits don't ask the hunky bar tender for 'a rubber' - ask for 'an eraser' - saves embarresment all round!!!)

    We all came back to this place whether it was for the shop, to buy the bread, the great food or maybe that hunky bar tender...

    Favorite Dish: They are famous for their chowder served in a sourdough loaf - it's great. They also serve it with a ceasar salad making a delicious and rather filing lunch.

    All the other items were tasty, but this was my fav.

    (Unfortunately I can't remember exactly what I paid - sorry guys!)

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  • Muya's Profile Photo

    Boudin Bakery & Café: For a famous clam chowder

    by Muya Updated Mar 15, 2007
    Clam Chowder and crab sandwich

    Very famous and full of tourists… It is very hard to find a place to sit !
    But we wanted to taste the real clam chowder and we were told this was the place to go.
    We had a crab sandwich and a clam chowder in sourdough bread. Really really tasty, but quite expensive and not very much on your plate ... and that doesn't happen very often in this country :-)

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