“Fresh cracked crab with Boudin’s round ‘dark bake’ sourdough and a well-chilled bottle of California Chardonnay is still the quintessential S.F. meal.” Herb Caen
Boudin bakery has been churning out Sourdough bread since 1849. Wild yeasts and the thick San Francisco air gave the traditional French recipe new life in the form of Sourdough. One would have a hard time conjuring up a better vessel for soup that that!
Visitors flock to San Francisco’s famed Wharf from all over the globe. It’s a tourist trap for sure, but there is something about the adventure of wandering through the busy sidewalks, cheesy souvenir stores (even in the summer, you’ll more than likely be happy to pay for an overpriced sweatshirt on your way to Alcatraz because you thought you wouldn’t be cold). Dodging seagulls, pigeons and busking entertainers (unless they really earn it) is a sport. The sounds of the ferries and fog horns in the distance, the cool breeze blowing in from the bay, and of course, those giant steaming pots of whole fresh Dungeness crabs and a wide selection of chowders are enchanting indeed…
Speaking of Chowders, you’ll find a bowl of that local favorite at almost every turn. Boudin makes their clam chowder in house, and it is the perfect accompaniment to their Sour Dough Bread.
The chowder does play second fiddle to the bread however, and that’s ok. It’s still good. Full of piping hot cubed potatoes, diced steamer clams, cream and clam juice… (it is topped with a finely diced parsley garnish for color), the meal is a perfect San Francisco lunchtime combination. Be sure to tear pieces of bread from the lid and dip it into the soup. Don’t worry, Miss manners is nowhere near!
A tour through the Boudin building is a must! What began as family business of French bread makers; Boudin is now one of the most recognized bread companies in the country, and one of the most agreed upon top food choices to be sampled while visiting the City by the Bay. They also ship their famous bread.
Add a fascinating story of how the Sourdough was almost lost to the world during the great earthquake of 1906, as well as an on site factory, two choices of restaurants (Bistro Boudin and Baker’s Hall) an oyster bar, a wonderful gift shop, and finally: a museum to the mix while visiting The Wharf, and you’ll have quite the experience. All of the above can be found inside of one remarkable building.
For only three dollars, you can have a front row seat to the bread making process from start to finish, and learn about San Francisco’s bread from the molecular level on up… Bread is an art as well as a science.
Fisherman’s Wharf will always be a tourist Mecca packed with visitors from every walk of life, and every corner of the world. The best parts of The San Francisco Bay: The Dungeness crab, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Chowders, and of course: the Bread keeps visitors coming back for more. Perhaps the draw of the ever-popular destination is because it is an equalizer of sorts. It’s a fantastic free-for-all where anything goes. At the wharf, you can be yourself, explore, shop, and eat to your hearts content!
A picnic with a bottle of Chardonnay, some fresh steamed crabs and a loaf of bread to go isn’t a bad idea either! Rent a bike and enjoy your culinary treasures at the slower paced and less crowded Crissy Field.
“In baking, people are always looking for the new bread. But it exists already. Using old ways is a glorious way to make new things. The man with the best future is the one with the longest memory.” Lionel Poilane
So true! And you can taste the past at Boudin.