The French cafe we love so much is back. Back with a more beautiful name that embodies the new vision, heart and soul behind the quaint SF neighborhood cafes. The new name? La Boulangerie De San Francisco.
We, for one, are so happy to welcome back this neighborhood spot. One that was always dependable to be a perfect place for catching up with friends, sitting solo, or grabbing something on the go. The spot where the noise level is loud enough to feel home-y, alive, and laid back… but quiet enough to hold intimate conversations. We especially love the delicious open faced sandwiches, MmMMmm worthy hot chocolate, and freaking BOMB house-made Choux cream puffs. Yes… welcome back, for good, La Boulangerie De San Francisco!
We wanted to dig a little deeper and find out WTF is really going on. Like many SFers, we had a lot of questions. Are they still under the big ass FOOT of Starbucks? Are they back for good? How are they changing up the game now that they seem to be back… they ARE back right?
So here’s what happened- for the past couple of months, it seemed like La Boulange was becoming soooooo basic. There was even news of La Boulange closing down and that they were in partnership with Starbucks.
Then when we heard of a new location opening up in Noe Valley- we went to see their new menu, try their food, and hopefully talk to a few employees along the way.
We assume that perhaps Pascal and his team wanted to bring back a new La Boulangerie with the original vision of community, quality food, and a friendly atmosphere. The new locations seem much more on par (and improved!) with the original cafes from 5-6 years ago, and less what they were like in recent previous years.
La Boulangerie has a beautiful interior too. This is a place where we go frequently to enjoy the atmosphere; a place where we can meet with friends and neighbors. A place where we can come to sit for awhile and take in the rhythm of the city, while enjoying good food and desserts.
We’re assuming this is why La Boulangerie still does not offer wifi. And it really is a beautiful thing to be able to escape in a wifi-less spot. No internet to distract. People actively engaging with their environment instead of heads down, screens up. The thought behind it is really appreciated.
La Boulangerie doesn’t just talk the talk when it comes to the ethos behind the brand and it’s love for San Francisco. We learned that they source a lot of their products locally and almost everything is made in-house, with a bakery (at their original location on Pine st) that runs AROUND THE CLOCK 24/7 to consistently bring each location fresh artisan bread and pastries. And seriously- their baguettes are to freaking kill for. I mean hello, they are a French inspired cafe.
We saw that they use Equator coffee too! Equator coffee is bomb.com- truly the perfect medium roast. And extra cool is this: Equator is ran by an ALL women team based in the Bay Area. Heck yes- Go girls! We even read that Equator mostly supplies from small women owned farms too. (Also, damn, we should write something on Equator!)
As we sat and worked (for hours! Friendliest service ever) we noticed one thing. La Boulangerie is no longer the 7 minutes-grab-your-food-and-go kind of place. We can tell they are making sure everything is perfect- from pretty plated foods, to their packaging, to how warmly they treat their customers. Not your typical “turn it and burn it” cafe, you know? We liked that.
Even their chai is handcrafted and individually steeped to order. It’s a favorite for us- with spices including cardamon, cloves, peppercorn, and more. No additives either! Ooooh and their house made vanilla syrup! They use Madagascar vanilla beans and apparently it’s a 10 minute process every day to make. They ain’t messing around y’all. 🙂
People, this sounds crazy, but you can legit feel the the cozy, homelike, feel-good passion the moment you walk into any of their new locations. At the Noe Valley location for instance, it’s so… charming. Very French. Other La Boulangerie locations include: Union, Cole Valley, Hayes Valley, Fillmore location (coming soon!), and their mother bakery on Pine.
The new La Boulangerie De San Francisco reopening just feels like a little win for our city. Like we had lost a friend and then got them back- and they return even better than before- that almost never happens. And we are loudly rooting for all our little French nooks of SF. We’ll be there all the time. Just like the old days. 🙂
P.S- We love the beet and goat cheese salad, the croque madame, and their open faced avocado sandwich. (Don’t get us started on the pastries or this article will never end… divine.)