“Run by maniacs for quality”, this Outer Richmond “discovery” produces “excellent” breads and pastries along with “delicious” New American fare for breakfast, “light lunch” and weekend brunch; the “friendly service”, “sweet” interior and “amazing backyard” help distract from “higher than typical prices."
1. This isn’t a class per se, but we couldn’t not include it on our list of ways to meet interesting people. Marla Bakery hosts Sunday night suppers and it’s definitely something you won’t want to miss. Have a family-style meal with strangers and leave after a night of good conversation with a few new friends. Make sure you follow them on social media to know when these events are happening!
What: Snack on this sweet holiday treat at Marla Bakery, which will be serving up epic portions of pillowy sufganiyot filled with Meyer lemon or quince.
Details: You can pick up these pastries or pre-order them from Marla Bakery (3619 Balboa St., SF) and pick up on either Saturday, December 24, or Tuesday, December 27 through Sunday, January 1. Order online here.
"The backyard of this adorable bakery was the site of owners’ Amy Brown and Joe Wolf’s 2014 wedding, so it’s infused with good romantic vibes. The multi-tiered deck and patio, designed by Paxton Gate, offer plenty of opportunity for privacy. Even if it ends up not being a love match, you’ve at least gotten a chance to eat Marla Bakery’s excellent sticky buns, cardamom coffee cake, and English muffins, or more substantial meals like salads and lamb confit soup."
Brown’s response was soul-searching and eloquent. “I have worked in restaurants and bakeries in this city for over 20 years,” she wrote. “I am a neighborhood local — as is almost every person that works with us at Marla Bakery. And that’s the thing. People. At Marla Bakery, we make almost everything we serve from scratch. By hand. That $2.50 bagel? Rolled by hand. Boiled and then baked by our bakers. The bread? Of which everyone but Challah is less than $8.00 (most loaves are actually $5 or less)? Mixed, shaped and baked by hand, in a wood burning oven fired every day by hand, cleaned out for baking at 3 am every morning ... by hand.
“Making food this way isn’t cheap and you are right, our prices our higher. Our ingredients cost more, our labor going into each product costs more. It will always be less expensive to buy cream cheese than to make our own farmers cheese for our bagels. It will always cost more to grind our own meat for burgers, cure our own pastrami, make our own bread than it would to buy these things pre-made, mass produced. Machines are cheaper than people. We don’t do this to seem elitist, we do this because we think what comes from people’s hands tastes better than what comes from machines.”
Marla is the love child of husband-wife team Amy Brown and Joe Wolf, and the pair comes with quite a pedigree. Prior to Marla, Brown ran the pastry and brunch program at Nopa, while Wolf was the head pickler at Wise Sons. The couple built out a wood-burning oven in the Outer Richmond and introduced their charming café in 2014. The flavorful seeded bagels, which are boiled and baked fresh daily, are a particular specialty. They're crowned with savory toppings—chickpea za'atar spread, lox, smoked trout and herbed farmers cheese among them—and served alongside house-made pickles. Orders are capped at a half-dozen per customer to avoid selling out too early.
You can now get the excellent baked goods in a more highly-trafficked spot.
As part of the Ferry Building’s five new heated, outdoor arcade stalls, Marla Bakery is now up and running (or will be at 11:30 a.m. today) on the Embarcadero. The new Marla is open every day with a daily-changing menu of its popular bagels, english muffins, housemade yogurt, kouign amann and more, plus a Wrecking Ball coffee and espresso bar (there’s also currently pannetone and stollen for the holidays). The shop, like the others in the arcade, is counter service, and caters to the on-the-go working and tourist crowds. Thus, there’s also a daily lunchbox with a sandwich, two sides and a cookie and takeaway items like bagel four-packs, bagel chips and black sesame and sea salt crackers.
Marla Bakery is the third of five new heated, outdoor stalls to open in the new “arcade” build-out along the Embarcadero side of the building. Blue Bottle and Sow Juice opened this month, and Fort Point Beer Company and Dandelion Chocolate are soon to follow. Marla Bakery is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live the life of a baker? Surrounded by heavenly aromas, butter, and sugar all day? Sounds dreamy, as long as you’re an early bird — baker hours start well before the sun rises! Follow San Francisco Cooking School pastry alum Krista Allvey as she takes us through 24 Hours at Marla Bakery, complete with morning canelé rituals, brownies and cookies and cakes (oh my!), and a day selling at the farmers market.
Did you know that Marla added Saturday brunch service? So now you can come by on Saturday or Sunday for their incomparable bagels with herbed farmers cheese, house-smoked sable fish, pickled vegetables, or their baked egg, which comes with spiced tomato cream, red Russian kale, charred torpedo onions, and garlic oil with grilled bread. Yeah, you want that — and their English muffin, too. Embrace the carbs, folks. 10:30am–2:30pm. 3619 Balboa (at 37th Avenue)
Published on Dec 18, 2012 Amy Brown, founder of Marla Bakery in San Francisco, explains the process behind her delicious Panettone. For more information (or to order this special holiday treat) go to www.marlabakery.com