San Francisco Chefs Reveal Their Favorite Meals in the Bay Area

San Francisco Chefs Reveal Their Favorite Meals in the Bay Area

Nicolette Manescalchi (Executive Chef, A16) Bagel from Marla Bakery: 
"This is a tough question, as I have a 1 year old son and that has put a big halt on my dining out.  Due to my current lifestyle which is consumed with work and baby, I'd have to say the thing I eat out the most and always enjoy are the bagels from Marla Bakery.
I love that the bagels are coated in seeds.  The poppy seed, sesame seed and multi seed are all great.  They also have a wonderful texture.  They have house made farmer's cheese that comes with the bagels as well as smoked or cured McFarland Springs trout, which I love.  It's great to have a neighborhood bakery that uses the same quality and care in their ingredients and preparation that we use at A16."

Marla Bakery  

3619 Balboa St, San Francisco

(415) 742-4379


2355 Chestnut Street, San Francisco

(415) 771-2216


Bagels, croissants, scones — anything from this Outer Richmond cafe's wood-fired oven is a morning or afternoon hit, making the out-of-its way address one of the city's leading bakery destinations. Brunch highlights extend far beyond baked goods to salads, quiche and baked eggs (and weekend-only crullers). Friendly service and a sun-filled room create a cheery brunch atmosphere, as does the small but impressive wine list.

Best dishes: Bagel plate; Marla English muffin with beef brisket




 “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."

50 Classes and Events to Help You Meet People in Your City

50 Classes and Events to Help You Meet People in Your City


 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! 

The Complete Bay Area Guide to 2016 Hanukkah Feasting

The Complete Bay Area Guide to 2016 Hanukkah Feasting

 Sufganiyot at Marla Bakery

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 Best Date Spots in The Richmond

The Best Date Spots in The Richmond

No. 2: First Date, Coffee: Marla Bakery

"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."

What Should Eating Out in SF Cost?

What Should Eating Out in SF Cost?

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.”

Time Out San Francisco: Bay Area Bagel Shop Guide

Time Out San Francisco: Bay Area Bagel Shop Guide

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.

Marla Bakery Becomes Much More Accessible With New Ferry Building Location, Now Open

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 stallsMarla 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. Squarespace Spotlight


Squarespace Spotlight: A San Francisco Restaurant Finds a Site Worthy of its Creations


NOV 5, 2015 12:00 AM

A month ago, we asked Squarespace users in the SFist universe to come forward and shamelessly plug their website for a feature on our site. Well it's time! Here's our subject on what they do and how, exactly, Squarespace has made it that much more awesome.

Marla Bakery is a cozy eatery nestled in Outer Richmond, where it's owned and operated by Amy Brown and Joe Wolf. They use Squarespace to host their site full of mouthwatering photos, revolving menus and community updates. Make sure to check them out HERE or in person at 3619 Balboa St.

So what made you decide you wanted a new website?
Our Creative Director, Syril McNally, was initially the catalyst for us utilizing Squarespace to build the new site.

What made you choose Squarespace over other web hosting and design options?
It was relatively easy to use, and more importantly, it gave us the ability to alter daily changing menus.

What part of your site are you most proud of?
The ease of navigation––there is a level of fluidity that Squarespace’s interface gives to the user when viewing the website as a whole.

Any surprises when you started the project?
I was surprised how easy it was to incorporate a commerce section to some of the pages, selling tickets for events with the click of a button made it easy for the user to trust the website's security.

Were you concerned about the cost versus a free service?
Cost was not an issue for what Squarespace provides.

How long did it take you to put your site together?
The site took about 2 months to get completely ready to launch, but our Creative Director designed the site from top to bottom.

Did you notice an uptick in leads or interest since your site's been online?
We have definitely seen a rise in interest since updating the site, especially when it comes to our daily changing breakfast and lunch menus. It has also made ordering to go much easier for users.

 Mobile View:

Mobile View:


The Ultimate Voyage:
San Francisco

Organic food, clothing, and shelter during San Francisco trip.

Unpretentious not, town San Francisco to spend a pleasant lifestyle. Popular restaurants and ecology of using fresh local ingredients to the hotel that was friendly, come true stay that was laid-back, introduce the latest organic spot.

San Francisco Cooking School: 24 Hours … as a Baker at Marla Bakery

San Francisco Cooking School: 24 Hours … as a Baker at Marla Bakery

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.

7x7: 5 New Places Where You Can Get Your Brunch On

7x7: 5 New Places Where You Can Get Your Brunch On

Marla Bakery

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)

Edible San Francisco

Why We Love It: Everything. Marla Bakery is the lovechild—a true lovechild—of Amy Brown and Joe Wolf. The pair met while working at Nopa, and promptly spun off to begin their own, much-loved bakery. The bakery has now exploded into a restaurant that conserves all the rustic elegance and addictive comfort of their pastries.

Patricia Unterman on Marla Bakery and Marla Bakery Kitchen Communal

"Marla Bakery" by Patricia Unterman
Published: October 29, 2014
Direct Link

How can a $6 plate of toast in a bakery/cafe in the depths of the Outer Richmond arouse such universal love? I guess because it is perfect.

At the new brick-and-mortar Marla Bakery, across the street from the Balboa Theater, extravagantly thick slices of ciabatta, sourdough batard and levain are lightly toasted in the wood oven in which they had just been baked. When slathered with sea-salted, house-cultured butter, itself a paragon, and maybe a swath of house-made peach preserves, I guarantee every soft crumb and pliant crust will disappear. It takes two to do it, which brings down the cost to $3.

A caffe latte in a pre-heated oversized cup and saucer will also be perfect, all lush coffee fruitiness underscored by silken, frothless steamed milk, as is pour-over coffee (from Wrecking Ball), for those habituated to the pure and unadulterated. It comes in a smart glass pitcher large enough for two.

You already know I have raved about the pastries, bagels and lunchtime sandwiches made by Amy Brown and Joe Wolf at their Marla community kitchen window on York Street (”What I’m Eating Now,” May, 2014), but this Marla finally allows them full expression.

The new high-ceilinged space is enchanting, decorated with tree branches, dried foliage, wood sculpture and hand-crafted chandeliers. Tiny bouquets on tables made of hunks of recycled wood look as if they had just been foraged in Golden Gate Park. Vintage country music quietly fills the airy room.  As we ate toast, we watched bakers pull breads from a monumental-two-level oven built into the middle of the room. Passers-by drifted in to buy buttery breakfast pastries displayed in a sparkling glass and wood- trimmed case. People took these treasures outside on a deck overlooking a flagstoned garden fetchingly landscaped with mostly edible flowers and herbs. I wanted to move right into this poetic place, a personal extension of the Marla owners’ relationship with nature and the garden.

Marla started dinner service with a family-style Sunday supper ($65/$95 with wine). I went to the first one, inspired by Brown’s recent baking excursion to Turkey. (She traveled all the way southeast to the food mecca of Gazientep.)

Guests milled indoors and out, nibbling on clove-scented pickled vegetables, warm Turkish flatbreads called pide and fava bean hummus. Then we sat down at one long table laden with platters of buttery lamb riblets; slices of rare roasted leg of lamb; moist farro and herb salad with shaved raw artichokes lubricated with labneh (super-high-butterfat strained yogurt–my idea of crack); fresh peas and roasted carrots on spiced carrot puree.

Progressively, fino sherry, magnums of a saffron-and-vanilla scented muscadet, and a juicy, dark Provencal red were freely poured and tasty with the dishes. At the end, full as I was, I ate every crumb of a warm, crisp-edged semolina cake, just set in the center, with a tiny scoop of yogurt ice cream and candied dried apricots. It was irresistible.

I recently returned for a regular dinner, served only Thursday through Saturday nights. The menu changes nightly but the overall style is personal, evoking a sophisticated home kitchen rather than restaurant cooking. The freshness of the vegetables, the choice of seasonal fish and local meats, and the made-from-scratch sensibility behind each dish reassure ingredient-obsessed diners like me. I ate unctuous salmon belly crudo, lightly cured with salt and scattered with salty popcorn, minutely diced avocado, tiny wedges of cherry tomato and wispy onion sprouts that added just the right aromatic punch ($12). A thick, pureed potato-leek soup ($10) needed final seasoning, even though garnished with house-cured bacon. But a beet salad ($10) was exemplary, the marinated beets tender and sweet, still with a little firmness to them. Lacy pepper cress seasoned with flakes of salt, plus a drizzle of creme fraiche, tied the salad together.

New York steak ($30) with various accompaniments is always on the small menu, and I’d go to Marla just for that because it’s cooked so well. A slab of beef at least 3 inches thick, charred on the outside, a juice-spurting medium rare on the inside, was served with wild rice pilaf topped with slivered green bean and shallot salad, all moistened with the steak’s jus. The whole thing was destination luscious.

A crispy skin would have improved duck leg confit ($27), whose soft, deeply seasoned flesh seemed to melt into white bean puree. Traditionalist that I am, I wasn’t wild for confit’s match-up with mild mole sauce, undercooked pozole kernels and jarring pickled carrots. I know that the kitchen was reaching for a sweet and sour Mexican version of agrodolce, but it didn’t get there.

Desserts ($8) waft down from heaven. Elegance and clarity of flavor characterize a small raspberry float, served in a narrow glass brimming with the creamiest of vanilla and raspberry ice creams and raspberry-and-verbena infused sparkling water. The buttery buckwheat shortbread cookie on the float’s saucer melts at tongue’s touch. Even after a substantial meal, Marla’s latte cup of buttered bread pudding, somehow light, barely moistened with vanilla-scented Calvados cream and topped with cubed, juicy, crisply caramelized apples, just floored me.

More than just a restaurant or bakery or café, Marla has become an instant cultural institution in a part of the city where there has never been anything like it. Its ambitious dedication to uncompromising quality and providing such a wide range of meals and offerings, will change the neighborhood. Chef/owners Amy Brown and Joe Wolf have put their heart into creating not only exceptional daily sustenance, but a community.

"What I’m Eating Now" by Patricia Unterman
Marla Bakery Kitchen Communal

Published: May 16, 2014
Direct Link

"Warm Bagel with Herbed Farmers Cheese and Pickle at Marla Bakery. Amy Brown, baker and co/owner of Marla Bakery, brought matzoh to Passover dinner this year. Matzoh are usually square, bland, unleavened crackers that taste like processed white flour, but Brown’s matzoh were round, paper-thin, crackly, olive oil-infused flatbreads that were so divine, they made me a believer–in matzoh. I found out that you can order them all year for pickup at Marla’s almost hidden bakery window on York Street, south of Market.

At the window I discovered  that Marla Bakery makes the best bagel I have ever tasted, a judgement based on a lifetime of bagel eating in Chicago, New York and, currently, Oakland. You can’t buy them by the dozen, only as a sandwich ($5), split and warm, spread with soft, white farmers cheese mashed with fresh dill and scallions, haunting pickles from Brown’s chef/partner, Joe Wolf on the side. The Marla bagel has a thin, crisp crust with a delicately chewy, hugely vivacious interior. The cheese adds just the right amount of salt and the pickles– tender baby carrots or tiny halved turnips tinted with turmeric–contribute the subtle perfume of sweet spices.

There are many reasons to seek out this exceptional bakery, such as small round loaves of savory cheese bread; puff pastry turnovers with miraculously buttery, gazillion-layer crusts, filled with farmers cheese and scallions; and melt-in-your-mouth alfahores, two butter cookies sandwiching a layer of fruity caramel.

The couple is about to open a full-scale bakery and restaurant on Balboa Street across from the Balboa Theater, but do yourself a favor and get to the window as soon as you can. You don’t want to miss one day without Marla. The window will remain in operation even after the restaurant opens."