Marin’s Top Bakeries: The Best Places to Get Your Carb Fix

Rustic Bakery, Best Bakery Marin

If there is one surefire takeaway from the madness of recent years, Marin reaaaaally likes bread and pastries. With more shops, farm stands, home bakeries and pop-ups in Marin to partake of yeasty sweet and savory treats, the only question is: which town boasts the best croissant or batard? The 2023 readers’ choice Best of the County winner is Rustic Bakery (pictured above). For the rest of the Marin Magazine‘s Best of Marin County bakery picks see below.

Our 2023 Dining category sponsor is Rodney Strong.

Because there are so many great ones, we’ve broken it down by region: Southern, Central, Northern and Western Marin.

Southern | Central | NorthernWestern

Southern Marin

Cibo Bakery at Angelino Restaurant

Sausalito

Cibo Bakery, Marin
Pastries from Angelino Pastry Bar / Cibo Bakery

Pastry chef Tera Ancona set up a pastry bar inside her family’s Sausalito waterfront restaurant during Covid and never looked back. Open Wednesday–Sunday for pre-order and to-go, Angelino’s bar now features tea breads, tartes, traditional Genovese focaccia, quiche and Ancona’s renowned croissants.

Sausalito Bakery & Café

Sausalito

Its waterfront location is a magnet for tourists who can enjoy an omelet with a view, but this may be one of the only places left in Marin that makes its own apple strudel and baklava.

571 Bridgeway, Sausalito, 415.331.9552

Bob’s Donuts

Mill Valley

Bob's Donuts

Established in the 1960s, Bob’s Donuts and Pastries has become a staple for donut lovers in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area, with their latest shop opened in Mill Valley. Famous for their apple fritters, giant donuts ( a must-see to believe), and quality baked goods, stop by for a sweet treat.

252 Almonte Blvd, Mill Valley,  415.322.6278

Mill Valley Baking Company

Mill Valley

Mill Valley Baking Company

Karen Fong’s seasonally-inspired kouign-amanns are filled with lemon curd, apple pie filling or Nutella. Or try the focaccia studded with seasonal vegetables. House made cinnamon buns are made of croissant dough and the sourdough baguettes with seeds and cranberries will tempt the incorruptible. Look for lavender scented scones with blueberries and lemon as the weather cools.

17 E. Blithedale Ave, Mill Valley; 415.885.9862

Le Marais Bakery

Mill Valley

Le Marais Bakery, Mill Valley

Breton-style crêpes and an assortment of French favorites like cinnamon buns, butter croissants, and kouign-amann attract the crowds at breakfast while flans et gâteaux and berry lemon danish honor no specific part of the day.

250 E. Blithedale Ave, Mill Valley; 415.888.3695

Waldscraft Bakery

San Rafael

Waldscraft

Stacey Waldspurger’s pandemic pivot into a cottage bakery business quickly developed a booming following for her veggie-topped focaccia, frangipane tarts, blueberry cream muffins, chocolate cookies and other Euro-American treats.

San Rafael

Jane Marin

Tiburon

Sweet Things Bakery, Marin

The legendary Sweet Things bakery is now part of Jane. Even though it is tucked into a corner of The Cove shopping center, lovers of Hungarian coffee cake, apple cheese tart and raspberry-apricot rugelach line up every day for all-day, cake and coffee cafe.

1 Blackfield Dr, Tiburon; 415.388.8583

Central Marin

Nothing Bundt Cakes

Corte Madera

Nothing Bundt Cakes

Their unique shape is said to be inspired by the Germanic cake known as a Gugelhopf, but there is no need to “hopf” in-between its distinctive pointy ridges. Choose little bundlets or a regular size in a range of flavors from lemon and confetti to red velvet and, yes, pumpkin spice.

47 Tamal Vista Blvd, Suite G, Corte Madera; 415.924.2500

Boudin 

Corte Madera

Boudin

San Francisco’s original sourdough is available at its Corte Madera outpost as rounds and longer loafs. Hand-stretched sourdough crust also forms the base for the restaurant’s San Francisco-style pizzas.

The Village at Corte Madera, 1734 Redwood Highway, Corte Madera; 415.737.1849

Rustic Bakery

Larkspur

Rustic Bakery

The location on the western end of Magnolia Ave is less well-known (except to Larkspur’s pastry denizens) than the location at the Marin Country Mart, but the focaccia and pain de mie, poached pear croissants and apple cinnamon scones are a treat no matter where you eat them.

1139 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur; 415.925.1556 and 2017 Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur; 415.461.9900. (additional locations in Novato and Tiburon)

Emporio Rulli

Larkspur

Emporio Rulli

During the holiday season, panettone Milanese is a highlight of a bakery dedicated to the Italian pastry cannon. The rest of the year, you’ll just have to settle for tartufo, tiramisu, apricot almond torta and pastries like sfogliatelle and cassata siciliana.

464 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur; 415.924.7478

M.H. Bread & Butter

San Anselmo

M.H. Bread & Butter

Eclairs, chile relleno croissants and cheddar pimento scones are just a few of the standouts on an extensive menu of French and American fare. Look for Parker House rolls around the holidays, brioche French toast, and cinnamon sugar toast on house made country bread, among the many offerings.

101 San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo; 415.755.4575

Flour Craft Bakery & Café

San Anselmo

Flour Craft

Though perhaps best known for their granola, Heather Hardcastle’s gluten-free bakery is equally known for the fluffy brioche loaves and walnut sourdough and a not-to-be-missed lemon drizzle cake. Luckily, there is a second location in Mill Valley where all items are available.

702 San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo; 415.453.3100

Red Hill Cake and Pastry

San Anselmo

All-American classics like chocolate chunk cookies, lemon bars and hot dog rolls share a pastry case with savory Chinese pastries like a barbecue pork bun (char siu bao) and shrimp rolls, and even Cornish “pasties” — savory hand pies and pot pies like beef or sun-dried tomato quiche.

Red Hill Center, 908 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Anselmo. 415.457.3632

Amelie Café

Fairfax

Amelie Cafe

Though better known for its evening personality as a wine bar, the French café serves up fresh viennoiserie, pain au raisin, croissants and coffee in the morning.

71 Broadway Blvd, Fairfax; 628.253.5161

Victoria Bakery

Greenbrae

Victoria Bakery cake

Strawberry shortcake is just one of the heritage (and seasonal) desserts perfected by the century-old bakery at Bon Air Center. Look for raspberry ricotta cheesecake wrapped in a croissant and princess cake among the many treats in the wide case.

292 Bon Air Center, Greenbrae; 415.461.3099

SusieCakes

Greenbrae

Susie Cakes

Marble cake and vanilla cupcakes topped with pink or blue icing are just a few of the classic American treats on hand. There is also a gender reveal cupcake with a pink or blue center, visible only after the cupcake is sliced apart.

310 Bon Air Center, Greenbrae; 415.461.2253

Ponsford’s Place Bakery & Innovation Center

San Rafael

Ponford's Place Bakery

Open one day (Saturday), Craig Ponsford’s shop is a self-proclaimed “eccentric place, where things change all the time.” Ponsford’s style leans into traditional European breads and viennoiserie, with a focus on locally milled flours from Petaluma’s Central Milling, Community Grains in Oakland and Marin’s Honoré Farm and Mill. Chocolate coins (mendiants), savory pumpkin pie, sour rye, pumpernickel, and a baguette with a crisp crust and tender crumb said to be “the best” by the French (Ponsford’s team won the baguette category in the 1996 Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie) are wintery items that you should be able to find when you stop in. 

117 Shaver Street, San Rafael. 

Arizmendi

San Rafael

Arizmendi

The za’atar seasoned sourdough focaccia round is flavor-packed with sesame seeds, sumac, and thyme, but many guests return over and over for the cornmeal cherry scones and the Chocolate Thing — house made brioche dough studded with dark chocolate chunks.

1139 Fourth St, San Rafael; 415.456.4093

Bordanaves Bakery

San Rafael

Bordanaves Bakery, Marin

Well-known for their bread at many Bay Area restaurants, the brand also runs a storefront in San Rafael’s West End where you can buy the same dinner rolls, strawberry cheese croissants and Dutch crunch “longie” baguettes as everyone else.

1512 Fourth St, San Rafael; 415.453.2957

Woodbine Bakery

San Rafael

Woodbine Bakery

No walk-ins, just pre-orders available for a bakery run by head baker Emilee Bernas whose focus is custom-designed cakes

625 Du Bois St, San Rafael, 415.306.7617

Northern Marin

Creekside Bakery

Novato

Creekside Bakery

House made levain toast, quiche (smoked ham and Marin French brie is forever) and sandwiches on griddled ciabatta are part of the appeal of this long-running bakery and café but it’s the large assortment of cakes — from carrot and coffee crunch to St. Honoré and Black Forest — that have a dedicated following.

1719 Grant Ave, Novato; 415.892.7655

Flour Chylde

Novato

Flour Chylde

The 100% gluten-free bakery makes seasonal treats like soft pretzels for Oktoberfest and s’mores for Fourth of July. Many items, like the gooey cinnamon roll, snickerdoodles and multi-grain bread, are vegan, too.

850 Grant Ave, Novato; 415.893.7700

Western Marin

Parkside Bakery 

Stinson Beach

Parkside Cafe

Stone fruit pies, fruit galettes and baguettes are just a few of the items pulled from the hearth on the other side of the building that also houses the namesake restaurant. The breakfast menu serves up brioche French toast, too.

43 Arenal Ave, Stinson Beach; 415.868.1272

Bovine Bakery

Point Reyes

Bovine Bakery

A sprinkling of gluten-free fare such as a chocolate cherry almond cookies or blueberry banana muffins are regularly available, but the downtown Point Reyes Station bakery is beloved for its gluten-full raspberry almond marzipan tart and peanut butter blondies as well as for its savory croissants (chevre, spinach and mushroom is oh-so Marin).

11315 Shoreline Hwy, Point Reyes Station; 415.663.9420

Brickmaiden Breads

Point Reyes

Brickmaiden Bakery, Point Reyes

The daily bread list includes country white sourdough and ficelle rolls but people often shop by day of the week for apricot hazelnut scones and lemon poppyseed poundcake. Thursday brings baker’s choice whole grain bread while Saturday means half or whole Khorasan miche — a French country-style sourdough made with ancient kamut — is available.

40 Fourth St, Point Reyes Station; 415.663.1203

Route One Bakery & Kitchen

Tomales

Route One Bakery and Kitchen

The San Francisco Chronicle recently lauded Tomales’ popular bakery as one of the best bakeries in the Bay Area and we couldn’t agree more. Be sure to stop by during the morning for a breakfast biscuit sandwich stuffed with egg and cheese, an iced pecan roll or a ham and cheese croissant — the bakery transitions to a Roman-style pizzeria and sub shop at 11 a.m.

27000 CA-1, Tomales; 707.879.2022

Sponsor

Rodney Strong: 2023 Best of the County Dining

Rodney Strong was an acknowledged visionary who understood the potential that Sonoma County’s soil and climate held for producing world-class wines and was one of the first to plant Pinot Noir in Russian River Valley and the first to produce a Chalk Hill appellation Chardonnay.

How do you cater to both oenophiles and newbies?
At our winery, we pride ourselves on creating an exceptional experience that caters to both connoisseurs and newbies alike. We offer a diverse range of offerings and services that accommodate the varied preferences and knowledge levels of our guests and are committed to providing a custom experience.
What sets you apart from other wineries?
Our winery has achieved national recognition for its exceptional craftsmanship, with our wines consistently earning high scores and accolades from esteemed critics and competitions.
How do you cater to both oenophiles and newbies?
At our winery, we pride ourselves on creating an exceptional experience that caters to both connoisseurs and newbies alike. We offer a diverse range of offerings and services that accommodate the varied preferences and knowledge levels of our guests and are committed to providing a custom experience.

Chrisitina Mueller

Christina Mueller is a long-time Bay Area food writer. She hails from the East Coast and has spent way too much time in South America and Europe. She discovered her talent as a wordsmith in college and her love of all things epicurean in grad school. She has written for Condé Nast Contract Publishing, Sunset, and the Marin Independent Journal, among others. She volunteers with California State Parks and at her childrens’ schools, and supports the Marin Audubon Society, PEN America, and Planned Parenthood. When she is not drinking wine by a fire, she is known to spend time with her extended family.