We all have our local haunts for baked goods—the neighborhood spot, a block or two from our apartments, that always have a croissant on hand and an ok cup of coffee.
But it’s a special kind of bakery that can persuade me to walk an extra 20 minutes or to grab Lyft to visit. And Breadbelly is one of those bakeries—a rare destination shop that’s drawing one to the Outer Richmond for its singular treats.
Fresh from the oven at the end of 2018, Breadbelly is the recipe of three pastry world friends—Clement Hsu, James Wong, and Katherine Campecino—who met years ago while working together at Atelier Crenn. Each went on to work at different well-respected restaurants (Campecino went to Mourad, while Wong did time at AQ), but the friends stayed close and hatched a plan. In 2018 they quit their full-time gigs to launch a series of pop-ups slanging Asian-influenced baked goods, regularly taking over the Outer Sunset’s Andytown Coffee Roasters where they drew in-the-know foodies for such ingenious creations as anko red bean paste sticky buns and alfajor-esque black sesame cookies.
In September last year, the Richmond’s old Heartbaker space opened up; the infrastructure was there, as were the neighborhood vibes to make a permanent home for their enterprise. Now, with a fresh coat of cream paint, new light fixtures, art prints, and plants from a nearby nursery, Breadbelly is the neighborhood brick-and-mortar bakery for those who call the Outer Richmond home.
Clever spins on traditional breakfast fare are the appeal here, drawing inspiration from the founders’ Chinese and Filipino backgrounds. The flavors of those cultures can be found in every unique ingredient, in such dishes as kaya toast and ube treats. The caliber of the team’s baking experience shows in the expert balance of salty and sweet in every item, whether it’s the salty flecks of dried egg yolks balancing out the purple sweet potatoes of the ube tart, or the extra bit of butter baked into the milk bread of the kaya toast. Basically, it’s all perfectly mouthwatering. Someone call me a Lyft.
On Clement Street between 15th and 16th avenues, Breadbelly’s sunny teal facade is hard to miss.
Pony up to the Breadbelly pastry case and fight your indecision.
A cross section of the Not Ube! tart reveals a rich and sticky blend of purple sweet potatoes crowned with toasted meringue and salted egg yolk shavings.
A likely contender for SF’s most-Instagrammed foods in 2019, Breadbelly’s kaya toast begins with a light, brioche-like buttery milk bread and is topped with a thick layer of coconut cream jam and dusted with sea salt.
A good breakfast sandwich is essential to the perfect neighborhood morning spot, and Breadbelly doesn’t disappoint. Their ham and cheese ensaymada pastry is toasted and layered with fried egg, ham, scallion jam, and a cheesy pecorino bechamel sauce.
Anyone who visited Breadbelly’s pop-ups will recognize their anko sticky buns, made with red bean paste, toasted pecans, and a salted caramel glaze.
The gyeran bbang is one of our favorites. The mini loaf of Korean egg bread has small pieces of green onion, chili, and a bit of crusty cheddar cheese. The real surprise? A soft egg hiding in the center.
Nothing pairs better with pastries than coffee. Expect java drinks made with beans from Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters. Looking for harder stuff? A few beers and wines are also available.