Delegate Desserts this Holiday Season
Your shopping list keeps mounting and the whole family is coming to your home for a big holiday dinner. Who has time to prepare dessert? Save your sanity and enjoy the holidays with the kids by outsourcing the sweet stuff!
Lucky Sunset residents have Arizmendi Bakery to call on, a worker-owned baking cooperative (inspired by the Cheese Board in Berkeley). They have an impressive holiday menu including brandy-soaked fruitcake, tres leches cake, and cookie tins with muddy snowballs, lemon snowdrops, and gingersnaps, to name a few. Pre-order your favorite holiday dessert until Christmas Eve by calling ahead. If you are not in the city, be sure to check out the sister cooperatives in Oakland, Emeryville and San Rafael. Each bakery has its own seasonal specials and hours. Arizmendi Bakery, 1331 9th Ave., San Francisco, (415) 566-3117; 430 San Pablo Ave., Emeryville, (510) 547-0550; 3265 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland, (510) 268-8849; 1002 Fourth Street, San Rafael, (415) 456-4093.
The kids will love the colorful variety of classic Italian cookies from Dianda’s Italian American Pastry Company. Don’t be fooled by the Mission Street zip code—Dianda’s blends in with the Mexican bakeries on the block but is 100% Italian! They are famous for their rum cake, cannolis, and almond torte. For you South Bay-ers, there is a San Mateo location with free parking. , Dianda’s Italian American Pastry Company (no web site), 2883 Mission St., San Francisco, (415) 647-5469; 117 De Anza Blvd., San Mateo, (650) 570-6260.
If you want classic American desserts, try SusieCakes in the Marina and in Greenbrae. Although there are many cupcake shops in the city, SusieCakes is one of the best. Their seasonal menu includes a gingerbread cupcake, a yule log, and egg-nog cheesecake, along with an assortment of traditional pies and classic frosted cookies. They also have selections for your New Year’s Eve party as well. SusieCakes, 2109 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, CA 94123, 415-474-2253; 310 Bon Air Center, Greenbrae, CA 94904, 415-461-2253.
If ice cream and frozen yogurt is what you crave, pay a visit to husband and wife team Dennis and Catherine Eloise Leung who opened DeLise Dessert Café in North Beach this fall (and just welcomed a baby, too). Their frozen treats are made from local milk and cream (Straus Creamery and Clover Dairy) and they have a lot of selection for those with dietary concerns (soy, vegan, sugar-free). Adventurous palates will love the vegan coconut-kaffir lime sorbet, pesto ice cream, and strawberry and balsamic frozen yogurt. You can also pick up gorgeous pastries like cupcakes, shortbread cookies, cookies and brownies to go with your fro yo., DeLise Dessert Café, 327 Bay St, San Francisco, (415) 399-9694.
Sorry to say, Patisserie Delanghe in Lower Pacific Heights is now closed, as the owner has retired. Bay Area foodies will miss their incredible pastries!
—Sarah K. Choi