French Noms in San Francisco: La Boulangerie & Pain aux Raisins


I ended up in this place because it was raining. On the corner of Hayes and Octavia, La Boulangerie de San Francisco has apparently replaced La Boulange. From what I’ve read, La Boulange, originally founded by Pascal Rigo, was bought by Starbucks in 2012 (tut tut) but seems to be now closing completely. Mr Rigo has fortunately held on to 6 of the 23 La Boulange locations and revamped them a bit for a fresh new start.

The main reason I am bothering to write about La Boulangerie de San Francisco is because I have been craving a pain aux raisins since I came back from Paris after the Christmas holidays. While in gay Pareee, I became obsessed with them which is odd since I had always refused to give them the time of day – when given the choice, picking a pain aux raisins over a pain au chocolat just seemed like utter insanity to me. Yeah… so I was wrong.

It all began on the 1st January, 2016, when a hungover/starving me woke up after sleeping over at my best friend’s. We got up feeling rather worse for wear, and hoping rather than knowing, that a shop/boulangerie/any-place-with-anything-edible-really would be open. We were lucky enough to find an open boulangerie, and just like everytime I’m slightly hungover, I developed a very distinct craving for something unexpected – normally I find that I NEED orange juice, chocolate milk, poached eggs or insane amounts of bread and butter – this time however, I apparently NEEDED a pain aux raisins. And as it turns out I ended up also needing one every day for the rest of my stay.

Leaving France was torture as you can imagine; the closest I could come to finding a PaR in San Francisco was some odd raisin bagel from Panera Bread which uhm… nothing against it or anything but it’s not even in the same league. I also heard that some other French bakery called Tartine maybe made them but people apparently tend to wait in line for ages there so it was a no-go for me.

SO. Finding this baby at La Boulangerie was a like finding water in the desert (think it’s called a raisin swirl or something):


And it was better than quite a few I’ve had in Paris.  In fairness, the place is French run and owned so that would explain it (I can hear you cheering from here Murrica).

By the way, I got my coffee to go, but they normally serve hot beverages in giant bowls – something to look forward to next time.


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