Best Pan Dulce - 2001
Panaderías -- Mexican bakeries -- are located throughout the Mission, particularly along 24th Street, but La Victoria is a longtime favorite. Every panadería's specialty is pan dulce, delicately flavored, lightly textured rolls dusted with sugar and baked into whimsical shapes. At La Victoria they're crumbly on the outside, feathery within, and barely confectionery enough to earn the name "sweet breads" -- the perfect foil for a hot, frothy mug of Mexican chocolate, the delicacy's ideal dipping companion. Several varieties of pan dulce are displayed in two cases -- you make the selections yourself with a pair of tongs -- and other specialties include a denser cake layered with a lemony custard and a wonderfully moist and messy jelly roll dipped in coconut.