Best Bakery, San Francisco San Francisco 2006 - Dianda's Italian-American Pastry Co.
San Francisco, CA 94110
Readers' Choice: Tartine
We haven't been able to eat our way through the hundreds of cakes, cookies, and pastries available at this venerable place, but what we have tasted is so uniformly delicious that we're willing to try. Everything made with either of Dianda's two specialties high-quality almond paste and a particularly fragrant rum custard is irresistible, whether the almond torte (available whole or by the slice), the almond horseshoe cookie dusted with toasted nuts and dipped in chocolate at its tips, the miniature croquembouche (a creampuff filled with rum custard and stuck together with crackling sugar syrup), the éclairs filled with chocolate rum custard, the napoleonlike zuppa inglese, or the rum custard cake. We can't go on; we'll go on: tiramisu, cannoli, freshly baked pannetone (worlds different from packaged pannetone), 24 varieties of pastries, 35 different cookies. And, oh yes, the staff loves to decorate cakes for birthdays, anniversaries, even weddings. And stop by for holiday treats: cakes dusted with colored coconut or sugar cookies in the appropriate shapes for the season, with sparkly sugar dust or colored icing.