Best Venerable Bakery San Francisco 2008 - Stella Pastry & Cafe
Stella, along with a few other bakeries, delis, and butcher shops, is one of the long-term survivors of the many Italian purveyors that dotted North Beach when it was truly San Francisco's Little Italy. The owners are apparently too busy turning out classic treats to keep track of their own history ("About 50 years" was the answer, when queried as to how long they'd been open). Among those classic treats they're dishing out are the familiar cream-filled cannoli and biscotti in many different flavors, including pistachio, chocolate, and anisette. There are also lesser-known specialties, such as sacripantina, a sponge cake with the alcoholic double hit of rum and zabaglione cream made with marsala, and iced ring-shaped cookies called taralli. Tiramisu is sold by the slice, and you can get a well-made espresso or cappuccino alongside to double your caffeine rush. Cream puffs come stuffed with fresh fruit in season.