1) Tartine Bakery, San Francisco
Tartine emerged as this year’s top bakery, and there are good reasons why. The bakery, opened by James Beard Award-winning chefs Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson in 2002, excels at both breads and pastries. Their bread, available in plain country or with walnuts, sesame seeds, or olives, is made from locally milled organic flours and sea salt and baked on a stone hearth. Tartine embraces its sense of place, using local produce to create delicious pastries like morning buns and banana cream tarts. The bakery remains a local gem, and those who can’t visit right away may want to try recipes from the two cookbooks, Tartine and Tartine Bread.