Home News Flaky, custardy egg tarts from S.F.’s most mysterious bakery

Flaky, custardy egg tarts from S.F.’s most mysterious bakery

by Celia

San Francisco’s elusive Chinatown gem, Golden Gate Bakery, is once again drawing eager patrons eager to savor its renowned dan tat, or egg tarts. Nestled at 1029 Grant Ave., the bakery, famed for its sweet and creamy custard tarts, has reopened to the delight of its faithful customers. Enthusiasts have been spotted lining up outside, showcasing their hauls on Instagram and Yelp. It’s worth noting that the bakery operates on a cash-only basis.

Rosa Chen, a program director for the Chinatown Community Development Center, emphasized Golden Gate Bakery’s longstanding significance within the neighborhood. Chen, a Chinatown native, recounted her family’s tradition of indulging in the bakery’s popular egg tarts ($3.75 each, $45 a dozen) in the weeks leading up to Lunar New Year, as well as its mooncakes during the autumn moon festival. “They have such a strong connection to the community,” she remarked.

Despite the bakery’s irregular schedule and periodic closures, which have fueled persistent rumors of permanent shutdowns, Chen clarified that the bakery remained an integral part of the community. The prolonged closure during the initial months of the pandemic in 2020 had led to widespread misconceptions about its status. Chen explained, “I think it was more a matter of staying safe and being able to continue doing what they love.”

The confusion surrounding Golden Gate Bakery’s operating status and the high demand for its tarts have given rise to a dedicated Facebook page titled “Is the Golden Gate Bakery Open Today?”. Administered by an anonymous fan, the page has been monitoring the bakery since July 2012, providing updates on its operations and alerting followers to its opening and break times.

Lines extending beyond 30 minutes are not uncommon, with devoted patrons braving the wait for a taste of the coveted treats. The bakery’s irregular schedule adds to the mystique, and loyal fans appreciate the traditional approach that eschews a robust online presence for updates.

Julyanne Liang, a San Francisco resident, shared her experience as the first in line on a recent Thursday when the bakery opened at 1:30 p.m. Liang, like many others, has cherished the bakery’s tarts since childhood. She endured a 45-minute wait, hoping to secure a dozen tarts to share with friends but was limited to six due to Thursday being an off-day for bakers.

Chen reassured customers that the small batches made throughout the day ensure a wait for fresh, hot tarts. Describing the tarts as “extremely flaky” with a “super smooth, creamy” filling, she expressed joy at witnessing the excitement around Golden Gate Bakery’s return in the lead-up to Lunar New Year.

“It shows you how Chinatown is resilient and continues to flourish and grow,” Chen concluded.

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