Photo by Frankeny Images
Pastry chef Yigit Pura knows his way around a kitchen — and the world. Raised in Turkey, the winner of Bravo’s first season of Top Chef Just Desserts proved his mettle working at New York’s Le Cirque 2000, fed Las Vegas’s high rollers as executive pastry chef under the renowned Daniel Boulud, and adopted the traditions of France for his style of baking.
Still, Pura always finds his way back to San Francisco, where he kicked off his formal training at 20, and opened his own patisserie, Tout Sweet, in 2012. In the wake of the release of his cookbook Sweet Alchemy: Dessert Magic, Pura dishes on the best parks, eateries, and other sweet spots in San Fran.
1. Dolores Park: “Spending a Sunday with friends in Dolores Park is a quintessential San Franciscan experience. I like to order takeout from Pizzeria Delfina, buy a bottle of rosé at Bi-Rite Market, and spread out across a blanket. If you’re brave enough, you can always lay out at the ‘Gay Beach.’ ”
2. Blackbird: “It’s a contradiction: I love a cocktail, but I can’t trust most bartenders to mix a decent one. At Blackbird, they mix fabulous, inspired drinks in a cool, yet non-intimidating, setting. There’s often a huge list of new cocktails, but I tell the bartenders the flavors I’m itching for and let them create something they love.” 2124 Market St., BlackbirdBar.com
Photo courtesy of Paxton Gate
3. Paxton Gate: “This shop is in the vastly popular Valencia Corridor, as we call it. If Frankenstein took up collecting oddities, Paxton Gate would be his store. I found a lot of inspiration here while writing Sweet Alchemy. If the unicorn head is still for sale, feel free to get it for me for my next birthday.” 824 Valencia St.; PaxtonGate.com
Photo by Susan Fleming
4. Omnivore Books: “If you’re a foodie, a bookworm, or both, this is a great spot. There aren’t many bookstores left, and this is the only one in San Fran dedicated to everything culinary.” 3885 Cesar Chavez St., OmnivoreBooks.com
Photo by Mason Cummings
5. Crissy Field: “This is one of my absolute favorite spots. I go running along the water with my dog, Maui, and ride my bike here, too. The views are stunning, and though I’ve spent most of my life in this city, walking close to the Golden Gate Bridge and smelling the wind by the bay is still awe-inspiring.”
Photo courtesy of Barbacco
6. Barbacco: “My go-to restaurant. Chef Staffan Terje puts real heart into his cooking. Come with friends and order a ton of small plates.” 220 California St., BarbaccoSF.com