Bakery

Liguria Bakery: Timing It Right to Eat Old School Flatbread

By Joshua Lurie | November 17, 2009 4 comments
Liguria Bakery: Timing It Right to Eat Old School Flatbread
Liguria Bakery
1700 Stockton Street
San Francisco, CA 94133
415 421 3786

Date of Visit: November 8, 2009

Bakery San Francisco
Liguria Bakery got to be a running joke. Every time I tried to visit George and Michael Soracco’s artisanal 98-year-old bakery, they were inevitably sold out of their prized focaccia. With each failed attempt, my interest level inevitably grew. If a bakery specializes in a single item, and it consistently sells out before noon on weekends, that’s a pretty good signal to keep trying. Thankfully, my most recent visit to Mama’s was early enough to allow for actual focaccia consumption, and there’s no doubt that single slab was worth the wait.

Ambrosio Soracco founded Ligura Bakery at the northeast corner of Washington Square Park in 1911. Now son George and grandson Michael run the bakery. George’s wife, Josephine, and sister Mary run the front of the house.

Bakery San Francisco
The white shelves are primarily bare, since the focaccia is kept in back, on racks. Order from a simple menu with letters that match the colors of the Italian flag. Liguria Bakery sells ten varieties of focaccia, that’s it.

Bread San Francisco
Pizza is evidently the most popular flavor, but I opted for rosemary garlic ($4.50). The Soracco women wrapped the focaccia in white butcher paper and secured it with decoratively knotted twine. I planned to save the focaccia for Los Angeles, but since it was still warm from the oven, I couldn’t resist tearing apart the twine. Peeling back the butcher paper resulted in a intoxicating blast of aromatic garlic and rosemary. The focaccia was rich but not greasy, with every crevice filled with rosemary or minced garlic. The bread was browned up top but nice and supple. It’s hard to imagine a better focaccia, and if it exists, it would have to be in Italy.

If you’re interested in more detailed information about Liguria Bakery, visit Grace Ann Walden’s article for Northside San Francisco, titled “Cook’s Chat: Michael Soracco of Liguria Bakery.”

Comments

  1. Mr. V says:

    Have had a similar frustration in that, living 3 hours from SF, we usually only get to visit on holidays when Liguria is likely to be closed. Have also had an uncanny knack for showing up during the owner’s summer vacation. Still, on those wonderful occasions when it is open, we buy all we can eat and more of the frozen focaccia to take home. We have tried every variety and there is no comparison between this ambrosia (appropriately created by the descendants of Ambrosio Soracco) and the bland, stale bread products commonly sold as focaccia. Out of 10 stars, Liguria’s deserves 20, and that’s being conservative!

  2. Lorna Ring says:

    woke up at 5:30am to get ready for our trip into the City (SF) Left the house at 6:30am and mad it into the city by 7:15am and went straight to Liguria Bakery were there was no line at first. After buying one of each (garlic, green onion, raisin, mushroom, and black olives) we took a short drive up to Coit Tower and show the view to our granddaughter. We took a sample of the bread (Garlic & Green onion) and we had to go back and buy more to take home to our boys. Went back and bought a Pizza and another garlic. The price have changed but worth it and getting up early and driving into the city to make sure this time we were going to be able to buy what ever we wanted. First try, they were closed and second they didn’t have what I wanted. I guess third was a charm cause I was able to buy what I wanted. And also bought some Bugia’s Italian cookie with powder sugar on them, yummy! You have to also try the cookie. My granddaughter loves it. I will come back again for sure. Getting up that early just for their Focaccia bread was worth it…

  3. Abacus says:

    Growing up in the neighborhood in the 70’s and going to a few years of school at St. Peters and Paul, this was the place I started going when I was in elementary school. I don’t recall the prices, but i’m guessing under $2 then; and like you said they only have 4 flavors: plain, pizza, onion, and raisin. IT’s the best!

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