San Francisco Gluten-Free Vegan Eats: Mariposa Artisan-Crafted Gluten-Free Baked Goods

by Valerie on October 10, 2012 · 8 comments


One of the fun things about planning a trip to San Francisco was checking out all of Sea’s Northern California dining recommendations on her blog, Book of Yum. Book of Yum was one of the first gluten-free blogs I ever found. I love Sea’s recipes, which I can of course make at home, but I was always curious about her dining recommendations. When I read about Mariposa Bakery on Sea’s blog, I knew it was a must-visit. 


Since Sea’s review, Mariposa has now consolidated its San Francisco locations at the Ferry Terminal, which was epically wonderful for me, since my husband and I stayed about two blocks away.  Mariposa’s main location, including its gluten-free facility, is in Oakland, just over the San Francisco Bay Bridge. I only visited the San Francisco location (ahem, every day of my stay) and tried almost every gluten-free vegan item that they offer, but bear in mind the Oakland location may have different offerings.


The true novelty factor for me about Mariposa was the wide selection of bread, rolls, and other savory items.  I have only visited one dedicated gluten-free bakery before, Sweet Freedom in Philadelphia, where everything is gluten-free and vegan, which is doubly fantastic for me.  I have also been to Babycakes in New York which, while not wholly gluten-free, has a huge selection of gluten-free baked goods, all of which are also vegan.  Babycakes also carries spelt-based vegan baked goods, which I avoid because spelt is not gluten-free.  As much as I enjoyed Sweet Freedom and Babycakes, their offerings tended to the sweet, while Mariposa had several savory items. 


Mariposa however, does use eggs in the majority of its products. Fortunately, the two things I was most interested in trying at Mariposa (the soft pretzels and the plain breads) were vegan in addition to being gluten-free. 


Of the sweet offerings, I enjoyed a couple of these handheld pies over the course of my stay, as the flavors rotated almost daily:


I actually skipped apricot cherry, but loved plum apricot, which was the following day’s offering:


And while I did not buy this whole beautiful pie, I did get to sample it one of the days I stopped there:


It seems that the majority of their gluten-free baked goods are dairy-free as well as gluten-free, though of course I focused on the gluten-free vegan items.  I tend to not eat a lot of gluten-free baked goods as they are heavy on the white starches (i.e. tapioca, potato) and are not always that good. My mindset is that if I am going to eat a fairly refined food as opposed to a whole food, it better be very very good.  The Mariposa baked goods, while relying on the white starches for at least some of the airiness, are absolutely worth the indulgence though, especially as they also contain ingredients such as brown rice flour and amaranth flour. I thoroughly enjoyed every single roll and soft pretzel I sampled.  In fact, I bought a roll for the plane ride home, to go with a side of Hodo Soy egg salad and a kale salad topped with hemp seeds.


The thing I loved the most about the Mariposa roll is how it looked so much like a crackly artisan bread roll.  While the crust was not as crackly as I remember wheat rolls to be, this was a nice approximation.  The pretzels were also great, and I liked how they tasted much like a whole-grain pretzel.  Mariposa gives you the option of buying the pretzel warm, which I highly recommend.  

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 bitt October 14, 2012 at 7:38 pm

I’ll take one of everything! Love that they make warm soft pretzels, I haven’t had one of those in ages. I hope to get to SF soon, and I’ll be sure to check this out and many of the other spots you scouted.


2 Heather @Gluten-Free Cat October 15, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Oh Valerie. What an amazing place! A girl friend just asked me, “What’s the one thing you miss most since going gluten free?” I had to think for a long while because we’ve gotten really good at finding or making replacements for our favorites. But I finally settled on soft pretzels. Yum!!! Thanks for a great review!


3 Lillian October 16, 2012 at 7:16 pm

These all look fantastic! I might need to make a trip to San Francisco exclusively for the purpose of stuffing my face with all these delcious offerings. :)


4 Shirley @ gfe October 16, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Mariposa goodies are so yummy! Glad you got to enjoy them, Valerie! San Francisco is a great place for the gluten free. :-)



5 Hannah October 17, 2012 at 2:02 am

I’m still yet to experience this huge-warm-American-pretzel thing, but you do make it sound delightful! I wish I could somehow make a pretzel kale salad sandwich…


6 Niki October 22, 2012 at 10:29 am

Looks delicious! As someone who just started to eat gluten free, this makes me very happy. And you’ve given me links to explore :)


7 Vicky October 24, 2012 at 11:37 pm

What a fantastic bakery! When we were in Toronto this year we bought GF vegan goods from Bunners Bakery – their bread was awesome!

I too rarely eat gluten free starches, somehow they don’t seem wholesome! The pretzels look awesome!


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