Sweet spots to celebrate Mother's Day in San Francisco

Ice cream in San Francisco

All I want for Mother's Day is some sweet time spent with my family.... And maybe a massage. And some ice cream. And a pastry. Okay, okay, and a pedicure. 

While everyone else and their mama will be waiting in line for brunch at some crowded San Francisco restaurant, I'll be dragging my family along to all my favorite bakeries and shops to pick up some sweet treats and picnic on a lawn.  

At this stage in our family life, going out to eat a sit down meal can be somewhat stressful, as our two-year-old's mood is unpredictable on any given day — or hour, for that matter. While going out with Lulu when it's just the two of us is one of my favorite things to do, going out as a family is tough because she isn't the center of my attention. So for now, fast-casual joints, quick breakfast stops, bakeries, and ice cream shops will have to do. 

Here, I've rounded up a few of our favorite neighborhood spots to spend a Sunday (any Sunday, really), including Mother's Day.

Salt & Straw San Francisco ice cream

Salt & Straw is the newest outpost of the quirky-cute ice cream shop our of Portland. The recently opened shop in San Francisco's Pacific Heights neighborhood to much fanfare. While there's always a little line, we found the least busy times are after 5: 30 p.m. on weekdays. The creative, fun and somewhat sophisticated flavors on their menu are what make this place so special. My favorites so far include the olive-oil lemon custard and roasted strawberry tres leches. I'm slowly working my way through the menu, so I'll report back with more flavors soon!

B. Patisserie
B. Patisserie

B. Patisserie is a 10-minute walk from our house, which is dangerous. I go anytime Lulu or I need some cheering up with sugary treats. Best described as a modern French bakery with all the favorites, it's menu rotates with what's in season with local ingredients. We've sampled it all — the cakes and entremets, tarts, verrines and macarons. Now, I typically go for the almond croissant and an orange tonic drink. Then Lulu insists on running back home to burn off all the extra energy. 


Arsicault Bakery is the hottest thing to hit San Francisco since Bon Appetite feature its buttery, flakey croissants as the best new thing ever. I'm here to tell you that it's true. It is the best croissant I've ever tasted. It took me a while to finally visit, since I hate standing in line and there always seems to be a line. They sell out early, too. I got lucky on a random Tuesday at 9 a.m. and didn't have to wait, so maybe that's the sweet spot. If you plan on going for Mother's Day, be sure to make it your first stop!

Marla Bakery is one of those lovely little neighborhood spots where everyone remembers your name after a couple of visits. I love going not only because their chocolate brownie is one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten, but also because it has a gorgeous, serene little back patio and garden area. On a recent visit, Lulu and I picked a couple of strawberries growing in a small patch in the back yard and ate them with our bread, butter and jam.