Cinderella Bakery and Café

The Best Russian Food in San Francisco

One of the pleasures of living in or visiting a big city is the quantity and quality of authentic ethnic cuisines. While some folks are leery of foods they have not sampled and cannot pronounce, those with more adventurous palates wisely throw caution to the wind and explore new culinary frontiers. If you’re craving Russian soul food or are eager to sample some, the best place to go in the Bay Area is the Cinderella Bakery and Café in San Francisco’s Inner Richmond neighborhood.

Since 1953, the chefs at Cinderella have been creating mouthwatering Russian soups, entrees, salads and a wide range of devastatingly good sweets from this small storefront. Neighborhood regulars say things like, “Make sure to try the beef and gorgonzola piroshki,” or, “Don’t leave without trying the blinchiki with mushrooms!” or, “Be sure to leave room for the hvorost!”

Whether you listen to the regulars or rely on your eyes and nose to inform your decisions, you really can’t go wrong. The attentive staffers are very good about answering questions and making recommendations and no matter what you choose, you really can’t go wrong. If it is your first time trying Russian cuisine, you may want to start off with one of several soups offered each day followed by an appetizer or three and you really should plan on leaving room for dessert as well. Everything is handmade on the premises and there is always something cooling on the baking rack that was in the oven a moment ago.

So if you’re traveling to San Francisco and want to try something new or you want to see if this restaurant’s Kulich is as good as your grandmother’s, you should definitely swing by Cinderella’s at 436 Balboa Street (Balboa and 6th). There isn’t much seating inside or outside, as the kitchen takes up most of the building, but the tables turn quickly and the wait is well worth it. For more information about menus, prices and hours of operation, check out Приятного аппетита! (Prijatnovo appetita!)

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