Craftsman and Wolves Restaurant Review

Decadent drinks from Craftsman and Wolves

Review of Craftsman and Wolves Restaurant

The trendy San Francisco pastisserie, Craftsman and Wolves, offers baked goods, hot meals, and coffee in the hipster-topia of the Mission District. With a few creative concoctions on the menu, Craftsman & Wolves has gained quite the following.

I first learned about Craftsman & Wolves from my Instagram feed: a photo of a muffin sliced in half to reveal a gooey soft-boiled egg spilling out onto the plate. I’m a sucker for a runny yolk, so I was sold and rushed over to try it for myself. That’s the Rebel Within, their most famous item. They also once had a popular and unique item called the Devil Inside, which was a chocolate cake with foie gras hidden inside, but it’s not currently available.

Craftsman and Wolves Restaurant has a lot to offer in terms of creativity and style, with plenty of great flavor pairings and promising (but pricy) menu.

Opening Hours

Monday- Friday: 07:00 AM- 05:00 PM

Saturday- Sunday: 08:00 AM- 05:00 PM

The Location

Craftsman and Wolves Restaurant is situated on Valencia between 18th and 19th streets in the trendy and gentrifying neighborhood. It’s tough to find parking around here, but it’s not too far from the Mission and 16th street BART station.

Address: 746 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

Phone: (415) 913-7713

Location Craftsman and Wolves Restaurant

Map showing location of Craftsman and Wolves Restaurant

The Ambiance

The café is clean, bright and open with high ceilings and modern industrial design. It’s definitely a hipster spot with wood and metal furniture, and a lofty vibe with exposed brick walls. The seating is at a counter on bar stools or at communal tables. On weekends, the restaurant is busy and loud, with high-energy music playing through the speakers.

The Service

The cashier was rocking out to the music when I walked up so I expected him to be friendly and bubbly. He wasn’t rude at all, but the interaction was very minimal and he seemed distracted. The food and drinks were brought out to us fairly quickly and we bussed our own dishes when we were finished.

The Price

The prices are about what you’d expect for a trendy café with fancy drinks and pastries. I actually expected the price to be higher, but I paid about $20 for three pastries and two drinks. It cost another $7 for the loaf of sourdough bread, which isn’t bad for a specialty bread that provided several servings. The cube cakes were very high priced, but people rave about them so I’ll concede that they may be worth it.

The Food

What Craftsman and Wolves Restaurant does best is think up creative combinations with a few surprises thrown in for good measure. I love a good eating adventure, and this café knows how to craft them: savory muffins, Thai curry scones, matcha snickerdoodles. They also have some hot breakfast foods like frittata and quiche, a lunch menu with soup, salad, and sandwiches, as well as a drink menu featuring coffee, strawberry mimosas and a beer and wine list.

That ordinary looking savory green onion, asiago, parmesean, and sausage muffin conceals a hidden treasure – a soft-boiled egg.

The Rebel Within

The Rebel Within

It’s a great idea, with what I’m sure is sometimes a great execution. When those babies are fresh from the oven, I bet that gooey yolk drips all over the plate, so you can use the muffin to soak it up. But when I ordered mine midmorning on a Sunday, it was cold. I had the cashier warm it up, because a cold runny yolk does not sound enjoyable. The result was less than stellar: a lukewarm muffin and a nearly fully cooked egg. As with any soft-cooked egg dish, it’s probably the kind of thing that should be cooked to order and served hot. So the options seem to be: eat a cold runny yolk or eat a warm almost-hard-boiled egg. I’m told that my experience is not universal, so I may give it another try.

That said, I still enjoyed the Rebel Within. I wanted to love it, because the idea is fantastic and the flavors are right up there. Along with the muffin, the cashier offered a small vial of pink rocks: (Ta)basco salt. The container was perfect and so were its spicy contents when paired with the muffin, adding the dimension it needed.

The ham and cheese twist and chocolate croissant

The ham and cheese twist and chocolate croissant stack

I also picked up the 4505 smoked ham and cheese twist. It was not reheated and kind of hard, though the sweet sticky pastry was layered and flaky. I enjoyed the savory and sweet flavors.

I appreciate the creativity in putting together these combinations, but maybe they end up sitting out too long to be enjoyed as they’re meant to be.

For brunch dessert (it’s a thing, I swear), I chose the decadent looking chocolate croissant stack. The perfect cube of pastry is topped with a glossy sheet of chocolate, and seems to have layers of chocolate spread between each layer of pastry. It was deceptive and disappointing. The pastry was very dry and I’m not sure that was even chocolate between the layers, because aside from the chocolate topper, the thing was flavorless. It looks tempting, but skip it, and try one of the cookies or cube cakes instead.

I picked up a loaf of chocolate sourdough to go, and enjoyed it later toasted. The flavor was interesting, and took a minute to get used to. It was complex the way the tangy bite of sourdough combined with the deep notes of dark chocolate. It wasn’t overly sweet. I liked it. I wish they’d packaged it in more than just a thin sheet of tissue paper for my journey home.

Chocolate sourdough bread

Chocolate sourdough bread

Finally, the drinks. I sampled the macchiato which seemed especially small but was otherwise good, and the Valrhona sipping chocolate, which was rich and decadent in the way that I’d hoped that chocolate croissant would be. It was served with square blackberry praline marshmallows, which were tasty on their own, but their flavors came alive when soaked in the hot cocoa. They also had warm salted caramel caramel on the menu, which sounds over-the-top in the best way.

On the whole, I think there’s a lot of potential at Craftsman & Wolves. The creative and innovative menu is worth checking out and there are a lot of desserts to worth trying. While I was disappointed with the execution of a few overhyped items, some of the ideas are so good I want to give them another shot.

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Nearby Tourist Attraction Twin Peak

Published On: Monday, March 6th, 2017