Influenced by French traditions and a farm-to-table philosophy, Le Marais Bistro & Bakery in San Francisco’s Marina District relies on classic techniques and a passion for ingredients that are grown locally and responsibly. Le Marais been hailed as one of best bakeries in San Francisco by Condé Nast Traveler, San Francisco Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Forbes’ Travel, Fodor’s Travel, EaterSF, Tablehopper, 7X7, Tasting Table, SF Bay Guardian (Best of the Bay 2013), Marina Times, and The Wall Street Journal. The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported, “As Bar Tartine and Le Marais attest, the bakery-restaurant is on the rise in San Francisco. It makes sense: We love handmade breads and pastries. We also adore tiny, chef-driven restaurants.”
The kitchen at Le Marais is tended with care by Chef Max Snyder. His approach showcases an enthusiasm for cooking with vegetables and love of simplicity. Eating fruit from the tree in his grandparents' garden and sharing meals at their table fostered an early interest in cooking. Choosing to wash dishes and devour cookbooks over a formal culinary accreditation, he quickly earned the title of prep cook and never looked back. After devoting years in excellent kitchens of New York and San Francisco, Snyder is excited to share his love of cooking in a small, neighborhood bistro. His menu was recently described by the San Francisco Examiner as "artful, restrained food that allows seasonal ingredients to shine in a rarefied light."
Executive Pastry Chef Jennifer Felton oversees the bakery production of viennoiseries and classic patisserie, including elegant entremets, tarts, macarons, panna cottas, and cakes. For the restaurant, Chef Felton creates a selection of seasonal, plated desserts. Trained at The French Culinary Institute and with experience in kitchens in New York and San Francisco, Felton brings her delicately-crafted creations to Le Marais. Her desserts are filled with farm fresh local fruit and the best chocolates, offering twists on tradition and transporting customers back to Paris.
The inspiration for Le Marais was to recreate the French boulangerie of owner Patrick Ascaso's childhood — an open space filled with an oven and the baking of bread and viennoiserie. All of our doughs are made in the most artisanal French ways, with all-natural, house-made starters and long fermentation periods. Often hailed as the best in the city, our viennoiseries — croissants, pain au chocolats, carrés, and danishes — are handmade fresh each day with locally-milled organic flours, European-style organic butter, and dough that is leavened with a combination of housemade levains. Our lamination process in creating viennoiseries results in airy, alternating layers of butter and dough.
Our selection of loaves are all made with locally milled, organic flours, each hand-shaped and scored by our team of talented bakers, and then fermented for approximately seventeen hours before being baked in a stone deck oven. From a tradi baguette to fruit-filled seasonal loaves, our breads stand out for their uniqueness of flavors and ingredients, as well as the variety of flours used in creating our levains, which lend the doughs richer, deeper flavors.
Le Marais proudly serves Stumptown coffee. A Portland, Oregon-based roaster that specializes in high-quality, direct-trade beans, Stumptown Coffee Roasters sources the best coffees in the world and strives to maintain strong relationships with individual farmers. When roasting beans, they create a steady and delicious profile with German-made Probat roasters.