John Campbell’s Irish Bakery: Inner Richmond’s Baked Secret
I have an affinity for archaic bakeries hidden within overlooked neighborhoods. No matter how dingy, or how many flies are buzzing around, I will defend one of these bakeries until the bitter end. Unless they charge exorbitant prices and then they’re on their own. John Campbell’s Irish Bakery pretty much sums up a laundry list of things that not only make me smile, but comfort me. It’s an intimate experience. It’s dim (but clean), the prices on some of the items are in my comfort zone, the staff is kind, and it’s tucked in a neighborhood few hipsters have swarmed upon like the locusts they are. You’d probably pass this wee bakery if there weren’t jeweled pastries in the window display.
When you walk in, you’re immediately taken in by the sight of the food. There are quickly perishable products behind the cold case: sausage rolls ($4), scones with cream ($3), pasties and a snack called, ‘breakfast in bed’ (bread with sausage, black + white pudding, eggs, and cheese baked into it). The front window display is self-serve, grab a pair of tongs and a paper bag and help yourself to delicate tea cookies with lemon curd and raspberry jam centers (thumbprints) for $0.30 each. Glazed coconut shortbread cookies, crumbly blueberry scones (under $2 each) piled high in wooden baskets just screaming for preserves or clotted cream and curd.
The problem with everything being so affordable, is that you have quickly shoved a dozen buttery tea cookies into your bag and now it’s $3.60, plus your two scones with and without cream and your sausage roll and now you’re at $10. John Campbell’s Irish Bakery knows the name of the game. And the name is, shove this delicious Irish sausage encased in a puff pastry sleeve into my mouth, followed by several tea cookies the size of a half dollar coin…and all before the 38 has even approached the stop. God bless John Campbell, that wonderful Irish man.
John Campbell’s Irish Bakery
5625 Geary Street @ 21st