Beard Papa (Yerba Buena location) – San Francisco, CA

Beard Papa
99 Yerba Buena Lane
San Francisco, CA
(415) 978-9972

Growing up with a stay-at-home mom, our family had the benefit of eating very well. While my mother was very well versed in our native cuisine, she was also very adventurous and creative in trying new cuisines, as well as baking up new pastries. One of our favorites that she made were Cream Puffs. I had never had her version anywhere else – until I came across Beard Papa.

Beard Papa is a Japanese chain that focuses on one primary product – cream puffs. Contrary to many North American versions, the term cream does not actually refer to whipped cream, but a cream custard filling inside what is essentially a Pate a Choux. These “little pillows of heaven” come in a few different flavours: vanilla, chocolate, and a seasonal/weekly flavour that can include Caramel, Green Tea, Pumpkin, Coffee, or Strawberry. Located in 300 different locations around the world, chances are good that there is one near you!

Focusing primarily on the cream puff, you would think Beard Papa would do it well. A crisp on the outside, airily soft on the inside puff, filled with a delectable rich, creamy, flavour rich filling. Something so rich and delicious, you’d want to eat a dozen in one sitting. Well, you’d be right.

The vanilla bean at Beard Papa is easily my favorite. Forget the puffs – i’ll be honest, a Pate a Choux is an embarassingly easy thing to make. It’s all about the custard, and their custard is rich, creamy, and absolutely loaded with flavour. Eat them quickly, as the texture changes quite dramatically as it warms up. And eat a few – one is never quite enough! I find the chocolate to be a bit flat, and too creamy. I prefer a rich chocolate filling (think like a ganache). The seasonal ones are ok for a diversion, but for me, it’s vanilla all the way.

Let’s be honest – there’s nothing quite like mom’s cooking. It has a lot of memory and emotions tied up in it. So I can say there is nothing quite like my mom’s cream puffs. But if you can’t try those, go have a Beard Papa. They are really good. They MIGHT even be better than my mother’s, but I never suggested that!


9 thoughts on “Beard Papa (Yerba Buena location) – San Francisco, CA

  1. Can’t go wrong with plain old vanilla – its the only one I like and get. I’ll never forget the first time someone offered me one of these in Japan about twelve years ago. They pronounced it like “shoe cream” and I thought, why would I wanna eat that! 🙂 Since then, I’ve had it at Lotte Dept. Store in Seoul, Bugis Junction in Singapore, of course a few outlets in Tokyo, Mid Valley Mall in Kuala Lumpur, Aberdeen Mall in Richmond and now I heard they have it at Safeco Field in Seattle, so will probably get it when I go see the horrible M’s again. 🙂

  2. They are called Shu-cream. It’s what i grew up with, and boy, they are much tastier then they sound 🙂

    I’ve eaten at BP’s all around the world as well. Many locations are a touch different, but they’ve done a good job of being pretty consistent. I never skip a BP’s in any city that has one.

  3. I haven’t yet been to the Denman location yet, but the few times I’ve driven by during the day, hasn’t been lined up too much. I’m surprised it hasn’t hit Alberta yet, as I can recall how fast West Edmonton Mall picked up on the Japanese crepe phenomenon way before I saw it on Robson St. Guess its all just a matter of timing.

  4. Yes, the couple of times I have been in English Bay, I did not see a queue similar to the one in Aberdeen (which, I haven’t seen a queue in a while anyway). Either: (1) The hype has died down or (2) they already reached their critical mass. Regardless, if I want pastries, I would rather go to Fratelli Bakery (1795 Commercial Drive, Vancouver). But, that’s me. The interesting thing though is that they (Beard Pappa) are planning to open two additional locations here, including one in Crystal Mall (Burnaby, next to Metrotown). Sorry if you are in Alberta…

  5. Hi shokutsu,

    I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. In addition to Crystal Mall, the other new location will be in City Square (Cambie and 12th Avenue), across City Hall.

  6. Lol. Thanks – i’ll be honest – i had to buy 6 of them. Usually, i eat them so quick i don’t get a chance to take a picture. By the time I hit #4, i was slowing down, and was patient enough to try 🙂

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