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Best Gluten-Free Vegetarian Pizza in the San Francisco Bay: Mariposa Bakery
Posted By yum On May 1, 2008 @ 6:34 pm In Ca, California, Gluten Free On the Road, Gluten Free Product Review, Gluten Free bakery, Oakland | 17 Comments
 Mariposa Gluten-Free Bakery 
5427 Telegraph Ave, Unit D3
Oakland, CA 94609
Monday – Wednesday 8am – 4pm
Thursday – Friday 8am – 6pm
Saturday 10am – 4pm
*starting May 18 Sunday: 10am-4pm* (Updated)
(Until May 18 Mariposa will be CLOSED Sunday)
Mariposa Menu (prices current in March, 2008)
A Slice of the Vegetarian Pizza of the Day- 1 slice $3.75 (12-3 pm daily)
10″ frozen pizza crust $4.50
10″ frozen topped veggie pizza
10″ frozen cheese pizza $10
10″ hot topped pizza $14
Toasted bagel with cream cheese $2.25
Toasted bagel and butter $2
Toasted bagel and jam $2.25
 I first heard about the Mariposa bakeshop a little over a year ago when they opened a cafe location in Oakland, California to serve freshly baked goods to accompany the fresh baked biscotti and brownies they had been selling nation-wide. I blogged about my first visit in june and reviewed their offerings at the time, but they promised to expand their menu, and I was thrilled to hear this Spring that they had added pizza and bagels to the menu. DH and I decided to go on a local gluten-free adventure and drove down to check it out.
This visit, I was thrilled to find that not only did they have a delicious vegetarian pizza available daily, but that they had fresh baked bagels and sugar cookies in addition to muffins, lemon bars, and their killer brownies. The prices were generally reasonable, although given the price of food lately, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some price increases in the future. They offered a variety of muffins, brownies, bread, and coffee cake. The muffins were $1.50 and the bagels were $1.25, and the cookies were a dollar each, and I couldn’t resist getting some to take home. The star of the show, though, was the amazing pizza. The crust managed to be crunchy and bread-y at the same time, and I loved the toppings. The daily special had a spinach, zucchini, onion, and roasted potato with mozzarella cheese topping. The roasted potato added surprising sweetness, and the zucchini was refreshing- and to think, I used to think I didn’t like zucchini! This was no overcooked, mushy, watery zucchini- this was zucchini in its best manifestation- roasted to sweet, fresh flavor and marrying perfectly with the green spinach and caramelized onions. Most gluten free pizzas underwhelm, either because of their toppings or a mediocre crust- but this pizza was wonderful on all counts. If you’re worried about the cheese, never fear. If you call ahead of time, they will make you a dairy free pizza! I think they use a soy cheese, but I’m not sure- you’d have to verify that with the owner.
 Being me I couldn’t just have a slice of pizza (although that was really the reason we came all the way from Mountain View!), but had to order a toasted bagel with cream cheese. Honestly, can you imagine how cool it was, after years of ignoring bagels in shops like they were laced with rat poison, to actually order my own, safe, delicious-looking gluten-free bagel in a cafe? It was cool. The bagel didn’t disappoint, either, with a glossy exterior studded with poppy seeds and a bready interior that was satisfyingly dense without venturing into gluten-free hockey puck territory. The cream cheese was just as creamy and cheesy as it should be, and I thoroughly enjoyed my delicious little snack. The sweet butterfly-shaped gluten-free sugar cookie we had for dessert just topped off the meal. I actually only barely managed to score myself a cookie- as we were waiting for our pizza, a loyal customer came in and was about to buy ALL Of the cookies. I managed to wheedle him out of one cookie. There was no cookie auctioning involved, happily. I just mentioned to the nice man that I had been going to buy one and he said to go ahead. Yay! Let’s hear it for nice fellow gluten-free folk! And in case you’re wondering how many stomachs I have… the answer is TWO. DH and I shared everything, although I greedily ordered the whole rest of the veggie gluten-free pizza to take home. It was that good. And, since I was so impressed with the crust, I picked one up to take home. You can see my haul that I took home at the bottom of this post.
I also found that Mariposa (now?) offers gluten-free cakes made to order by Kapcakes , so they are the perfect place to order a gluten-free cake for any birthdays coming up! According to their April newsletter, “for Passover this year we offer[ed] Torta Regina cakes. Fragranced with cirtus zest, these 8″ cakes are a wonderful blend of chocolate, almonds and hazelnuts. Made by Hanna at Kapcakes, the Torta Regina is suitable for Passover as well as gluten-free and dairy-free with no added fats or oils. Yum! Also from Kapcakes, we offer[ed] a variety of cookies, including nut macaroons, which are also suitable for Passover.” It seems like a wonderful collaboration that will benefit everybody involved, including their happy customers!
Altogether, we had a great experience over at Mariposa Bakery in Oakland. There are so many fun things to do in the area it’s a great place to make a day trip, but of course, the gluten-free bakery was the highlight of our trip! Here’s my entirely subjective review of the products I sampled. I was going to give numbers like I usually do, but it got too hard, so I’m listing them in order of preference with descriptive awards. Hope it helps when you’re deciding how many dozens to order! ;)
Vegetarian Gluten-Free Pizza- Almost perfection! I suppose there COULD be a better pizza, but I haven’t had it yet, and that’s saying a lot after 28 years of living gluten-free! And the fact that it is made in an entirely gluten-free environment… PRICELESS.
Gluten-Free Lemon Bars- Addictive DF Heaven in bar form!I love, love, love these lemon bars. Chocolate doesn’t always agree with me, and I’m not always sure about dairy, and I can’t BELIEVE there is no dairy in these puppies. They are sooo sweet (sometimes half of one is plenty) and so… coconutty… and soooo good. I put them in the freezer when I stock up (last time they were 3/$5) and they vanish embarrassingly quickly.
Gluten-free Brownies- An awesome Death by Chocolate! I’ve raved about these brownies before as the perfect, fudgy brownie, just like I like ‘em. I have one in my freezer right now… hmmm…. They have the added bonus of being sold in some Bay area stores like Whole Foods. They have some markup, but are worth it. Love this treat in all its permutations.
 Gluten-Free Bagels- best of the savory breads, after the pizza crust! (You got the gist above, I assume.) Love them!
Gluten-Free Coffeecake, Pumpkin Muffins- Tasty Treat! Let me just say I’m not a huge coffee cake person. But, both the coffee cake and muffins were good and I love that they offer it.
Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies- Lovely for the novelty! The best part? Not having to roll out the dough and make them myself. I do have my own favorite recipes, so I’m not sure I’d buy them again. They were fun, although slightly dry.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies- Good and dairy-free! I love being able to buy them and they are worlds better than processed GF cookies like Ians. (I won’t eat Ians, for the record, but I did enjoy this cookie.) But, both DH and I thought they tasted a little “gluten-free” and have our own favorite recipe at home. However, Mr. Cookie buying man bought them all up, so they definitely have their fans! And, they are dairy free as well, which is definitely a plus.
Gluten-Free Bread - Better than many processed breads. This is always unfair, because I make some gluten-free breads that I love and I’ve tried many great recipes. This bread was good, but a little “gluten-free.” Not my favorite of their products. But so handy to be able to buy it, yes? Love that!
Can I just say that after crushing disappointment at other facilities (like, say, Sunny Valley Wheat Free in Seattle that didn’t serve pizza on the weekends, or at Da Vinci  where they didn’t have any vegetarian pizza that day) it was such a joy to be able to order a delicious vegetarian pizza that was… dare I say it and leave my ego intact… better than I can make at home. If I could go every week, I would. It’s just a darned shame we live such an inconvenient drive away. So please, I beg you, let’s help support this wonderful gluten-free company that just keeps getting better and better! If you live in the area, you absolutely MUST run, not walk, to try this gluten-free pizza of legends that I personally think is the BEST GLUTEN-FREE PIZZA IN THE BAY. ,In fact, consider it your mission, as of now, to try it and then come back over to the Book of Yum and tell me all about it in the comments! I’d love to hear about your favorite gluten-free products at Mariposa, or about your experience in general.
*Oh, by the way, I have no connection to this business or its owner. I just like her product! There were no shady deals involving envelopes under apartment doors or anything like that, although that sounds highly entertaining. Maybe next time I’ll pretend there was one so I can “tell you” about it. haha*
Another beauty shot...
Check out a photo from Joe’s recent visit , taken the day after I posted. (Yay!)
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URLs in this post:
 Image: http://www.bookofyum.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/pizza6.jpg
 Image: http://www.bookofyum.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/mypizza.jpg
 Mariposa Gluten-Free Bakery: http://www.mariposabaking.com/index.html
 Image: http://www.bookofyum.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/pizzacrust.jpg
 Image: http://www.bookofyum.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/mariposaoutside.jpg
 Image: http://www.bookofyum.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/bagels.jpg
 Image: http://www.bookofyum.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/mariposacounter1.jpg
 Image: http://www.bookofyum.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/browniebars1.jpg
 Image: http://www.bookofyum.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/halfbagel.jpg
 Image: http://www.bookofyum.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/sugarcookie.jpg
 Kapcakes: http://www.kapcakes.com/
 Image: http://www.bookofyum.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/lemonsquarepack.jpg
 Image: http://www.bookofyum.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/bagels2.jpg
 Sunny Valley Wheat Free in Seattle that didn’t serve pizza on the weekends, or at Da Vinci: http://www.bookofyum.com/blog/category/maple-valley
 Image: http://www.bookofyum.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/marigoodies.jpg
 Image: http://www.bookofyum.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/pizza1.jpg
 a photo from Joe’s recent visit: http://flickr.com/photos/sanbeiji/2459072967/
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