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Show up for donuts, leave with tacos

Panchita’s latest is more kitchen than bakery

A bolillo stuffed with cheese and diced jalapeño
A bolillo stuffed with cheese and diced jalapeño
Place

Panchita’s Kitchen & Bakery

3803 32nd Street, San Diego

Years living around Golden Hill has gotten me familiar with Panchita’s Bakery. I knew the Mexican bakery had a couple of other locations around town, so when I noticed a new one open in North Park I assumed it was more of the same. Then I spotted the banner advertising tacos. What?

This one is called Panchita’s Kitchen & Bakery. Note the kitchen comes first. This isn’t really a bakery. It’s a little taco shop that happens to carry some of the city’s most enjoyable pan dulce.

This Panchita’s has a drive-through, so you can get pan dulce on the go and maybe a few empanadas while you’re at it.

The usual ritual at Panchita’s bakery is to grab a tray and a pair of tongs and pluck what you like from shelves stacked high with cookies, donuts, pastries, and other sweet breads. The North Park location has most of the same stuff sitting on shelves behind the counter, so ordering means having to finally learn all the names for the 30-plus baked goods.

Take away all those pastries and rolls, and this is an above-average take on any casual Mexican joint in the city. It has dining tables. It even has a drive-through. But the bakery component does give it a nice edge on most taco shops. Breakfast options start with pancakes, and while there are definitely breakfast burritos, there is also oatmeal and a yogurt parfait with berries and granola. And where you’ll find several sweet, fruit-jam filled empanadas at a Panchita’s bakery, here in Panchita’s kitchen you’re more likely to find savory fillings including chorizo, chicken pesto, and the house signature ground beef, raisin, and eggs.

As much as I’ve wound up enjoying the tacos and burritos, my reason for visiting the place still tends to be the baked goods. Some are made on site, but a lot are driven over from one of its sister bakeries. I tend to zero in on the bolillo with cheese and jalapeño. The soft, hollow, sesame encrusted rolls give stuffed croissants a run for their money. The cheese inside changes, and if you’re lucky it’ll be a cream cheese day.

If not, who cares? Hit this drive-through with an empty stomach, and you’ll have no trouble racking up a list of treats to take home. Which is usually what happens when I visit the bakery as well.

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A bolillo stuffed with cheese and diced jalapeño
A bolillo stuffed with cheese and diced jalapeño
Place

Panchita’s Kitchen & Bakery

3803 32nd Street, San Diego

Years living around Golden Hill has gotten me familiar with Panchita’s Bakery. I knew the Mexican bakery had a couple of other locations around town, so when I noticed a new one open in North Park I assumed it was more of the same. Then I spotted the banner advertising tacos. What?

This one is called Panchita’s Kitchen & Bakery. Note the kitchen comes first. This isn’t really a bakery. It’s a little taco shop that happens to carry some of the city’s most enjoyable pan dulce.

This Panchita’s has a drive-through, so you can get pan dulce on the go and maybe a few empanadas while you’re at it.

The usual ritual at Panchita’s bakery is to grab a tray and a pair of tongs and pluck what you like from shelves stacked high with cookies, donuts, pastries, and other sweet breads. The North Park location has most of the same stuff sitting on shelves behind the counter, so ordering means having to finally learn all the names for the 30-plus baked goods.

Take away all those pastries and rolls, and this is an above-average take on any casual Mexican joint in the city. It has dining tables. It even has a drive-through. But the bakery component does give it a nice edge on most taco shops. Breakfast options start with pancakes, and while there are definitely breakfast burritos, there is also oatmeal and a yogurt parfait with berries and granola. And where you’ll find several sweet, fruit-jam filled empanadas at a Panchita’s bakery, here in Panchita’s kitchen you’re more likely to find savory fillings including chorizo, chicken pesto, and the house signature ground beef, raisin, and eggs.

As much as I’ve wound up enjoying the tacos and burritos, my reason for visiting the place still tends to be the baked goods. Some are made on site, but a lot are driven over from one of its sister bakeries. I tend to zero in on the bolillo with cheese and jalapeño. The soft, hollow, sesame encrusted rolls give stuffed croissants a run for their money. The cheese inside changes, and if you’re lucky it’ll be a cream cheese day.

If not, who cares? Hit this drive-through with an empty stomach, and you’ll have no trouble racking up a list of treats to take home. Which is usually what happens when I visit the bakery as well.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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