Donuts are always a good idea. There’s nothing like a sugary, pillowy ring of fried dough to give us a burst of energy in the morning or power us through a questionable all-nighter. And lucky for us, there are tons of great donut spots in SF. Here are five of our favorite places to get a donut right now.
What makes the city’s only German pastry shop special is the attention to detail chef and owner Ha Do puts into her beautiful cakes, pies, and other sweets. Case in point: the Berliner. These seasonal jam and custard-filled donuts are fluffy and light thanks to the sunflower seed oil they’re fried in, and topped with a super fine powdered sugar that gets all over the place (in the most delightfully messy way) with every bite. Hahdough has two locations you can order a box of a dozen from - the original takeout window in Hayes Valley, and a larger spot in NoPa.
Dynamo Donut & Coffee
The promise of a tangy, sweet passion fruit milk chocolate donut from Dynamo Donut & Coffee is one foolproof way to get us out of bed in the morning. Another? Getting to choose from their rotating list of donuts with unique, seasonal flavors (before inevitably ordering one of each), like mango tangerine, banana dulce de leche, or pink lemonade. They have vegan and gluten-free options, plus espresso drinks and tea. You can pick up these fantastic donuts at their shop in the Mission or their small kiosk on the Bay Trail in the Marina.
Even in pandemic times, Bob’s Donuts on Polk Street has continued to fry up incredible classic glazed donuts and apple fritters, all day, every day. Which is great news if you love donuts more than your pet (if so, please consider getting their “giant donut” and taking “The Challenge.” And, cool fact: This 24-hour spot has been churning out puffy, airy classics since the 1960s. Bob’s newer location in NoPa is also open, but on slightly more limited hours - Sunday to Wednesday (7am-9pm) and Thursday to Saturday (7am-10pm).
Uncle Benny’s in the Sunset is a great spot for a quick breakfast - they have tons of bagel sandwiches, coffee, and fresh juices. But chances are very high that something from their neatly-organized case of colorful, freshly-made donuts will call to you. They’ve got classic flavors, like apple fritters, sprinkle donuts, glazed old-fashioneds, and maple bacon, all of which are delicious. Get an assortment of flavors and take them across the street to Golden Gate Park.
The donuts at this Hayes Valley spot are bigger than the palm of your hand (or both hands if you happen to have small hands). And you probably won’t hear the phrase “light and airy” used to describe anything on the menu - these donuts are more cake-like and on the denser side. At Johnny’s, you have a range of choices, from lime poppy seed glazed to cinnamon-y old fashioneds to croissant-donut hybrids (called the “crodough”). They also have cinnamon rolls, and vegan and wheat-free options. Order online if you want to pick up an assorted box (4-, 6-, 8-, and 12-packs are available) without having to make tough donut decisions. But to customize your picks, drop by the shop Monday to Saturday (7am-6pm) or Sunday (7am-2pm).