Local Flavor: The Five Best Doughnuts in San Francisco
There may be no American food more enduring than the doughnut. Food snobs, vegans, cops -- who doesn't love a crusty sinker or a fat glazed dunker? In honor of National Doughnut Day, we thought we'd offer our guide (listed in no particular order) to the city's five best. Grab an extra napkin -- this could get messy.
m.bibelot via Flickr Doughnuts from Dynamo: The maple-bacon is in the top row, center
1. Raspberry bombolino ($2 for the small size, $2.50 for large) at I Preferiti di Boriana in the Ferry Building (One Ferry Bldg. at The Embarcadero). Maybe the ultimate jelly doughnut, made each morning by an Italian bakery in the FiDi. The flour and jam filling come from Italy, and they're baked before given a quick fry and a dusting with sugar. Other fillings: Nutella, custard, and dark chocolate. Bellisimo!
2. Vegan blueberry ($2.50 at various cafés in the city) from Peoples Donuts. Inspired by Portland vegan pioneer Voodoo, this Berkeley-based company churns out sturdy, dairy-free sinkers in a rainbow of flavors. One taste of the blueberry and you'll swear off muffins. A favorite guilty pleasure: Dunk it in cow's milk.
3. Maple-bacon doughnut ($3) from Dynamo Donut and Coffee (2760 24th St. at Hampshire). The Mission walk-up has a subversive savory side, from the star-anise glaze on a chocolate beauty to a lemon cake spiked with the herb lemon thyme. We love the maple-bacon, but, really, the best flavor here? It's the one you haven't tried yet.
4. Cinnamon-dusted minis ($2.50 for six pieces) at Trish's Mini Donuts (Pier 39, Bldg. B, Level One). Purists, avert your eyes: Yeah, this is a chain, and yeah, it's at Pier 39. But, warm from the fryer, these Hobbitt-size cake doughnuts will restore your faith in carny foods.
Janine Kahn The maple-glazed cruller at Bob's
5. Late-night maple-glazed cruller ($.95) at Bob's Donut and Pastry Shop (1621 Polk at Clay). Best thing about being a stoner? The 10:30 batch of crullers at this open-all-night institution, a favorite of Muni drivers, Asian grannies, and the THC-steeped. Watch 'em being mixed, fried, and glazed, right before your bloodshot eyes. Dude -- you gonna finish that?
(Thanks to Tamara Palmer, Matthew Stafford, Meredith Brody, and Janine Kahn)