Food & Drink

The 8 best donut shops in San Francisco

Published On 07/16/2014 Published On 07/16/2014

According to a recent scientific study conducted by RecentScientificStudies.com, donuts are in fact awesome. Some, though, are awesomer than others, which is why we've rounded up the eight shops in SF doing them the awesomest.

Dynamo Donuts

Dynamo Donuts

The Mission (address and info)
This tiny shop lives up to its self-fiving name by offering a rotating selection of some of the most eclectic donut flavors in the city, including a Meyer lemon huckleberry that is tart, sweet, and fruity ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

Joe Starkey

Happy Donuts

Noe Valley (address and info)
Sometimes all you need is a classic and perfectly glazed donut. And for all of those sometimes, you'll want to go to Happy Donuts, the San Francisco donut empire that Food & Wine Magazine EIC Dana Cowin once called "the new queen of the donut scene".

flickr/Nicola Romagna

Heartbaker

The Richmond (address and info)
Everything you need to know about Heartbaker can be found in the bomboloni -- an Italian donut filled with custard (get the simple vanilla, trust us) or jam.

Joe Starkey

Barbary Coast

Union Square (address and info)
Nestled underneath the Parc 55, this old-school joint is named after the infamous pleasure district of the Gold Rush era, and lives up to the moniker, offering donuts that'll make you want a cigarette after finishing. Pro tip: definitely try the chocolate croissants.

Joe Starkey

Golden Donut

The Richmond (address and info)
A well-made French cruller is a thing of beauty: crisp and soft, airy and eggy all at once. Golden Donut makes a great, not-to-be-missed version of one out in the Richmond.

Joe Starkey

Bob's Donut & Pastry Shop

Polk (address and info)
The name may be unassuming, but this place is popular for its well-executed versions of the donut classics (get the apple fritter before it sells out), as well as the fact that it’s open 24-hours a day. Also, they make the biggest donut we've ever seen in our entire lives.

flickr/tomatoes and friends

Pinkie's Bakery

SOMA (address and info)
This little SOMA bakery only makes donuts on Saturdays, but they're worth the wait and the trek. Flavors vary, but if the cinnamon sugar is available, make sure you get one. Or two. Or seven.

The Jelly Donut

The Jelly Donut

The Mission (address and info)
The jelly donuts are indeed good at this shop, but the donut holes are an unsung gem. Most times, the owners will throw in a few of them free with your order if it's big enough, but they’re also totally worthy of a purchase on their own.

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Anita Chu is the creator of Dessert First, an award-winning blog dedicated to all things sweet. She's also the author of Field Guide to Cookies and Field Guide to Candy. Her third cookbook will be published Spring 2015 by Chronicle Books. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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1. Dynamo Donut & Coffee 2760 24th Street (between York and Hampshire), San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

Bacon. Donut. Day. Dynamo Donut & Coffee has made it real, and available every day. Handmade daily by owner Sara and her staff and using organic, locally sourced ingredients, their creative take on donuts make the word "glazed" suddenly sound mundane and unworthy.

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2. Heartbaker 1408 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94118 (Inner Richmond)

From bombolonis to creme puffs to eclairs and pots de creme, Heartbaker has got the best of us, and we just keep on going back incessantly.

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3. Barbary Coast 55 Cyril Magnin St, San Francisco, CA 94102 (The Tenderloin)

Nestled underneath the Parc 55, this Tenderloin bakery is named after the infamous pleasure district of the Gold Rush-era, and lives up to the moniker, offering donuts that'll make you want a cigarette after finishing. Bonus: definitely try their chocolate croissants.

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4. Bob's Donut & Pastry Shop 1621 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109 (Nob Hill)

This 24hr Polk Gulch donut mecca and San Francisco standby has been a staple of early mornings (and late nights) since 1960, firing up amazing apple fritters and old fashioneds before they suddenly became objects of hipster fascination. The also make quite possibly the biggest donut you've ever seen. Try the Bob's Challenge, which requires consuming it in three minutes. Or, you know, just enjoy a bunch of really tasty donuts at your own pace.

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5. Pinkie's Bakery 1196 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (Soma)

This little SOMA bakery only makes donuts on Saturday, but they're worth the wait and the trek. Flavors vary, but if the cinnamon sugar is available, make sure you get one. Or two. Or seven.

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6. Happy Donuts 3801 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94114 (Noe Valley)

Happy Donuts keeps it simple with tasty breakfast sandwiches and croissants, cheap, perfectly made glazed donuts, and other pastries and sandwiches that are available 24/7.

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7. The Jelly Donut 3198 24th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

Yes, the jelly donuts here are good, but their donut holes are a real must-try. The owners will throw in a few of them free with your order if it's big enough, but they’re also totally worthy of a purchase on their own.

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8. Golden Donuts 5401 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121 (Inner Richmond)

The Inner Richmond's classy donuterie is serving up eclectic 'nut flavors as well as serious caffeine-loaded drinks

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