13 Of The Best Donuts In The Bay

Here in the Bay, we’re in the midst of a donut renaissance. And, to celebrate National Donut Day (yes, that's a thing), we girded our loins and logged in an extra spinning class to bring you our 13 favorite donuts. We've rounded up a baker's dozen celebrating everything from mom-and-pop classics to wildly imaginative artisanal creations (think spiked, bacon-injected, and crème-fraîche-filled options). Wanna see our top picks? We suggest pouring yourself a glass of milk, because we’re going on a no-calories-barred, crispy-and-creamy journey to celebrate the perfect storm of junk food, a once-in-a-year holiday, and our culinary zeitgeist of the moment. Start clicking…and get that dough!
Photographed by Jasmine Gregory
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Artisanal Donut, Dynamo Donuts
Apricot cardamom, saffron chocolate, salted caramel, passionfruit — basically, whatever your heart desires. Mission spot Dynamo Donuts has made this morning treat cool again. Since 2008, it's been taking them out of trans-fat banishment and reinstating them as things we could feel good about loving again. And now on the menu: Vegan donuts. Nom.

Dynamo Donuts and Coffee, 2760 24th Street (between Hampshire and York streets); 415-920-1978.

Photographed by Jasmine Gregory
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Vegan Donut, Pepples Donuts
Obsessively organic — from the flour to the shortening — and with out-of-the-box flavors (think creamsicle, chili mango, and blueberry), these vegan-fied cake donuts take, well, the cake.

Pepples Donuts, One Ferry Building, 200 Embarcadero (between Market and Embarcadero streets) and 6037 San Pablo Avenue (between 60th and 61st streets), Oakland; 510-338-6319.

Photographed by Jasmine Gregory
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Apple Fritter, Bob's Donut And Pastry Shop
A cinnamon-forward dough with a crisp outer shell that gives in to a satisfying toothsome texture — it’s a no-brainer this beauty is on everyone’s bucket list.

Bob's Donut And Pastry Shop,1621 Polk Street (between Sacramento and Clay streets); 415-776-3141.

Photographed by Jasmine Gregory
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Pork Belly Donut, The Sycamore
Not for purists, this bad boy has no recognizable ring shape and features sizeable nuggets of pork belly. It does, however, exemplify the donut’s deep-fried character and affinity for sugary toppings. The aforementioned pork belly is surrounded by dough, dredged in beer batter, fried, then doused with maple syrup. It is a dish that’s out of this world.

The Sycamore, 2140 Mission Street (between Sycamore Street and Clarion Alley); 415-252-7704.

Photographed by Jasmine Gregory
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Raspberry-Jelly Donut, The Jelly Donut
Donut holes come gratis with this old-school treat. And the jelly? It’s creamy, oozy, and a bright synthetic red, proof that the old ways are sometimes the best ways.

The Jelly Donut, 3198 24th Street (between Shotwell Street and Van Ness Avenue); 415-648-1419.

Photographed by Jasmine Gregory
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Chocolate-Covered Donut With Coconut Sprinkles, Pinkie's Bakery
Confidently crave-worthy with a springy texture and a generous chocolate glaze. Just try to resist this tasty donut from Pinkie's — there's no way.

Pinkie's Bakery, 1196 Folsom Street (between Rodgers and 8th streets); 415-556-4900.

Photographed by Jasmine Gregory
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Bomboloni Caldi, Delarosa
You know you’ve arrived when you’re on the same menu as tiramisu and panna gelato. Bombolini caldi are sinfully soft Italian donuts ready to be dipped in mascarpone cream, chocolate sauce, and raspberry puree. There’s no turning back now.

Delarosa, 2175 Chestnut Street (between Steiner and Pierce streets); 415-673-7100.

Photographed by Jasmine Gregory
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Carnival Donut, Trish's Mini Donut
Mini morsels fried before your eyes, packed piping hot in a retro fry bag that's as cute as a button. If you must go to Fisherman’s Wharf, let it be for this reason.

Trish's Mini Donuts, Embarcadero Pier 39 (at Lincoln Highway); 415-981-4318.

Photographed by Jasmine Gregory
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Glazed Donut, Happy Donuts
The perfect crackle — we’ve found it! Sweet, but not cloying. Crisp, but not greasy. Soft, but not soggy. Take a bite for your moment of donut nirvana.

Happy Donuts, 3801 24th Street (between Church and Vicksburg streets); 415-285-5890.

Photographed by Katie Hintz-Zambrano
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Bacon Donut, Allstar Donuts
A maple bar, sliced open with bacon slapped in the center. This is a man vs. food challenge that roars and beckons.

Allstar Donuts, 2095 Chestnut Street (between Mallorca Way and Steiner Street); 415-441-9270.

Photographed by Jasmine Gregory
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Buttermilk Donut
A scrumptious small batch of just three-dozen handmade donuts can be found at Pizzaiolo's morning service. They’re cinnamon sugar on the outside, tender buttermilk crumb on the inside. Loved by kids of all ages, they sell out almost every day. You’ve been officially warned!

Pizzaiolo, 5008 Telegraph Avenue (between 49th and 51st streets), Oakland; 510-652-4888.

Photographed by Angela Tafoya
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Spiked Donut, Donut Savant
A boozy donut — why didn’t we think of this? The freshly opened Donut Savant has filled a chocolate-cake donut with Irish-whiskey ganache, and finished it with a Guinness and Bailey’s glaze. It is called the Chocolate Bomb, and we doubt you need any convincing to know this is a good thing.

Donut Savant, 1934 Broadway Street (between 19th and 20th streets), Oakland; 510-972-8268.

Photographed by Angela Tafoya
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Cream Donut, Doughnut Dolly
This a.m. snack features a fluffy shell filled with crème-fraîche pastry cream flecked with fresh vanilla beans. If a sugar donut had a love child with an eclair, it would be Doughnut Dolly’s signature, filled-to-order Naughty Doughnut.

Doughnut Dolly, 482-B 49th Street (between Clarke Street and Telegraph Avenue), Oakland; 510-338-6738.

Doughnut Dolly is scheduled to open the first week of June. Check Twitter or Facebook for the latest.

Photo: Courtesy of Doughnut Dolly

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