Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Jul 25, 2008 07:47 AM

Dynamo Donuts

Anyone tried it yet??? Please, do tell!

I read about it here:

Dynamo Donuts and Coffee
2760 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. It's next to Casa Sanchez on 24th. The donuts are currently made off site until they get the kitchen ready. It's more of a walk up with a counter than an actual sit down place. The first batch of the day was already sold out by 9:30 am and I brought back samples of all three available for my office mates. The selection that day was maple bacon (real bacon bits), chocolate spice, and caramel fleur de sel. $2 to $2.50 a donut. For the most part I enjoyed them, my office mates gave a pass to the maple bacon. The donuts do have the flavor novelty and the freshness going for them. I can appreciate a Bob's donut or the donut offerings at Orson or NOPA. I'd say they're as unique and more generous than the latter.

    Friendly service but the find for me was the Stumptown coffee, I'm not aware of the brand, but it could be a new favorite.

    2 Replies
    1. re: BP71

      I'm pretty sure they're getting their coffee from 4 barrel coffee. The off shoot of Ritual coffee. When 4 barrel finally gets up and running full speed (on 4 barrels I guess) they will be roasting their own.

      1. re: chipman

        Yes, you're right.... as per the link above,

        "They are served alongside Stumptown espresso via Jermy Tooker's not yet opened Four Barrel Coffee. "

    2. Stopped by on Wednesday and they were out of donuts; stopped by yesterday and they only had the chocolate-star anise ones. They were okay but pricey and not very interesting. I'd like to try the bacon flavor, though.

      1 Reply
      1. re: stonefruit

        The maple bacon has been the most disappointing so far!

      2. We stopped by Dynamo this morning (Saturday.) There was a line of maybe nine people ahead of us, and the wait was five minutes. They had three kinds of donuts, and we tried them all:

        -lemon pistachio ($3). Quite good, a bit like lemon birthday cake. The frosting had a very sharp lemon kick. Pistachios didn't add much flavor , just crunch. What distinguished this donut -- and Dynamo's others -- was its texture. It had a little bit of a crust, yet inside was extremely tender.

        -caramel fleur de sel ($2.50). Damp with the caramel topping; salt came in little tasty grains. Liked this as well.

        -chocolate spice ($2.50). My husband's favorite. It was very, very moist and rich, but not quite brownie like. I'm not a huge chocolate fan, but this might have been my top pick as well.

        I'm glad someone is doing boutique donuts in San Francisco and I wish them well. This isn't our neighborhood so we probably won't be back anytime soon. But I was impressed.

        Dynamo Donuts and Coffee
        2760 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

        23 Replies
        1. re: tipsybaker

          Three bucks for *one* donut that isn't even made on-site? And who would want to dunk a lemon birthday cake in his coffee?

          I'm contemplating changing my screen name to Rip van Winkle.

          1. re: Xiao Yang

            I don't care about it being made on-site, as long as it was made extremely recently, but I don't see why they have to cost four-five times as much as a regular doughnut. Even if they're making them with the very best ingredients, that's a ridiculous differential.

            And although I hate to agree with XY when he's being curmudgeonly, he's got a point: a doughnut should be a doughnut, not a piece of cake in the shape of a doughnut. If they want to sell cake, they can join the trendy cupcake business.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              I'm just kinda amazed there is a market for ~$3 donuts at 24th && Potrero
              rather than say 24th && Noe ... or say Fillmore && Chestnut.

              >If they want to sell cake, they can join the trendy cupcake business.
              i can see the wisdom of both product differentiation [not another mini-
              cupcake business] but still appealing to the familiar [Mmmm, donut ...
              What would Homer Simpson do?]

              1. re: psb

                Speaking as someone who lives only a few blocks away, I agree that the price is too high.

                If the donuts were less than 2 dollars, I would probably go all the time (makes a good stop on the way to work) but at current prices, it won't be a place I frequent.

                I love having places like this in the neighborhood, though I fear that many of the people who are lining up now won't be regular customers - in order to stay in business, I think they will need to do more to attract the people who live close by and make them regulars.

                I went the other day, and had the banana dulce de leche donut. It was sort of small, but it was really really good.

                1. re: Dave MP

                  Its good to see a favorable review since most of them have been mediocre, at best, so far.

                  1. re: Dave MP

                    I tried the banana dulce de leche too it was in the style of a jelly donut stuffed with the aforementioned banana filling. I also tried the spiced chocolate which just tasted like peppery chocolate...not to my liking ...the texture of both donuts were quite good.

                2. re: Ruth Lafler

                  How much is a regular donut these days? Bob's are 75-80 cents? Donut Wheel is 80 cents. Only three times as much.

                  1. re: P. Punko

                    The doughnuts (excellent, made from scratch, not a mix) at the bakery down the street are 75 cents. I assume some doughnut shops are cheaper.

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      Hi Ruth- I was just asking- I don't love the idea of paying for 3 bucks a donut, but I will certainly try one. I just mentally think of donuts as being 50 cents, and then whenever I go into a place they are 75-85 cents, so I was wondering if they were cheaper East Bay way.

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                        Where is this bakery that makes excellent, from-scratch donuts???

                        1. re: lmarie

                          Maybe she's referring to Boniere? The cake donuts are splendid, and I've never been a cake donut person.

                          Boniere Bakery
                          3249 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA

                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                            Yeah, I was never a cake doughnut person, either, until I had the ones from the Boniere. I could see the skepticism in Melanie's eyes when I urged her to try one. They are much as the Dynamo Doughnuts have been described: tender and, as Melanie said with surprise, "like ... cake!" But no frou-frou flavors or pretentions. Just very good versions of standard doughnuts.

                            I've raved enough about them that I decided to refrain from naming them in my previous post. Among other things, the Boniere is not a doughtnut shop, and the quantity and selection of doughnuts is limited. I don't want to overpromote their doughnuts!

                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                              Thanks again for sharing, Ruth!

                              And, adding the link for Dynamo:

                              Dynamo Donuts and Coffee
                              2760 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                              1. re: Melanie Wong

                                Did the link I added in the original post not work?

                                  1. re: JasmineG

                                    What does that mean, duplicate, other than that word. The linked to information seems similar.

                                    1. re: wolfe

                                      It means that it was a duplicate, and that therefore the original place link (which is the one that most people would look for) would not be connected with this discussion unless someone else had put the original place link in.

                                      1. re: JasmineG

                                        So that would apply with an older link. Since this one is fresh with no other mentions I assume that is why they look the same. Thank you.

                                        1. re: wolfe

                                          You should try opening the non-duplicate link. It has photos and other information that the latter duplicate link does not.

                                    2. re: JasmineG

                                      I don't know why it came up duplicate.... it couldn't find any record of it when I originally tried to put it in.

                                      There are "duplicates" in tons of other threads, yet I've never seen anyone make a point of correcting it.

                                      1. re: chemchef

                                        If you entered the spelling as, "Dynamo Doughnuts", the search for Places would not be able to find "Dynamo Donuts".

                                        Guess you've not noticed the numerous threads that rworange, other posters, and myself have added correct links when duplicate records were created by mistake. This is an user-driven effort to consolidate the discussion and create a more userful archive of information. Hopefully this will not be needed as frequently as some serious bugs in the Places system have been corrected and the number of duplicates has decreased. However, it is still necessary to spell the name correctly to get a match. One tip is to enter fewer words in the name box, e.g., just Dynamo, and the original record would have been found.

                                        And, please don't think of this as "correcting" in the sense that you've done something bad. Far from it, there's no penalty box!

                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                  I went last Saturday at 7:45 which is apparently before they are open (damn you SFgate and your bad data). There was a line of 4 people by 7:55 when they finally hooked us up.

                                  The salted carmel wasn't as salty as I'd like - guessing the salt melted. But it was mightly tasty though messy in the bag.

                                  The Lemon Pistacio was good too. Both were stale the next day when my husband got around to eating the halves I left for him but were still given a thumbs up.

                          2. re: P. Punko

                            Eagle Donuts down the street from me is really good, I feel, and theirs are maybe 80 cents, with a giant cinnamon roll (really a donut) being maybe 1.25 or 1.50.

                            At Dynamo yesterday (Tuesday), two of the flavors were $2 and the third flavor was $2.50. I think they lowered the prices because there was a common flavor between my two visits (the salted caramel), and at my Saturday visit, there were no $2 donuts.

                    2. Went this morning. The coffee is very good. There are two windows to order at and one person taking the orders, and he can't sort out who was there first. He skipped me over many times in favor of people who came long after me. They had two flavors of doughnuts--salted caramel and lemon pistachio. The salted caramel was very gooey and sticky, such that it would not survive in a paper bag (they have plates, but where are you going to sit?). I preferred the lemon pistachio, but I don't these donuts are very good in general. I think these suffer badly even if they were made only 2 or 3 hours previously, kind of gummy and dry with not the best texture or flavor. They were expecting a third flavor later, but didn't know what flavor.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: Atomica

                        A good pal of mine lives right by there, so I was forced (forced, I say!) to go back to Dynamo today. I tried a chocolate spice donut that was actively gross. Really horrible flavor. The filled apricot honey one was pretty good, however.

                        1. re: Atomica

                          "Actively gross" is my new favorite phrase.

                          I knew "artisan donuts" would sooner or later show up in the Bay Area, although I wouldn't be surprised if this place is somewhat influenced by the infamous (and decidedly unpretentious) Voodoo Doughnut in Portland.

                          1. re: Agent 510

                            I wish for something along the lines of Top Pot in Seattle (ignore the Top Pot donuts being sold at Starbucks in the Bay Area--they don't represent the product sold in the Seattle stores well at all).

                            1. re: Atomica

                              I'd prefer a 'clone' of the Donut Factory, located on the Lower East Side of NY......very imaginative, and still warm from being freshly made...

                              1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                IMO, one of the best donuts in the Bay Area is People's donuts. They are organic ... and ... get this ... vegan ... and taste better than most Bay Area donuts. They don't list all places they are sold ... Brown Sugar Kitchen sells them and is not in this linked list

                                You can get them down the street at Philz. Ritual carries them too. Seriously ... they are good ... pricy ... but not as much as Dynamo. They are about $2.

                                1. re: rworange

                                  I had to take the People's Donuts challenge at Philz yesterday. Sorry, but these were completely godawful. Between me, my husband, and our little sugar-holic, we didn't even eat half of one donut. The other half went in the compost.

                                2. re: ChowFun_derek

                                  You probably mean Doughnut Plant.

                                  It's sounding like the criticisms being made about this place are similar to my gripes about Doughnut Plant.

                                  - Too expensive. Sticky, melty, too airy. Freshness only last a couple hours, often sold on the stale side. Flavor combos hit or miss. Doesn't really fill a traditional donut craving. The cake donuts are usually more satisfying compared to the puffed out yeast version.

                                  1. re: sugartoof

                                    I'd just like to say that 'raised' donuts are usually my least favorite. However, the ones at Dynamo are not the typical, big, airy ones. They are somehow more dense (not in a bad way), and moist, more like a cake donut, but w/o the baking powder taste. I think that is why many people on this board have mistaken them for cake donuts.

                                    I also did not find these to be sticky or melty in any way. I saved half of each of my 3 varieties to take home to my husband after carting them around with me all day. When he finally got them, they we still very delicious, and not stale tasting.

                        2. I went again today at 7:45 AM. They only had one type of donut - a glazed donut filled with honey/apricot filling. The outside was firm, but the inside was very soft - the filling was good, had a nice balance of honey and apricot without being overly sweet. The dough just around the filling seemed to be undercooked and a bit batter-like. This didn't negatively affect the taste, but in my mind a perfect donut would be cooked evenly all the way through.

                          This donut was 2 dollars and overall it tasted great. It turned out that the flavor they had was delicious, but I thought it odd that they only had one type - apparently the other donuts hadn't arrived yet. If you're gonna open at 7 AM, then I think you should be ready at 7 AM.....but I am being nit-picky now because I think these guys are making very good donuts, and ultimately, deliciousness is the most important thing.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Dave MP

                            Now, see, I'd buy a $2 apricot-honey filled doughnut. That's a reasonable price for a value-added (filled) doughnut. Sure it's more expensive than the average jelly doughnut, but it's well within the reasonable cost range for a good-quality fruit pastry.

                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                              I agree. If they can keep it at 2 dollars and keep making interesting fillings, then I will probably continue to go.