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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

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  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.

                          2. I went after they had been open a few days. I live in the neighborhood (19th/York) and am happy to see something like this in this nabe. Anyway, had already had my fill of coffee so can't speak to it. They had 3 donut types (vanilla glazed, spiced chocolate, and banana dulce de leche) and I bought all 3 with the intention of sharing with colleagues. Everyone including myself was impressed. I like the banana most and the spiced choc. least.

                            Will def. go back.

                            1. My husband just got back from Dynamo with 2 each of three flavors: bacon maple, vanilla glazed and the apricot honey filled. The filled donut was great, a little crunch still on the outside and a pile of powdered sugar on the top. The filling was good, seemed to have real fruit in it -- I wonder if they make it themselves? -- and not too much of it, so it didn't ooze out all over me. The vanilla glazed was a good raised donut, but really had no actual vanilla flavor, even though I could see the little black vanilla specks in the dough. The bacon donut looks so good -- it has bacon on it! sprinkled on the top!! After reading the bad notes about this flavor, I don't want to take a bite a ruin the fantasy. I think I'm going to just keep it around for a while...

                              I don't mind the price because I think a good donut is a pastry alternative, and I don't mind paying pastry prices for time and effort. Not just the batter, but the crafting of interesting recipes. I also appreciate the effort of starting the business and am willing to support them for that alone.

                              I *really* want to like the bacon donut.....

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

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: ooeygooey

                                What were the prices? When I've been recently, all the donuts were $2. Not a $2.50 or $3 donut in site.

                                1. re: Atomica

                                  I honestly think the prices fluctuate. I've been there 3 times during the past 3 weeks and each time, the prices were at least $2.50 and occasionally $3. Yet, I've read reports where they've been only $2 on days preceding when I was there. As crazy as it sounds, I think it's A.Q.

                                  1. re: Atomica

                                    I asked my husband and he said that six donuts were $14. Maybe the 2 filled and 2 bacon were $2.50 each and the 2 vanilla $2? I think it's a little amusing that the prices fluctuate -- maybe with the price of cooking oil, lol. Maybe depending on the mood of the cook? Or maybe like the soup nazi -- for some people, it just costs more! (But usually that would mean my husband would pay the top price, he's always unwashed and in his sweats that early on a Saturday...).

                                    1. re: ooeygooey

                                      So did you eat that bacon donut?

                                      Even at the price of $3, I could go for that occasionally. However,putting it at a half dozen price was a shocker. At a low of $2, a dozen donuts would be $24. I wonder if they make it a bakers dozen.

                                      1. re: rworange

                                        I stopped by there on the way to Potrero because I was dragging and needed a jolt of strong coffee. There was a mix of $2 and $2.50 donuts. It's the first time I've seen the bacon donut live in captivity. If you like the Vosges chocolate bar, you'd probably like this donut. I, on the other hand, am through with their donuts. Good, old, reliable Eagle Donuts in my neighborhood is just so much better.

                                        1. re: rworange

                                          I did finally eat the bacon donut -- because my husband started to cut pieces off it so I had no choice! It was interesting. The taste of it was not bad, but it was not a traditional dount at all. I'm glad I ate the sweet donuts and then waited for the bacon one -- if I had eaten it right after, it would have been much worse for the comparison. It was not as sweet, not enough of the maple flavor, and I think it even had pieces of apple in the batter, but could not really taste it. The most remarkable thing about it was the finish -- the last taste in our mouths was very similar to......dim sum. Think pork shu mai. Bacon=pork, so maybe not that unlikely, but combined with the pastry/dough? It was like a dim sum donut. It was very....interesting.

                                  2. Was cruising the neighborhood checking out garage sales for my impending move, and saw a parking spot right in front this morning at about nine-thirty: my clue to pull in and finally try the Dynamo Donut. Two servers and there was a small line, partially because one of the two workers there (the owner, I think) was doing as much schmoozing as serving. I did overhear him say to another patron that they are working on getting the kitchen on site, I also overheard him say that once they do have a kitchen on site they'd like to expand the product to other 'american style pastries' (he didn't say what that was and I didn't ask since I was just overhearing the conversation..anyway, he did speed things up once he realized there was a line, and the wait wasn't bad....

                                    Only two donut flavors were available: caramel fleur de sel and vanilla bean. I went for one of the former with a cup of drip coffee (made in a small french press and very good). $2 each, $4 total for my coffee and donut. The donut was a good size; IMO it is not horribly overpriced given the quality of the donut and particularly of the coffee.

                                    In another post, Limster thought the donuts lacked textural contrast, and specifically mentioned the lack of a crispy exterior. I had a different experience: the texture of mine was nicely crispy on the outside (soft inside) and I loved it: perhaps the best texture I've ever had in a cake style donut. Flavor of the donut itself was good, with orange undertones. I'd come on a regular basis to get a fix if they just served the donut without the icing.

                                    Yes, wish I could be as enthusiastic about the icing, but I can't: I didn't think the sweet and salt balanced well, and it was very sticky and gooey. As others mentioned, it doesn't work well for takeout because the icing sticks to whatever bag you carry it in. But then, I've always been a plain cake donut type of person....

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: susancinsf

                                      I finally made it over there yesterday morning at 7am. They had one flavor (banana dulce de leche), but I was told that 2 more flavors would be there in ~10-15 minutes. Since I didn't have anywhere to be right away, I decided to wait for all the flavors and had a cappuccino in the meantime. The cappuccino was very good, though I felt like it was closer to a Gibralter than a cap, both b/c of the strength of it and the amount of foam. Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

                                      I chatted with the girl at the counter while I waited for the other donuts to arrive and found out that they are NOT currently making any cake donuts, only yeast-raised ones. I was also told that they are very close to opening their kitchen on-site there as well as more seating indoors.

                                      When the donuts arrived the two flavors were apple-maple-bacon and vanilla bean. I had her box up one of each and I was on my way. I ended up cutting each donut in half (all of them were good size) so that I could try a bit of each and take the rest home to my husband. I thought that all of the flavors were great. The texture was also very good... not necessarily crisp on the outside (but then raised donuts usually aren't), but a definite textural difference between the outside and the moist, tender inside. I was surprised at how much I liked the bacon one... it reminded me of eating bacon and pancakes and dipping my bacon in the syrup, which I love to do. I also found the vanilla bean one to be unusually good... it had such a good amount of vanilla bean that I could really detect the floral notes of the vanilla and it almost seemed to have a hint of orange b/c of it. I guess that the banana dulce de leche was my least favorite of them all, though not for any significant reason. It was very flavorful and it was the only one w/o a glaze, rather it was rolled in sugar. I guess what I was disappointed in was that the donut itself was regular (unflavored) and the filling was dulce de leche with little chunks of banana in it. Tasty, but I was hoping that the donut dough would've been flavored with banana, then filled simply with the dulce de leche for more of a smooth texture. Again, it was very tasty, and I'm just splitting hairs here with my own idiosyncrasies, but I felt obligated to give my full opinion here since they reviews have been so varied.

                                      All flavors were $2.50, and the cap was $3. My total bill was $10.50. I thought that the prices were more than fair for the quality of ingredients used and the quality and overall tastiness of the end product.

                                      I would highly recommend Dynamo Donuts, and I will definitely make the trek from the EB again soon to try out some of the other flavors!

                                      1. re: chemchef

                                        I actually haven't had the donuts at Dynamo yet, but I did have one of the chocolate and spice ones at Four Barrel Coffee. The two seemed to have worked out some kind of trade. Four Barrel supplies them with coffee (which means Stumptown coffee until Four Barrel gets their roaster up and running) and Dynamo supplies Four Barrel with donuts.

                                        I think these donuts are a little pricey. The Doughnut Plant in NY is comparable, but I think theirs are also bigger and everything is organic and made in house (like their own organic jams). Does anyone know about the ingredients? I think, based on the ingredients, Dynamo is more like DP than Voodoo in Portland, which is more about crazy combinations than high quality ingredients.

                                        I love a Bob's donut, but this is simply a different breed of donut. There's ingenuity as well as craftsmanship and premium ingredients so paying a little more isn't that unreasonable. I think in this regard they are a lot like people's donuts (which I personally think are quite awful, but I know a lot of people love).

                                        1. re: ManSeekingCoffee

                                          So, you like 'em or not? Hard to tell from your report.

                                          1. re: ManSeekingCoffee

                                            Dynamo has a sign on their storefront that says that all of their ingredients are organic and sustainably sourced whenever possible (paraphrased).

                                            That, along with the unique combinations and superb craftsmanship are worth the slightly inflated price tag, in my opinion.

                                            1. re: chemchef

                                              Yeah, sorry. I like em - quite a bit. Very good, but not your old school donut. It's all about expectations.

                                              1. re: ManSeekingCoffee

                                                I haven't like any of them all that much, BUT a few days ago I had the chocolate with star anise and it was fabulous. Faith partially restored. The plain chocolate ones they sometimes have at Four Barrel are okay too. Still just hate the chocolate spice. One of the guys working at Dynamo agreed with me on the chocolate spice.