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Dynamo Donut, Mission, SF

Am grateful to several friends that pointed out this place to me.

Generally 2 types of textures among the ones I tried. The chocolate ones were denser and more cakey, while the others were lighter and more puffy. I longed for a crispy exterior for textural contrast, but that was lacking in all of the ones I tried over a few days. It was softness on softness. Flavours were very good overall with somewhat interesting combinations, the donuts were fresh-tasting without greasy overtones.

Chocolate spice was probably the more interesting of the two chocolate ones I had, the slight spiciness reminding me of shichimi powder rather than the more common earthier/smokier mexican chlies styled in many hot chocs. The other choc one I had was, iirc, a cinnamon, spice that was nice but relatively more standard.

The bacon maple was the only one with any textural interest, the crispy bacon bits compensating for the absence of any crispness in the donut themselves. This is definitely a breakfast donut, utilizing the classic salty-sweet flavour mix that occurs when maple syrup spills over from pancakes onto savoury bacon. Very good maple flavour.

A nectarine jam filled apricot donut (or was it the reverse?) was very fruity, but it was soft on soft, and while the flavours were great, the texture of the donut was one-dimensional.

Had a couple others (vanilla glaze? and something else) but they were not as memorable. All prices at $2.50 - $3 per donut. If anything else, makes me crave ones that were hot from the fryer. If they did this with the spiced choc, I might be a devotee.

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

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

    1. the vanilla one is indeed pretty average

      I did not like the bacon or chocolate ones though, simply too strange, they might be for the more adventurous

      I'd go back for the lemon one but in zero rush

      3 Replies
      1. re: kewlio

        ive tried the lemon+pistaccio and it's just alright.. looks great though
        i have seen the chocolate one being ordered a LOT so it's strangely popular

        1. re: kewlio

          There is:
          *Plain old chocolate
          *Chocolate spice
          *Chocolate with star anise

          I like the plain and the star anise ones (pretty shocked about the latter). The chocolate spice is revolting. There's a guy who works at Dynamo who actually agrees with me.

          1. re: Atomica

            word, i could not finish the chocolate spice!!

      2. I do not like these donuts at all. I went with someone and tried all the ones they had available at the time...choclates - yuck tasted like old old coffee grounds like soil. The vanilla was nothing special, the bacon and maple double yuck and the lemon one was not great. I took one to two bites and did not want to finish any of them.. I will take Bob's maple bar any day.

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

        2 Replies
        1. re: Lori SF

          I'd agree. I went once and tried several flavors. The choco spice was downright nasty. Very expensive for what it is. Bob's for buttermilk bars is indeed my go to.

          1. re: Lori SF

            I'm starting to think the trick is to avoid the exotics there. I enjoyed their vanilla bean, and pumpkin (which I suppose is a novelty flavor) and found both to be very moist with good flavors. The toppings were secondary, on the milder side. Bob's is great for a homemade version of the same thing you get at a Rolling Happy Pin Donut, but there are some great donuts at Dynamo too.

          2. I thought the bacon maple donut was great. The one I had was perfectly balanced between sweet and salty. The texture of the donut was light. It is a strange combo and definitely for the more adventurous eater. If you want/expect a traditional donut, look elsewhere because these are more experimental flavor. I do suspect that their consistency is an issue due to the rotating flavors. The chocolate spice donut was not very good and was made in a totally different style (dense, cakey, muddy flavors). Hopefully they can develop a signature style and then perfect it.

            The coffee was very good.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Shane Greenwood

              In another thread, I found the coffee revolting. It reminds me of Blue Bottle's Hayes Valley blend which is like Dunkin Donuts coffee gone wrong.

              I found the first bite of the bacon maple donut awful. It was better as I got through it, but I wouldn't make Dynamo a stop in the future. Someone in another thread mentioned Dynamo is noted for a few clunkers. Sorry. For $2-$3 a donut there should be no clunkers.

              1. re: rworange

                The cappuccino we had there was one of the better ones I've tasted in SF.

                1. re: rworange

                  Stumptown's Hairbender pulled by highly skilled barristas. I don't feel like they're going wrong in espresso department at all. I haven't tried anything they're doing with Four Barrel beans. I could take or leave the donuts - but I usually end up taking.

                  1. re: scarmoza

                    Best latte I have had in the Bay Area. I needed another fix later in the afternoon so I went back for a second. Barristas are friendly and efficient-- even though there was a line of at least 6 people in front of me, they got through it quickly and I didn't have to wait long. My review-- excellent coffee and good customer service, I will be back again and again.

              2. I never wake up in time to try the other flavors such a thyme and lemon (sounds great!).
                I had the maple bacon and chocolate ones and they were good.
                I also prefer good old bob's at 12:00am when they are fresh!

                1. I enjoyed the bacon apple maple yesterday and the caramel sel this morning. It sounds like there are mixed opinions on this board, but I really enjoyed the donuts and will be trying the other ones in the near future.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: EnderWiggin

                    I have visited Dynamo four times -- and find the combinations hit and miss, but they are certainly original and I like the experimentation. The bacon/maple is the best I've tried (twice!) and that donut alone could be the justification of Dynamo's existance -- fluffy, light, salty, sweet -- wonderful; the caramel/fleur de sel is quite good as well. A miss for me was the Meyer lemon/vanilla bean -- don't know if the vanilla beans were sub-par or what, but the after-taste -- oye.

                    1. re: zachschef

                      I like their experimentation also even if some of the flavor profiles don't marry too well...If they didn't experiment and get feedback from us, then we'd be left eating glorified plain krispy kreme glaze donuts. Nothing wrong with that, but i'm sure if that's what we wanted then we would just go to krispy kreme or the local mcdonut shop.

                      1. re: EnderWiggin

                        Exactly. Very well said. I had a lemon and thyme version as well that I forgot to mention -- not completely my cup of tea, but very interesting.

                        1. re: EnderWiggin

                          No, I enjoy a good donut. Emporio Rulli is currently making some fine donuts. Though I don't like Bouchon Bakery in general they make a wonderful jelly donut. I don't feel ripped off paying $3 for each of these donuts.

                          Please don't experiment on customers at $3-$4 a shot. Give samples and get feedback. I'm sorry, I am just tired of 'artisan' purveyors practicing their craft on my dime. For those that want to support the 'arts' with their dollars, go for it. When they finally get it down, I'll give them another try. I give Dynamo two years at most if they remain where they are ... or less ... if another shop opens that is the flavor of the moment.

                          1. re: rworange

                            Point taken, but let's remember some of the most classic American food inventions came about from business owners experimenting on their customers under strange circumstances. I'd agree that the markup on this stuff is pushing it though.

                            1. re: rworange

                              Agreed, I would have given a sample of a new flavor to everyone who bought a doughnut, and then started selling the ones that people liked.

                      2. Just read they are now making an off-the-menu Bacon Focaccia around 8:30am, limited batch. Hope someone will try it & report back.

                        1. According to Tablehopper, Dynamo Donut has opened in the Marina Green kiosk. Earlier coverage indicated that the donuts will be delivered there fresh each morning.
                          "Hours are Tue-Sat 8am-4pm and Sun 9am-4pm. The location is 110 Yacht Rd., just off Baker Street at Marina Boulevard on the Marina Green (in front of the St. Francis Yacht Club)."

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                            They also deliver to a kiosk in downtown on weekdays. I don't know its exact location on Market Street, but I've walked past it en route from the Ferry Plaza towards Montgomery (on the right-hand side).