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Aug 4, 2009 02:41 PM

Best donut I've had in forever....

They called to me from the top of the display case: jam filled donuts dusted with sugar. Hopkins Bakery. It's killing me I didn't buy two.

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  1. I had one the for the first time last month, and actually went back after I had a taste and bought 3 more for the family. I don't even like jelly donuts, but these were exceptional!
    It takes a lot of willpower not to buy them regularly.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sfpizzalover

      No fair not saying where :-). Are you talking about the Hopkins Street Bakery in Berkeley?

      1. re: grayelf

        Sorry. Yes, Hopkins Street Bakery near Monterey Market.

    2. Those are great. Here's a previous report

      i've never seen the lemon though.

      If you want the best custard donut, so good it may take weeks of donuts annoymous meetings to maybe kick the habit ... Hello, I'm RW, I'm a donut-holic...

      ... anyway, Artisan Bakers makes this amazing custard-filled, chcolate-topped soft, yeasty beignet. It is like a donut and an eclair mated and produced an offspring that produced a baby more brilliant and beautiful than either parent.

      Anyway, I think it is good.

      Sold at Berkeley Bowl West and Cafe Saint Honairei in Albany

      4 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        They come in lemon too?? Sobbing on keyboard now...

        1. re: grayelf

          Lemon available only on Saturday so far. And unfortunately, since I would love to bring them in for the folks at work, the donuts aren't ready early enough. 9 am usually.

          They put a glaze on the lemon donut's top.

          These are round donuts, not bagel shaped.

          I've only tried a few upscale donuts with fancy/wierd flavors. My impression is that they take regular donut mix and add flavors/bacon/spice while Hopkin's is definitely made from scratch. The change of owner at Hopkins was a good thing. Much more refined.

        2. re: rworange

          >Artisan Bakers makes this amazing ...<

          You mean Artisan Bakers in Sonoma? If so, it's a great bakery. I've never tried that beignet you mentioned so it's now on my list.

          1. re: Mick Ruthven

            No. There's a new place in Berkeley making baked goods for Berkeley Bowl West and Cafe Sainte Honore.Supposedly they are connected with Lalime's.

            I was confused too. I like the Sonoma Bakery, but I wasn't seeing macrons, canneles, or other such French pastries.

        3. spicy chocolate donut from Dynamo Donuts!
          a close second... their Bacon Maple Donut

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

          8 Replies
          1. re: chefinthecity

            No. Those are upscale donuts. Sometimes you just want a classic donut without the show. That is what is good about Hopkins and Artisan. They are just donuts.

            I have a friend who only orders vanilla ice cream the first time she visits a shop. Her feeling is that sometimes you can't tell a good ice cream because people are dazzled by the flavors that mask a bad ice cream.

            I wonder how good people would think Dynamo was if they didn't try to razle dazzle. I wonder if a plain donut from them would be any good.

            1. re: rworange

              Agreed rw, not that I didn't love the bacon maple at DD (I did) but sometimes you just need an old-school 'nut :-). Now I must get my Google on and see where the heck Albany is!

              1. re: grayelf

                The large spaces on the map on the place link are Saint Mary's College High School and Martin Luther King, Jr. High School, home of the edible garden.

                Hopkins Street Bakery
                1584 Hopkins St, Berkeley, CA

                1. re: wolfe

                  Hopkin's Street Bakery is firmly within Berkeley.

                  1. re: rccola

                    Yes but I think I was too quick and grayelf was actually looking for Ste. Honore.

                2. re: grayelf

                  Albany is on the border of Berkely. However, you can also get them at the new Berkeley Bowl West. I don't know if you have been to the Oregon St BB, but on your next trip you must check out the new BBW which has all the other store has PLUS about 1/3 more ... AND parking, wide aisles and no wait in line.

                  If you are up in Yountville, I'm not really a fan of Bouchon Bakery, but they do one memorable thing for me ... a classic donut.

                3. re: rworange

                  "I wonder if a plain donut from them would be any good."

                  I would have to say the answer to that question is a no, based on what I tried. I tried their candied orange donut, which was really really light on the candied orange (maybe a few tiny pieces), so it was basically a plain donut, and it wasn't good at all.

                  Funny how goofy flavors and trendiness let you charge $3 (!!!) for a lousy donut.

                  1. re: rworange

                    I would agree that the raised donuts at Dynamo Donut are average donuts with exotic flavors. However, the spiced chocolate donut is cakey-style, and it's totally unique (See photos #1 and #2). There is nothing else quite like it, in terms of texture; the exterior is almost crispy, and the interior is simultaneously super-moist, but also light with air pockets.

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

                4. Are these made from scratch? I asked David at the Bread Garden some time ago for any donut shops he might know of that do scratch donuts and he was fairly sure that everyone uses mixes.

                  Would love to hear otherwise.

                  There is one bakery in my area that does make cruellers from scratch every Friday. Carlock's in Los Osos. Insides creamy and to die for.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: toodie jane

                    Yes. This only started within the last few months. So when you asked at the Bread Garden, some time ago that might have been true at that time. There's actually a local place making vegan donuts. I like them, but there are mixed opinions. Did you know Bread Garden may close this year? I'll be so sorry if it does.

                    1. re: rworange

                      >Are these made from scratch? Yes.<

                      Which donuts are you referring to, Hopkins St. or the Artisans ones at Berkeley Bowl or?

                    2. re: toodie jane

                      I believe Bob's Donuts in SF makes their own from scratch. I talked to the older lady who works there in the afternoon once and she said (at the time) the prices went up because flour went up and used special/non-standard flour. Also I believe the now closed Lou's Living Donut Museum in San Jose made donuts from scratch and used organic flour.

                      1. re: toodie jane

                        Oh, Carlock's! I grew up in Los Osos eating Barvarian Creams and lemon filleds on Saturday mornings! ten years ago when the Krispy Kream juggernaut hit I was thoroughly underwhelmed after being spoiled on hot, fresh, and cheap donuts from Carlock's. When I visit my parents for the weekend, I've been known to extend my stay until the bakery reopens Tuesday morning just for another hit . . . the exotic flavors at places like Dynamo just can't compare to a well executed lemon curd or the just right dough. Also helps that Carlock's are almost as good at closing time as they are first thing in the morning, which is more than I can say for most.

                      2. finally had the chance to come by early enough to grab a raspberry jam filled one from HSB. definitely my favorite jam donut ever. the best and saddest part is licking off my sugar coated lips and fingers.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: nicedragonboy

                          Stan's Donuts in Cupertino used to make the best Glazed Donuts, in the morning you could get them hot and dripping with sugary glaze. Man did those give ya a tummy ache later though. I swear they would continue to rise in your stomach.