HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >


best donuts in Berkeley?

i want a good old-fashioned.
where to crew?

good coffee would be a big plus too.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. There are good jelly donuts and good custard filled donuts ... but old fashioned ... hmmm.

    Berkely Bowl West carries King Pin donuts. The cafe has Peet's Coffee and the Bakery has another coffee brewer, whose name I forget.

    Local 123 has great coffee and Pepple's vegan donuts. I like them, but some don't share my opinion. They don't make old fashioned donuts .However the donut shop a few doors down has reliable enough, though nothing special, old fashioned donuts. They are nice people. The coffee is sucky donut shop coffee though. You could buy a donut there and go over to Local 123 for your coffee.

    1. i know it's an untraditional old-fashioned (oxymoron much?), but I love the doughnut muffin, made with old-fashioned batter and topped with cinnamon sugar, at Bette's To Go on Fourth. They've got decent drip and espresso, but Peet's is across the way, and it's a few blocks up to Local 123, too.

      1807 4th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

      1. Dream Fluff. But I don't know how their coffee is.

        Dream Fluff Donuts
        2637 Ashby Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705

        1. Or you could get King Pin donuts from the location on campus. When they're hot and fresh, they're great. Otherwise, I think they're just so-so. They do have old-fashioned. Don't know about their coffee.

          I also like the donuts at Yellow Brick Cafe, which is perhaps better known now for its Cambodian BBQ. They also do made-to-order donut specialties there, like a banana-cream donut and, supposedly, a donut burger (though I still haven't read a report from anyone who's successfully ordered this). They serve Peerless coffee, but from a thermos (not fresh brewed).

          More detailed reports here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/632099

          Yellow Brick Cafe (Formerly All Star Donut
          )1255 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702

          2 Replies
          1. re: abstractpoet

            King Pin around 9 - 10 PM when they're fresh and hot is sooooo good... but that probably applies to almost any donut.

            1. re: kimchee411

              Ahh there's something about freshly fried sweet dough at midnight when you're in college... Kingpin :)

          2. Anyone know of a place East Bay way that uses potato flour for their doughnuts..."spudnuts?"

            1 Reply
            1. re: Munching Mark

              We have a spudnut shop in Hollister. I ate a lot of spudnuts as a kid, and these sure taste like they have potato flour in them.

            2. Berkeley Bowl on Oregon has'em, not sure if they are good or not.

              Dream Fluff is ok, nothing special.

              I know you specfied old fashioned, but Hopkins St bakery makes killer jelly filled.

              You might try Happy Donut (I think that is the name) on University or Gilman. They do a decent job at it.

              1. Although not in Berkeley, All Star Donuts in El Cerrito is just a hop, skip and jump away and I've always enjoyed their chocolate and glazed old fashioned donuts. They also do a delicious, apple fritter though some might find it a bit too sweet. The folks who own/run the shop are really nice as well.

                Don't go for the coffee.

                1. I know this may sound crazy but I All Star Donuts on University has awesome old-fashioneds. Even crazier, they have a huge sign outside that advertises Cambodian BBQ that's also really good. The hours for food are a little wacky cus it depends how many people are working there at the time but really good an cheap when u can get it. I've also seen people ordering a big chocolate cream donut that's sliced in half and stuffed with banana slices and whipped cream that's probably awesome when you're in the right mood. Anyway, their chocolate old fashioned donuts are totally solid an delicious. Here's a previous thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/566455
                  All Star Donut‎
                  1255 University Ave, Berkeley, CA
                  (510) 666-0878‎

                  1. King Pin on Durant is where I'd go for a donut when I was a student.


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: DandySF

                      I was working in Berkeley near UC tonight ...... after work I stopped by King Pin Donuts to see what was in the case. The case was pretty full and most of the donuts looked pretty fresh - I asked the counter woman what was fresh and she mentioned that the chocolate buttermilk donut was still warm ..... I went for one of those. It was perfect! It was crispy/crunchy on the exterior and moist and tender on the inside. The chocolate glaze was still soft and gooey and the chocolate chips didn't hurt either!

                    2. Not in Berkeley, but I had read in this article in the Chronicle that Pizzaiolo is making doughnuts now in the morning http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article... so I stopped by on Saturday morning to sustain myself for a busy day. They had two kinds, an old fashioned buttermilk and a pumpkin, so I got one of each -- each doughnut came with a doughnut hole, which was a nice touch. These are big fluffy cakey doughnuts, sprinkled in sugar, for $2 each, and they were pretty delicious. I didn't taste that much pumpkin in the pumpkin one, though -- I mean, it tasted good, just not particularly pumpkiny. They were fresh when I bought them, but I didn't eat both of them that day, and they were still pretty tasty reheated in my toaster oven for breakfast this morning.

                      I also had Dream Fluff doughnuts on Sunday (it was a doughnut kind of weekend) and their old fashioned still have my heart.

                      1. Gotta be Dream Fluff, though they're a shadow of their former self- the crullers used to weigh in at 1 1/2 lbs despite being feather light. Most of the donuts have been driven out of Berkeley by commie hippie weirdo organic health freaks apparently in denial over the necessity of fried dough as a nutrient.

                        1. Speaking strictly about jelly doughnuts, it's worth a trek to Andy's Donut Stop in Richmond. They have a few different filling flavors, there's an appropriate jelly to dough ratio, and the texture of the dough is the good place between firm and chewy. I can't find their hours online, but I've gone there for great doughnuts in the wee hours of the morning.

                          All Star and Kingpin have large doughnuts, but I find them to no different from the other oversized crappy doughnuts you find throughout the Bay Area.

                          Andy's Donut Stop
                          971 23rd St, Richmond, CA

                          All Star Cafe
                          1550 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: hyperbowler

                            If you look at the link provided for ther Andy's Donut Shop restaurant record you will see that they are open 24/.7. Unfortunatley, Google no longer turns up Chowhound restaurant records inb the search results anymore.

                          2. Hopkins Street Bakery, not open Sundays as far as I know, has handmade yeast-driven donuts. During the week: raspberry jelly filled and maybe lemon curd. On Saturday, Italian pastry cream.

                            They are like homemade donuts from the 50s and early 60s.

                            Most donut places use a mix to make their donuts and I can taste the baking powder/artificial vanilla/etc.

                            I have brought Hopkins Street many times as office treats and they were always appreciated muchly, with surprise by the recipients.

                            Hopkins Street Bakery
                            1584 Hopkins St, Berkeley, CA