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So many SF donut shops!

As a transplant from Boston, where the vile Dunkin' Donuts somehow continues to proliferate, I'm in awe of all the independent (and seemingly mostly Asian-owned) donut shops in the city. So, are any of them any good? We sampled a bear claw and apple fritter from the Noe Valley Happy Donuts. Admittedly, these were not donuts, but we were underwhelmed with the bear claw, and the apple fritter was almost cloyingly sweet. This morning, we had a somewhat better experience with Donut World in Inner Sunset, sampling sticks, twists, and donuts. The one thing of note was the jelly donut, which had an interesting, almost sour jelly filling.

I've yet to try Dynamo and Pepples, but they are both on my list. So, are there other places worth sampling in the city? And if so, what specifically is tasty?

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  1. Bob's Donuts on Polk. I didn't really like donuts or donut shops until I tried their apple fritter.

    1. Go to Bob's on Polk St. If you get there at night around 10-11 they start rolling out the batches for the next day and they're excellent fresh.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ML8000

        Yes, whatever's fresh at Bob's, any time of day. Vastly better than Dynamo and the other upscale imitators.

      2. Don't be dissin' the dunkin'! Actually as a transplant myself I sometimes miss the "flagship""Dunkin' Donut", which I believe the corporate overlords discontinued. It was a donut with a "handle" on the side and according to the pledge taken at DDUniversity was made every 4 hours, 24 hours a day.A lot of donut shops are currently run by Cambodian immigrants in one of those strange ethnic affiliation things that once led to Greek pasta based chili parlors in the mid-west. Try Bob's for real donut value. Also the things called "french crullers" at a lot of places seem unique to San Francisco to me. Kind of like a fried pop-over with chocolate on it and how bad could that be?

        1 Reply
        1. re: little big al

          Dunkin Donuts also makes a french cruller, it's what we call an "old fashioned" which is more unique to San Francisco.

          If you get a honey dipped, or the similar yeast donuts with a flavored glaze, it should take care of a DD craving. 7-11 Donuts are also similar.

        2. Not really. The only one that I found acceptable was Happy Donuts at 761 3rd St.

          The place you mentioned on Noe was not good. I don't understand these recs for Bobs; maybe I tried the wrong place on Polk, but I think that I tried Bobs (is there another nearby?). Note worth a repeat. Or, maybe it's improved in the past few years.

          I occasional stop for a Dynamo. Keep in mind that it's much more expensive.

          2 Replies
          1. re: jman1

            Bob's isn't going to live up to the folklore unless you try them fresh. Otherwise they're too dense.

            1. re: sugartoof

              You have to ask what's fresh when you go to Bob's. Usually these are not in the window but on a rack or on the oven. Otherwise you end up with very tired donuts.

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