The 10 Best Donut Shops in San Francisco
Explore San Francisco’s best doughnut shops for parents and kids.
Maybe it’s a birthday breakfast, a before-school treat or an after-school snack, or maybe your little one has woken up at the crack of dawn again and you’re in the market for some sugar and caffeine, stat. A fresh doughnut makes every celebration sweeter, every weekend morning with grandparents more delightful, and every scrambled weekday rush a little more chill. That’s why every busy parent, babysitter, or nanny needs a few go-to doughnut shops, and lucky for you, San Francisco has plenty to choose from.
Need a doughnut at 3 a.m.? Done. A gigantic doughnut for an awe-inducing slumber party breakfast? Covered. The perfect doughnut to pick up across from one of the city’s best farmers markets? We’re on it. Explore the city’s best doughnuts with these top 10 shops guaranteed to satisfy all your doughnut needs.
Address: 2760 24th St., San Francisco, CA 94110
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. | Sunday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Dynamo Donut & Coffee always delivers the best. They serve Four Barrel coffee alongside their confections, and the sidewalk counter is a great place to stop for a bite and a caffeine boost while on a long walk. But if you need a longer break, there’s seating inside and an open kitchen where you can watch the doughnut-making magic happen.
The real draw is the out-of-this-world flavor combos, perched atop freshly made cake and classic doughnuts. Try savory-sweet maple bacon apple, mouthwatering milk chocolate passion fruit, or one of their seasonal flavors, like Monte Cristo or bananas de leche. Gluten-free doughnut fans can join in on the fun with one of three gluten-free options: carrot cake, chocolate raspberry, and lemon buttermilk. Fun fact: Owner Sara Spearin started experimenting with doughnut-making while on maternity leave in 2007, when she developed the famous vanilla bean doughnut as a new mom.
Address: 3801 24th St., San Francisco, CA 94114
Hours: Open 24/7
From a 5 a.m. toddler wakeup call to a post-grocery shopping snack, Happy Donuts is always there for you. Open 24 hours a day, this cozy little Noe Valley doughnut shop slings fresh classic and cake doughnuts in traditional flavors. The glazed jelly, bursting with seedy raspberry jam, and the dense apple fritter are particularly excellent, as is the traditional glazed doughnut and the freshly filled eclairs. They also make a mean breakfast sandwich on your choice of croissant or bagel.
Nearby parks include Dolores Park and Upper Douglass Dog Park, if you want to turn this into a doughnut picnic. Skip the coffee here, though, and go to nearby Martha and Bros. or Spin City Coffee for your caffeine needs.
Address: 1621 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109
Hours: Open 24/7
Looking for a sleepover breakfast guaranteed to delight, or a fun alternative to an in-class birthday cake? The “Big Donut” may be calling your name. Bob’s Donut and Pastry Shop is known for its legendary gigantic doughnut, which is nearly the size of a dozen doughnuts combined into one mega treat. To top it off, choose from chocolate frosting, sprinkles, maple, crumb, or classic glazed.
Even if you’re not looking for a doughnut fit for a giant, the traditional doughnuts and pastries here are great and available 24 hours a day. The raised maple is a classic, as is the apple fritter, which is glazed and laced with spices. The chocolate cake doughnut with sprinkles is super festive at any time of day or night.
Address: 1042 Larkin St., San Francisco, CA 94109
Hours: Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. | Saturday & Sunday, 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
OK, OK, so this is more of a bakery than a doughnut shop, but the doughnuts are not to be missed. There’s a quarterly doughnut of the day, with flavors like butterscotch cream or orange pilsner curd, and a second chef’s choice doughnut. These doughnuts are round, packed with high-quality, super-flavorful filling, and mega decadent.
Make a visit to the bakehouse part of a pastry-filled breakfast, maybe with a few friends so you can try out everything from the matcha croissant to the daily cruffin to the chamomile blueberry Danish pastry. Check the flavors ahead of time and expect a line for the cruffin. This is also a good spot to send someone for a big batch of weekend pastries while you sip on your coffee and take it easy. It’s a small space, so expect to take your doughnuts to go.
Address: 1243 Noriega St., San Francisco, CA 94122
Hours: Monday - Friday, 6 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. | Saturday & Sunday, 7 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Weekends are made for wacky doughnuts, and Twisted Donuts is the place to be, with specialty flavors that kick off every Saturday. Check their Facebook and Instagram accounts to find out what they’re selling -- everything from S’mores Galore to PB&J.
If you can’t make it on a weekend, don’t worry: The everyday doughnuts are plenty special. An ample menu of raised doughnuts, cake doughnuts, and filled doughnuts will please any doughnut fan, and a menu of sweet and savory croissants is the perfect complement. Consider the lemon-filled for a zing of sweet, tart flavor, or the blueberry cake for a classic treat. For a fan-favorite pairing, try the doughnut and coffee Twisted Donuts is best known for: a salty sweet maple bacon doughnut and super-strong hazelnut iced coffee made with coffee ice cubes.
Address: 1299 Sanchez St., San Francisco, CA 94114
Hours: Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. | Saturday & Sunday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
It’s “technically” not a doughnut shop, but this is the perfect place to get a Dynamo Donut while you do your laundry and make some new friends. Spin City Launderette and Coffee Bar is a dreamy neighborhood spot where the owner, Maricar, will give your dog a treat and get to know you and your kids. There’s a little sidewalk garden where you can sit and sip a super-strong cold brew or hot coffee drink, made from local Noe Valley Coffee.
The Dynamo Donuts are incredible, as always, but they do sell out fast, so make sure to pick one up in the morning. Plenty of seating, and plenty of kids and families, makes this a fun place to hang out even if you don’t need to do your laundry. But you read that correctly: This top-notch coffee and doughnut shop is housed in a laundromat, so you can run a load of laundry while you munch on a vanilla bean doughnut.
Address: 1 Ferry Building, Ste. 14, San Francisco, CA 94111
Hours: Open daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Make your Embarcadero stroll a little sweeter with a vegan doughnut from Donut Farm. Their kiosk in the Ferry Building is perfectly located so you can pick up a few doughnuts, and then enjoy the weekend farmers market, sightseeing, or a coffee and a sweet by the water.
Even non-vegans will love these fresh, flavorful doughnuts. Classic flavors like vanilla sprinkle cozy up to seasonal picks and delicious twists like orange creamsicle. Want to lie around in your PJs with the kids? Get these doughnuts delivered on Postmates!
Address: 1399 Ninth Ave., San Francisco, CA 94122
Hours: Open daily, 4:30 a.m. - 2:30 a.m.
Classic doughnuts await at this roomy doughnut shop. Raised, cake, glazed, filled -- it’s all here, all fresh, and all delicious. The location is as perfect as the sweets. It’s practically across the street from the very family-friendly Sunday morning Inner Sunset farmers market, and super close to Golden Gate Park, if you’re looking for a doughnut-and-park day. There’s coffee at Donut World, but get a stronger cup at Snowbird Coffee across the street.
Donut World is right off the N Judah, so you can easily take public transit over here. There’s a big kids book section at Green Apple Books on the Park down the street, and a public library with storytimes and craft events a few blocks away. It’s even a pretty short drive from Ocean Beach if you’re looking for a pre- or post-beach doughnut snack.
Address: Main Parade Ground, Presidio Trust
Hours: Open daily, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
What’s better than a single doughnut? A big pile of little doughnuts that let you feel like you’re feasting! A pile of piping-hot mini doughnuts under a blanket of mouthwatering toppings? Count us in. Flavors include luscious Ube Coconut and kitschy sweet Fruity Pebbles. This food truck can be found at Presidio Picnic, which takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday.
Go there for a bunch of doughnuts, or make a meal of it by hitting up the other food trucks. Better yet, make a day of it! There’s lots of natural beauty surrounding this food truck-filled “community picnic,” as well as a free bike valet, the Walt Disney Family Museum, and Creative Family Fun at the Presidio Officers’ Club.
Address: Embarcadero, Pier 39, Building B, San Francisco, CA 94133
Hours: Open daily, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Sure, you’re probably not landing in Fisherman’s Wharf all that often, but it’s a fun spot to check out with out-of-town guests or a playful destination to visit once in awhile with the kiddos. And once you’ve exhausted seal-watching, merry-go-round riding, and sightseeing, you’ll need to fuel up.
Enter Trish’s Mini Donuts -- a San Francisco institution that offers fresh, hot mini doughnuts by the bucketful. These little cake doughnuts are tossed in cinnamon and sugar, giving them a churro-esque flavor. They’re perfect to eat as you stroll and the ideal iconic snack to cap off a day of Fisherman’s Wharf fun.
Did we list all your favorite doughnut shops around the city? Let us know in the comments below!
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