Whether you want fancy or no-frills, the East Bay’s got a doughnut for you. Here’s five of my favorite places in Oakland and Berkeley where I get my fried dough fix, and feel free to share in the comments your own personal go-to spots.
Enter the elegant confines of Hannah Hoffman’s Doughnut Dolly shop in Temescal Alley, and you’ll get to savor one of the best doughnuts in the Bay Area. Light, airy, dusted with sugar and plumped up with fresh fillings right on the spot, it’s worth making the trek to North Oakland to indulge in one of Doughnut Dolly’s exquisite treats (and get there quickly as they sell out fast!) They sell a small selection of drinks and products and now have a second location in Berkeley.
If you’re not in the mood for an entire doughnut (hard to believe, I know) and just want a few nibbles, or are in the mood to sample a variety of flavors — then Donut Savant is the place for you. Laurel Davis’ “wholes,” or doughnut holes served in mini-cupcake liners, are a delicious way to have just one bite or a sugary bingefest. Prices range from a mere 50 cents to a dollar, and they serve coffee, tea and assortment of other drinks.
Spot the giant hot pink doughnut parked on the sidewalk on San Pablo Avenue near 60th Street, and you’ll find the entrance to Pepples Donut Farm. This bakery is one of those local gems that will make you skeptical that there’s no butter, cream or other dairy-based ingredients used in their rich, decadent confections. And you’ll find no stale doughnuts here; all of their baked goods are prepared fresh daily from organic ingredients. If you’re in the mood for something more substantial, they serve up excellent lunches and weekend brunch, too. Try their breakfast burrito or a bowl of their homemade granola with fresh fruit and your choice of soy or hemp milk. You can also find their doughnuts at select locations in the Bay Area.
Pepples Donut Farm
6037 San Pablo Ave. [Map]
Oakland, CA 94608
Ph: (510) 338-6319
Hours: Tue-Fri 7:30am-3pm; Sat-Sun 9am-3pm
Facebook: Pepples Donuts
Price range: $ (Entrees $10 and under)
When you step through the door of Dream Fluff Donuts, you’ll feel as if you’ve taken a trip back in time. Reminiscent of a small-town diner from back in the day, you can sit down at their lunch counter and scratch off a lottery ticket while you snack on your doughnuts. They’ve also got a wide array of other cheap eats, including burgers, sandwiches and breakfast items.
Located right near UC Berkeley since 1939, this cozy doughnut shop caters to the student crowd with its late night hours. You can watch their freshly baked goods being rolled out around the clock through their main plate glass window, or if you’re inclined to save a few bucks, pick up one of their bags of day-old doughnuts.