Where Are The Best Donuts In San Francisco? Plus A Donut Rant.

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 10.854% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

Hey, San Franciscoans!  I’ll be doing a reading at Borderlands Books this Saturday  – and as always, when I arrive, I bring donuts.  For donuts represent all that is good and compassionate in my ‘Mancer series.
The question is, “Where are San Francisco’s best donuts?”
And here, my friends, I must speak an unfortunate truth to power:
Keep your hipster donuts in your pockets.
Under most circumstances, I have no quarrel with hipsters.  Hipster ice cream?  The best.  (Try Jeni’s in Columbus, with their Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso and their Rieseling Poached Pear Sorbet – as hipstery as you can get.)  Hipster booze?  Delicious.   Hipsters have filled my belly full on many delectable occasions.
But hipster donuts, God, what the fuck do you think you’re doing, hipsters?
Every time I’ve been to a city, I hear people going, “Hey, try these donuts, they’re artisanal.”  And I don’t know why artisanal, when translated to donuts, means “Tastes like floor sweepings at the eraser factory,” but fuck that noise.  I had hipster donuts in Boston, and they were dry and had too-bitter chocolate.  I had hipster donuts in Portland – not Voodoo, let us not talk of Voodoo donuts, which are perfection – and I might have well bitten into sawdust-flaked corkboard.
And when people who recommend these donuts to me go, “I don’t normally like donuts, but these donuts are good,” well, I say this with all kindness.  But the most wretched recommendations I’ve ever gotten have been “Well, I don’t generally like horror movies, but I liked this one horror movie” or “I generally don’t like punk, but I love this punk music,” and you know why they liked that punk horror movie?
Because it wasn’t actually punk horror.
Look.  I too have my “generally don’t like The Thing, but I loved this”es.  You know who I recommend those thises to?
Other people who also don’t like The Thing.
If I have a friend who loves The Thing, I assume that I’m not fit to recommend anything to them.  I don’t like romance novels!  So when I stumble upon a romance novel I enjoy, I’m usually better off assuming that it contains none of the things that romance readers love, and that the factors I enjoy about it have nothing to do with why humans love romance novels, and that in fact what I am enjoying is the opposite of a romance novel.
As a rule, if you don’t generally like A Thing but love this one exception, don’t recommend it whole-heartedly to people who do like The Thing.  Because let’s be honest: not all recommendations are equal.
Anyway.  The point is, I’m coming to San Francisco to promote my new novel, which is out, and I love both my novel and donuts.  And I want donuts made by people who make good old-fashioned, gooey, ridiculously nutty donuts made for ordinary joes who love donuts.  I don’t mind fancy flavors, but you can’t try to disguise your crappy donutteration under a sedimentary layer of hickory-smoked bourbon aniseed.
No.  Ya gotta do the basics right, and then build.
So.  San Francisco.  I wanna buy you good donuts, and I’ll be delivering them to Borderlands Books this Saturday.
Where do I go to get my donuts?


  1. Tim Pratt
    Sep 12, 2016

    Ah, see, if you were just across the bay in Berkeley I’d know where to point you (the unpretentious and delightful Dream Fluff Donuts down the street from my house), but it would be unreasonable to expect you to take a train ride (with a little walk on both ends) from the doughnut shop to Borderlands. Also, if it were me, not all the doughnuts would survive a trip of such length.

  2. JD Moyer
    Sep 12, 2016

    Dream Fluff in Berkeley is great!
    Don’t know SF donuts but try the tarts at Tartine, very close to Borderlands. Hoping to be there.

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