Doughnuts. Live a little.

donut.jpgFor a county that embraces the good life — and all the calories that come with it — Sonoma seems unable to let itself appreciate one of the best things in life: Donuts.

Sure, we have a handful of reasonably okay doughnutteries. But where’s the gusto for greasy goodness wrapped in sugary deliciousness? I mean, as a once-in-a-while kind of treat? Because trust me, you’re not all eating sprouts 24/7. I’ve seen you at Costco, trying on elastic-waisted shorts, darlings.

Other cities embrace their donut-lust with pride. Take Portland’s odd-ball Voodoo Donuts, featuring everything from the Pepto/Nyquil donut (currently on hold) to the Grape Ape (raised doughnut with vanilla frosting and grape powder) or Arnold Palmer (cake doughnut covered with lemon and tea powder), not to mention donuts covered with Cap’n Crunch and even vegan versions of the ‘nut. Or perhaps Seattle’s amazing Top Pot, which truly has the best, most delightful donuts on the planet. Heck, we couldn’t even support a Krispy Kreme. Maybe it has something to do with the coffee culture of the Pacific Northwest.

Fortunately, there are a handful of enterprising local restauranteurs who understand the comfort and joy of a good donut. Call it a bit of nostalgia, throwing a smidgen of caution to the wind, mixed with a smattering of c’est la vie. I applaud you all with a 21-donut hole salute. I’ll worry about my diet tomorrow.


- Super Secret Awesome Donuts: Bouchon Bakery in Yountville
makes fresh glazed and fruit filled doughnuts inspired by ‘Coffee and
Doughnuts’, an iconic French Laundry dish, each Saturday and Sunday morning.
They’re only available from 7am to 11am, and insiders know to get there
early. But oh, the joy. 6528 Washington Street, Yountville,
707.944.2253.

- Boonfly Cafe: There’s always room for
fresh donut holes, which come in groups of four or twelve and are made
to order. Bloody Mary chaser? Please. 4048 Sonoma Highway, Napa,
707-299-4870. Brunch 7am to 2pm Sat & Sun.

- Dierk’s Parkside:
Okay, they’re not exactly doughnuts, but close enough. Grandma Dierk’s
Pull-Aparts are fried bread dough dusted with cinnamon sugar and a bit
of Grandma Dierk’s love.  404 Santa Rosa Ave, Santa Rosa, 537.5955.

- Zin Restaurant:
They’re not always on the menu, but from time to time Jeff whips up
fresh dessert doughnuts with zinfandel grape jelly.  344 Center St.,
Healdsburg, (707) 473-0946

- Bovolo Restaurant: Again,
we’re taking a little liberty here, but during breakfast and brunch,
this Healdsburg Slow Foods eatery fries up fresh Zeppole (fried dough
Italian-style) with cinnamon sugar. Personally, I enjoy dunking mine in
Tabasco aioli that comes with the fried green tomatoes, but that’s just
me. Double your pleasure with a breakfast pizza topped with bacon and a
fried egg. Now you’re cookin. 106 Matheson St., Healdsburg, 431.2962.

And the rest...

  • BEST BET: Flakey Cream Do-Nuts & Coffee Shop 441 Center Street, Healdsburg (707) 433-3895. One of the oldest and best spots in SoCo. Amazing glazed donuts.
  • Donut Hut: If
    I’m going for a dozen, this is my favorite local spot. Fresh and cheap,
    with a not-half-bad jelly. 555 Healdsburg Ave, Santa Rosa, (707)
    544-2085. Cash only.‎
  • Tan’s Donuts: Don’t miss the buttermilk donuts, a denser version of the glazed. 1074 4th St, Santa Rosa, (707) 568-3988‎. Cash only.
  • Crystal’s:
    If you need a burger with your donut, here’s the place. Decent donuts
    served up friendly. 1185 Yulupa Ave, Santa Rosa, (707) 545-5668‎.
  • Donut Cafe:
    Happiness is a warm donut and a cup of coffee. Not every day, mind you,
    but as a personal victory lap for the little hurdles in life. Say,
    waking up and getting dressed or perhaps having bent down to pick up
    the newspaper. It’s easy to find a reason. Harder to find a good donut.
    BiteClub leaves it to you to justify a nice glazed jelly or maple log.
    Just know the Donut Cafe is there at the crack of dawn should you need
    them. 4275 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa, 707.539.2416. Open daily from
    5am to 6pm.
  • Donut Den: The Chinese food for lunch is
    just about as good as the donuts. Meaning cheap, fast and deliciously
    greasy. 1390 N Mcdowell Blvd # J, Petaluma, (707) 792-1312.
  • Have you found great donuts in the North Bay? Share.

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Author: biteclub

Food Dining and Restaurants in Sonoma County and beyond, BiteClubEats.com is Wine Country dining with Drive-Thru Sensibility.

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43 Comments

  1. Starbucks used to have Old Fashioned Glazed Chocolate Doughnuts (I’d usually find them at Starbucks at Safeway stores, but they don’t have them anymore). Does anyone know where to find these kind of doughnuts anywhere? They are my favorite type of doughnuts!!!

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    • Try the donut cafe at 4275 montgomery. They are my absolute favorite.

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  2. I think ANYTHING Mark Carter makes is divine. Mark, if you are reading this, send me doughnuts and an email. I haven’t seen you for 10 years (since you made my wedding cake, but that is another life ) and now I want some of your GREAT COOKING again.
    Love you!

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  3. Open a shop in San Francisco!!

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  4. Keny’s on Douglas St in Petaluma, that is!

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  5. Couldn’t agree more! The glazed buttermilk are my faves. It’s definitely worth going a bit out of the way for these. And the folks that run it couldn’t be nicer. Been going there for 10 years, now…

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  6. The old Winchells on Sebastopol road has pretty good donuts and a chinese food buffet served for breakfast. While that isn’t my thing people were eating it at 9 am Sunday morning.

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  7. A’s Donutson Piner Rd is our favorite. I judge donut places by how the make the old fashioned donuts and the raised glazed. A’s has the lightest–better than Krispy Kreme–glazed donut. The old fashioned glazed, maple, and chocolate are excellent!
    The apple fritters are yummy and a new favorite cinnamon apple claw is a treat.
    Did not care for Donut City when we first sampled their selections, the old fashioned glazed donut had a funny after taste and the raised donuts were too heavy and dense.

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  8. DONUT CITY near Coddingtown has the best donuts around. I don’t know what the secret is, but there is something that really gets your taste buds going when you eat one. And you can’t just eat one! The restaurant is very clean and the service rocks! Go try them out today! PS, if you have any holiday or specialty ideas for them, let them know.

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  9. Donut City is the best! Donut City is located near Coddingtown, and their donuts taste delicious. They seem to melt in your mouth — you can’t just have one. The service was great, and the shop is very clean. The coffee added a perfect touch to the whole experience – fresh with excellent flavor. They seem to really care about their customers.

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  10. Robin’s got it right. The Donut Cafe has quality product. Frank is the 83 year old owner, and he’s the maker too! He’s been making this type of fine goods his whole life. As to quality, they use canola oil. Frank’s son, Cliff told me, “Hey, we eat this stuff too!” So rest assured it’s quality all the way at the Donut Cafe!

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  11. Danish & Donuts in Sonoma Valley gets my vote. Very low key, just a regular donut shop. Their Boston cremes get me every time. LOVE THEM!

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  12. FLAKEY DONUTS are awesome! always fresh! the ppl that own it are super nice and very warm. Their omeletts are yummy as well. I love the old school feel to it. ppl should keep the old town feel – instead of trying to modernize everything. Its off center street, near CVS :)
    Thank you Flakey Donuts for keeping me awake during my hardest mornings lol :)

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  13. You can do it Mr. Carter! I have faith in you. You have potential doughnut domination in your grasps. I’ve been to Top Pot in Seattle and yours easily competes with theirs. If they can be successful so can you!

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  14. Thank you for your praise. I just wish that there was a way to make a living at it. I miss them, too.

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    • hey mark, it’s denise of denise and charlie! your neighbor’s in silverlake long ago! I’m trying to find you, just to say hello!

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  15. My vote goes to Flakey Cream in Healdsburg…their glazed doughnuts are AMAZING! I don’t know what exactly they put in their glaze, but it tastes like they make it with cream and they put a tiny bit of salt in it so it helps to cut the sweet a little bit. They are absolutely craveable…I treat myself to a glazed doughnut and a Flying Goat coffee every Friday when I head up to Healdsburg to go the dog park!

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  16. Keny’s donuts on Douglas Street in Petaluma are the best. Fresh and yummy!

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  17. Someone mentioned Carter’s Donut’s. The Flying Goat had them and the day I walked in and found out that they were no longer making them was a devastating day for me. I just about had a breakdown and the guy behind the counter knew it too. That was a few years ago and to this day I still miss them immensely. Carter, if you are reading this, PLEASE, I beg you! Bring back my crack!

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  18. I can’t beleive I didn’t mention the Redwood drivein in Boonville and their Maple Donuts. The best cake donut ever, I used to do food up on the coast and would drive over the hill from Elk just to pick up a couple. They are to Donuts what Libby’s in Philo is to Carnitas.

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  19. Oh yes! The Donut Den folks in northern Petaluma make the freshest, yummiest donuts around! We’re going out of our way to get Dad his favorite maple bar for Father’s Day!

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  20. I will join the chorus of support of Donut City in the Goodguy`s plaza near Coddingtown. Great Donut holes and my favorite Apple Fritters. Plus the bonus of no trans-fat…..

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  21. I’m with Gnomehunter and Anonymous on applauding Tan’s in Montecito Center. It’s my duty to appear there every Saturday morning and they know by now what I’m getting. Great cinnamon rolls!

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  22. The Donut Cafe is great. If you are not in the mood for a donut, the Pannini’s are the best I’ve ever had.

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  23. oh my gosh. spudnuts dounuts a dying breed..made with potatoe flour..very light and fluffy. Nothing compares.

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  24. My absolute two favourite spots ever are both relatively new: The Donut Cafe on Montgomery near Summerfield and Donut City in the old “Good Guys” shopping center kitty-corner to Coddingtown at Guerneville & Range. Theese two make the best doughnuts I’ve had anywhere in a long time (the Donut Cafe probably just is slightly above Donut City but not much). After that, by far the best contender is Donut Hut at B and Healdsburg Ave near Saint Rose, an old favourite that’s always good. As for traditional doughnuts, no other place I’ve been to in years compares to these three.
    I am also a fan of Dierk’s Pull-Aparts at Dierk’s Parkside, along with just about everything else there.
    I’ve never been fond of Tan’s, finding them too dry, not dense enough, and even a little hard.
    I should mention the now-gone Polly Anna Bakery in Petaluma. Whatever one may say about some of their other goods, they had outstanding doughnuts, too, even if they only had a few kinds. For many years they were a doughnut benchcmark to me.

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  25. now we all know where to find Santa Rosa finest. (Police)

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  26. Did you see this months Food & Wine (last article in the back)?? Ginevera Iverson, Restaurant Eloise, offers up some wonderful looking donut holes. I need to go there!

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  27. Don’t waste your time on Boonfly Cafe donuts, they were quarter sized, smelled like they fried them in used oil (like fish), tasted like fish stick -donuts and they are VERY expensive!!!

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  28. Donut Cafe has the best jelly filled donuts!

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  29. Tans in Montecito Shopping Center has the BEST!! Very, very nice owners too!
    I don’t eat them as often as I’d like but I really appreciate them when I do splurge.
    I often think of them and what a tough life (work schedule) they work just to provide us with heavenly doughnuts! Again, I wish I could eat them more often. I know if my 7 year old drove we’d end up there daily!!

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  30. Man, I did a crap job on this article. You guys are coming up with all kinds of good stuff! Thanks.
    LOOOOOVE the crack nuggets. that’s hiilarious.
    What are Spudnuts? hmmmm. must investigate.
    And…does anyone make apple cider donuts in the fall?

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  31. The Jelly Donut in Cotati at the Crossroads, just beside 101, in a little shopping center. Crullers are really good, and so are the buttermilk bars. Go early!

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  32. Tans in Montecito is wonderful, nice people, I get my coffee there besides.
    The Zeppole at Estate = Fluffy Cracknuggets

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  33. I vote for the donut shop across from Coddingtown.
    The BEST donuts are in the South — Spudnuts! Someone here should try making them! DELICIOUS!

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  34. carter’s donuts. i really, really, REALLY miss carter’s donuts.

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  35. I want to echo Vince’s comment. They have a great breakfast of bacon, eggs, hashbrowns and toast for less than $4.00. I was not there until 10:30 on a Saturday, and they were already sold out of my favorites. So the beakfast was what i had. The eggs were done perfectly.
    Sam

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  36. I’m a huge fan of Crystal’s Corner. I eat lunch there pretty often and always get a maple bar when I do. Their donuts are far from being “gourmet” but they are very good quality of standard design. The owners are incredibly friendly and the food is great. PS: They also have the best “fried egg bagel” in town (counting days until I get my braces off so I can start eating them again).

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  37. Donut City, across from Coddingtown. Amazingly fluffy donuts – great with their coffee. When this family gets a hankering for donuts on a Sunday morning, we drive 15 minutes to get there.

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  38. Donut City, across from Coddingtown. Amazingly fluffy donuts – great with their coffee. When this family gets a hankering for donuts on a Sunday morning, we drive 15 minutes to get there.

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  39. Donut City, across from Coddingtown. Amazingly fluffy donuts – great with their coffee. When this family gets a hankering for donuts on a Sunday morning, we drive 15 minutes to get there.

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  40. I’d like to put in a good word for the Donut Café. They make excellent donuts, as well as other baked specialties. The seating area is sunny and clean, and the people behind the counter very friendly.

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