When Dynamo Donut set up shop in San Francisco’s Mission District in 2008, it wasn’t long before residents, drawn by talk of a perfect donut, queued up. These circles of perfection, made from real vanilla beans, impeccably sourced cherries, heritage bacon even!, staked out new territory, sending shockwaves into the glazed world of fried dough. Homer Simpson would hardly recognize this donut.
Dynamo Donut took root, however—because once you had one, you wanted more than one. Well-known food writers Jane and Michael Stern compiled an America’s 50 Best Donuts list, upon which it appeared. Its fate was sealed and baker Sara Spearin became a donut visionary.
Ten years and another store later, and Dynamo still feels fresh and new. It opens up palates to what a donut can be, in the right hands, sourced with excellent ingredients, and not overpowered with the weird. The Vanilla Bean has stood the test of time, remaining one of the most popular varieties at Dynamo, with a vanilla and orange zest base. Other early flavors are still in production, such as Chocolate Rose (sweet rose water and lemon zest glaze) and Maple Bacon Apple, with a base of sautéed apples and fatted calf bacon, an epic type of old-fashioned aromatic bacon from Heritage pigs.
Dynamo also rotates flavors depending on what’s in season. The Meyer Lemon Huckleberry donut, for example, is found in March when that citrus is ripe.
The “I am not a gluten” flavors are for those who want wheat-free but are warned that the donuts are made on the same equipment as the wheats. The Carrot Cake mixes fresh carrots and currants into a wheat-free base, and then is tossed in cinnamon brown-sugar. Mmmmm dooonuts.
With Dynamo celebrating its 10th year, it’s now time to raise a Blood Orange Mimosa (donut). Cheers!