Review: Johnny Doughnuts, San Francisco

Review: Johnny Doughnuts, San Francisco


Johnny Doughnuts is a favorite stop for San Francisco's doughnut lovers, so we took one for the team to see what all the fuss is about.


Johnny Doughnuts New San Francisco Location and Hours

Johnny Doughnuts' current San Francisco location is at 2404 California Street in lower Pacific Heights, and is open 7am-6pm daily, apart from holidays. Previously, the store was located in Hayes Valley, but as San Francisco residents know, Hayes Valley (along with other parts of downtown) has been battling crime and deteriorating conditions on the sidewalks. Johnny Doughnuts also has stores in San Rafael (its flagship location), Santa Rosa, and Marin Country Mart, in addition to its San Francisco store.


Menu and Doughnuts

The menu explains the different doughnut types (old fashioned/cake doughnuts, yeast raised doughnuts, bismarck filled doughnuts, the famous “Crodough” which uses rich croissant dough, and even vegan sweet potato doughnuts and a wheat-free fritter.


But because there are seasonal flavors, the best thing is to look right in front of you at the display case, and ask the staff if you have questions about any particular flavor. We don't care for yeast doughnuts, preferring the more concentrated flavor and texture of cake doughnuts, so we tried the Chocolate Salted Caramel Old Fashioned, a Crodough, a Bismarck, and both apple and raspberry fritters.

First up, our favorite: the Chocolate Salted Caramel Old Fashioned

Chocolate Salted Caramel Old Fashioned, Johnny Doughnuts, San Francisco


The Lime Mascarpone Bismarck was a delightful contrast of flavors and textures:

Lime Mascarpone Bismarck, Johnny Doughnuts, San Francisco


The Crodough with its vanilla filling was third:

Crodough, Johnny Doughnuts, San Francisco


We also enjoyed the seasonal Gingerbread Cake Doughnut and Fritters, although not as much as the above doughnuts.

Raspberry Fritter, Johnny Doughnuts, San Francisco


As mentioned, we don't care for yeast doughnuts, but there were certainly plenty of options to choose from for those who prefer them:

Johnny Doughnuts, San Francisco
Johnny Doughnuts, San Francisco


The Verdict

Our favorite doughnut from Johnny Doughnuts isn't the Crodough, although we understand why it is for so many. Rather, of the doughnuts we've tried, we prefer the Chocolate Salted Caramel Old Fashioned not only for its wonderfully classic combination of gooey caramel and chocolate, but for the crunchy exterior and tender crumb. The Lime Mascarpone Bismarck with its sweet-tart lime mascarpone filling was a close second, however, followed by the Crodough with vanilla custard. We also loved the seasonal Gingerbread Cake Doughnut, and the Apple Fritter.

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