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.