This 24hr Polk Gulch donut mecca and San Francisco standby has been a staple of early mornings (and late nights) since 1960, firing up amazing apple fritters and old fashions. The also make quite possibly the biggest donut you've ever seen. Try the Bob's Challenge, which requires consuming it in three minutes. Or, you know, just enjoy a bunch of really tasty donuts at your own pace.
Voted #1 San Francisco's Best Doughnut Shop. This Nob Hill spot is always open, which means you can satisfy your doughnut craving at 2 p.m. or 2 a.m. Just know there’s a good chance there will be a line no matter what. Bob’s is the place you go for a high-quality classic doughnut (and an apple fritter if you can get one before they sell out). It’s also the place you go if you want to eat a glazed doughnut the size of your head. (Which you’ll get it for free if you finish it all in under two minutes.)
There are some parts of San Francisco that I miss. I miss fresh donuts from Bob’s, seeing a double feature at the Castro on a Friday night and the hum of street cleaners going by at 3:00 a.m. in the morning. But sometimes I wonder if that longing comes from my own nostalgia for my college days. Leaving San Francisco felt like a healthy breakup in a weird way. I’m happy where I am now, but sometimes I still look back and think, “Damn, I wish I could be at Bob’s right now.” Voodoo Donuts will never compare to the majesty of Bob’s. Just don’t tell them that.
By Anna RothMarch 23, 2016 Updated: March 23, 2016 11:43am 12 People line up to enter Bob's Donut & Pastry Shop on Friday, March 11, 2016 in San Francisco, Calif. The line regularly spills onto the sidewalk late night. Photo: Santiago Mejia, Special To The Chronicle Photo: Santiago Mejia, Special To The Chronicle People line up to enter Bob's Donut & Pastry Shop on Friday, March 11, 2016 in San Francisco, Calif. The line regularly spills onto the sidewalk late night. Of the thousands of restaurant social media accounts in San Francisco, my favorite might be the one operated by Bob’s Donuts, that 24-hour Polk Street institution that has been around for generations. At @whatsfreshest on Twitter and @bobsdonuts on Instagram, the Bob’s crew showcases what can only be called doughnut porn: photos and videos of apple fritters bobbing in palm oil, just-fried dough getting a glossy coating of chocolate, and squiggles of jelly being applied to a rack of buttermilk raised. It’s impossible to see one of these photos and not feel a little brighter about my day.
A time warp of formica and linoleum, this mom-and-pop shop is the native San Franciscan’s go-to donut place. Open 24 hours a day (and yes, there’s regular 2am traffic), Bob’s offers its famed apple fritters, crumb rings, cinnamon rolls and buttermilk bars fresh from the fryer. There’s even a Bob’s Donuts Twitter feed (@whatsfreshest) that tells you what’s coming out of the fryer and when, so you can get ’em while they’re hot.
Bob's Donuts and the Jug Shop team up for an idea that seems like it should have happened a million years ago. Mmmmm, tasting. You can almost hear that patented Simpsons run-out-to-the-car-and-drive-away sound effect.
bob's donuts featured IN:
"Let me put you up on Bob's donuts.
Controller of the warm deep fryer that charms cobras"