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Bob’s Donuts Brings the Warm Apple Fritters to NoPa This Week

It won’t be open 24 hours, but the doughnuts are still freshly glazed

Bob’s Donut & Pastry Shop
Credit: Hillary Dixler
Hillary Dixler Canavan

Cue the sprinkles: Bob’s Donuts, the local deep-fried institution, will bring its legendary warm apple fritters to NoPa soon — likely in a matter of days. Hoodline originally reported that the new 601 Baker Street location would open on Thursday, November 14, but co-owner Aya Ahn told Eater SF that date is not officially confirmed. Pending final inspections, though, she hopes to open by the end of the week. The shop takes over the old Chili Pies location, just off Divisadero, which means that even though the neighborhood may have sadly lost its source of pies, but at least now it’s getting some of San Francisco’s most popular doughnuts.

The original Bob’s on Polk Street is open 24 hours a day, its neon sign glowing late into the night. At all hours, bar hoppers line up outside for giant apple fritters, crumb doughnuts, and other delicious monstrosities — in some cases bigger than your face — ogling the treats through the shop’s big glass window. At Bob’s, the fryer runs at all hours of the day and night, proof that the old adage is reliably true: The best doughnut is the freshest doughnut, still warm from the fryer, glazed in front of your eyes.

Originally opened in the 1960s, the Ahn family bought the first Bob’s in 1977. The business has operated as one small shop for more than 40 years, but co-owner Aya Ahn says she just sent the last of her three kids to college. “It feels like the right time to expand,” she says. “Business has been steady, and no matter what, people want doughnuts.”

 Bob's Donuts.
The original Bob’s Donuts on Polk Street
Eater SF Flickr Pool/Polaroid SF

The menu at the new Baker Street location will stay true to all of the classics. Head baker Helena Byod has worked with the family for several years and will helm this kitchen. “We’re sticking to what we’re great at, which is doughnuts,” she confirms. “It won’t have quite the same old-school feel, but we’re excited for fresh faces.” The space isn’t much bigger than the Polk Street shop, but there are a couple of benches where customers can sit down with a coffee and a fritter. Notably, unlike the original, the new Bob’s is only open from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m., due to neighborhood restrictions. That makes sense for NoPa, which is a little quieter, even if its demand for sweet treats is just as strong. Already, Byod says, lots of families have been knocking on the door, begging for doughnuts.

Bob’s Donuts new location is slated to open this week at 601 Baker Street, with hours from from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Bob's Donuts on Baker Street

601 Baker Street, SF, CA 94117