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10 of the Best Doughnuts in the East Bay

From classic glazed to new-fangled filled, a cheap treat awaits

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Whether or not you believe that doughnuts are the backbone of American society (and they are), we can all agree that they're the ideal cheap treat. Even the "high end" versions come in around $3, while the old school fried dough dispensaries are still dealing in sugary treats for about a buck.

Paired with a coffee, chocolate milk, or just about anything, doughnuts are something everyone can appreciate at any time of day. Snatch up a half dozen for breakfast or win Employee of the Month without breaking the bank. Here are 10 of the East Bay's best in the fried dough category.

If doughnuts aren't your favorite form of dessert, consult our dessert round-ups of the city's ultimate croissants or our selection of the pastries that define SF breakfast.

Did we miss your favorite place for a doughnut? Let us know in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Rainbow Donuts

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It looks like an old school hole-in-the-wall, but Rainbow Donuts also makes festive glazes like matcha and nutella; fries up colorful cake doughnuts like purple ube and red velvet; and even decorates doughnuts like unicorns.

King Pin Donuts

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Conveniently located in the heart of student central, King Pin is open late, serving hot and fresh doughnuts to sugar-seekers until 2 a.m. It offers up yeasty doughnuts filled with icing, cake doughnuts, sprinkle-covered, chocolate dipped, bearclaws, and more.

Dream Fluff Donuts

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This little gem is for OG doughnut lovers only. Snag a classic glazed, old fashioned, or twist and grab a seat at the tiny diner counter. They've also got a large selection of breakfast sandwiches with choice of biscuits, croissants, and English muffins, all on the majorly cheap side.

Pepples Donut Farm

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Vegan doughnuts rule at Pepples, and they’re heftier and pricier than your average doughnut, with crispier edges and extra fun flavors. Choose from the likes of Philz coffee, coconut curry, and lavender earl grey.

Golden Gate Donuts

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Golden Gate Donuts has old school doughnuts galore, from classic glazed to apple fritters. They'll set you back anywhere from $0.85-$1.65, depending on how fancy they are. A carton of milk, a cup of joe and a half dozen doughnuts is your best bet.

Colonial Donuts

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Colonial Donuts has been open for years and years, shuffling generations of doughnut-lovers through its swinging doors. It is also open 24 hours, serving up doughnuts with sprinkles, icing, and glazes through those crucial early morning hours. Fresh, cheap doughnuts with a twist of nostalgia.

Donut Savant

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Donut Savant's got square, Cronut-esque doughnuts, and plenty of 'em. They also have flavors like salted maple, vanilla glazed, and the 007 Sean Pecanery (a cinnamon roll with frosting and pecans). Most of these 'nuts are around $2.50, alongside cheaper mini options.

Sweet Belly Desserts

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Sweet Belly is best known for its soft serve dressed up with rainbow sprinkles, crunchy cereal, and a doughnut, but the dessert shop also offers its mini doughnuts by the box. Made-to-order, these simple sugar doughnuts benefit from always arriving fresh and hot. Customize them with flavored sugars like matcha or strawberry, drizzle some caramel on top, and choose a dipping sauce, like vanilla cream or chocolate.

Vegan Donut Gelato

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East Oakland’s all-vegan doughnut shop specializes in the classics, including cake, raised, and old fashioned doughnuts alongside twists, crullers, and maple bars. While a lot of vegan doughnuts can be dense, these manage to be impressively light and fluffy.

Homeskillet Alameda

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The island city’s best doughnuts are found in a low-key diner. Homeskillet makes all sorts of classics, but the matcha green tea doughnuts and others topped with vividly colored, fruity glazes — including blueberry, orange, strawberry, and lemon — are particularly good.

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Rainbow Donuts

It looks like an old school hole-in-the-wall, but Rainbow Donuts also makes festive glazes like matcha and nutella; fries up colorful cake doughnuts like purple ube and red velvet; and even decorates doughnuts like unicorns.

King Pin Donuts

Conveniently located in the heart of student central, King Pin is open late, serving hot and fresh doughnuts to sugar-seekers until 2 a.m. It offers up yeasty doughnuts filled with icing, cake doughnuts, sprinkle-covered, chocolate dipped, bearclaws, and more.

Dream Fluff Donuts

This little gem is for OG doughnut lovers only. Snag a classic glazed, old fashioned, or twist and grab a seat at the tiny diner counter. They've also got a large selection of breakfast sandwiches with choice of biscuits, croissants, and English muffins, all on the majorly cheap side.

Pepples Donut Farm

Vegan doughnuts rule at Pepples, and they’re heftier and pricier than your average doughnut, with crispier edges and extra fun flavors. Choose from the likes of Philz coffee, coconut curry, and lavender earl grey.

Golden Gate Donuts

Golden Gate Donuts has old school doughnuts galore, from classic glazed to apple fritters. They'll set you back anywhere from $0.85-$1.65, depending on how fancy they are. A carton of milk, a cup of joe and a half dozen doughnuts is your best bet.

Colonial Donuts

Colonial Donuts has been open for years and years, shuffling generations of doughnut-lovers through its swinging doors. It is also open 24 hours, serving up doughnuts with sprinkles, icing, and glazes through those crucial early morning hours. Fresh, cheap doughnuts with a twist of nostalgia.

Donut Savant

Donut Savant's got square, Cronut-esque doughnuts, and plenty of 'em. They also have flavors like salted maple, vanilla glazed, and the 007 Sean Pecanery (a cinnamon roll with frosting and pecans). Most of these 'nuts are around $2.50, alongside cheaper mini options.

Sweet Belly Desserts

Sweet Belly is best known for its soft serve dressed up with rainbow sprinkles, crunchy cereal, and a doughnut, but the dessert shop also offers its mini doughnuts by the box. Made-to-order, these simple sugar doughnuts benefit from always arriving fresh and hot. Customize them with flavored sugars like matcha or strawberry, drizzle some caramel on top, and choose a dipping sauce, like vanilla cream or chocolate.

Vegan Donut Gelato

East Oakland’s all-vegan doughnut shop specializes in the classics, including cake, raised, and old fashioned doughnuts alongside twists, crullers, and maple bars. While a lot of vegan doughnuts can be dense, these manage to be impressively light and fluffy.

Homeskillet Alameda

The island city’s best doughnuts are found in a low-key diner. Homeskillet makes all sorts of classics, but the matcha green tea doughnuts and others topped with vividly colored, fruity glazes — including blueberry, orange, strawberry, and lemon — are particularly good.

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