When I was 7 years old, my mother sat me down and told me I was the least organized human being she had ever encountered. To terrify me out of my untidy habits, she told me an “Ancient Chinese Tale” — at least that’s what she called it. In the tale, a mother has a very lazy daughter. A daughter so lazy that she can’t even feed herself. Her mother has to make all her meals and clean up after her. But one day, the mother finds out that she has to go on a trip to another village for two weeks. To make sure her daughter doesn’t starve, she bakes a giant doughnut and puts it around the girl’s head. She wouldn’t have to move at all to eat. With the problem solved, the mother left.
Two weeks later, her daughter is dead. How? She’d eaten half the doughnut and was too lazy to turn it around — so she starved to death.
Moral of this story? Laziness equals death. But I bet I know what you’re craving now: doughnuts. While it was a little horrifying to hear this story, doughnuts have not been ruined for me. In fact, it mostly makes me just want doughnuts. So, pretty much not in the spirit of this tale at all, here is a compilation of a few reviews of doughnut shops near Berkeley:
King Pin Donuts
Being the closest of the listed shops to campus, King Pin Donuts is very well known and loved. My boyfriend once surprised me with a cinnamon twist donut from King Pin, but while I munched on the cinnamon-y goodness, he would not stop complaining about the service and how expensive it was. It frustrated him so much that he made a Yelp account to put in his two cents. The doughnuts were tasty but didn’t taste the freshest. In my experience, a bag of day-old doughnuts taste pretty similar to the same-day doughnuts. But shout out to the doughnut holes, which are melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
Colonial Donuts is the farthest shop from campus out of the bunch, but it has some mighty fine, wonderfully fluffy and fresh doughnuts. It looks exactly like what you think it does: Envision a classic doughnut store — crusty, dingy, the smell of grease faintly wafting in the air. In the best possible way, though. In a strange way, you know it’s good when there’s a group of homeless men playing chess between bites of maple bars and sips of coffee. It just adds to the allure. Bonus: You have the lovely opportunity to enjoy your doughnut while walking around beautiful Lake Merritt.
Dream Fluff Donuts
While picking out my doughnuts at Dream Fluff, an old man standing next to me suggested the glazed, claiming they are the best in the area. I won’t say that didn’t warm my heart a little and make me biased toward this place. After all, this guy’s probably had his fair share of doughnuts in his lifetime. Bias aside, Dream Fluff’s glazed doughnut is excellent and certainly worthy of that elderly man’s praise. Its delightfully chewy texture was the perfect reward for walking all the way to Elmwood. Plus, they have the most affordable places of all the shops listed here. Only $.99 per donut!
Many who think they are “sophisticates” may look down at the doughnut as a pastry reserved for plebeians. Maybe they’re not even really a pastry. Pastries must be refined, delicate, elegant — basically, the culinary equivalent of Coco Chanel. But Doughnut Dolly overturns those doughnut naysayers. These doughnuts are worthy of a Proustian recollection. The dainty shop houses doughnuts are filled with the cream and/or jam of your choice right in front of you. You can taste the high-quality ingredients at first bite. You won’t be able to have too many bites, though, because they are rather small. And be warned — they are expensive, as many great things are.
Contact Nora Harhen at [email protected].