North Bay beignets that will blow your mind every time

Keely Jenkins

Originated in France and adopted as a New Orleans specialty, beignets are fried pieces of dough covered in powdered sugar. The light, airy treats were judged by The Bark based on their size, taste, price and amount of powdered sugar covering. Looking at three locations in Marin and one in nearby San Francisco, here are the best beignets within 30 minutes of Redwood High School.

Earning five star, downtown Fairfax’s own Hummingbird Cafe’s beginets were everything one could hope for when craving a traditional sweet beignet doused in powdered sugar.
Earning five star, downtown Fairfax’s own Hummingbird Cafe’s beginets were everything one could hope for when craving a traditional sweet beignet doused in powdered sugar.

Bungalow 44 (2/5)

Approximately the size of a thumb, the Bungalow Beignets, served at Bungalow 44 in Mill Valley, were disappointing and burnt. Although six beignets were served, the beignets were half the size of those served at Salito’s, yet more than a dollar more in price. The beignet itself was thick and chewy and covered in an adequate amount of powdered sugar. Its redeeming quality was the variety of sauces that accompanied the pastry. With both a bitter chocolate and espresso-based sauce the twist of flavors elevated the sophistication of the fried dough, but for $9.50 they just aren’t worth it.

Hummingbird Cafe (5/5)

Crispy and golden on the outside while doughy and airy on the inside, the Hummingbird Cafe’s beignets are all one could hope for. Basked in powdered sugar, the pastries were served piping hot and perfectly sweetened. Additionally, the beignets from the Hummingbird were the largest and the cheapest; one can get three large beignets for only $4.30, and while they were not served with any additional sauces or sides, the pastry was so good that additions were unnecessary.

Salito’s Crab House (4/5)

Disappointing to the eye, the bare beignets served by Salito’s are much tastier than they look. Having only a light dusting of powdered sugar, the pastries’ sweetness was delivered by the side of whipped cream that worked well with the warmth of the pastry. At $7.95 for five good -sized beignets, the price is much more reasonable than other options explored. The beignets also retained an airy inside, making them the second best beignets reviewed.

Brenda’s French Soul Food (3/5)

Located on Polk Street and offering traditional, chocolate-filled and other flavorful beignets, Brenda’s French Soul Food serves three beignets for $5.95. While the beignets are perfectly fried and covered in powdered sugar, the dough tasted of bread rather than sweet pastry. A good size, the pastry is pillow-like and sweet enough to be considered a well-made beignet, earning it three stars.