Celebrate Hanukkah all year with these jelly doughnuts

Sol Ladetzky

Glaze, Boston cream, sprinkles and chocolate frosting line the shelves of doughnut shops. With all the extremely popular flavors, jelly doughnuts are often overlooked, despite their delicious filling and dough. However, with Hanukkah approaching, jelly doughnuts are beginning to sell out across the nation. Whether during Hanukkah or another time of the year, here are the best shops in and near Marin to ease the daunting task of where to find the perfect jelly doughnut. 


Bob’s Donuts: 5/5 stars

Ranked the best doughnut shop in the Bay Area by a local CBS reader poll, Bob’s Donuts’ jelly doughnut did not disappoint. As soon as I stepped into the small shop, located on Polk St. in San Francisco, I was overcome by the smell of fresh doughnuts and excited by the reasonable price of $1.95. The jelly was smooth and tasted like real raspberries, though I wish there was more of it in the doughnut. Perfectly subtle, the level of sweetness did not overpower the flavors from the dough and thick layer of glaze. The doughnut itself was puffy and light, allowing for a great ratio of doughnut, jelly and glaze within each bite. 


Johnny Doughnuts: 4/5 stars

With locations in both the Marin Country Mart and downtown San Rafael, Johnny Doughnuts takes a unique spin on the classic doughnut by offering a potato based dough. Although the use of this ingredient creates an expensive, $4.50 doughnut, it is a delicious addition that creates a soft, golden-brown exterior. While almost perfect, Johnny Doughnuts uses granulated sugar rather than glaze on the outside of their raspberry jelly doughnut, making the doughnut overly sweet and messy. The jelly was more like jam, as it was too chunky with seeds, but the tart filling balanced out the sweet exterior. 


Donut Alley: 3/5 stars

Less than a 10 minute walk from Redwood, Donut Alley is a popular choice among students. I had high hopes, as many of the doughnuts I have tried from there in the past were delicious, but the jelly doughnut did not live up to my expectations. After asking for one of their $1.50 jelly doughnuts, the worker sliced a plain, glazed doughnut fully in half and then spread a layer of raspberry jelly on both halves, creating something that resembled a sandwich. Unlike the other jelly doughnuts, this allowed for the jelly to be evenly distributed throughout every bite, but it also caused the filling to fall out of the sides. The doughnut itself was warm and light, and the flavor of the dough mixed well with the raspberry jelly. However, the glaze was spread too thin, as there were even parts that did not have any, ultimately resulting in a missing taste in many bites. 


Krispy Kreme: 1/5 stars

While there are no Krispy Kreme stores in Marin, there are five throughout the Bay Area, including two in San Francisco. Even with a drive-through and inexpensive price of $1.09, this doughnut is not worth the trek. The raspberry jelly was too smooth and sweet, creating an artificial taste. There also seemed to be a lot of jelly in the middle and none closer to the edges of the doughnut. The glaze was overpowering and the thick layer made it messy to eat. However, the doughnut itself was light and airy, creating an enjoyable texture.