One of my absolute favorite things to do when I travel is to find a fabulous place to have breakfast and eat there regularly during my stay in that city. Ideally, it’s a place mostly patronized by locals, mellow enough during the weekdays that I can linger over a few cups of coffee, and friendly enough to get me a smile of recognition after a couple of days. I find that starting my days this way gets me into the rhythm of an unfamiliar city. Open or preoccupied? Hurried or languid? Big breakfasts or coffee and cigarettes? If I’ve been clever and lucky in my selection I usually get a “welcome back” on the second or third day, and can then pretty easily strike up one of those “Where’s the best place in the city to go if I want to get the color refreshed on my tattoo?” or “Is that leather bag hand made? By someone here in the city? Do you have the exact address?” conversations.
If I were visiting San Francisco, Dynamo Donuts would be my holy grail of breakfast spots – for all of the reasons I mentioned above with the added bonus of donuts. And not just any donuts. Donuts with names like Passionfruit Milk Chocolate (my personal fave), Kafir Lime Coconut, Meyer Lemon Huckleberry, and Chocolate Rose, among many, many others. They also serve awesome Four Barrel coffee – a locally (seriously local – like eight blocks away) owned coffee company.
The people who work here are top-notch – cool, friendly, always in a good mood even when the line gets ridiculously long, and they all brew a mean cup of coffee. There’s seating inside as well as a back patio that manages to capture what little sun we get here in the city of fog. Dynamo also has the extra advantage of being in the heart of the Mission district – one of the best places to spend your time in the city. Once you’ve had your fill of donuts, you can wander around looking at the amazing murals all around you, check out the boutiques and galleries full of work by local artists, and hit one of the bodegas for a bag of fried plantains in case you get hungry later.
I spend many morning hours here working, reading, drinking so much coffee I’m twitchy for the rest of the day, and, of course, eating lots and lots of donuts. If you’re in San Francisco, you should join me. I will be more than happy to tell where to go to get the best sushi in town.