Ode to a Basic Donut: Eagle Donuts Will Close on Monday



The donut days at Eagle Donuts at 3303 Mission (@ 29th Street) are coming to an end.

On Monday, Eagle Donuts will close for good.

The most remarkable thing about Eagle Donuts is that there is nothing remarkable about it. No seasonal ingredients, or delicate toppings, or clever combinations. Nothing involving bacon. Eagle Donuts makes essential donuts: glazed or old-fashioned, with different kinds of frosting-like stuff on top. Yesterday I bought a bag of a half-dozen for $5.50.


In other words, Eagle Donuts makes the kind of donuts that helped make America.

So when Eagle Donuts disappears, a classic kind of donut shop will disappear with it. After Eagle Donuts, your Bernalwood editor knows of no equivalent in Bernal Heights. (NOTE: The Silver Crest doesn’t count, because they also serve Ouzo.) If current trends continue, it’s a safe prediction that from here on out, Bernal’s donut future will likely be increasingly twee. We are confident it will be delicious, of course, but we also know it just won’t be the same.

It’s no one’s fault; Change is the only constant. Eagle Donuts opened in 1994, and Sherry from behind the counter — that’s Sherry, above — told Bernalwood she’s been here the entire time. She said rising rents weren’t so much of an issue. She said donuts just aren’t a very lucrative product these days, and costs keep going up. Milk prices, sugar prices, the minimum wage… all going up. Basically, Sherry said, after 20 years, it’s time to move on.

So on Monday, Eagle Donuts will close forever.

Stop in this weekend to get a final taste, and wish Sherry all the best.

Finally, for the benefit of future bloggers and culinary historians, Bernalwood also provides these supplementary detail photos of Eagle Donuts, as taken on October 16, 2014, which are here intended to illustrate what a typical late twentieth century donut shop looked like during the second decade of the twenty-first century:






PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics

27 thoughts on “Ode to a Basic Donut: Eagle Donuts Will Close on Monday

  1. Oh my god, no! Their donuts are the best… so much better than the ones at Safeway. I am destroyed.

  2. The Jelly Donut, at 24th and So. Van Ness, also sells classic basic doughnuts. It’s outside Bernal, but walkable for those of us in the Northeast quadrant.

  3. Oh this makes me sad. Really good donuts and the ladies in there were so nice. The end of an era indeed.

  4. Dammit! Now where is one to go should one care to get one’s donut on? Talkin’ maple bar, glazed, crumble style, or even ol’ fashion. Certainly Safeway Select is not going to cut the mustard. Those rounds are crite. Don’t even mention boxed donut, powdered mini, and the like. Hardly a donut, buddy. We have a cold and foggy morning, for instance, used to be hot cheap cup o’ joe, donut bag w/ a couple of fancies or plain rounds, collar pulled up, hat down, frozen nose, hop on the bus Gus, and we’re on our WAY. Now what? Dammit!

  5. Indeed, Sherry was there from day one. When I lived around the corner I was a regular there, which was unfortunate for my waistline. What could she have done? Well, she could have raised her prices. Last night I was at the Deluxe bar on Haight to hear some music. I asked what a well drink went for. $7. Hah. Last time I had a well drink there about a year ago it was $4. Why? The landlord did a steep increase in rent at the last lease renewal. So, Jay had to raise the price. What’s more was that the Deluxe was very busy, so a $7 well drink was nothing to the customers. I was to me; I stuck with PBR, which was $4 (a crime in itself).

    But that’s what goes on in rich SF; the rents go up and the prices have to go up to match or the businesses have to close.

    My fave donut shop is a place I don’t buy donuts; All Stars on 5th and Harrison. Where else can you get a beef teriyaki and rice bowl at 3:00am, or a salmon burger? Or bacon & eggs and pancakes? BUT, Henry, a son of the owner, tells me that its days are numbered, too. He expects that when the lease runs out in about 3 years All Stars will be replaced by a condo complex.

    Be careful what you wish for when you wish for more housing. The developers will tear down everything to grant your wish.


    • Thanks, David. I appreciate the way you don’t let the facts (“rising rents weren’t so much of an issue”) get in the way of your conclusion (“the rents go up and the prices have to go up to match or the businesses have to close”.) Bravo.

  6. If you’re willing to drive over to the Portola, Jim Georgie’s on San Bruno Ave. is a basic, old school doughnut shop. I’ve only had the apple fritters, which are yummy. They also do simple diner food and seem to do a pretty brisk business.

  7. Here’s another vote for The Jelly Donut. They have all the classics and they’re totally friendly. My guilty pleasure is to walk over to Philz then get a glazed wonder from The Jelly Donut.

  8. Why am I so suddenly bummed about this? I hardly ever go there for a donut, but I do from time to time. I tell myself I shouldn’t ’cause, you know, they’re donuts for crying out loud. I need them like well, I don’t need them. But I do like a good donut every once in a good while, and dammit I aint going to 24th and S. Van Ness! Bummer indeed. Now I feel bad I haven’t eaten more donuts the past 6 years, something I never dreamed I would feel bad about.

  9. It will be sad to see Sherry & her crew go. They are the friendliest people. Plus best donuts, good prices on everything. But after 20 years, I can see where everyone needed a break. All the best to Sherry & staff. On to new adventures!

  10. Very sad to see Eagle Donuts close. Terrific donuts and other shops simply don’t match up. Sherry could make anyone feel like a local. What a loss for the neighborhood!

  11. Sherry IS the great American story. I got to know her well. I even felt sufficiently comfortable to inquire about her vision. Growing up in China in the 1970s, healthcare wasn’t so great, and female health, well, even less important. The government failed to treat her eye infection properly. After realizing life wasn’t going to be so great for her, she decided to come to the u.s.
    Long story short… she and her sister worked everyday in that shop. She was áble to save enough money to buy a house in Saint Mary’s Park and put her kids thru college. Damn! More power to you, Sherry!

  12. Paid my last visit to Eagle Donuts today. Sherry greeted me warmly, and inquired about my kids – as usual. As I waited for my order, and a quick catch up with Sherry, I observed her greeting all who walked in with similar cheer. She knew what the regulars liked…”Plain bagel, toasted, with extra cream cheese?”, and addressed them by name. I got my usual, a large coffee and a dozen assorted donuts. Said she’ll take several months off, enjoy some time with her grandchild, and during that time figure out what she’ll do next. I gave Sherry a big hug, gave her a potted plant and a card, and walked out the door while she continued cheerfully helping customers with their orders. Really going to miss Sherry, her sister and Eagle Donuts. Gave her my email. Hope she keeps in touch.

  13. While I am wistful to see Eagle Donuts close (as a friend said about her own kids, Sherry and her sister have watched my daughter grow up), Sherry is moving on to being a full-time grandma to her adorable grandson. I am ecstatic for her that she will no longer have to be on her feet for 80 or 90 hours a week. I have no doubt that she will continue to be a hard worker and overachiever, but she more than deserves some relaxation. She lives very close by. I have no doubt we will all run into her from time to time.

  14. Nothing against the new high end donut joints we see popping up–but the West Coast donut shop is an institution that needs no updating.

    When and if the majority of San Franciscans regain their appetite for the classic American donut, then maybe unflashy places like Eagle will find the market more worthwhile.

    It pains me to say it, but in this regard our colleagues in LA have the upper hand. Viva Eagle!

  15. I am so sad about this and will miss both Sherry and Doreen a lot. They have been so sweet and kind and always had a smile for customers. Sherry’s grandson is adorable and she is such a proud grandma, she’s going to have a lot of fun with him. Just really hoping whatever business takes over the space (I’ve heard it’s going to be a ramen shop?) will be equally as friendly.

  16. Noooooooooooooooooo!

    What will we do without the donut lady? This has been our coffee and doughnut mainstay for the decade we’ve been in the neighborhood. Sherry always asked about my beautiful wife, where are the boys, how is my Auntie every time I came in. She tried to fatten me up and did a pretty good job of it. One of the final places I felt like I was living on earth rather than in some one-cup-at-a-time bearing, $4.00 pastry wielding, parklet-building kickstarter campaign-running temple to ironically hip modernity. Good luck Sherry – you will truly be missed.

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