this is a place you might not visit if you were just driving by. the building is non-descript, or rather a bit unappealing to view from the outside. inside is a warm open space, with a showcase of donuts and a fine breakfast and lunch menu.
my daughter and i had the corn meal waffle and the pesto tofu scramble, both were delicious. the menu is creative and 100% vegan. the coffee was acidic and folgers-like. the donut bakers were cool and friendly and the young woman who served us and worked the counter was friendly and efficient. nothing inside the store struck me as hyper-clean, but it was easy to see where your food was coming from. the bathroom was very clean.
we took home a dozen donuts for $25. for that price you get 4 "top-shelf" donuts and 8 "bottom shelf" donuts. the donuts themselves were a 10 for creativity of flavor and for being vegan. the taste however, was on a lower scale: all the flavoring is in the icing, and those flavors were predominately sweet and sugary (i know its a donut, but why call it Earl Grey, or Lavender, or Orange and cream if it only tastes of sugar?) frosting would concentrate the flavors some, but probably add to the sweetness. the cake of the donut was good, but a little too cooking-oil tasting.
the vegan donut is a rarity, so Pepples stands pretty much alone there in the bay area. i would gladly take these donuts to a party or an event just to showcase how even a favorite treat can be made vegan, but would of course expect anyone there to compare it to a conventional donut. its not a fair comparison. its a hand made cruelty free cake of goodness, and therefore pepples wins, and i win with them.
Cons: moderately expensive, the signature food is just okay