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Nomad Donuts: Where Creativity Meets Conscientious Craftsmanship

In December 2014, Brad Keiller laid the foundation for San Diego’s Nomad Donuts, infusing it with a fusion of culinary creativity and conscientious craftsmanship. Within these walls, each creation manifests as a canvas, merging dedication to flavor and artistry while embodying Brad's commitment to the greater good. This is a TRUE SCRATCH KITCHEN.

Nomad takes pride in its high-quality fresh and artisanal donuts. The detail put into each one is exceptional. Each donut is a sculpted gourmet masterpiece radiating with unique, delightful flavors. Their menu offers a blend of beloved classics and constantly evolving selections, showcasing an inspired variety crafted from Nomad’s creative process, diverse cultural inspirations, and seasonal sourcing.

From the first bite, we were enraptured. What makes the donuts exceptional in our opinion is the dough. Every donut is dressed on a flawlessly textured consistently soft dough base, unlike any we’ve encountered before. These donuts have a very gentle, yet satisfying chew. There is no waxy feeling on your tongue from fryer fat, no aftertaste of oil, no shock from overwhelming sweetness. It's simply perfect. 

Crafted with a craftsman’s hand and an artisan's eye, the yeast donuts at Nomad Donuts are impeccable creations, airy and light, and layered with subtle and nuanced flavored profiles. The cake donuts, rooted in their dense and moist composition, provide a deep exploration of robust and intricate textural profiles. In every bite of the yeast and cake donuts, we encountered a carefully crafted balance between lightness and depth, an artisanal feat that elevated the simple pleasure of savoring a donut to a magical art form.

The November collection showcased a variety of indulgent flavors. 

The Pumpkin Old Fashioned encompasses the energy of warm fall spices, encased in a buttery glaze where sweet and spicy intertwined effortlessly. 

The Cranberry Sauce, adorned with a cranberry glaze and an orange drizzle, delicately sprinkled with rosemary almonds, is a beautiful union of seasonal produce and inventive pairings. 

The Ube Coconut donut delicately weaves together subtle vanilla notes, a hint of coconut's nuttiness, and the essence of Ube. It was a classical elevated donut. 

The Cream Cheese Guava is delightful–it's topped with a dense, rich, and slightly tangy glaze of cream cheese drizzle. The guava filling was beguilingly sweet and fresh. 

The Mulled Cider is golden-brown and sandy on the outside from a generous dusting of granulated sugar and cinnamon with a euphoric aroma. Its ethereal, soft, and pliant texture offered a delightful fluffiness that harmonized impeccably with the spiced apple cider filling, creating a burst of aromatic delight.

The Toasted Rice Pudding, a homage to Filipino tradition and South African heritage, offers a delicate sweetness derived from maple and palm sugar, deliberately avoiding synthetic sweetness for a more pleasing taste. As you bite into the donut, the texture softly yields as your teeth compress the dough, revealing a generous serving of a sublime and creamy rice pudding with delightful hints of cinnamon and vanilla. It invites a truly soulful and gratifying experience.

Not only did we have an exquisite menu full of culinary donut art pieces, Nomad has superb bagels and bagel sandwiches to match. These bagels, with their subtle yet distinct aroma, carry an inherent lightness that defies their substantive nature. Each bagel is a stunning creation, boasting a freshness that can be sensed in every airy bite. Their exteriors boast a beautiful, glistening finish, showcasing a tender yet resilient crust that encases a soft, yielding interior, reminiscent of a cloud’s embrace. We sampled the Everything, Rosemary, Jalapeno, and Za’atar bagels, freshly baked to perfection, each standing strong as a delightful standalone treat, requiring no accompaniment of cream cheese. The exceptional quality left us unable to declare a favorite; each was a delectable delight, making it impossible to pick just one.

The B’Rad Bagel Sandwiches, marvels of the menu, provide elevated comfort. 

The Tokyo Hot Chicken, a perfectly fried panko-crusted oyster mushroom creation bedecked with vegan garlic aioli, was a standout. The spicy notes gracefully awaken the palate, while the earthy richness of the oyster mushrooms lends a satisfying depth to each bite.

The Basic Bitch Egg and Cheese, is an orchestrated marriage of a vegan tofu scramble, cheddar, sausage, and tempeh bacon. This classic breakfast delight harks back to familiar tastes, delivering a timeless sensation that never fails to impress. 

The Salmon Gravlax, reminiscent of the classic lox bagel, weaves together dill caper, braised red beets, heirloom tomatoes, and red onion. This flavorful amalgamation seamlessly collaborates with a citrus herb salad, vibrant lemon vinaigrette, and the creamy richness of vegan cream cheese. Each element adds its distinct essence, embracing freshness and healthfulness at its core.

The Philly Cheesesteak presents a medley of smoked pulled jackfruit, caramelized onions, cherry peppers, and vegan cheese. Each bite offers a delightful interplay of smoky, sweet, and tangy flavors. 

Nomad is a mosaic of conscientious consumption. The efforts taken to maintain a scratch kitchen, source locally, reduce waste, segregate vegan and non-vegan items during food preparation, and utilize biodegradable containers reflect a commitment to the highest standards of culinary excellence and sustainability.

Within every Nomad creation, the radiance of principles, passion, care, and dedicated craftsmanship gleams. The love and dedication poured by Brad into establishing this place becomes unmistakably evident once experienced. Visiting Nomad, tasting the food, and meeting the incredibly warm and welcoming staff at Nomad is an absolute must. 


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