America’s Best Donuts: The Master List


      

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Long before the cupcake became the fastest growing stand-alone pastry shop, there was the doughnut. Everyone loves a doughnut, and how could you not?  They come in so many varieties, you can hold it in your hand, and it’s really easy to grab a box on the run.  But with all the varieties, doughnut chains and specialty bake shops around the country, where are the very best?

Last month we polled the Interrobang Staff to find out some of their favorites. Sadly, several of the responses we got included the words Dunkin, Horton, and Entenmanns, so we turned to our readers to help us come up with the definitive list of the best donuts in the country.  And here is the master-list that resulted, starting with our 9 original picks, followed by the best of the reader-sent, and finally, the honorable mention list.

1.  The Doughnut Plant in NYC, Creme Brulee

Nobody does doughnuts like New York, and when you’re in New York, The Doughnut Plant is the place to go.  There are many to choose from, and they are all fantastic, but our doughnut of choice is the Creme Brule.   With a crunchy caramelized top (just like the dessert it’s named for) and a custardy sweet filling, it’s virtually perfect.  Runners up (just in case they run out of the Creme Brule or you want some variety) are the  Tres Leches Donut and The Blackout. 379 Grand Street, New York, New York.  Visit them on the web at doughnutplant.com or @doughnutplantNY on twitter.

 

2. Allie’s Donuts in Rhode Island, Maple Frosted Coffee Bun

There’s a wide variety of donuts at Allie’s where they make their own donuts in an enormous kitchen. But don’t go there without ordering the Maple Frosted Coffee Bun. Now it doesn’t have a hole, but it’s definitely in the donut family. Imagine a huge delicious bun covered with homemade frosting. It’s totally unhealthy, but totally delicious. Plan ahead, at Allie’s they line up out the door. 3661 Quaker Lane, North Kingstown, Rhode Island.

 

 

3. Coffee An’ Westport, Connecticut, The Chocolate and Glazed Twist

Visit this family style luncheonette, for the atmosphere and the donuts. It’s small town America at its best. Two counters line the tiny corner store and connecting those two counters is a bakery case filled with heaven. These glazed donuts are as simple as you can imagine and yet they will give any place on this list a run for their money. Perfectly crisp on the outside, moist on the inside and filled with rich flavor. If you can’t decide on regular glazed or chocolate glazed, go for the braided twist. Do get several to go, to avoid turning around and driving back five minutes after you’ve left.  343 Main Street, Westport, Connecticut.

 

 

4. Cold Hollow Cider Mill, Waterbury Vermont, Homemade Cider Donuts

If you live in the northeast, you’ve seen cider mills, and this one is a lot like many others except for one thing. They make the greatest donut that ever existed. You won’t find any frosting or sprinkles or glazes or powders on this donut, and you won’t need them. It’s a simple cake donut and you actually watch your donuts being made as you wait in line. It means you’ll have to wait a few moments for it to cool before you bite into it, and if you’re like me, you’ll never wait long enough, and you’ll always burn your mouth on that first bite. It’s sweet but not too sweet, soft but not too soft, and you can forget about bringing any home for your friends. Not only will you eat them all in the car, but you’ll rationalize that you’re doing your friends a favor because they won’t be as good when they’re not fresh.  Visit them at 3600 Waterbury-Stowe Road, Waterbury, Vermont and on the web at coldhollow.com.

 

5. Voodoo Donuts, Portland, Oregon, Memphis Mafia

There is no place more famous than Voodoo for donuts, and it’s the only donut shop that offers it’s own Wedding Chapel. It’s a donut shop on acid, with wildly inventive shapes and toppings.  You’ll find donuts with fruit loops, a pentagram donut, or even the famous cock and balls donut.  But for our #1 pick, we’ll go with the Memphis Mafia– Fried dough with banana chunks and cinnamon sugar covered in a glaze with chocolate frosting, peanut butter, peanuts and chocolate chips on top. Overkill? Yes, but once in a while, that’s the way to go.  Visit them at 22 Southwest 3rd Avenue, Portland Oregon and on the web at voodoodoughnut.com and @voodoodoughnut on twitter.

  

 

6. Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans, Louisiana, Beignets

Tourist spot or not, these little French doughnuts are wonderful.  They are fried.  They are square.  They come in threes.  You’re guaranteed to become a powdered sugar covered mess, but totally worth it.  Sometimes you just have to suck it up and fight the tourists to get something great and this is one of those times.  Check them out at 800 Decatur Street, New Orleans, Louisiana and on the web at cafedumonde.com.

 

 

7. Randy’s Donuts, Inglewood CA

You have to go to this landmark if for no other reason than just to see the famous 22 foot donut on the roof, and while you’re there, the apple fritter is the thing to have.  One is more than enough, but it wouldn’t hurt to take one home with you.  Visit them at 805 West Manchester Boulevard, Inglewood, California and on the internet at randys-donuts.com.

 
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8. Top Pot,  Seattle, Washington, Bavarian Creme

Handmade Seattle Donuts frequently featured on top ten lists, and once visited by President Obama.  Everything’s good but the Bavarian Creme, the glazed and old fashioned are the superstars.  Multiple locations but we recommend 2124 5th Avenue in Seattle, Washington.  They’re open 6am to 7pm during the week, 7am to 7pm on weekends.  Visit their website at  Toppotdonuts.com and follow them on twitter @toppot.

 

9. Fray’s Donut House, Pinellas Park, Florida, Oreo Chocolate Glazed

Fray’s Donut House in Pinellas Park, Florida has the hot melt-in-your mouth Oreo Chocolate Glazed donut. It’s the best donut ever combined with the best cookie ever. Pieces of Oreo cookie added to the glaze of a chocolate donut. If there’s a good excuse for Type 2 Diabetes, this is it.

 

10. Kanes Donuts in Saugus Massachussetts, Chocolate Honeydipped

Kanes, in business since 1955, is always on best donut shop in America lists. Make sure you get the chocolate honeydipped, and while you’re there check out the coffee rolls.  We hear they’re the size of your head. You’ll find them at 120 Lincoln Avenue, Saugus, Mass. Visit their website at Kanesdonuts.com.

 
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11. Southern Maid Donuts in Shreveport, Louisiana, Glazed

Created in 1937 as the country came out of the great depression, Southern Maid is an institution. You can see their HOT HOT HOT sign from the interstate, and when you do, make sure you stop in. If you’re there anytime from 4pm til they close at midnight you can request that fresh hot donut be custom made for you. Pools of fresh glaze collect in the bottom of the box for dipping. Legend has it that Elvis Presley Recorded their jingle, and it was the only product he ever advertised. Located at 3505 Hearn Avenue in Shreveport, La. And you can visit them on the web at southernmaiddonuts.com.

 
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12. Dynamo Donuts, San Francisco, California, Bacon Apple Maple Donut

This award winning shop has so many great varieties but the bacon apple maple donut comes highly recommended. You’ll find them at 2760 24th Street, San Francisco, CA. Tues-Sat 7am to 5pm, Sunday 9am – 4pm. Closed mondays. Visit them on twitter at @dynamodonut and on the web at dynamodonut.com.

 
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13. Holmsburg Bakery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Bavarian Creme

You have to look to find this tiny hole-in-the-wall bakery large enough to accomodate four people at a time, but its worth the search.  They’ve been in operation for over 100 years so you know it’s authentic. The donut is overfilled with buttercreme filling with a slit on top that the creme bursts out of.  You’ll find it at  7933 Frankfurt Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa, Open 6am to 6pm weekdays, 6am to 5pm Saturday, Closed Sunday.  Visit their website at holmesburgbakery.com.

 
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14. Hypnotic Donuts in Dallas, Texas

Be a hyppie. This place is all about passion before profit, where donuts and hyppies are treated with peace, love and respect by the locals who own and operate Hypnotic. Check out their signature donut: chocolate caramel and peanut butter mixed and topped with Peanut Butter Captain Crunch and crushed pretzel. True locals will also love the Hell Fire with vanilla frosting and hot peppers,but we’re a bit more traditional. They’re located at 9007 Garland Rd, Dallas Texas. Open 7 days a week, 6:30am to 12, weekdays, 7:30-1 Saturdays and 7:30 – 1:30 sundays. Follow them on twitter @hypnoticdonuts and on the web at hypnoticdonuts.com.

 
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15. Tony’s Donuts, Portland, Maine, Molasses Donut

If you’re in Maine, you go to Tony’s.  It’s a local treasure. It’s as old school school as you get, family owned, and make sure you try the local favorite– the molasses donut. If molasses isn’t your thing, you’ll be happy with the chocolate glazed. Visit them at 9 Bolton Street, Portland Maine. They open at 5am.


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16. Britt’s Donuts, Carolina Beach, North Carolina, Glazed

In operation since 1939, Britt’s offers glazed donuts, milk and coffee…and nothing else. They don’t have a phone number, they’re open only in the summer, and they are rumored to be the inspiration for Krispy Kreme. They’re airy, crispy, piping hot and you won’t be able to stop eating them, so buy extras. In season they operate 7 days a week 8:30 till 10:30pm. 11 Boardwalk, Carolina Beach, North Carolina.  Check them out at their webpage.

 
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17.  Sublime Donuts, Altanta, Georgia, A-Town Creme

Sublime is no stranger to best donut lists. Chef Grant promises and delivers world class homemade donuts to Atlanta.   Their signature donut, the A Town Creme, is Grant’s own take on the Boston Creme filled with silky custard and topped with Belgian dark chocolate.  Visit them at 535 10th Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia or on the web at sublimedonuts.com.  Open 6am to 6pm Tuesday to Friday and 7am to 6pm on Saturdays, 7am to 3pm Sundays.

 
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18. Fractured Prune in Baltimore, MD

They’re made to order while you wait, at this small chain that claims that they don’t just serve donuts, they serve an experience. There’s a few of these now, but the original location is at 127th Street and Coastal Highway, Ocean City Maryland.  Visit them on the web at fracturedprune.com.  Call for hours.

 
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19. Gourdough’s, Austin, Texas, Funky Monkey

Big. Fat. Donuts. The Funky Monkey seems to be the local favorite here, and you can see why. Grilled bananas with cream cheese icing with brown sugar.  Find them at 1503 S 1st Street, Austin, Texas Mon-Thur 6am to 12am Open till 3am on weekends. Visit them on the web at gourdoughs.com.

  

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20.   Doughnut Vault, Chicago, Illinois, Gingerbread Stack

You will find a line here, even early in the morning, and they definitely are prone to sellling out of the favorites.  They’re best known for their gingerbread stack, the chestnut donut and the chocolate glazed.   They open at 8:30am during the week and 9:30 on weekends until they run out.  Prepare to wait.  400 1/2 North Franklin, Chicago, Illinois.  Or visit their website on tumblr here.

  

 

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If none of the above are anywhere near you or you just want more to choose from, here’s 29 more shops that made our honorable mentions list.

  •  Beckers Donuts, Cleveland Ohio, Some if the lightest and fluffiest cruellers in the area; and a great place to get your paczi’s once a year.  Also check out the super filled jelly donut, filled till bursting.  The whole city goes there for fat Tuesday.  4106 E 71st Street, Cleveland Ohio
  • Round Rock Donuts, Round Rock Texas, these melt in your mouth glazed donuts are honey glazed and fresh out of the fire.  Some call them the orange colored, some call them yellow, but everyone calls them amazing.  Open at 4am.  www.roundrockdonuts.com
  • Paula’s Bakery in Buffalo, NY On 380 Kenmore Avenue, Buffalo, NY, famous for their bavarian peanut sticks, open 4am to 10pm daily. #1 in Buffalo. (Via JK)
  • Suzy Jo Donuts in Pa, Bridgeport, Royersford, Blue Bell, Powdered Sugar Whipped Creme   A family tradition since 1955, 49 East 4th Street, Bridgeport, Pa, known for hard chocolate cake donuts, a chocolate cake donut inside a thick coating of hard chocolate. (via Lessthanthree13)
  • Browns Restaurant in Ocean City, NJ; Local restaurant that also offers six types of donuts, homemade.  Only six varieties available, get one of these bite sized donuts and sit on the boardwalk to watch the waves.  St. Charles and the Boardwalk, Ocean City, NJ.
  • Dreesen’s Famous Donuts, 11 Stratton Square East Hampton, NY.  2 flavors only, cinammon or powdered sugar, freaking unreal even though its in a snobby neighborhood.  Alec Baldwin loves em.  www.dreesens.com (via
  • Peter Pan’s Brooklyn, New York.  Old school Polish bakery in Greenpoint section of Brooklyn. ’s favorite. (via  @uncledirtypop, fred brooklyn)
  • Dough,  305 Franklin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY in Bed Sty, Huge donuts, melts like Cotton Candy in your mouth.  The Blood Orange donut was once described as “like taking a bite out of a baby’s ass.”
  • Greenbush Bakery, in Madison Wisconsin for the blueberry donut. The best raised donut with a sweet crunchy goodness.  (Via winemook)
  • Daylight Donuts, 305 North Main Street, Breckenridge Co @dannysooks cash only.  Breakfast too.  Small adorable, local.
  • Daylight Donuts in Hays Kansas, they serve the oftest glazed donuts, it’s ilke eating delicious air.  They usually run out by 9am.  (Via TOF)
  • Donut Bank in 8 locations  in southern Indiana.  Family owned since the 1950′s.  Local favorite is the iced Long John.  Three hour hand prepared process. (via @trucking_jerry )
  • Oram’s Donuts in Beaver Falls, Pa, for the cream filled donuts and cinnamon rolls. (Via Kim)
  • Shipleys Do-Nuts, best glazed, hot donut,  www.shipleydonuts.ws  Over 75 years in business.  Small chain in the ‘donut belt’ original in Houston Texas 5200 N. Main, Houston, Texas  (via Chuck Cruzan)
  • Donutland in Cedar Rapids, IA for cream filled Long John’s (via MLA)
  • WorldsBestDonuts in Grand Marais MN.  Worth a drive down from Canada http://www.worldsbestdonutsmn.com/(via Doom70)
  • Madsen Doughnuts in Geneva on the Lake, Ohio.  Family owned since 1938, open only during the Summer Season (via HerbalTherapy)
  • Dutchess Bakery in Coleman Alabama, sells out early and people still line up o get them.  Get there before 8am.  Try the bismark.  222 1st Avenue SE, Cullman Alabama
  • Donna’s Donuts in Flint, Michigan (via ElectricDave)Fantastic cake donuts,jelly,cream, apple filled, delicious and they weigh a ton.
  • Jolly Pirate in West Virginia. bakers dozen for 6 bucks, melt in your mouth good, huntington and charleston.  (Via Rusty)
  • Heitzman Bakery, 3800 Shepherdsville Road, Louisville, Kentucy.  The aggple coogan will blow you away. 4th Generation.  110 years of baking. Www.heitzmanbakery.net
  • Webers Bakery on Archer in Chicago.  Worth the trip.  Chocolate cake donut.  75 years in business.  www.webersbakery.com   7055 W Warcher Avenue, Chicago, IL Tues – Saturday 4:30am to 6pm.  Sunday 5:30 am to 3pm Closed monday.
  • Dirty Dan’s in Kokomo, Indiana Just the basics but done perfectly. (via KeithF)
  • McMillans Bakery in Westmont, NJ, get the creme donut (via Chris)
  • Old Fashioned Donuts Inc, 11,248 S Michigan Avenue, Chicago (via Dyoung74)
  • Dutch Girl in Detroit, best glazed donut. (Via kgrand12)
  • Linda’s in Belmont, Mass, for the Honey Jelly donut. The perfect combo of honeydipped and jelly! (Via Drbaloney)
  • Long’s Bakery in Indianapolis, Indiana has hour lines on a Saturday morning and they have the best glazed donut in the country (via indyapostate)
  • Congdon’s Donuts in Wells Maine, (via rgaeta02)

    

 

 

35 comments
ChineseDuck
ChineseDuck

How the fuck did I miss this whole topic? Well heres my vote 6 days too late. I've lived in a few places. DC, Baltimore, NYC, VT. The best donut EVER is Hinkley's bakery in Jackson, MI. I would murder puppies for their donuts.

pmum
pmum

McMillans Bakery in Westmont, NJ, get the creme donut (via Chris) - I strongly second this!

Fa Q
Fa Q

Marty's donut land Ipswich Mass. Best jelly donut u will eat. I also personally enjoy their Boston cremes. Go at midnight when they open and have self service, leave your money on the counter Clerks style.

Plastic Thoughts
Plastic Thoughts

Revolution donuts in Decatur (Atlanta is a suburb of Decatur according residents) is absolutely killing it.

Vickroy
Vickroy

There's a box of Packzi's (punchkeys) in our office kitchen. How the hell am I supposed to resist that!?

theblakeri
theblakeri

allies plain old fashion donut is the best I've ever had.

SH4RKYx
SH4RKYx

I want a donut with bacon on it. For some reason those donuts with pink icing from the Simpsons always looks tasty too.

Berneice Holiday
Berneice Holiday

Great job on the site, it looks outstanding. I am going to save it and will make sure to check often.

FezKilledHisCat
FezKilledHisCat

I saw that the ABSOLUTE BEST donut place in the western hemisphere made the "honorable mention" list, but not for their best donut.  Donutland in Cedar Rapids, Iowa has the BEST....seriously...the BEST Cake donuts EVER....did I say EVER?  I meant it.

My favorite donuts there are the Blueberry and the Cherry Cake donuts, with actual chucks of the fruit cooked into the donut.  Mmmmmm.   They also have two types of Buttermilk donuts (vanilla or choco frosted) that melt in your mouth.  Cedar Rapids is only about a half-hour north of Iowa City, so you can get the BEST donuts and the BEST cupcake (The Ron Bennington) within an hour of each other.   But where, you might ask, is the best Sour Cream donut?  That would be at Tim Horton's, located all over Canada but also available in the Detroit and Columbus, OH areas in the US.

bozemanluke
bozemanluke

granma's (dough)donuts near MSU campus bozeman MT. seriously better than any other ive had in my whole life!

46guy
46guy

Keep your head on a swivel at Cafe Du Monde...lots of pick pockets.

Vickroy
Vickroy

Spudnuts are great too. Not sure if this is a chain but they are dee-lish!

Vickroy
Vickroy

Mmmmmmm. Donuts. Becker's in Cleveland is great. Went to high school with Becker.

wrylab
wrylab

Also, don't forget the generic donut shop from my hometown.  

HollyGothic
HollyGothic

Donuts Delite in Rochester, NY is worth a mention. Great variety of flavors and many plate-sized donuts.

FreeNordberg
FreeNordberg

Honorable Mention List looks better to me, too many trendy joints in the top tier.

Another great joint is on Rt28 in ADK's,The Donut Shop or any apple orchard in western ny.

tbonenj
tbonenj

I would also recommend, Donut Dip in West Springfield, MA, Dotties diner in Woodbury, CT and Neil's Donuts in Wallingford, CT

TBoAtl
TBoAtl

They left out Lamar's in KC? I've fedexed countless boxes of those home to friends and family when I'm there. I've even carried them on the plane and told the flight attendent she can keep her stupid peanuts.

bmqq316
bmqq316

Lamar's Donuts in Kansas City, MO...if your bringing donuts to work, don't show up without Lamar's.

Steeb
Steeb

Bills Donuts in Centerville Ohio is the only good thing in Centerville Ohio

biznovick
biznovick

You know it is a special occasion in Rhode Island when someone shows up with an Allie's donut cake, which (as the name implies) is a 2 foot wide donut that you serve in slices.

Cookie Cookie Cookie
Cookie Cookie Cookie

Hey Zito, it's gourdoughs.com (not gourdough.com). Whaaaaaaassssaaaaaaaaaaap

Michael D
Michael D

Back Door Dounts in Martha's Vineyard. It's a Bakery that sells donuts out there Back Door. It's almost like buying crack and it almost feels a little shaddy. People line up at 9:00pm to get them fresh. The donuts are ridiculous.

loganfield
loganfield

I am fortunate enough to live 20 minutes away from Britt's. The hype is true. They should be higher than 16th place.

fuch stich
fuch stich

Round Rock donuts is an excellent call.

guest
guest

Fuck this new comment system

Steve from Philly
Steve from Philly

Dunkin Donuts is actually very good.They catch shit for being a McDonalds type of joint, but their chocolate frosted will destroy any donut anywhere in the world.

memeseeker
memeseeker

Federal Donuts @ 2nd and Federal in Philly are awesome and they have KILLER fried chicken in the afternoons/evenings until the sell out(often)

I love their S'mores donut.

choosingtangent
choosingtangent

suzy jo's is a conshy/bridgeport gem. absolutly one of the best! there is a little known spot in New Castle PA called May's that is worth a try as well. Cream sticks to die for!

PigShitIrish
PigShitIrish

Suzy Jo's in Bridgeport, PA is the real deal. Another good choice relatively close is in the Lancaster County Farmer's Market on rte. 30 in Wayne, PA. There is a stand in there that is run by an Amish family that makes outstanding doughnuts as well as other baked goods.

Parischarlie
Parischarlie

Ibang, this is perhaps the best post you've ever made, thank you.

c_ocobean
c_ocobean

Happy to see peter pan in Greenpoint listed. excellent donuts-shitty coffee, cute Polish chicks in paper hats.

Plastic Thoughts
Plastic Thoughts

Just went to Sublime over at Georgia Tech. They have a varied selection and ice cream donut burgers look great, but the donuts at Revolution in Decatur are works of art.

HollyGothic
HollyGothic

You can also get a breakfast donut with your choice of meat, cheese, or egg if you've completely given up on yourself.

toddhold
toddhold

 @bmqq316 Also all over Colorado, and I agree, if someone shows up with donuts, and they aren't LaMar's, no thanks!

Pool Keepers Son
Pool Keepers Son

Also here in Colorado, We have medical marijuana donuts, killing to birds with one stone and we didn't make the list

BigBadBri
BigBadBri

@Steve from Philly If you're strictly talking about "Fast Food" donut shops...then that's debatable...but DD doesn't come CLOSE to some of the mom & pop family owned joints that take pride in their donuts.

FreeNordberg
FreeNordberg

@HollyGothic

Donuts Delite are good but I don't like having to do a re-fi before my sunday morning donut run.

Steve from Philly
Steve from Philly

I was referring to chain joints and that they shouldn't just be counted out.Like sometimes you just want McDonalds, you know?Obviously I overshot it and got a little carried away.And Ron was partially right. Never been further than AZ.