These donut shops, with their ooey, gooey, glazed and cake fried dough rounds, are definitely better than your average shop. Perhaps they've obtained secret recipes from their great-grandparents or maybe they experimented with the toppings enough that they hit the bullseye.
Whatever the case may be, they are delicious and we want to eat them. Give yourself a treat on vacation, educational or celebratory, and grab yourself a donut!
District: Donuts. Sliders. Brew - New Orleans - NOLA might be better known for its beignets, but the donut scene here is nothing to scoff at either. Our top choice? The District. They make everything from scratch, from the sprinkles to the scrumptious glazes and cream fillings. Everything's handmade, everything's artisan, and everything's delicious. Donut flavors (over 20) change daily but you're more than likely able to find something like the almond joy, cookie dough, or orange strawberry. Plus, if you're there at lunch, you can also grab a couple of sliders.
Blue Star Donuts - Portland - Yes, we all know about Voodoo Donuts and their fantastic and crazy creations but Blue Star has worked hard to make it to the top.
From a small shop competing with the Voodoo giant to four Portland locations and three long-distance sites (two in Tokyo!), Blue Star Donuts is a force to be reckoned with. Many of their creations are vegan-friendly while all are made using hormone-free milk and European style butter, to create donuts like the raspberry pistachio, orange olive oil donut, tiramisu, and the sumptuous blueberry bourbon and basil donut.
Leonard's Bakery - Honolulu - Hawaii isn't very well known for being a donut capital but they have a variation, from Portugal no less. Since 1933, this family owned shop has been churning out malasadas, a Portuguese donut (no hole, filled with all manner of delicious creams, and usually sprinkled with sugar, cinnamon, or li hing), and practically changing the taste buds of everyone on the island. It's not every day that a small bakery can change an entire state's idea of a donut but Leonard's Bakery is making history
. You can customize your malasada with filling and topping options, and take a baker's dozen back to your hotel or consume them on the beach.
Do-Rite Donuts - Chicago - You have two locations in the Windy City to choose from, lucky you, but you better get in line early as they'll close shop once they run out of donuts! Each day of the week has a special vegan offering but every day you can try out chocolate old-fashioned, Valrhona chocolate cake, candied maple bacon and more. There is a selection of gluten free treats for sensitive systems as well. Their coffee is something to behold as well, especially when you've got a pistachio-meyer lemon donut or a fried chicken sandwich to pair it with.
Pink Box Doughnuts - Las Vegas - When you're up all night on the Vegas Strip or readying yourself for an early flight home, Pink Box will be there for you! Open 24 hours a day, Pink Box has a packed menu of classics, specialty donuts, and gourmets. You'll be staring at the glass case with your mouth watering, trying to decide on the campfire s'mores donut topped with a charred marshmallow, the fat Elvis with banana and chocolate, or the what-a-joy with coconut shavings, almonds, and a smooth chocolate ganache. Did we already add that donuts are less than a buck? Because that's also delicious.
Donut Stop - St. Louis - This St. Louis location has been running continuously since 1953 and has 103 variations of the sumptuous donut. Need we say more? All right, we will. There are two locations (in South St. Louis and in St. Charles) and both are chock full of yeast donuts, cake creations, plus ones they can't categorize that are more like globs, rolls, and fritters. But we're not picky! They also have fried pies and birthday donuts made to the lucky birthday girl or boy's specifications and favorite flavors.
Dynamo Donut & Coffee - San Francisco - Both delicious locations in San Fran withhold their yummy donuts on Mondays, but don't worry, you have six other days of the week to sample the menu. In 2007, Dynamo was born while Sara Spearin was experimenting with baking while on maternity leave. We're glad she did, because she's now giving us unbelievable recipes like the passionfruit milk chocolate, original specialty vanilla bean, spiced chocolate, and chocolate with raspberry black pepper glaze. It's the perfect eat-on-the-go breakfast/snack that you can take on a walk through the Bay City, otherwise known as a perfect Sunday morning.
The Donut Man - Glendora, CA - Located in a small, Los Angeles County community, The Donut Man has made national news on major networks like the Cooking Channel and Food Network. Stuffed donuts are kind of their thing, and it is amazing. Have two crullers stuffed with "delicious cream", orange frosted cake donuts, or the popular fresh strawberry stuffed donut. Personally, I can't wait to get my hands on a creme puff topped with a delicate coating of powdered sugar. Or maybe the fresh peach stuffed donut. Maybe both. Probably both.
Federal Donuts - Philadelphia - Federal Donuts has been on practically every donut shop list in all history. That's an exaggeration but honestly, they're wicked popular. They have five locations, including one at the ballpark, and each serves a full menu of donuts and fried chicken. While the chicken might be phenomenal, we're here for the fried dough, people. Enjoy flavors like vanilla spice, strawberry lavender, chocolate eclair, and lemon meringue among others. Plus their coffee is so good they sell it in store by the bean.