A Dozen Choice Doughnut Spots

Over the past month, we sampled nearly 100 kinds of doughnuts from across the country and the following 12 consistently stood out in taste.

By Rachel Kalt

Published on September 9, 2008

Whether they're yeast raised and glazed in honey or dense, cakey, and topped with crumbled Oreos, doughnuts, like few other foods, have the power to produce pure satisfaction and delight. SAVEUR published a roundup of seven great doughnut shops in May 2006, but with this month's special breakfast issue, we couldn't resist the urge to return to America's beloved breakfast indulgence once again. Over the past month, we sampled nearly 100 kinds of doughnut from across the country; those from the following 12 shops and purveyors range in shape, size, color, flavor, and texture and consistently stood out in taste.

**Allie's Donuts
North Kingstown, Rhode Island
**Dunkin' Donuts might have a passionate following throughout New England, but Allie's has remained a Rhode Island doughnut landmark for the past 40 years. You can expect to battle a long line on arrival, but your wait will be rewarded with doughnuts that are slightly crunchy on the outside, pillowy on the inside, and twice the size of ordinary doughnuts. Three dozen varieties are on offer, but the old-fashioned glazed cruller and the multi-jimmies doughnut, which is so densely covered with sprinkles that the glaze is hardly visible, are among the best. Allie's also specializes in novelty-shaped, extra-large doughnuts, which were originally created by owner Anne Drescher's father as an alternative to birthday cake. Sculpted into more than 500 shapes that range from an airplane to a high-heeled shoe, these enormous, customized doughnuts can feed up to 16 people. (401/295-8036; 3661 Quaker Lane, 02852)

Atkins Farms
**South Amherst, Massachusetts
**Though this 80-acre New England apple orchard boasts a full-scale indoor country market, what really distinguishes Atkins is its legendary cider doughnuts. Infused with Atkins's own apple cider, a blend of seasonal apple varieties like mcintosh and cortland, and made by hand daily, the moist, sweet, slightly spicy treats are liberally rolled in a cinnamon-sugar mixture and make an ideal breakfast or afternoon snack. Atkins has been using the same doughnut recipe since 1971 and turns out 10,000 doughnuts per day during the fall, its busiest season. (413/253-9528; Corner of Route 116 and Bay Road South, 01002)

**Bob's Coffee & Doughnuts
Los Angeles, California
**No journey to the original Los Angeles farmers' market is complete without a stop at Bob's Coffee & Doughnuts, which has been offering freshly made doughnuts since 1970. Visit on any day of the week, and you'll find owner Bob Tusquellas and at least 30 different doughnut varieties, all of which come from family recipes honed by Tusquellas or the original owner, Arnold. The recipient of _Los Angeles _magazine's Best Doughnuts in LA award, Bob's makes a light and airy yeast-raised glazed doughnut and an intensely flavored maple doughnut. (323/933-8929; 6333 West Third Street, Suite 450, 90036)

Donut Bank Bakery & Coffee Shop
**Multiple Locations
**A family-owned business since 1967, Donut Bank has eight locations throughout southern Indiana; its popularity is likely due to the fact that brothers Joe, Ben, and Chris Kempf come from a long line of bakers who take doughnut making very seriously. Drawing on traditional German baking techniques, Donut Bank hand-cuts and glazes its doughnuts in a process that takes three hours for a single batch. Notable varieties include the chocolate iced long john, a rectangular yeast doughnut topped with chocolate glaze, and the famous honey-dipped glazed doughnut. (812/426-0011)

The Fractured Prune Donut Shoppe
**Multiple Locations
**Boasting flavor combinations as wacky as the shop's name, the unusual varieties sold at these franchises throughout the Southeast redefine the typical doughnut. The O.C. Sand, a cake doughnut dipped in honey glaze and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, serves as a tribute to the original Ocean City, Maryland, location and reigns supreme in the taste department. Others, like the Blueberry Hill, bearing an iridescent blueberry glaze and dusted with powdered sugar, and the Myrna Medley, a cake doughnut topped with chocolate sprinkles and peanuts, are as fun to look at as they are to eat. You can even create your own doughnut by selecting from a menu of 15 glazes, including peanut butter and mint, seven toppings, including graham cracker crumbs and mini chocolate chips, and three kinds of sugar. (866/369-3668)

Holland Farms
**Yorkville, New York
**Holland Farms offers everything from wedding cakes to cold cuts, but its famous jelly buns are the real crowd pleasers. Unlike traditional raised jelly doughnuts, the jelly buns have a denser texture and a more intense yeast flavor, which is balanced by a thick coating of confectioners' sugar and the sweet raspberry jelly that oozes out upon first bite. In fact, the flavor combination has sparked an almost frenzied response: February has become the official Jelly Bun Month at Holland Farms, when buns star in TV commercials along with local celebrities and drive sales up. (During one past February, 59,000 jelly buns were sold.) You can also find Holland Farms's baker Ramon Zayas in the Guinness Book of Records for making the largest jelly bun in the world in 1993; it topped the scales at 3,739 pounds and measured 15 feet in diameter. (315/736-6044; Oriskany Boulevard, 3495)

Humphreys Bakery
**Multiple Locations
**A Humphreys jelly doughnut is far from your typical specimen. Each fried ball of yeast-laden dough is more than twice the size of the average jelly doughnut and has a distinctive taste that owner Mike Diaz attributes to the unusual ways in which his doughnuts are prepared: almost twice as much yeast is added to the dough as goes into other doughnuts, the dough is worked for more time, and the doughnuts are prepared in small batches. (While most bakeries make about 1,000 doughnuts per hour, Humphreys makes about 200.) In fact, all Humphreys doughnuts are significantly less sweet than other doughnuts and possess a pleasing, breadlike flavor. Try the famous jelly doughnuts as well as the Belly Bomb, which is filled with bavarian cream and topped with homemade chocolate frosting. (508/693-6518; Woodland Center, 455 State Road, Tisbury, MA 02568; 508/627-7029; 32 Winter Street, Edgartown, MA 02539; 508/696-6890; 1 Lake Avenue, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557)

Jerry's Cakes and Donuts
**Rapid City, South Dakota
**Owners Jerry and LeAnn Schubert have been providing customers with a wide selection of cake and yeast-raised doughnuts for almost 20 years. Both the chocolate iced cake doughnut, which is crumbly and intensely sweet, and the sour cream cake doughnut, a moist, dense treat with the faintest hint of sour cream, are especially good. Even Senator Hillary Clinton isn't immune to Jerry's charms; in June, she stopped by the cafe and nibbled on her own sour cream doughnut while she waited for her airplane to be fueled at the nearby Rapid City airport. (605/341-4814; 109 East Omaha Street, 57701)

Mighty-O Donuts
**Seattle, Washington
**Though the phrase "healthful doughnut" is a bit of an oxymoron, this five-year-old Seattle shop churns out health_ier_ doughnuts that are as delicious as their trans fat-laden counterparts from competitors. In addition to being devoid of trans fats, these cake doughnuts are also organic, vegan, and cholesterol-free. By focusing as much on taste as on using healthful ingredients, Mighty-O has developed an ardent following and now sells its doughnuts in local cafes and Whole Foods markets in and around Seattle. The Lots O' Chocolate, a rich cake doughnut with a chocolate glaze that is reminiscent of ganache, and the French Toast, a spiced cake doughnut with a decadent maple glaze, are not to be missed. (206/547-0335; 2110 North 55th Street, 98103)

**Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop
Brooklyn, New York
**A neighborhood institution since 1951, this old-fashioned bakery located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, produces some of the best doughnuts in the tri-state area. For less than a dollar, patrons can indulge in a vanilla glazed doughnut coated in sprinkles, a classic black raspberry jelly doughnut rolled in granulated sugar, or the popular white cream crumb, filled with lighter-than-air vanilla cream and topped with crumbled cake doughnuts. Owners Christos and Donna Siafakas have worked to preserve the charm of the original shop; today regulars, some of whom have frequented the spot for more than 50 years, make daily appearances to socialize and gobble down a doughnut or two. (718/389-3676; 727 Manhattan Avenue, 11222)

Stan's Donuts
**Multiple Locations
**Since opening his original Westwood Village, Los Angeles, shop, in 1963, owner Stan Berman has emerged as a true doughnut master. Known as one of the country's finest doughnut establishments as well as a celebrity haunt (past and present fans include Gilda Radner and Gene Wilder), Stan's offers more than 40 cake and old-fashioned yeast doughnut options, ranging from the classic blueberry buttermilk to the ethereal apple crunch fritter. For a true Stan's experience, however, try the celebrated Reese's Peanut Butter Pocket—a yeast doughnut crammed with real peanut butter and topped with chocolate icing and chocolate chips. (310/208-8660; 10948 Weyburn Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024; 805/381-1818; 658 North Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360)

Voodoo Doughnut
**Portland, Oregon
**Though owners Kenneth "Cat Daddy" Pogson and Tres Shannon had no previous doughnut-making experience when they opened Voodoo, in 2003, they were determined to create a product good enough to cast a spell over the people of Portland. At the outlandish Old Town neighborhood shop, you can satisfy your doughnut fix 24 hours a day, seven days a week—it's not unusual to find a crowd, even at two in the morning—but don't expect traditional glazed and jelly doughnuts; Voodoo champions quirky flavor combinations like those found in the Maple Bacon Bar, a yeast doughnut covered with a rich maple glaze and topped with thick slices of real bacon. Or, if you yearn to return to your childhood, order a glazed doughnut topped with Fruit Loops or Cap'n Crunch, or sample the Pac-Man-shaped doughnut loaded with blueberry filling. You can even get legally hitched at Voodoo in front of a giant Styrofoam "holy" doughnut. Celebratory post-wedding doughnuts are, of course, included. (503/241-4704; 22 Southwest Third Avenue, 97204; 503/235-2666; 1501 Northeast Davis, 97232)

Continue to Next Story

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.