Dom’s Bakery, Ypsilanti, Michigan
Sure, the fact that Dom’s Bakery is open 24-hours is definitely a crowd-drawer (especially college students from nearby Ann Arbor pulling all-nighters), but it’s the fresh donuts that makes this bakery so popular. Everything from the glazed donuts to custard-filled Long Johns are great here, but it’s the Apple Fritters that will keep you hooked.
Do-Rite Donuts and Coffee, Chicago
Whether it’s using the best ingredients or serving only the freshest donuts (they’re made in batches of 36 only), Do-Rite lives up to its name. While their seasonal donuts are always worth a try, it’s the Chocolate Glazed donut (which is made using Valhrona chocolate) that’s near perfection.
Peter Pan, Brooklyn, New York
Be it glazed, cream-filled, sugar-dusted, Red Velvet, Donut Ice Cream Sandwiches, or even the crunchy and light crowd-favourite Toasted Coconut Donut, Peter Pan is one of the best places to go for handmade donuts in the Big Apple. Don’t believe us? Let comedian, writer, and overall goddess Tina Fey convince you.
Doughnut Plant, New York, New York
Come for the Tres Leches, stay for, well, just about everything else — including the spectacular, custard-filled Crème Brûlée Donut.
Gourdough’s, Austin, Texas
Creativity meets deliciousness at Gourdough’s, where you can create your own donut with toppings and fillings of your choice, or indulge (emphasis on the word ‘indulge’) in one of their specials. There’s the Flying Pig, which is topped with bacon and maple icing; Mother Clucker, served with fried chicken strip and honey butter; Mama’s Cake, which is filled with yellow cake batter with chocolate fudge icing to go with it; and the Carney, topped with apple pie filling, caramel sauce, cream cheese icing, and dry-roasted peanuts. Honestly, the tagline of Gourdough’s — Big. Fat. Donuts. — tells you pretty much all you need to know about this food truck.
Randy’s Donuts, Inglewood, California
An iconic L.A. structure, the little donut shop with a giant donut on its roof has been attracting customers for a long, long time. While it’s a popular tourist destination (it’s en route LAX too), Randy’s continues to serve great, old-fashioned donuts, living up to the hype that surrounds it.
Voodoo Doughnut, Portland, Oregon
The donuts here (warning: may contain voodoo magic — no really, it says so on their website!) are fun, delicious, and colourful. Bored of sugar-topped donuts? No problem — try the Captain Crunch (adorably named Captain My Captain) or Fruit Loops topped ones instead. Done with the same ol’ raspberry jelly filling? How about mango jelly instead? Looking to spice things up? Bite into the Mexican Hot Chocolate, a chocolate cake donut dusted with cayenne pepper and cinnamon sugar.
Tom + Chee, multiple outlets
This chain, famous for its tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, has upped the ante by adding a range of grilled cheese donuts to its menu, including the grilled glazed donut with cheddar, and a blueberry compote, ham, and Brie doughnut.
Rebel Donut, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Breaking Bad fans, this one’s for you — the Blue Sky, created to celebrate (well, mourn) the end of this much-loved show, is a glazed donut topped with blue frosting and bright blue crystalline rock candy — the closest (hopefully) you’ll get to sampling Walter White’s signature product… and the safest way to do so too!
Dynamo Donut + Coffee, San Francisco, California
If ever the use of the insufferable term ‘artisanal’ were justified, it’s to describe Sara Spearin’s donuts. Her Vanilla Bean donut (the first of her creations, dreamed up while on maternity leave) is still a hot favourite at the store for its unique blend of sweet, salty, sour, bitter and spicy flavours. Other winning combinations include Sichuan Pepper-infused Lemon Curd; Maple Bacon; Chocolate Rosemary; Lemon Thyme; Chocolate Spice; Passionfruit Chocolate; Chocolate Rose; Chocolate Anise; Orange Blossom; and Banana de Leche to name a few.
Psycho Donuts, San Jose, California
The “world’s first and only asylum for wayward donuts”, Psycho Donuts are crazy good (pun intended, and used liberally at this famous Bay Area donut shop). Try their Dead Elvis (a custard-filled donut topped with bananas, PB&J, and bacon); the tequila pastry cream-filled Strawberry Margarita (it comes topped with strawberries and margarita salt); and the Fung Shui with green tea icing, chocolate chips, and a vanilla drizzle.
Doughnuttery, New York, New York
Mini donuts and creative dips are the specialty at this NY donut shop. While they do provide traditional flavours, it’s the unique combinations (maple, purple potatoes, bacon; matcha green tea, honey, ginger; cardamom, orange zest; lavender, pistachio, vanilla; and peanut butter, cayenne, pretzels) and fun dipping sauces (including Nutella, dark chocolate, and beer caramel) that keep customers coming back for more.
The dessert industry is beginning to go through a real upswing in India — one thing that’s desperately missing are great donuts. Bakers out there — are you listening? Till they hear our plaintive cry, you can rely on this article as your checklist to eat your way through some of America’s finest donuts.