Traditional recipes

America’s Best Doughnuts

America’s Best Doughnuts

There are few treats more delicious than a doughnut fresh out of the fryer. And from a Nashville institution to a California bakery helmed by one of the country’s most renowned chefs, we’ve tracked down America’s 35 best.

America’s Best Doughnuts (Slideshow)

Before we get to our list, though, there’s one important question worth asking, and it’s a trickier one than you might think: What, exactly, is a doughnut? It is any sort of sweetened, fried pastry? Well, not exactly. For our purposes, we’re defining a doughnut as an item that you would expect to see in a doughnut shop: the familiar ones we know and love (of both the raised and cake varieties), crullers, apple fritters, and other doughnut-shop classics — you know them when you see them.

For this reason, the cronut, an invention that’s really only 50 percent doughnut (the other half is a croissant), and regional specialties like the sopapilla and the beignet, which are completely distinct foods that you don’t find in everyday doughnut shops, weren’t considered for our ranking. There are plenty of amazing true-to-form doughnuts out there, so we hewed as closely to tradition as possible (while keeping room for wild creativity, of course). We also stuck to doughnuts from non-chain bakeries and doughnut shops, as opposed to the dessert menus at restaurants.

In order to assemble our ranking, we incorporated doughnuts from our own previous rankings as well as existing rankings both in print and online; we also combed regional guides and review sites to track down beloved local institutions that haven’t gotten much ink. We stuck to strict criteria in looking for the best individual doughnuts in America: Freshness is key, as great doughnuts need to be served right out of the fryer. Are these legendary doughnuts that have become things of cultish devotion at the shop that sells them? We considered both glazed and extravagantly topped creations, but there needed to be a balance between all the components, be it bacon or blueberry jelly. Most importantly, these doughnuts need to be groan-inducingly good: fresh, soft, gooey, perfectly proportioned, and intended to leave you wanting just one more bite.

Another quality that makes doughnuts such a wonderful food is the fact that they’re usually inexpensive: World-class doughnut shops are oftentimes humble, family-run operations, selling their wares for sometimes less than a dollar. Anyone can experience a world-class doughnut for pocket change, which means it’s a truly democratic treat.

#35 GBD, Washington, D.C.: Maple-Bourbon Glazed with Bacon


A relative newcomer to the doughnut world, GBD (short for "Golden Brown and Delicious") was opened last year by the husband-and-wife duo of chef Kyle Bailey and pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac, and they’ve already raised the bar when it comes to D.C. doughnuts. Open from early in the morning to very late at night, they serve some insanely delicious fried chicken, but the crowds flock there for the doughnuts. With a brioche base created by the deft hand of a truly skilled pastry chef, available varieties include grapefruit Campari, coffee cake, and peanut butter and jelly, but the award goes to the square maple-bourbon glazed doughnut topped with crumbled bacon. It's airy, sticky, and perfectly balanced — and the bacon is no gimmick: It perfectly complements the maple and bourbon and makes for a truly craveable doughnut.

#34 Francesca’s Bakery, Pequannock, N.J.: Jelly


This cult favorite bakery sources as many of its ingredients as possible from local farmers, much to the benefit of its doughnuts. The apple cider doughnuts are a real autumn treat, but the raspberry jelly doughnuts, made with fresh raspberries, are soft, perfectly sweet, not greasy at all, and freshly fried every morning.


These Are The 10 Most Popular Donuts In America

Dessert fiends everywhere will be celebrating National Donut Day by stuffing their faces with all shapes and sizes of doughy, icing-covered goodness&mdashmaybe even a few jelly donut&ndashflavored Oreos. The only thing better than dropping into your favorite local donut shop is getting them delivered to your door, and UberEATS gave us the lowdown on the most popular donuts across the country, based on their users eating habits. According to the volume of orders, these are the donut recipes that you need to try, stat.

Where to get it: The Salty Donut in Miami, FL

You can't go wrong with the Traditional Glazed Buttermilk Donut at this artisanal donut shoppe and coffee bar. The 24-hour raised buttermilk brioche dough gets a coat of Tahitian vanilla bean glaze that's just sweet enough to supplement with a salted caramel latté.

Where to get it: Donut Bar in San Diego, CA

Homer Simpson may be one of the greatest doughnut connoisseurs of our time, and his go-to has always been the pink, glazed variety, topped with sprinkles. This San Diego shop don't skimp on size with their made-from-scratch donuts, and these colorful ones sell out fast.

Where to get it: The Salty Donut in Miami, FL

This salty-sweet pastry combines two of the best foods in the world: donuts and bacon. The 24-hour raised brioche donut is topped with a layer of maple glaze, a reduction of J. Wakefiled UJP Porter beer and Miami Smokers bacon cracklings. The soft, buttery base, plus sweet and savory fixings are totally addicting.

Where to get it: Teak Neighborhood Grill in Orlando, FL

Donuts are topped and filled with all manner of things these days, but this joint makes the dessert into a full-blown meal. The burger-centric menu boasts an insane item that sandwiches a half-pound angus beef patty, American cheese and smoked bacon between warm, glazed donut buns.

Where to get it: DK's Donuts & Bakery in Los Angeles, CA

We have a special place in our hearts for desserts inspired by Girl Scout Cookies, and this L.A. spot takes a typical glazed donut to the next level by giving it the Samoa treatment. The fresh (and affordable) rounds get a drizzle of melted chocolate and a generous sprinkling of tasted coconut.

Where to get it: Crunch Donut Factory in Las Vegas, NV

Leave it to a Vegas donut shop to name its confections after famous people. One of the best-sellers, named after Katy Perry, is a yeast donut topped with a ring of cheesecake and tart, cherry filling. These pillow-y sweets are definitely our idea of a teenage dream.

Where to get it: Crunch Donut Factory in Las Vegas, NV

From Snoop Doughgy Doughg to Marilyn Mondough, we can't get enough of the punny names here. This one, inspired by everyone's favorite, funny talk show host, is a yeast donut covered with white icing and a crunchy layer of Fruity Pebbles cereal.

Where to get it: Donut Bar in San Diego, CA

Breakfast lovers won't want to miss out on this insane donut. Forget your typical glaze or frosting &mdash here, the made-to-order donuts get dipped in homemade egg batter and cooked up just like your favorite French toast, then topped with butter, plus fun fixings like powdered sugar, whipped cream, and jam. You might want a fork and knife for this one.

Where to get it: Hugs & Donuts in Houston, TX

Yet again, it's hard to go wrong with the Simpson favorite. At this Houston shop, the colorful donut is dipped in a strawberry-flavored icing before being showered with rainbow sprinkles. It's about as fun to look at as it is to eat.

Where to get it: Underwest Donuts in New York, NY

Chocoholics will definitely have a hard time sharing this donut, served out of a car wash in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. The dark chocolate cake donut is super flavorful without being overly rich, and has a delicate layer of dark chocolate glaze and sprinkling of chocolate cookie crumbs on top.


Meet the Judges

Jason Smith

A skilled baker and the winner of Food Network Star and Holiday Baking Championship, Jason knows how to compete under pressure.

Gesine Prado

An acclaimed pastry chef and home cook, Gesine is a baking instructor and cookbook author.

Baking Extras

Jason's 10 Tart Tips 11 Photos

The judge and longtime baker shares his advice for prepping his recipe with ease.

Season 3 Creations 17 Photos

These wow-worthy treats from last season earned high praises from the panel.

Gesine's Baking Tips 11 Photos

Gesine shares do's and don'ts for making unforgettable desserts.

Welcome to Baking Central

Crowd-Pleasing Cake Recipes 61 Photos

You don't have to be a pro to execute a stunning dessert.

Frostings You Fancy 9 Photos

Master the basics of buttercream, and you'll be set.

Bread-Baking at Home 41 Photos

DIY bread recipes aren't too tricky, thanks to these secrets.

Episodes

The Mid-Atlantic

Host Carla Hall gives the nine bakers their Mid-Atlantic-themed master challenge: making their own upscale version of Maryland's Smith Island cake that incorporates a classic Maryland ingredient, boardwalk popcorn. In the bake-off round, the least successful bakers must make a dessert inspired by the Pennsylvania classic shoofly pie. Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith eliminate one baker from the competition.

The Mid-Atlantic

Host Carla Hall gives the nine bakers their Mid-Atlantic-themed master challenge: making their own upscale version of Maryland's Smith Island cake that incorporates a classic Maryland ingredient, boardwalk popcorn. In the bake-off round, the least successful bakers must make a dessert inspired by the Pennsylvania classic shoofly pie. Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith eliminate one baker from the competition.

All-American Birthday Bash: Chocolate-Flavored

The pressure mounts in the chocolate-themed finale as host Scott Conant challenges the three remaining bakers to create grown-up versions of a brownie sundae. Then the Master Challenge is to make a Happy Birthday USA chocolate fireworks cake to celebrate July 4th! The elaborately decorated cake for 100 people must feature fireworks-themed chocolate and sugar decorations, three types of chocolate and two types of macarons with salty snacks as the featured ingredient. Bakery owner Elizabeth Chambers joins judges Jason Smith and Marcela Valladolid to choose the winner of the title Best Baker in America.

The South

Ten of America's elite professional bakers gather to begin the first in a series of baking challenges designed to test their limits. Host Carla Hall announces the Southern dessert theme and the first master challenge from Kentucky: baking a May Day PieCaken using bourbon as the featured flavor, of course. The bakers in the elimination bake-off have to create a unique dessert using all the elements of Florida's Key lime pie. After judging and deliberation with judges Jason Smith and Gesine Prado, Carla announces which baker is heading home.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

The Mid-Atlantic

Host Carla Hall gives the nine bakers their Mid-Atlantic-themed master challenge: making their own upscale version of Maryland's Smith Island cake that incorporates a classic Maryland ingredient, boardwalk popcorn. In the bake-off round, the least successful bakers must make a dessert inspired by the Pennsylvania classic shoofly pie. Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith eliminate one baker from the competition.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

Rocky Mountain States

The competition heads west toward the Rockies as the eight bakers must feature Montana and Idaho's beloved huckleberries in their huckleberry pie-embouche pastry tower for the master challenge. In the bake-off challenge, it's time to get jiggly and honor Utah's state snack -- gelatin -- with a visually stunning creation containing both baked and gelatin components. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith evaluate the desserts and give one baker their marching orders.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

The Northern Plains

The seven bakers left in the competition are tasked with putting their own spin on kuchen, the official state dessert of South Dakota. The featured flavor is cookies, and they have to serve their kuchen with a side of ice cream. The competitors in the bake-off challenge must do a switcheroo with Minnesota's scotcheroo bar, making a new dessert using its classic ingredients of chocolate, peanut butter, rice cereal and butterscotch. Host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker to send home.

Midwest and Northeast

In an ode to the Midwest, Carla Hall challenges the bakers to feature cherries as they turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets. Then they make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake for judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith. The competition moves to the Northeast as Carla challenges the bakers to reinvent Boston cream pie using Massachusetts' beloved coffee syrup. They also have to create plated desserts based on whoopie pies, which originated in Maine.

Midwest and Northeast

In an ode to the Midwest, Carla Hall challenges the bakers to feature cherries as they turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets. Then they make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake for judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith. The competition moves to the Northeast as Carla challenges the bakers to reinvent Boston cream pie using Massachusetts' beloved coffee syrup. They also have to create plated desserts based on whoopie pies, which originated in Maine.

The Midwest

The competition's six remaining bakers must turn Michigan's bumpy cake into a bumpy entremets using the featured flavor of cherries in the master challenge. In the bake-off, the competitors have to make mini versions of Missouri's beloved gooey butter cake, and then host Carla Hall and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith eliminate one baker from the competition.

The Northeast

Host Carla Hall challenges the five remaining bakers to reinvent the Boston cream pie using that great Massachusetts ingredient, coffee syrup. In the bake-off, the competitors learn that Maine was the first state ever to make whoopie pies, and they're tasked with creating beautiful plated desserts based on this favorite treat. Carla and the judges, Gesine Prado and Jason Smith, decide which baker's time in the competition has come to an end.

The Northeast

Host Carla Hall challenges the five remaining bakers to reinvent the Boston cream pie using that great Massachusetts ingredient, coffee syrup. In the bake-off, the competitors learn that Maine was the first state ever to make whoopie pies, and they're tasked with creating beautiful plated desserts based on this favorite treat. Carla and the judges, Gesine Prado and Jason Smith, decide which baker's time in the competition has come to an end.

Southwest and Pacific

In the semifinal, host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to get creative with Nevada's famous Basque cake using Southwest chile peppers as the featured flavor. Then they must turn flan and biscochitos, the official state cookie of New Mexico, into one highly original and decadent dessert. In the final, the bakers have to turn California's chiffon cake into a tsunami cake with lemons and avocado, and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith join Carla to choose the competition's winner after seeing -- and tasting -- the bakers' 2-foot-tall Hawaiian dessert showpieces.

Southwest and Pacific

In the semifinal, host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to get creative with Nevada's famous Basque cake using Southwest chile peppers as the featured flavor. Then they must turn flan and biscochitos, the official state cookie of New Mexico, into one highly original and decadent dessert. In the final, the bakers have to turn California's chiffon cake into a tsunami cake with lemons and avocado, and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith join Carla to choose the competition's winner after seeing -- and tasting -- the bakers' 2-foot-tall Hawaiian dessert showpieces.

The Pacific

The pressure peaks in the Best Baker in America finale as host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to turn California's famous chiffon cake into the hottest cake sensation -- a tsunami cake -- featuring lemons and avocados, ingredients commonly associated with the Golden State. In the final bake-off, the competitors are baking to win as they each build a 2-foot-tall Hawaiian-themed dessert showpiece featuring lilikoi (passionfruit), haupia (coconut custard), malasada (Hawaiian doughnuts) and intricate chocolate work. Finally, Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker has earned the title of Best Baker in America!

The Pacific

The pressure peaks in the Best Baker in America finale as host Carla Hall challenges the bakers to turn California's famous chiffon cake into the hottest cake sensation -- a tsunami cake -- featuring lemons and avocados, ingredients commonly associated with the Golden State. In the final bake-off, the competitors are baking to win as they each build a 2-foot-tall Hawaiian-themed dessert showpiece featuring lilikoi (passionfruit), haupia (coconut custard), malasada (Hawaiian doughnuts) and intricate chocolate work. Finally, Carla and judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith decide which baker has earned the title of Best Baker in America!


Daily Dozen Doughnut Company in Seattle, Washington

Sierra Schmidt of Free to Travel Mama shares her pick for the best gourmet doughnut in America. “Daily Dozen Doughnut Company is located in Pike Place Market which is a must-visit destination on any visit to Seattle. This hidden gem, located inside the market to the left of Pike Place Fish Co., makes some of the best donuts you’ll ever try! It’s a small stall where these tasty treats are served hot and fresh. Watch them come through the fryer, get doused with toppings, and order them hot and fresh,” she says.

Daily Dozen Doughnuts in the bag submitted by Sierra Schmidt

“These donuts are mini donuts, so are sold in batches of a half dozen ($5.50) or full dozen ($7.00), including plain, powder, cinnamon, sprinkles, and maple bacon,” adds Sierra. When asked about her recommendations, she says, “I highly recommend the assorted variety so that you can try them all, and then come back for seconds and reorder your favorites. Our personal favorite was the cinnamon – hands down!”

“Don’t forget your cash because this place doesn’t take cards,” Sierra reminds those who want to try this American donut shop. “Step out the back door to the Pike Place garden area after you order, and enjoy these perfect melt-in-your-mouth tiny treats while enjoying a beautiful view of the bay!”


A basic doughnut batter is pretty simple stuff: Flour, sugar, salt, yeast or baking powder, plus milk, butter, and eggs. We have dozens and dozens of doughnut recipes to choose from.

Yeast Doughnuts

Add yeast to the batter, and you&aposre making yeast doughnuts — also called ″raised" doughnuts because the yeasty dough needs time to rise.

To make yeast doughnuts, you&aposll dissolve the yeast in warm water, and let the mixture stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy. Then stir the foamy yeast into the flour mixture, adding the remaining ingredients as the recipe describes.

When the dough is firm enough, turn it out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 3 to 5 minutes. Place into an oiled bowl, cover, and, allow the dough to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Favorite yeast doughnut recipes to try:

Cake Doughnuts

Add baking powder instead of yeast, and you&aposre making cake doughnuts. With cake doughnuts, the dough goes straight from kneading and shaping into the hot oil (or oven) — no rising time required. Not surprisingly, they have a denser, cake-ier texture.

Favorite cake doughnut recipes to try:

Doughnut Dough Shortcut

Grandma would never cheat, of course. But Grandma&aposs Doughnuts fudge things just a little by using refrigerated buttermilk biscuit dough in place of batter! With this shortcut recipe, you&aposll have doughnuts prepped, fried, and on the drying rack in 20 minutes.

Boost Your Batter

Once you have a basic batter, you can kick things up a notch. Add chocolate chunks or funfetti to the batter. Or mix in pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree, or a little cinnamon and nutmeg, maybe a little orange zest, or give &aposem the carrot cake treatment.


How to Make Donuts at Home

You don't need super sharp culinary skills to make perfect yeast donuts at home&mdashanyone can do it! What you do need is plenty of time, making them the perfect weekend baking project. If you want them for breakfast, wake up early and take a nap during each rise 😉

Dealing with dough. The very first step in creating donuts is blooming your yeast: dissolve sugar into lukewarm water, then stir in the yeast. In about 5 minutes, it&rsquoll have turned into a foamy, bubbling layer on top of the water. This is how you know your yeast is alive and that your dough will rise! Stir in with your other ingredients, mix, and then knead until dough feels smooth and elastic. To test if your dough is ready, lightly press your thumb into the dough. In about 5 seconds or so, the dough should bounce almost completely back.

Let it rise. Donut dough needs to rise twice: first, the dough itself, then the punched out donuts. While the second rise is happening, begin heating up your oil and making your glaze!

Do I need a thermometer? Yes. Since donuts fry for such a short amount of time, you want to make sure the oil is at the temperature that&rsquoll allow them to cook through without burning and turn a perfect golden color. We found 350° to be the sweet spot (no pun intended). Also, keep in mind that the temperature fluctuates after your first batch of doughnuts go in, so make sure to keep an eye on your thermometer and adjust accordingly.

Help! I don't have a donut cutter. Not to worry! Since we work in a well-stocked test kitchen, we happened to have one, but we wouldn't expect you to (unless your name is Ina or Martha). Use a 3" biscuit or cookie cutter, plus a very small one, about 1", or the large end of a piping tip for the holes.

Glazing 101. Make your glaze in a large, wide bowl for easy coating. Next, make sure to glaze your donuts while they're still warm! This way, it'll stick much better. plus, then you can eat them while they're warm. Once you dip your donuts into the glaze, place onto a cooling rack set over a baking sheet to let the excess drip off. This makes for much easier clean up and evenly glazed donuts. If you want, you can add sprinkles (or chocolate chips, or toasted coconut flakes, etc.) at this point!

In the case of leftovers (which is very rare), we highly recommended Strawberry Donut Shortcakes or a donut bread pudding.

Editor's Note: This introduction to this recipe was updated slightly on March 2, 2020.


America’s Best Doughnuts - Recipes

Oram's Donut Shop

Oram’s will be closed on Monday May 31 in observance of Memorial Day

Oram’s Donut Shop® has been in the business of making the finest donuts for over 80 years and counting. We make our donuts the old-fashioned way, concentrating on quality and taste. Compare our donuts to any competitor’s and you will immediately see and taste the difference. We do not try to offer the largest variety of donuts, nor do we try to keep up with the latest trend in the world of donuts. Instead, we concentrate on quality.

When comparing an Oram’s donut to a competitor’s, you will immediately notice that ours is much, much larger. The cinnamon roll -- the best-selling donut at Oram’s -- is often twice the size of those produced by other stores. After just one taste, you will realize that no other donuts compare to the taste of the old-fashioned recipe at Oram’s.

Many donut shops boast of using only the finest ingredients available, as do we. However, the big difference in taste is the secret old-fashioned recipe that has been used by Oram’s for decades. With just one bite of our Original Crème filled donut, you will taste the difference.

Our loyal customers have always insisted that Oram’s donuts are the best they have ever had!


America's 12 best donut shops

Dat Donuts, Chicago: This no-frills donut stand in the front of a barbecue shop is as simple as it gets, and that approach makes for some of the best donuts ever created. While their "Big Dat," which is about the size of your head, will keep the tourists taking photos for years to come, a bite of Dat Donut's handmade plain glazed will send you into a state of quiet contemplation. (Photo: flickr/ DanSchleifer23)

Last year we took a look at the best donuts in just about every major American city. Our list included the classics, the new-wave, the dives, the places with lines around the block, the crazy ones, and the ones that you wouldn't know were anything to write home about until you took that first bite into the gooey goodness that is the perfect donut.

But what exactly makes a donut shop perfect? The freshness of the product, first of all. Like a bagel, a donut begins declining in quality as soon as it's removed from the heat. Creativity helps, but a balance always needs to be struck between adherence to authenticity and out-of-the-box inventiveness. Also, how have these establishments affected both the neighborhood they're in and the city at large? Whether their specialties are simple cake donuts, maple and bacon-topped behemoths, or ones shaped like a voodoo doll, these shops are all standouts in their own way, and aren't to be missed next time you find yourself in their neck of the woods.

We tried to represent as many cities as possible in our list. Chicago's Dinkel's has been turning out some of the best donuts anywhere for nearly 90 years. Los Angeles' Randy's is a whole lot more than a giant donut-shaped sign. New York's The Doughnut Plant singlehandedly made people realize that there was a lot more to a donut than what you could pick up at Dunkin' Donuts.

We've searched high and low. Here's our ranking of the 12 best donut shops in the country.

This little shop, nestled into a cozy corner of Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, is quietly turning out what, in our opinion, are the best donuts being produced in the country right now. The owners of Dough stick to yeast as opposed to cake donuts, and it's a recipe that they've perfected. The key is freshness, and freshly fried donuts are near-constantly being brought out of the kitchen. The offerings are continuously changing, but never cease to surprise. Passion fruit, hibiscus, earl grey, lemon poppy, blood orange, chocolate glazed… you might just have to return a few times before your cravings for these donuts will be satisfied. But they most likely never will be.

This no-frills donut stand in the front of a barbecue shop is as simple as it gets, and that approach makes for some of the best donuts ever created. While their "Big Dat," which is about the size of your head, will keep the tourists taking photos for years to come, a bite of Dat Donut's handmade plain glazed will send you into a state of quiet contemplation.

Round Rock Donuts, Round Rock, Texas

The unique orange-yellow yeast-risen donut that put Round Rock on the map gets is color from the high-quality fresh eggs that go into it. The recipes and ovens used to create these rings of perfection haven't changed since the 1920s, and they sell for only .59 apiece. Forego the "Texas Size" giant for the classic plain-glazed.

Doughnut Plant, New York

This small bakery isn't the most beautiful donut shop on our list, but it basically singlehandedly started the specialty donut boom that's gripping the nation. Donuts have been a part of owner Mark Isreal's family for more than 100 years, and in 1994 he opened The Doughnut Plant using that same recipe his grandfather used. By building on that classic recipe, he's made a name for himself and his bakery, and he's also created a few now-legendary inventions, like the square jelly-filled and tres leches donuts.

Bouchon Bakery, Yountville, Calif.

While Chef Thomas Keller, known for running two of the best restaurants in the country (New York's Per Se and Napa's French Laundry), is no longer a part of Bouchon, he trusted pastry chef Richard Capizzi[cg1] to deliver donuts that stand up to the Keller name and he hasn't disappointed. Although the treats are only available on the weekends, this surprisingly casual spot is best known for its brioche donuts and ones filled with fresh, seasonal preserves.

Sublime Doughnuts, Atlanta

Pastry chef Kamal Grant is a donut genius-at-work in this charming Atlanta donut shop, and his creations are some of the most original in the country. It's nearly impossible to not walk out of Sublime Doughnuts without four or five of his trademark donuts, in varieties like fresh strawberries and cream, Oreo ice cream "burger," s'mores, and salted caramel balsamic.

Mighty-O Donuts, Seattle

Vegan and organic might not be two words you associate with world-class donuts, but Mighty-O's are the best ones out there that meet those criteria. These perfect little rings of dough and sugar are egg-, dairy-, and cholesterol-free, and come in standout flavors including lemon poppy, French toast, and "good ol-glazed."

Cafe du Monde, New Orleans

When there's only one item on the menu and lines to get in at all hours of the day and night, you know you've come to the right place. It also happens to be one of the most famous places in all of New Orleans. No trip to the Crescent City is complete until you've sampled Café du Monde's beignets, fresh out of the fryer, topped with a heap of powdered sugar and washed down with a cup of their chicory coffee. A word of advice: don't breathe in while taking a bite, or else you'll end up coughing and getting powdered sugar all over everything (and everyone) around you.

The Doughnut Vault, Chicago

While not an easy place to score your doughnuts at (they're closed Sundays and Mondays, and only open for an hour or so on the days that they are open), once you've made your precious purchase it's nearly impossible to not leave The Doughnut Vault a very happy camper. The menu is gigantic, but narrow down your options to the cake donuts, which are surprisingly light and fresh. From there your best bet is to keep it simple a light coating of cinnamon and sugar should be all you need to change your opinion of cake donuts forever.

Voodoo Doughnut, Portland

Probably the most famous donut shop in the country at the moment, this tiny, quirky donut stand is never without a line, and customers are rewarded for their patience with some of the most outlandish donut creations in existence. Voodoo Doughnut's Portland Cream has been named the city's official donut by the mayor, and the Captain My Captain, topped with vanilla frosting and Cap'n Crunch, is the perfect exercise in both simplicity and brilliance. There are currently two other outposts, but nothing beats a visit to the original.

Randy's Donuts, Los Angeles

This hole-in the wall donut shop has been in business for 60 years, and the giant donut on its roof has become as much of a Los Angeles landmark as the Hollywood sign. It's not just a gimmick, though: Randy's has some seriously delicious donuts. Try the buttermilk one.

Dinkel's Bakery, Chicago

German immigrant Joseph Dinkel opened this Chicago institution in 1922, and it's remained in the family ever since. It's changed very little in the past 90 years, and their non-donut baked goods are legendary in their own right. But you haven't truly experienced Dinkel's until you've tasted their handmade donuts. While they've jumped on the maple-bacon bandwagon, you're best off sticking with the classics: try the chocolate cake donut and try to not to weep.


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Randy's Donuts, Los Angeles
This hole-in the wall donut shop has been in business for 60 years, and the giant donut on its roof has become as much of a Los Angeles landmark as the Hollywood sign. It’s not just a gimmick, though: Randy’s has some seriously delicious donuts. Try the buttermilk one.

Voodoo Doughnut, Portland
Probably the most famous donut shop in the country at the moment, this tiny, quirky donut stand is never without a line, and customers are rewarded for their patience with some of the most outlandish donut creations in existence. Voodoo Doughnut’s Portland Cream has been named the city’s official donut by the mayor, and the Captain My Captain, topped with vanilla frosting and Cap’n Crunch, is the perfect exercise in both simplicity and brilliance. There are currently two other outposts, but nothing beats a visit to the original.

The Doughnut Vault, Chicago
While not an easy place to score your doughnuts at (they’re closed Sundays and Mondays, and only open for an hour or so on the days that they are open), once you’ve made your precious purchase it’s nearly impossible to not leave The Doughnut Vault a very happy camper. The menu is gigantic, but narrow down your options to the cake donuts, which are surprisingly light and fresh. From there your best bet is to keep it simple a light coating of cinnamon and sugar should be all you need to change your opinion of cake donuts forever.

Cafe du Monde, New Orleans
When there’s only one item on the menu and lines to get in at all hours of the day and night, you know you’ve come to the right place. It also happens to be one of the most famous places in all of New Orleans. No trip to the Crescent City is complete until you’ve sampled Café du Monde’s beignets, fresh out of the fryer, topped with a heap of powdered sugar and washed down with a cup of their chicory coffee. A word of advice: don’t breathe in while taking a bite, or else you’ll end up coughing and getting powdered sugar all over everything (and everyone) around you.

Mighty-O Donuts, Seattle
Vegan and organic might not be two words you associate with world-class donuts, but Mighty-O’s are the best ones out there that meet those criteria. These perfect little rings of dough and sugar are egg-, dairy-, and cholesterol-free, and come in standout flavors including lemon poppy, French toast, and "good ol-glazed."


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Watch the video: The Original Randys Donuts in Inglewood - Southern California Take Out Food Review. Bakers Dozen (January 2022).