Illustration of Doughnut

Find the Best Doughnut

Photo of Doughnuts

How to Get Your Hands on the 10 Best Donuts in the USA

By Adrian Manuel

Whether they’re raised or cake, filled, powdered, or sprinkled, America loves its donuts. Not confined to breakfast alone, these sweet treats come in all shapes, sizes, and varieties. To celebrate National Donut Day this year, we’ve chomped our way across America to search out the top 10 donuts in the country. So after much gluttonous overindulgence, we arise from our sticky keyboards, glazed yet unfazed, and wiping the powder off our hipster beards we proudly proclaim these dealers of sugar-induced mouthgasms – in no particular order of preference.

And don't forget to take our quiz below to find out what kind of donut you are!

1. Blackbird Doughnuts

Boston, MA

Doghnuts from Blackbird Doughnuts
flickr creative commons: SoWa Boston

This is the donut for artistes. While their delicately delightful toppings look like they could have spent time on Picasso's palette, they are sure to also pleasure YOUR palette. With unique flavors like lemon honey yogurt or cold brew coconut, you definitely know you're about to stuff yourself with a high-end work of art. If you are craving something a bit more proletariat, then the raised-style vanilla glazed and the cinnamon-sugar cake donuts are sure to satisfy. The establishment's trademark blueberry white chocolate bismarck is simply fab!"

2. District Doughnut and Coffee

Washington D.C.

Doughnuts from District Doughnut and Coffee

If the fragrance and texture of fried donuts bring all kinds of great memories into your head – like watching your favorite cartoons on a Saturday morning in your jammies or that great ex-girlfriend you still (sometimes guiltily) think about, then District Donut is that walk down memory lane. It's sinfully eccentric Goodfellow – slathered with Nutella and crowned with applewood-smoked bacon – will have you crying tears of joy, while the salted dulce de leche will leave you in fits of ecstasy.

More Than a Mouthful: America consumes over 10 billion donuts a year.

3. Sublime Doughnuts

Atlanta, GA

Doughnuts from Sublime Doughnuts
flickr creative commons: Jennifer Teeter

This decadent donut shop in the ATL claims its place on our list with non-traditional offerings like butter toffee, maple bacon cheddar, and sweet potato cake. If you visit at the right time of year, you may even get a heavenly sampling of their pumpkin cake donut, while summer time could be made sweeter with their fresh strawberries n’ cream variety. Plus, another reason to visit are their donut ice cream sandwiches – yes, there’s nothing subliminal about it, you heard right!

4. Donut Byte Labs

Portland, OR

Doughnuts from Donut Byte Labs

The machines may have taken over mass-production at this unassuming donut truck, but we're kind of loving it. While a robot arm churns out the donuts, each bite-sized (they insist no large donuts served here) piece is carefully frosted, decorated, and customized by human hands. Real maple and salted caramel are just some of the stand-out options to choose from. The burnside cream is a firm favorite with our foodies, while the blowtorch-finished creme brulee also packs a solid punch to the taste buds.

5. Donut Bar

San Diego, CA

Doughnuts from Donut Bar
Strawberry Split Donut / Donut Bar

If you want to dabble in donut debauchery look no further. What’s their pièce de résistance you may ask? The Big Poppa-Tart – an ethereal amalgamation that consists of a donut stuffed with crushed strawberry Pop-Tarts and strawberry jam, topped with marshmallow glaze, drizzled with more jam, and topped with more crushed Pop-Tarts. You also get a s'mores option stuffed with s'mores Pop-Tarts and chocolate fudge. Donut Bar has consistently been on our foodies' radar, and now you know why.

A Hole in One: It was 19th-century New England ship captain Henson Gregory who is said to have invented the first hole in a donut, claiming it was "the first doughnut hole ever seen by mortal eyes."

6. Glazed & Infused

Chicago, IL

Doughnuts from Glazed & Infused

The Windy City has many great donuts shops, but one rather wittily named store takes the cake (or the donut) and gets a "hole" lotta love from us. The maple bacon long john, while not a traditional donut, was one of our favorites, while the classic vanilla bean glazed came in as a close second. The "Sweet Tooth" donut – a flashy conglomeration of a large cake donut topped with chocolates and M&Ms – is also impressive. Their flavor and texture combos, like the tastefully put together blackberry goat cheese bismark, are the bomb.

7. Federal Donuts

Philadelphia, PA

Doughnuts from Federal Donuts
Michael Perisco

Federal offers up fried chicken (excellent on its own right, we think) and coffee along with their fabulous cake donuts. What more could you want? It's the trifecta of all the calorific goodness you need to defibrillate your morning! The simple cinnamon sugar donut is a firm crowd favorite, while butter pecan and guava poppy seed take top marks for taste and texture. If simplicity is what your sweet tooth craves, then a simple old-school glazed will fit the bill to perfection. You'll have to get there earlier in the day or they'll be sold out – yep, they're that good!

8. Round Rock Donuts

Round Rock, TX

Doughnuts from Round Rock Donuts
flickr creative commons: Wally Gobetz

They say everything is big in Texas, and there's no exception when it comes to donuts. You'll need to bring a big appetite to wolf down their massive Texas-size donuts. Round Rock Donuts is also famous for its orange-tinged glaze, a result of using super fresh eggs in their handmade yeast dough. You'll find the texture of their donuts to be perfectly airy while being crisp to the bite on the outside. You'll never be lonely in the Lone Star state – all you need is a box of assorted treats from Round Rock and you’re ready to saddle up for the day.

It'll Simply Take Your Breath Away: An early, airy, deep-fried French variant of the donut was called "pet de nonne" – which translates to "nun's fart."

9. Fox's Donut Den

Nashville, TN

Doughnuts from Fox's Donut Den

This Music City landmark has been creating crunchy and chewy donuts (along with fritters and kolaches) for decades, and the lines outside their store have only got longer over the years. Their freshly made specials include glazed, chocolate, blueberry, to name just a few. Our foodies also loved to gorge on their apple fritters and cinnamon rolls – excellent! With friendly and quick service, and consistent quality through the day, we give two sticky thumbs-ups to this gem in Nashville.

10. Peter Pan Donuts & Pastry Shop

Brooklyn, NY

Doughnuts from Peter Pan Donuts & Pastry Shop
flickr creative commons: Robyn Lee

If you want a touch of old school in your donut, then Peter Pan is the place. This modest Brooklyn store has been serving customers since the 1950s, and there’s no signs of it slowing down. We particularly liked their simple red velvet and toasted coconut. We also loved the soft and super sweet blueberry buttermilk, while the sour cream had just the right amount of sugar and was perfectly moist. You can't take a bite into the Big Apple without taking a bite into a Peter Pan donut – 'nuff said!

It doesn't matter if you’re gluten-free or just a free glutton – wherever you are, here's hoping you all have a pretty sweet National Donut Day!

We can't sugar-coat the fact that we may have missed some great donut makers on our list. Are there any others you want to tell us about? Please mention them in the comments below!

Photo of Doughnuts

QUIZ: Which Kind Of Donut Are You?

By Mary Zakheim

In honor of National Donut Day (which is not, as we previously thought, a national holiday), we have compiled the ultimate quiz to help you figure out which sort of donut you are most like. Trust us, this is important. Now take the quiz and indulge in a donut or two (or three)!


From the Community