- Circle of Life
- Reincarnated | Holey Grail Donuts
- Sweet Corn and Blueberry | Glazed Gourmet
- Guava and Cheese | The Salty Donut
- Dirt | Voodoo Doughnut
- Redhead | Sassy Bass Crazy Donuts
- Red Chile Chocolate Bacon | Rebel Donuts
- The O.G. | Blue Star Donuts
- The Everything Doughnut | The Doughnut Project
- Salty Cap’n| Rise
- Churro | Fonuts
- Poi Glaze | Kamehameha Bakery
- Blueberry Toast Crunch | California Donuts
- Apple Cider | Blackbird Doughnuts
- Lemon Lavender | Vincent Van Doughnut
- Purple Pig | Doughnuttery
- PBCP | Doughnuttery
- Voodoo Doll | Voodoo Doughnut
- Texas-Sized Donut | Round Rock Donuts
- Blueberry Bourbon Basil | Blue Star Donuts
- The Beet Salad | Glazed Gourmet
- Chocolate-Covered Strawberry | Fractured Prune
- Fancy Fig | Glazed Gourmet
- Vietnamese Coffee | Union Square Donuts
- Those Beetz Are Dope House Fave | The Doughnut Project
- Marshall Mathers | Voodoo Doughnut
- Banana Chocolate | Fonuts
- Strawberry Lavender | Federal Donuts
- Pumpkin S’mores | Glazed Gourmet
- Cereal Doughnut | Voodoo Doughnut
- The Bronx | The Doughnut Project
- Doughseeds | Doughnut Plant
- Red Velvet | Blue Dot Donuts
Circle of Life
Dunkin’ Donuts may have dropped “Donuts” from its name — but doughnuts themselves aren’t going anywhere. In fact, they’re actually proliferating. There is even a holiday to celebrate them: Today is National Doughnut Day (and yes, there are two days to celebrate doughnuts — the other happens in June). In some cities maple bacon doughnuts are practically as common as chocolate glaze, and artisanal bakeries are producing all sorts of new, flavorful, and sometimes strange gourmet doughnut concoctions (foie gras, anyone?).
Can’t quickly get to the places located in our roundup? We get it, but if there’s a Krispy Kreme or Dunkin’ near you, you might as well know which one is more worth your hard-earned dough. (See what we did there?)
Reincarnated | Holey Grail Donuts
This doughnut spot with stores in Hawaii and California offers a unique twist on every doughnut, as Holey Grail uses taro root, pounded and fermented, to create the dough base, then fries the dough in coconut oil. The doughnuts — which rotate seasonally and often feature specialty ingredients — are pretty to look at, too. The Reincarnated is an indulgent eye-catcher that’s dipped in golden maple syrup and topped with smoked coconut flakes and Hawaiian sea salt.
Sweet Corn and Blueberry | Glazed Gourmet
Charleston, South Carolina
Glazed Gourmet offers different doughnut flavors each day. Call or check social media to see if the unique Sweet Corn and Blueberry doughnut is available. This unusual doughnut is a summery mix of sweet corn custard, blueberry glaze, and corn lemon shortbread.
Guava and Cheese | The Salty Donut
The Salty Donut in Miami — which Thrillist named one of the best doughnut shops in the country — carries doughnuts and coffee menu items you won’t find at Dunkin’. Guava and cheese doughnuts are available year-round. A 24-hour-raised brioche doughnut is filled with guava and cream cheese, covered in a cream cheese glaze, and topped with Marie biscuit crumble. The Salty Donut also offers an extensive coffee menu, including a Cinnamon Toast Crunch latte and a cold brew coffee. The Salty Donut also has two other locations in Florida and one in Texas.
Dirt | Voodoo Doughnut
Multiple LocationsVoodoo Doughnut, a Portland-founded shop that has opened stores elsewhere in Oregon as well as Colorado, California, Florida, and Texas, is responsible for some of the most creative doughnuts out there. Dirt, a yeast doughnut covered with vanilla frosting and crumbled Oreos, is one of their signature creations.
Redhead | Sassy Bass Crazy Donuts
It’s right there in the name: Sassy Bass Crazy Donuts. In addition to doughnut burgers, ice cream doughnuts, and more, Sassy Bass Crazy Donuts offers this “dessert” doughnut, which features caramel glaze, crushed graham cracker, a drizzled white glaze, and cinnamon sprinkle. Another thing that sets Sassy Bass Crazy Donuts apart? They serve cocktails — yep, Dunkin’ this is not — including an iced coffee colada with light rum, creme de coconut, and pineapple juice. Indeed, the Sassy Bass folks live up to their “crazy doughnut” reputation, saying: “We believe that you need to experience the wildest doughnut creations in existence.”
Red Chile Chocolate Bacon | Rebel Donuts
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Rebel Donuts in Albuquerque often decorates its doughnuts in creative and surprisingly adventurous ways. The Red Chile Chocolate Bacon is a chocolate cake doughnut dipped in fudge icing topped with crispy bacon and New Mexico red Chile to give it a kick. Rebel also has an extensive coffee menu, including iced coffee and nitro coffee.
The O.G. | Blue Star Donuts
Although not as well-known as Voodoo, Portland’s Blue Star Donuts wins out in the eyes of some locals. There are locations in Portland and in L.A., and the company sports a “quality over quantity” approach. The shop’s O.G. doughnut is a yeast doughnut with a horchata glaze. Blue Star also proudly serves hot coffee designed “to pair perfectly” with all of its doughnut flavors.
The Everything Doughnut | The Doughnut Project
New York City
The Doughnut Project in Manhattan, also among Thrillist’s choice of best doughnut shops, combines an “everything” bagel with a cream-cheese-glazed yeast doughnut. It may seem like an odd marriage of savory and sweet, with salt and garlic in the everything bagel seasoning mix, but some people love this gourmet doughnut.
Salty Cap’n| Rise
Durham, North Carolina
Rise first opened in the Southpoint area of Durham, but there are now locations sprinkled throughout the area and as far west as California. Though the restaurants mostly emphasize their biscuits and chicken, the Salty Cap’n doughnut is still on the menu at numerous locations (and could possibly resurface at others). Rise also serves cups of hot coffee with their doughnut flavors, courtesy of local roaster Counter Culture.
Churro | Fonuts
Fonuts in Los Angeles makes a churro doughnut that could be a little healthier than a traditional doughnut — at least in one respect: Instead of deep-frying, the shop steams or bakes all its creations. The churro doughnut is also vegan and gluten-free.
Poi Glaze | Kamehameha Bakery
A staple in Hawaii, poi (which is made from taro root) may be unfamiliar to tourists who haven’t tried the subtly flavored ingredient. The Kamehameha Bakery in Honolulu makes a vibrantly purple poi glaze malasada, a Portuguese treat that is similar to a yeast doughnut.
Blueberry Toast Crunch | California Donuts
A standard yeast doughnut, but with a purple-hued blueberry glaze and cinnamon toast crunch cereal poured on top — it’s just one of many classic and specialty doughnut varieties at California Donuts.
Apple Cider | Blackbird Doughnuts
Blackbird Doughnuts in Boston made headlines a few years ago when Adele sang the praises of its Boston Cream Bismarck doughnut. Though the Bismarck form of the Boston Cream is off the menu (as is the Apple Cider at the moment), it’s possible to try other flavors which rotate through the menu, including the Grapefruit Poppy doughnut, Blue Hawaiian, and a Chocolate Macaroon Glazed doughnut. Call ahead or check the menu online before you go.
Lemon Lavender | Vincent Van Doughnut
Operating out of both a bricks-and-mortar shop and food truck, this cleverly named doughnut slinger has a ton of gourmet doughnut flavors, including a cookie doughnut made with chocolate chips, and even vegan versions. The Lemon Lavender features fresh-squeezed lemon and Italian lavender oil glaze with lemon zest, lavender buds, and a decorative stripe. The shop has also been known to serve up ice cream doughnuts, but they may not be available on the menu full-time. For fans of classic cars, the shop’s food truck is a classic 1960 Grumman Olson van.
Purple Pig | Doughnuttery
New York City
Doughnuttery in New York City makes a variety of sweet and savory mini cake doughnut flavors and dipping sauces. The Purple Pig has purple potatoes, bacon, and maple. Pair it with raspberry balsamic, beer caramel, chocolate, Nutella, or dulce de leche sauce — or maybe just eat it on its own. Either way, any one of those saucy doughnut flavors should be paired with a cup of Doughnuttery’s hot coffee.
PBCP | Doughnuttery
New York City
Doughnuttery puts a twist on the peanut butter and jelly doughnut (although it makes PB&J, as well). The bite-size, spicy PBCP loses the jelly and adds cayenne and pretzels to peanut butter for some unexpected heat and crunch.
Voodoo Doll | Voodoo Doughnut
This Voodoo Doughnut namesake is shaped like a voodoo doll, complete with eyes and a mouth. The yeast doughnut is filled with raspberry jelly and topped with chocolate frosting. As a finishing touch, a pretzel stake is pushed into its heart.
Texas-Sized Donut | Round Rock Donuts
Round Rock, Texas
Until April 2017, Voodoo made a giant doughnut about the size of six standard pastry combined, and made it free for anyone who ate it in 80 seconds or less. (The doughnut and deal disappeared after a man in Denver died during the challenge.) Round Rock Donuts in Round Rock still sells a “Texas-sized” doughnut for $8, but without the potential money-back offer.
Blueberry Bourbon Basil | Blue Star Donuts
The Blueberry Bourbon Basil doughnut is a favorite of Blue Star customers. The blueberry flavor pops right out, while the basil and bourbon provide nice undertones.
The Beet Salad | Glazed Gourmet
Charleston, South Carolina
An unusual name and flavor combination, Glazed Gourmet’s Beet Salad doughnut is filled with beet custard, covered in orange goat cheese glaze, and garnished with candied fennel.
Chocolate-Covered Strawberry | Fractured Prune
Ocean City, Maryland
At this doughnut shop with the memorable name, you can build your own doughnut recipe choosing from a variety of glazes and toppings, but there’s also a specialty doughnut menu. This flavor stands out with a vibrant cherry glaze and chocolate chips on top. In fact, if you’re a chocolate chip enthusiast, this is one of many varieties on the specialty doughnut menu that are peppered with them.
Fancy Fig | Glazed Gourmet
Charleston, South Carolina
The Fancy Fig doughnut from Glazed Gourmet has cream-cheese filling, honey glaze, and balsamic drizzle. As if that’s not enough, the bakers fill the hole in the doughnut with homemade, organic fig jam.
Vietnamese Coffee | Union Square Donuts
Residents of this town north of Cambridge love Union Square Donuts for its gourmet doughnuts, which includes this version covered in a rich, creamy glaze made from condensed milk and espresso. The shop also serves coffee drinks, including iced coffee, and a selection of teas.
Those Beetz Are Dope House Fave | The Doughnut Project
New York City
This bright red doughnut is beet glazed, filled with ricotta whip, and won the Fan Favorite award at the 2016 DonutFest in Williamsburg, New York.
Marshall Mathers | Voodoo Doughnut
Also from Voodoo Doughnut, the Marshall Mathers is a plain cake doughnut topped with vanilla frosting and mini M&M’s. Don’t get it? Marshall Mathers is the given name of rapper Eminem.
Banana Chocolate | Fonuts
Another offering from L.A.’s Fonuts gives banana and chocolate lovers a reason to perk up in the morning. The banana chocolate doughnut comes with a chocolate glaze.
Strawberry Lavender | Federal Donuts
This doughnut shop is only around 10 years old, but already hold near-legendary status in Philly. In addition to the strawberry lavender doughnut, there are a handful of other “fancy” gourmet doughnut flavors to choose from, as well as the standards of cookies and cream, cinnamon brown sugar, and banana pudding. If you like savory with your sweet, there’s also fried chicken on the menu.
Pumpkin S’mores | Glazed Gourmet
Charleston, South Carolina
Not every Glazed Gourmet doughnut is savory. The pumpkin s’mores doughnut is as decadent as you’d expect, with a toasted marshmallow, chocolate ganache, graham crackers, and pumpkin filling.
Cereal Doughnut | Voodoo Doughnut
Cereal is becoming a standard doughnut garnish, and Voodoo makes a variety of cereal doughnuts. Yeast doughnuts are covered in glaze and topped with Froot Loops, Cap’n Crunch, Golden Grahams, or Cocoa Puffs — though not all at the same time.
The Bronx | The Doughnut Project
New York City
The Bronx borough of New York has rich and poor neighborhoods, and its namesake doughnut is simple but sophisticated, with a hint of “beautiful Italian olive oil and bite of black pepper.”
Doughseeds | Doughnut Plant
New York City (Nationwide Shipping)
In addition to four flavors of rectangular filled doughnuts, Doughnut Plant also makes mini, round filled doughnuts called doughseeds — a signature créme brûlée and flavors that have included rose, with a rose water pudding and dipped in a rose water glaze, topped with an edible rose petal, peanut butter & blackberry jam, strawberry & cream, and wild blueberry & cream.
Red Velvet | Blue Dot Donuts
Founded by a group of NOLA cops who have since sold it to its current owner, Blue Dot cranks out a solid repertoire of gourmet doughnuts on the regular that’ll beat the pants off Dunkin’ any day. This flavor features cream cheese frosting, of course, but if red velvet isn’t your thing, you can also order from the basic, filled, cake, and buttermilk doughnut menus.