The Absolute Best Donuts In New York City
After eating more donuts than my doctor advises, I’ve come to the conclusion there’s no shortage of tasty donuts in New York City. The variety is endless and the creativity can be too good to eat (almost). From fancy looking donuts made by chef Wylie Dufresne, to one-dollar donuts and fronuts, there’s something in this city of donut dreams for every occasion.
Chances are high you’ve encountered Dough’s donuts in the city, as there’s simply no escaping these gigantic rounds of goodness. Besides the flagship store in Brooklyn and a location at the Flatiron, these donuts can be found in food trucks, cafés and even in supermarkets like Wholefoods – talk about an identity crisis. The yeast donuts are absolutely massive, yet still dense, fluffy and soft. Favorites available all year round are the hibiscus donut with a sweet, tangy glaze and dulce de leche topped with crunchy sliced almonds. A specialty flavor that can’t be missed is the lemon meringue donut, accompanying each bite with lemon curd and an abundance of Italian meringue.
Dough, various locations
The Doughnut Project
Known for combining sweet and salty, the founders of The Doughnut Project are experts in creating unique flavors. The bone marrow donut is a carnivore and chocolate lovers dream, stuffed with bone marrow chocolate pastry cream and topped with a clementine glaze. The beloved bacon bar has a maple glaze, giving you some sweetness to go with that long streaky slice of bacon. The Doughnut Project also offers fronuts (frozen donuts) all summer long, including a cold brew flavor. It’s our new favorite way to get our caffeine fix.
The Doughnut Project, 10 Morton Street
It’s not often you stumble across a car wash in the city, let alone a car wash with a donut store. Underwest Donuts opened their first store at the Westside Highway carwash, but you can now get your hands on the cake-style donuts at Penn plaza and Dean & Deluca as well. The store offers a small selection of glazed or sugar coated donuts, including a maple waffle donut with a chewy Dutch-style stroopwafel, a banana milk donut bursting with banana flavor and a slightly bitter tasting halva donut made with tahini and halva batter.
Underwest Donuts, various locations
Peter Pan Donuts
Do one-dollar donuts still exist in New York? Yes, they do! Peter Pan’s Donuts cost no more than $1.10, giving you all the reason to order a dozen at once. The old school donut store is a neighborhood staple in Greenpoint, offering old-fashioned donuts that fly off the counter on a Saturday and Sunday morning. While you can’t go wrong with a simple strawberry glazed donut, Peter Pan also offers more interesting flavors such as red velvet, apple crumble and toasted coconut. Our advice is to try them all.
Peter Pan Donuts, 777 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint
Orwasher’s is known for baking breads since 1916, but they happen to be good at deep-fried-deliciousness too. The fluffy, airy donuts are filled with an endless amount of jam, making each bite a messy and delicious mouthful. Filled right in front of you with a syringe and their signature jelly flavors, these donuts literally ooze with jelly. You can either choose a sugar coated or chocolate covered donut, but be warned that the thick layer of chocolate overwhelms the fresh jelly – and that’s saying something coming from a chocaholic.
Orwasher’s Bakery, various locations
Doughnuttery gives the old-age donut a modern twist, offering tiny donuts in tons of different flavors. Fried in front of you, coated into a sugar flavor of choice or dipped into sauce, these small rounds of sweetness are still hot when you bite into them. The donuts are so tiny that they almost contain a little crunch, differing from the fluffy texture of traditional donuts. The selection of flavors range from inventive creations such as the purple pig (maple, purple potatoes and bacon) and Paris time (lavender, pistachio and vanilla) to more traditional ones with sugar, sprinkles or a vanilla glaze. Our favorite is the fruity pebble cereal blend, which takes us straight back to our childhood.
Doughnuttery, various locations
The Cinnamon Snail is a food truck that specializes in vegan food, bringing vegan snacks, salads and sandwiches to the streets. And of course donuts, because even the most dedicated vegan craves a donut. The cinnamon snail offers a variety of different donuts, rotating the flavors on a daily basis. While you may expect simple styled donuts at a vegan food truck, nothing can be further from the truth. With flavors such as raspberry cheesecake, cookie dough and cookies and cream, even non-vegans will be drawn to these baked goods. Although the donuts are a little on the dry side, the lack of guilt is an added bonus.
The Cinnamon Snail, various locations
The Doughnut Plant
The birthplace of the crème brûlée donut, and many more creative creations that will stay in your memory for longer than you want – and on your body if you don’t look out. From squared donuts filled with jams to dough flowers and small round doughseeds, these donuts come in all shapes and sizes. The famous crème brûlée doughseed has a caramelized crackly layer on top, contrasting the creamy custard inside. In addition to the rich Brooklyn blackout cake doughnut, the Doughnut Plant offers a white out version with white chocolate pudding and white chocolate cake crumbs. It’s a sweet tooth’s dream come true.
The Doughnut Plant, various locations
Du’s Donuts & Coffee
Despite being popular, donuts aren’t the most attractive food group on the planet. But chef Wylie Dufresne is officially changing the donut reputation at the recently opened Du’s Donuts and Coffee. Perfectly circular shaped cake-donuts, bright colors and OCD horizontal lines, this isn’t your average donut shop. Highlights include the pink lemonade donut, tasting similar to lemon cake and balanced with pistachios on top, as well as the hot sugared cinnamon apple donut. It comes straight out of the oven, guaranteeing to hit the spot and warm your soul.
Du’s Donuts & Coffee, 107 North 12th Street, Brooklyn
Words by: Siobhan Gunner
Photography by: Siobhan Gunner