Long gone are the days of donuts being cast aside in favor of other, more sophisticated American delicacies. We might all have Krispy Kreme to thank for that, but all of a sudden, some of the best pastry chefs also joined in on creating the next donut craze. So without further adieu (and because pictures speak louder than words) here are the best donuts in America.
13 Best Donuts in America
1. Voodoo Doughnut, Portland Oregon
You simple cannot call it THE best donuts in America list without mentioning the king of all gourmet donuts; the one that started making donuts “in” again. Voodoo Doughnut, located in Portland, Oregon is the ultimate cult leader with funky combinations such as a donut covered with Captain Crunch cereal or lavender sprinkles. It’s also known for creating donut tributes to legends in sports, music, and film and offering a range of vegan donuts. Fans of the fried delicacy can now sample their selection in Denver, Colorado, and Austin, Texas as well.
What to get: Bacon Maple Bar and/or Portland Cream
2. Glazed and Infused, Chicago, Illinois
Chicago is known for some of the best food guilty pleasures: hotdogs, pizzas, popcorn, and yes, donuts, thanks to Glazed and Infused. The original location was opened by Scott Harris in 2012 and has since added another five locations around the city. Glazed and Infused donuts are all handcrafted, baked fresh daily, and features a rotating seasonal menu courtesy of head baker Chris White.
What to get: Maple Long John and/or vanilla bean glaze
3. Federal Donuts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
For the ultimate guilty pleasure indulgence, head to Philadelphia’s Federal Donuts and get a fried chicken and donut combination. The unlikely fast food pairing was the creation of chef Mike Solomonov and has since become a phenomenon. Discerning Philadelphian taste buds revel in the contrasting flavors that they’re willing to queue up to an hour to satisfy their cravings. Andy why wouldn’t you? With donut selections such as chocolate sea salt and Indian cinnamon, it’s a guaranteed hit. Federal Donuts has five different locations in Philly.
What to get: Chocolate Peanut Butter and/or Cookies and Cream
4. Dough, Brooklyn, New York
New Yorkers are a tough crowd to please so every newcomer in the food business faces an even steeper uphill challenge than any other place in the country. So when chef Fany Gerson, an Eleven Madison Park alum, decided to open Dough in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, she was taking an enormous risk. Fortunately for her, it paid off, big time, thanks to a unique dough recipe she concocted which had both Mexican and European influences. The Brooklyn shop now has a sister location in Manhattan’s Flatiron District.
What to get: Hibiscus Donut and/or Maple glazed with almonds
5. Donut Bar, San Diego, California
Every conceivable magazine and celebrity who has his or her own talk show has raved about the Donut Bar in San Diego, California. The kitchen in this joint is constantly experimenting with new flavors and as a result, comes up with some of the most creative and addicting donuts you’ll ever taste in your life. There’s no doubt that this San Diego landmark belongs in this list of best donuts in America and a must try for anyone staying in San Diego. Another reason to love the Donut Bar is its coffee and donut offer, where you’ll get plain cup of joe and a cinnamon sugar donut for just $1.
What to get: French Toast Donut
6. District Doughnut and Coffee, Washington, D.C.
There’s something special about a place when its customers literally make it a point to stop at your shop even though it’s nowhere near your eventual destination. That’s the power that District Doughnut and Coffee in Washington, D.C., has over locals and visitors to the nation’s capital. The brown butter donut in my opinion definitely ranks up there as one of the best donuts in America, as is their rich and dense salted dulce de leche donut, inspired by one of the owner’s Argentinean heritage. District Doughnuts is located in D.C.’s Barracks Row neighborhood.
What to get: Brown Butter and/or Salted Dulce de Leche
7. Duck Donuts, Many Locations Across the Eastern Seaboard
No frills, just freshly made dough with the best ingredients and a variety of regular toppings make the donuts at Duck Donuts worth indulging on. You won’t find lavender scents or even the word “ganache” anywhere near the dozens of stores scattered across the eastern seaboard, but what you’ll find however, are plenty of smiling faces after chomping down the donuts on their plates.
What to get: Cinnamon Sugar