Where to Get Great Doughnuts, from Coast to Coast
The correct, dictionary-approved spelling for these treats is “doughnut,” though the shorter “donut” has been around since the late 1800s. No matter how you spell it or which variety you favor (cake, yeast or old fashioned), one thing is certain: Doughnuts have broken out of breakfast and become more than just a pair-with-coffee staple. The lines often stretch around the block for these popular doughnut shops, and once you're biting into a decadent, deep-fried ring of dough, you'll understand the reason why.
Washington, D.C.: Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken (pictured above)
You may recognize co-founder Jeff Halpern's name: He's a professional hockey player who played for the Washington Capitals, among other NHL teams. He and co-founder Elliot Spaisman grew up playing hockey together and doughnuts were their reward of choice after games. Grab fried chicken or Sriracha wings before choosing your dessert. You might find a new favorite day of the week based on Astro's rotating doughnut calendar. Beat a case of the Mondays with Coconut Cake or enjoy the weekend with Elvis (think peanut butter-banana filling). No matter what day of the week you stop by, though, there are some pretty awesome daily flavors that include Vanilla Glazed, Creme Brulee and even Maple Bacon.
It wouldn't be a Portland doughnut without a batter made from only local ingredients: bread flour from Shepherd's Grain, cage-free eggs from Stiebrs Farms, whole milk from Sunshine Dairy and European-style butter from Larsen’s Creamery. The mixture is made from scratch every day with a classic brioche recipe, and, of course, there's Stumptown Roasters coffee for pairing. Blueberry Bourbon Basil features a glaze made from organic blueberries, fresh basil leaves and Bulleit bourbon. Cointreau Creme Brulee is a creamy vanilla custard-filled brioche doughnut with a caramelized sugar crust. But that's not all: It's topped with a pipette of Cointreau syrup.
This family-owned and -operated spot has it all: doughnuts, croissants, breakfast sandwiches and even a SKronut. Plus, it's open 24 hours a day, so if you're not an early riser, you can still get your doughnut fix. Nutella, chocolate chip and even apple pie SKronuts will satisfy your need for the trendy doughnut-and-croissant hybrid. With affordable pricing ($1 each for regular doughnuts), you can indulge in every style, from classic glazed to red velvet cake.
After amazing feedback (and some pretty epic lines), this doughnut shop has found new, larger digs to satisfy demand. They've tripled production to be able to crank out 1,000 per day. From quirky concoctions like maple miso and green tea to classic varieties like chocolate topped with sprinkles, you never know what will be available on a given day. But that's all in the fun. One thing is for sure: There will be Intelligentsia coffee on hand for your early morning arrival.
These doughnut slingers are based in Somerville, Mass., but they pop up all around the city at farmers markets and coffee shops, so if you see them, snag one of their creations. Be sure to arrive early; on weekdays the shop shuts down at 1 p.m. From traditional Boston Cream or Vanilla Bean to the creative Sea-Salt Bourbon Caramel or Brown Butter Hazelnut Crunch varieties, you really can't go wrong. Depending on when you go, check out the special seasonal flavors on the menu.