The 14 Best Places to Eat Doughnuts in Houston
Few places can compete with Shipley’s or Christy’s when it comes to a perfectly executed glazed doughnut, but as the city’s culinary landscape continues to take shape, Houston foodies demand more from their doughnuts. Here is a look at some of the best places to find doughnuts worth devouring sprinkled around the city.
Think outside the doughnut box at Morningstar in the Heights where raised, glazed and cake varieties come in flavors like Boston cream and the gluten-free black-and-white mochi. In true doughnut shop fashion, the day’s selections are displayed in neat rows behind the counter; weekends bring rotating specials like the honey cake with lavender icing. Helmed by Houston java guru David Buehrer, the menu naturally lists an equally impressive list of beverages fit for dunking including the vibrant green matcha sua da shaken up with creamy coconut condensed milk and a shot of matcha.
Lee’s Fried Chicken & Donuts
Which came first, the fried chicken or the doughnut? At Lee’s, crispy strips of fried chicken come served smack dab in between double-glazed doughnut buns for a Texas-sized breakfast sandwich you have to see to believe. The menu of everyday batched doughnuts is just as interesting, featuring classic flavors with a twist, like the Mexican chocolate iced, blueberry cake with a smooth layer of blueberry icing, or praline-topped with salty bacon bits and splashes of sticky caramel. You can always add fried chicken or an order of Houston hot chicken on the side, and you should.
Cypress fav Koala Kolache knows how to do breakfast in a big way: Its menu lists kolaches, doughnuts, “kruffins” — kolaches + muffins, naturally — and everything in between. The addition of mochi doughnuts, in flavors like matcha green tea, amaretto cherry and dark chocolate ganache, has only upped the bakery’s popularity. The Asian specialty doughnuts are crafted using sticky rice flour imported directly from Japan, resulting in a crunchy bite with a chewy center. With far less gluten than a yeast or cake doughnut, the mochi doughnuts average about 90 calories each for a relatively guilt-free breakfast experience. Just add milk.
East Hampton Sandwich Co.
East Hampton Sandwich Co. draws in the masses for its serious menu of heaping sandwiches, wraps and rolls, but savvy diners save room for dessert — some of the fluffiest, sticky-icky doughnuts in town. Light and airy pillows dusted with powdered sugar pour out of a paper sack and come filled with jelly or creamy milk chocolate. The oh-so-messy beignet-like bites are easy to pop in your mouth and meant to be shared… by those feeling generous.
Pondicheri Bake Lab + Shop
The ultra-sweet Indian-inspired pastries — including doughnuts — made at Pondicheri’s second level Bake Lab + Shop are fragrant with exotic spices like jaggery and cardamom. The gulab jamun doughnut is every bit as moist and indulgent as the traditional Indian dessert, yet all-American in consistency, with a perfectly crisp crust and soft, fluffy interior. Forego pairing your doughnuts with milk here — a glass of cool vanilla lassi is a much better choice on a hot summer day.
Hugs & Donuts
The doughnut-inspired décor at this Heights gem is cheery and bright with striking orange finishes and doughnut-shaped furnishings. Peruse rows of colorful gourmet doughnuts with house-made fillings enclosed in glass cases before deciding on milk —traditional flavors like chocolate or strawberry, or a rotating special like horchata — or Katz cold brew, available on nitro tap. Double down on breakfast with the Fruity Pebble crunch, a fluffy doughnut layered with white icing and bits of the popular children’s cereal. Adventurous selections inspired by Houston’s culinary scene include the tres leches, baklava and green tea-coconut.
But first… champagne. Meals at River Oaks hot spot A’bouzy may begin with a bottle — or more — of bubbly, but they’ll ideally include an order of house-made doughnuts as well. Light and airy, these doughnut puffs are generously dusted with sugar and cinnamon and tower next to a creamy scoop of Amy’s classic vanilla.
Doughnut cravings morning, noon and night? #EatGlazed. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, this doughnut café fulfills doughnut fantasies at any hour. Best known for their sweet and savory maple-bacon doughnut — aka the “macon” — Glazed features a number of doughnut delights, from yeasty favorites like the Kit Kat topped with crunchy bits of candy bar to filled dessert doughnuts like the decadent crème brûlée and strawberry cheesecake. And for when those midnight breakfast cravings hit, only the bacon, egg and cheese-stuffed Glazed breakfast sammy will do.
Bosscat Kitchen & Cocktails
Executive Chef Peter Petro is known to bring the thunder with over-the-top dishes at Bosscat Kitchen & Cocktails and sister restaurant BCK Kitchen & Cocktail Adventures in the Heights, but his Insta-worthy doughnut burger is truly next-level. Crafted with two tender four-ounce Midwest patties, the sky-high burg is sandwiched between chocolate iced doughnut buns and richly layered with melty American cheese, strips of bacon and a duck-fat-fried egg… because why not? Complemented by other food porn finds including Bosscat’s Fruity Pebble French toast and red velvet churros, the doughnut burger is priced at $15, but available only during weekend brunch. Let Sunday Funday commence.
River Oaks Donuts
As the name suggests, this fast-casual neighborhood joint may cater to the River Oaks neighborhood, but people from across the city stop by River Oaks Donuts for a sampling of handmade doughnuts, holes and kolaches. Find the minty green namesake River Oaks doughnut lined up in rows alongside powdery cinnamon sugar and fragrant maple iced doughnuts. Can’t decide? Opt for holes in lieu of a full-size doughnut. Here, you can score old-fashioned cake, Nutella-filled and glazed doughnut holes for under a buck each.
Doughnuts were made for dunking, dipping and devouring, and at Toulouse you will do all of the above. The delicately rounded French doughnuts on the dessert menu are doused with powdered sugar and served alongside a generous helping of velvety cappuccino pot de crème. With more of a cake-like consistency, these doughnuts are supremely rich, and not bad with a fizzy glass of Champagne. Sip and savor slowly though — with its swanky River Oaks District address, you’ll find a $9 price tag on this plate of doughnuts.
Peña’s Donuts & Diner
Experimenting with doughnut recipes since their high school days, pals Raymond Peña and Sylvester Hernandez bring 35 years of doughnut-making experience to Peña’s Doughnuts & Diner. The perfectly sweet and savory maple bacon doughnut and still buzz-worthy strawberry “cro-nut” are among menu items that lure fans to Southeast Houston, but meaty kolaches and breakfast platters like the loaded huevos rancheros are also worth a try. Staying for lunch? Get a doughnut cheeseburger with all the traditional fix-ins.
The Grove Do-Nutz & Deli
Well worth the drive, The Grove Do-Nutz & Deli in Fort Bend County is home to gourmet doughnuts, cronuts and more — loaded with toppings as far as the eye can see. The jumbo s’mores doughnut will transport you back to summer nights huddled around a campfire with chunks of sticky marshmallows and a sweet chocolate drizzle. Savory doughnuts are popular here, too. The pizza doughnuts — and “kronutz” — are hard to resist, classically built with cheese, tomato sauce and pepperoni. With a strong influence from Asian cuisine, deli items are given equal attention during breakfast and lunch. Opt for an extra saucy banh mi or beef kimchi salad before diving into a doughnut.
La Sicilia Italian Bakery & Café
Pastry chef and native Sicilian Diego Chiarello brings with him to Houston 20 years of experience working as a baker in New York City. At the neatly appointed La Sicilia Italian Bakery, you’ll find Chiarello’s version of doughnuts or ciambellas — a traditional Italian sweet bread — made fresh daily in varieties like strawberry shortcake and hazelnut praline. Picture perfect and layered with icing and crumbly toppers, the ciambellas are displayed prominently, towering high in glass cases alongside traditional cannoli, biscotti and buttery croissants.