In New York, cupcakes are long gone and doughnuts are here to stay. The city is home to a number of vastly different doughnut shops. From old-fashioned to artisanal, these 10 New York shops are expanding the definition of doughnut.
Bakery, American, $$$
Dough Loco Courtesy of Dough Loco
Brooklyn favorite Dough has long attracted doughnut lovers, but the bakery gained an even bigger fan base when it opened a shop in Manhattan last October. Dough specializes in giant, soft yeast doughnuts painted with glaze. Flavors like passion fruit, hibiscus and tropical chili draw customers to the establishment in hordes. Dough’s glazes are nicely balanced, flavoring the doughnuts without overpowering them. The chocolate salted caramel flavor is a particular favorite, with stark hints of salt in every bite.
Doughnut Plant offers chewy yeast doughnuts, rich cake doughnuts, and luxurious little ‘doughseeds’ – miniature filled doughnuts. The bakery excels at creating holiday-themed doughnuts, garnished with roses for Valentine’s Day and shamrocks for Saint Patrick’s Day. They recently introduced poppy seed hamantashen doughseeds for Purim and pecan praline beignets for Mardi Gras. The much lauded Tres Leches doughnut, a glazed cake doughnut with pockets of sweet cream, is worthy of praise and perhaps even worship. Doughnut Plant has three locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Doughnut Plant doughnuts are also sold in shops around the city.
Locals love Peter Pan Donut and Pastry Shop for its old-fashioned ambiance and old-fashioned prices. The bakery offers a well-rounded variety of flavors, including red velvet, toasted coconut and blueberry buttermilk, but cream- and jelly-filled doughnuts stand out. Tina Fey even declared her love for Peter Pan’s powdered, cream-filled doughnut in an interview with Esquire.
The Doughnuttery serves up charm in a brown paper bag. The shop, which is tucked into a corner of Chelsea Market, serves tiny doughnuts coated in flavored sugars. Customers can watch as the miniature doughnuts are flipped and fried using a small machine. Employees toss the doughnuts in sugar to order. Flavors are subtle but intriguing. ‘Purple Pig’ features maple, purple potatoes and bacon, while ‘PB&J’ consists of peanut butter and grape candy.
Located inside a car wash in Hell’s Kitchen, this doughnut shop offers sugared and glazed cake doughnuts. The bakery first attracted attention for its halva doughnut, an unusual take on the Middle Eastern dessert. The buttery, sweet doughnuts are all good but the sugared doughnuts, which come in flavors like coco raspberry and espresso bean, are particularly worth a try.
Dun-Well Doughnuts is New York’s source for organic vegan doughnuts. With a menu of more than 200 rotating flavors including standouts like pink lemonade, peanut butter and jelly and green tea and ginger, Dun-Well Doughnuts delivers on the promise implicit in its name. The store also has a carefully tailored vintage ambiance. Employees wear plaid and bow ties, while doughnuts are served on wooden slabs alongside egg creams and Italian sodas.
With 1950s-style bar stools, neon signs and white tile walls, The Donut Pub is less of a pub and more of a diner. The Chelsea bakery is open 24/7, serving fresh doughnuts, muffins, bagels and sandwiches around the clock. The shop has a large selection of flavors, including honey-dipped, an old-fashioned customer favorite. Cake doughnuts are light and not overly sweet – the red velvet and blueberry doughnuts are especially good.
This family-run shop in Bay Ridge sells fresh, simple doughnuts at bargain prices. The small storefront offers a small selection of classic but well-executed doughnut varieties that are made each day. Try the apple flavor, which is filled with apple slices, or any jelly variety. With doughnuts like these, the Dunkin’ Donuts across the street doesn’t stand a chance.