Doughnuts are something I grew up eating occasionally on Sunday mornings as a rewarded “treat.” In Houston, Shipley’s Do-Nuts were the go-to for every slumber party as well. Your mom always brought a paper bag full of a dozen glazed doughnut holes home posing as an immediate appetizer with the box of sprinkled, colored iced, or filled bread bombs. My pick? The bright red Cherry iced and bright pink Strawberry iced $1 doughnuts.
Now there are all kinds of doughnut people. The classic glazed, cake, yeast, and finally the outrageous adventurers that want the Beet, Hibiscus, or “Everything” flavored icings. However, I am a classic (wo)man, and I love the traditional glaze or cake doughnuts and prefer to forgo any wacky combination or overly sugared and processed icing. Here are my top picks for the best doughnuts in New York City:
- Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop (Greenpoint)- No crazy colors or combinations here. You’ll find the best cake donut you’ve ever had in your life that you’ll eventually have to tie your hands behind you if you get a whole box. The cake base is just moist enough and not too sugary since there isn’t any glaze. Go for the Blueberry Cake, Red Velvet Cake, and Old Fashioned Plain Cake flavors.
- Doughnut Plant (LES + Chelsea) – The Doughnut Plant was the first “cool” doughnut shop to offer non traditional flavors and some even in the shape of a square! The yeast doughnuts are airy, fluffy and have a slight chew and the cake are dense. Go for the Creme Brûlée which is a mini round filled one. The Peanut Butter & Banana yeast one, my friends, is definitely one of the best desserts I’ve ever eaten in my life.
- The Donut Pub (Chelsea)- Bravo celeb Andy Cohen and Food Network star Alex Guarnaschelli are known to be fans of this local donut joint. You’ll pass it regularly, just make sure next time you go in. They have a cute counter with a couple stools and also sell breakfast sandwiches, muffins, and bagels. The Croissant Donut is full of flaky layers and the perfect glaze (just like Shipley’s).
- The Doughnut Project (West Village) – If you are looking for something a little on the wild side for one eater and something more classic for the other, then this shop is the ideal compromise. For the risky, go for “Those Beetz are Dope” which is beet and ricotta cheese in one and “The Everything Doughnut” which combine the flavors of the beloved everything bagel with the doughnut. For the less adventurous, go for the “Wayney Wonder” which is chocolate glaze with pretzel, ritz, and chips or the “Plain Glaze” with Tahitian Vanilla.
- Locanda Verde (Tribeca) – If you rather have your donut indulgence over a lovely sit down brunch, check out Locanda Verde. Their bakery pumps out amazing breads, pound cake, danish, and scones. The flavors change regularly!