The only thing better than one donut is a dozen donuts! Discover our 12 favorite spots for eating donuts in NYC and see if your favorite made our list.
Move over bagels! You’re not New York City’s only round treat with a hole in the middle.
This status is nothing new. New Yorkers have been frying sweet rings of dough for centuries, long before bagels arrived in the city.
History reveals that Dutch immigrant Anna Joralemon opened NYC’s first donut shop in the 17th century. Her donuts were called oliekoecken and they didn’t have holes. Now, when you walk in any direction in NYC, you’ll probably bump into a donut shop or bakery selling donuts before you reach your destination. And, in a sign of the times, most will have holes in the middle.
Donut vs. Doughnut
The only difference between a donut and a doughnut is the spelling of the two words. Many believe that the word was originally spelled in “gh” form, with the shorter word emerging from the popularity of Dunkin’ Donuts and Mister Donut in the mid 20th century.
Our Favorite Donuts In NYC
Finding donuts in NYC is easy. There are so many donut shops. Sure, you could hit up the Krispy Kreme donut stand at Penn Station or its flagship shop in Times Square. Those donuts are great but there are great donuts all over the city – maybe too many. The challenge is to eat just enough donuts to leave room for the city’s best food at the city’s best restaurants. You don’t want to be so full that you can’t eat pizza, bagels, pastrami sandwiches, etc.
Beyond Manhattan, every NYC borough has enough donut shops to satisfy the hungry masses. Many of these donut shops sell traditional donuts. Some sell fancy-schmancy hipster donuts. Others sell vegan donuts. And, as it turns out, quite a few of the city’s best donuts aren’t sold at dedicated donut shops.
Read on to discover where to find our picks for the best donuts in NYC:
1. Doughnut Plant
Mark Israel, who may or may not be Mindi’s long-lost cousin, started selling yeast donuts inspired by his grandfather’s recipe in 1994. He then opened the original Doughnut Plant store six years later. Fast forward to the present and there are now five Doughnut Plant shops in three boroughs.
Israel is a donut innovator. He’s kept busy during the past three decades experimenting with both donut shapes and ingredients. As a result, current Doughnut Plant offerings include cake donuts, jam-filled square donuts, rose-shaped donuts, vegan donuts, gluten-free donuts, sourdough donuts and donut ice cream sandwiches.
Popular Doughnut Plant flavors include Brooklyn Blackout, Carrot Cake, Crème Brûlee, Tres Leches and Vanilla Bean. However, we couldn’t resist ordering (and devouring!) a Black & White cake donut. Inspired by the classic NYC cookie, the donut’s exterior was half dark chocolate and half white chocolate. Once we bit into it, we were pleasantly shocked to find that inside was black and white too. Equally important, the donut was tender and tasted great.
Order a doughseed donut if you want the full Doughnut Plant experience in a smaller package. Flavors include the shop’s signature Crème Brûlee as well as Chocolate Hazelnut and Manhattan Cream.
The original Doughnut Plant is located at 379 Grand Street, New York, NY 10002, United States.
2. Dominique Ansel Bakery
The donut concept was revolutionized when Dominique Ansel sold his very first Cronut in 2013. That croissant-donut hybrid created a frenzy with lines snaking around the original Dominique Ansel Bakery in Soho each morning.
We were late to the party though we did eat copycat pastries in cities like Barcelona, Cape Town and Nashville. Finally, in 2019, Daryl visited the popular bakery. The shop, while still teeming with people lining up for Ansel’s pastries, shockingly had plenty of cronuts available. Infused with cream, his Cinnamon Roll Custard Cronut justified both his trip and the multi-year wait.
Ansel, a James Beard award winning baker, currently has bakeries in Hong Kong and Las Vegas in addition to his New York City bakeries. Each shop sells one Cronut flavor each month and that flavor is never repeated.
Don’t limit yourself to a Cronut when you visit Dominique Ansel Bakery. Consider ordering a DKA (Dominique’s Kouign Amann) and/or a Blossoming Hot Chocolate too.
The original Dominique Ansel Bakery is located at 189 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012, United States.
3. Dun-Well Doughnuts
Dan Dunbar and Christopher Hollowell opened Dun-Well Doughnuts in 2011 and have remained true to their mission. All of the shop’s products are free of animal or animal derived ingredients, which is certainly commendable. However, you’re probably wondering how their vegan donuts taste which is something we didn’t do before our visit.
We somehow missed the memo regarding the quirky Brooklyn donut shop’s vegan status when we walked through its Bushwick doors. Proving that ignorance is indeed bliss, we can objectively say that Dun-Well’s donuts are as good as many non-vegan donuts we’ve eaten and better than most. Not only did we not miss ingredients like eggs, milk and cream, we didn’t even notice their absence.
Dun-Well’s flavors rotate with vegan versions of Caramel Apple Pie, Salted Caramel Pecan and Boston Cream in the mix. At the counter server’s recommendation, we chose a PB&J donut during our visit. Glazed with chocolate and loaded with flavor, that dense yeast donut was a great choice.
We’re still kind of in shock that it was vegan. However, most of our shock faded faster than it took us to eat the decadent yet comforting donut.
4. Dough Doughnuts
Dough Doughnuts specializes in two things – ginormous donuts and creative flavors.
Originally located in Bed-Stuy when it opened in 2010, Dough now has multiple locations including a store at Rockefeller Center, a booth at Smorgasburg and a stall at the Time Out Market. While it has a dozen year-round donuts on its roster, a mix of seasonal and vegan donuts complete Dough’s menu.
Struck by a counter filled with donuts, we agreed to share a Hibiscus donut topped with a candied hibiscus flower. The bright pink donut was one of the the biggest donuts we’ve encountered. It was also sugary with an acidic floral flavor.
We later learned that the unique flavor is the shop’s most popular donut. And, for the confectionary curious, Dolce de Leche donut is the shop’s second most popular.
Dough Doughnuts is a good option for those who follow a kosher diet. Its vegan donuts are pareve while its other donuts are kosher and dairy.
Dough Doughnuts has multiple locations. We visited the Flatiron shop located at 14 West 19th Street, New York, 10011, United States.
5. Orwashers Bakery
True confession – we didn’t plan to eat a donut when we walked into Orwashers’ original Upper East Side location – the centenarian bakery is better known for its babka and rugelach. However, once we saw a shelf of donuts next to three magic words (Made To Order), there was no other choice.
The sign is true. The folks at Orwashers hand-fill the bakery’s donuts with jams locally produced in Hudson Valley and they do it on the spot.
Though ordering an Orwashers donut was a solid game day decision, eating it was a sweet pleasure.
The bakery fills each sugary donut with local jam made Hudson Valley. (We chose cherry apricot.) And, as thrilled as we were with donut’s taste and texture, we were equally thrilled to eat it without any of the jam dripping on to our shirts.
Go big and order a chocolate-glazed donut and have it filled with the jam of your choice.
Orwashers Bakery has multiple locations. We visited the original bakery located at 308 E 78th Street, New York, NY 10075, United States.
6. Daily Provisions
Merriam-Webster defines a cruller as‘a small sweet cake in the form of a twisted strip fried in deep fat’. (In other words, it’s a fancy donut.) Open since 2017, Danny Meyer’s Daily Provisions brings that definition to life the best way possible – by baking the donut varietal to flaky perfection.
Perfection is a big word but it’s difficult to imagine a better cruller that the Meyer Lemon Poppy cruller that we ate at Daily Provision. Not only did the moist French-style choux pastry ring have a crunchy outer shell, but its flavors were also spot on the money – lemony and sweet without being overly sweet.
Arrive early if you want a full selection of cruller flavors that could include cinnamon, maple, coffee or even passionfruit coconut. This is assuming that the shop hasn’t run out of its daily allotment of donuts.
If you’re in the mood for savory food, items like avocado toast or a kale caesar salad are available depending on the time of day.
Avoid donut disappointment by bringing a credit card. Daily Provisions is a cashless cafe.
Daily Provisions has multiple locations. We visited two – the original Union Square location and the Upper West Side cafe located at 375 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10024, United States.
7. Supermoon Bakehouse
We weren’t the first to discover the Supermoon Bakeshop and we won’t be the last. Opened by Stephen Ry and Aron Tzimas in 2017. Despite its spartan decor and simple display of pastries, the Lower East Side bakery is selling some of the city’s best pastries as well as some of the city’s best donuts.
About those donuts – Supermoon only offers three flavors which change every other week. These aren’t typical donut flavors. During our visit, the three flavors on offer were Passionfruit, Pandan + Coconut and Strawberry Cream. Other weeks, you may find Ferrero Rocher, lime curd or triple chocolate.
Not initially enthralled by the donut flavors or the lack of indoor seating at the time of our visit, our frowns quickly turned upside down after we bit into a sugary brioche donut that literally oozed with bright yellow passionfruit filling. It was sweet. It was tart. It was gone before we knew it.
Check Supermoon Bakehouse’s website or sign up for the bakery’s emails if you’re set on trying a specific donut flavor during your visit.
Supermoon Bakehouse is located at 120 Rivington Street, New York, NY 10002, United States.
8. Win Son Bakery
Our initial visit to Win Son Bakery was far from auspicious. The Williamsburg bakery’s dining room was closed due to the pandemic and it was raining cats and dogs. After ordering a donut and a pastry, our only option was to eat them at a nearby bus stop which provided us with a temporary respite from the rain.
It all sounds awful and yet it wasn’t. With its sweet and savory flavors, our freshly fried Millet Mochi donut was excellent enough to make the other issues moot. It was also the chewiest, most satisfying gluten-free donut we’ve ever eaten. (If you’re wondering, the pastry was great too.)
Open since 2019 as an offshoot to Win Son, a popular Taiwanese restaurant, Win Son Bakery only has two donuts, the gluten free Millet Mochi donut that we ate plus a Fermented Red Rice donut, on its eclectic menu.
Go hungry to Win Son Bakery. Beyond donuts and pastries, the bakery serves savory treats like egg sandos and fried chicken boxes.
Win Son Bakery is located at 164 Graham Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11206, United States.
9. Sullivan Street Bakery
After learning the art of bread baking in Italy, baking legend Jim Lahey opened the original Sullivan Street Bakery in 1994 with wild Italian yeast and a mission to bake and sell handcrafted, small batch bread to the masses.
To say the he succeeded is an understatement. Not only has his bakery expanded north to Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, but he also won a James Beard outstanding baker award and a wrote an iconic New York Times article that single-handedly popularized the concept of no-knead bread baking. He later wrote a book on the same topic.
Despite Lahey’s bread focus, don’t rule out his Bomboloni at Sullivan Street Bakery.
For those not familiar, the Bombolone is Italy’s version of the donut. Smaller than a typical American donut and similar to its Berliner cousin, yeasty Bomboloni are typically filled with cream or jam. Lahey’s Bomboloni are no exception. On the day of our visit, filling options included chocolate cream, vanilla cream, jam and caramel apple.
Keeping things simple, we paired a Vanilla Bombolone with hot coffee. Dusted with powdered sugar and filled with sweet cream, the donut was small enough to not ruin our appetites for dinner and rich enough to make us smile. It was also a reminder that not all tasty donuts have donut holes.
10. The Dough Club
The Dough Club is our kind of club. Not only is membership practically guaranteed, but this ‘club’ sells a colorful rainbow of Japanese mochi donuts in Chinatown, one of our favorite NYC neighborhoods.
We’re not exaggerating when we describe these pon de ring donuts as colorful. Open since 2019, The Dough Club’s donut roster includes blue, brown, green, pink, purple, orange red and yellow rings. You might call them kitschy and you wouldn’t be wrong. However, you’d be be wrong to dismiss these colorful, chewy donuts baked in small batches each day.
During our visit, we opted for a Golden Hour Orange mochi donut topped with orange glaze and gold chocolate sprinkles. It was a good choice that negated any potential regret we might have had for not ordering the more popular blue Cookie Monster with vanilla glaze, crushed Oreos and chocolate drizzle. Yeah, we generally refrain from ordering blue food unless that food is a blueberry.
11. Lafayette Bakery
Priced at $6.50 at the time of our visit, Lafayette Bakery’s Maple Pecan Donut is probably the most expensive donut featured in this guide. And, yet, we didn’t even blink when we bought it. After all, it was a few dollars less than the shop’s Pistachio Suprême that we also bought during our visit. Ironically, it was more expensive than a slice of the famous bakery’s ’24 Carrot’ Cake – go figure.
Located in NoHo’s Layayette restaurant and open from 8am to 9pm daily, Lafayette Bakery is far from a hidden gem. Crowds queue daily with a limited number of lucky shoppers given the chance to buy the bakery’s globally famous Suprême – Scott Cioie’s circular cream-filled croissant creation that’s overtaken the Cronut’s popularity, at least for now.
Since we didn’t have to queue when we arrived at 5pm on a Tuesday afternoon (hint, hint), we didn’t feel rushed when we added a donut to our Suprême order. Studded with pecans, that donut was big, square and covered with maple glaze.
While solid, the donut paled in comparison to to our Pistachio Suprême. Then again, what doesn’t pale in comparison a Suprême?
The Doughnuttery has been selling sugar-coated miniature donuts since 2012. We discovered the shop a few years later while roaming the food hall at Chelsea Market.
It was love at first bite that day when we dug into two different flavors. Flavored with apple, orange zest and fall spices, Apple Cider was an obvious choice. However, Paris Time was a pleasant surprise with its sugary mix of lavender, pistachio and vanilla.
Donut lovers with a serious sweet tooth can add a donut dipping sauce. Flavors include beer caramel, deep dark chocolate, dulce de leche, maple syrup, Nutella and raspberry balsamic.
Order a DIY kit from the Doughnuttery’s website and make miniature donuts at home.
Doughnuttery has multiple locations. We visited the original shop inside the Chelsea Market located at 425 W 15th Street, New York, NY 10011, United States.
More Donuts In NYC
If a dozen donuts isn’t enough to satisfy your cravings, consider eating even more donuts at the following NYC spots:
Eat New York Donuts At Home
Don’t be sad if you’re not in New York City. Instead, order donuts from the following NYC donut shops:
New York Donut FAQs
New York City has a range of donuts that includes old-school donuts, round donuts, square donuts, cake donuts, yeast donuts, vegan donuts and mochi donuts. The only way to decide which are best is to try them all.
While Dunkin Donuts probably sells the most donuts in NYC, popular local donut shops include Doughnut Plant, Dough Doughnuts and Dun-Well Doughnuts.
Dough Doughnuts, Doughnut Plant and the Doughnuttery all have shops with a mile of Times Square. In a pinch, there’s also the flagship Krispy Kreme store at the corner of Broadway and West 48th Street.
Dough Doughnuts, Dun-Well Doughnuts, Mike’s Donuts, Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop and Shaikh’s Place rank as the top donut shops in Brooklyn.
Hungry For More In NYC?
About The Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on their website 2foodtrippers. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers a unique taste of the world.
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Original Publication Date: May 4, 2023