Donuts are easily one of the best treats you can indulge in. That is why almost every city has a donut shop that is so well known it draws lines around the block. In no particular order, here are the 10 best donut shops to visit across the United States - from cereal-topped donuts to strawberry french toast donuts, you're going to want to hit all of these shops!
1. Dough (New York City, New York)
Dough Doughnuts makes homemade artisanal donuts that have become so popular in NYC the restaurant now has six locations. The shop makes brioche-type dough prepared in small batches throughout the day, so customers always get a fresh donut. Dough is often experimenting with new flavors and offers some of the more popular flavors all year long.
Our favorite all-year-long donuts are the Nutella-stuffed donut and the Hibiscus donut, which has a sweet and sour glaze made with dried Mexican hibiscus.
The shop also has vegan donuts for anyone following a plant-based diet.
2. Union Square Donuts (Boston, Massachusetts)
Union Square Donuts consistently shows up on "best donut shops in America" lists. This donut shop has won "Best of Boston" awards from Boston Magazine in 2013, 2015, and 2017, proving that it maintains its quality year after year. Union Square Donuts makes fresh, made from scratch donuts every day in traditional and unique flavors.
The shop has become such a Boston staple that it now has two locations - Somerville and Brookline.
Our current favorite is the Vietnamese donut which has a glaze made of espresso and condensed milk. A close runner-up is the Sea Salt Whiskey Caramel donut made with local Massachusetts Bully Boy Distillers American Whiskey.
Are you lactose intolerant or plant-based? Good news - vegan donuts are also available.
3. Glazed Gourmet Donuts (Charleston, South Carolina)
Glazed Gourmet Donuts is a family-run business that opened in 2011. This little shop has seen massive national coverage for its quality donuts. Glazed has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Boston Globe, and more.
This South Carolina donut shop focuses on using local ingredients grown in a garden behind the store. The dough, jam, fillings, and glazes are made on site to create fresh, interesting, delicious donuts.
Glazed has an extensive menu, so it's hard to choose just one favorite donut. However, the Strawberry Stuffed French Toast and Peanut Butter Brownie are definitely top contenders.
4. California Donuts (Los Angeles, California)
California Donuts is a family-run business that has been open since 1982. Everyone knows if you want the best donuts in Los Angeles, you go to California Donuts. The donut shop itself is a simple, no-frills store operating 24/7. However, the donuts look like they are pieces of art. You won't be able to help yourself from taking a picture of their panda donut or unicorn donut.
We recommend trying one of the cheesecake crumble donuts that come in four flavors: mango, strawberry, guava, blueberry. Pair it with a milkshake for the perfect sugar-filled snack.
5. Revolution Donuts (Atlanta, Georgia)
Revolution Donuts is not like your typical local donut shop. Founder Maria Moore Riggs loves the farm-to-table movement and decided to bring it to her donut shop. Revolution Donuts makes its doughs, fillings, and glazes with natural ingredients. Everything is made by people (not machines), and organic, seasonal ingredients are used as much as possible.
Individuals with dietary restrictions, such as gluten, eggs, dairy allergies, or vegan preferences, always have options at Revolution Donuts.
The quality and care put into every donut quickly made Revolution Donuts a popular spot. Lines up every weekend and national media coverage (CNN, Atlanta Eats, etc.) allowed the business to open up a second location in 2017.
Revolution Donuts serves both classic and unconventional flavors. We recommend trying the tiramisu donut. If you're ready for something different, try their savory Crunchy Mister, a donut filled with creamy bechamel sauce and black forest ham and topped with gruyere cheese.
6. Federal Donuts (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Federal Donuts describes itself as "donuts, coffee, and chicken all under one roof." This particular combination may seem strange, but it clearly works! This donut shop has seven locations throughout Philadelphia.
Federal Donuts keeps things simple. They sell two types of donuts: classic and fancy. And they do both very well!
We recommend getting the Super Banana Pudding or the Raspberry Mascarpone. While you're there, make it a complete meal and grab some chicken - trust us, it just works.
7. Leonard’s Bakery (Honolulu, Hawaii)
We've talked about Leonard's Bakery before. This famous donut shop has been serving up delicious Portuguese donuts (known as malasadas) since 1952. A malasada is a Portuguese fried donut without a hole. It comes out perfectly golden brown on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.
Leonard's Bakery offers very classic flavors. You can choose to coat your malasadas in plain sugar (original), cinnamon sugar, or Li Hing. Or, choose a malasada puff, which can be filled with chocolate, coconut, custard, guava, or macadamia nut.
Leonard's Bakery isn't like the other classic American donut shops on this list, but it has won the hearts of Honolulu locals and tourists alike. These Portuguese donuts are absolutely worth trying!
8. The Heavenly Donut Company (Birmingham, Alabama)
The Heavenly Donut Company prides itself in making fresh, handcrafted donuts daily. Owners Kimberly and Brock Beiersdoerfer didn’t know anything about donuts when they first started. But, they learned from the best and opened up a donut shop that has seen massive success. In fact, they now have a donut food truck to accompany their brick-and-mortar shop.
Try out their M&Ms donut, the apple crisp topped donut, or the Cookie Butter donut.
9. Gibson’s Donuts (Memphis, Tennessee)
Gibson's Donuts is a Memphis staple. This mom-and-pop simple donut shop has been around for over 50 years and doesn't even have a website. To be quite honest, it doesn't need one. Everyone knows Gibson's for their fresh and affordable donuts. Food Network star Alton Brown proclaimed, "There is no finer donut in the United States that I know of."
The star donut at Gibson's has to be Maple Bacon Donut covered in real pieces of bacon. While the prices are already low, you can swing by after 11 pm and get all donuts half off!
10. Voodoo Donuts (Portland, Oregon)
Look up things to do in Portland and most guides will direct you to make a stop at Voodoo Donuts. Fair warning, you'll probably have to wait in line, but we promise it'll be worth it! It's one of the spots every foodie needs to visit in Portland.
In 2003, Kenneth "Cat Daddy" Pogson and Tres Shannon noticed that Portland didn't have a donut shop and decided to fill the gap. They opened Voodoo donuts and their unconventional flavors got them national press within a month of opening. Since then, the donut shop has been featured in many major publications such as Access Hollywood, The Cooking Channel, Good Morning America, and more. This level of success has allowed the company to expand to nine locations in five states.
Voodoo donuts offer both raised yeast and cake donuts. Our favorites include their classic Captain Crunch cereal donut (Oh Captain, My Captain) and the bacon maple bar.
Voodoo donuts has vegan options available every day.
We hope by now you're drooling and deciding which of these donut shops to visit first!