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The best donut shops in NYC

From classic glazed to cream-filled, get your morning sugar rush at the best donut shops in New York

Photograph: Karen Biton-Cohen
Doughnuts at Underwest Donuts

Doughnuts are no longer just a coffee-sopping afterthought, with neighborhood bakeries and leading pastry chefs alike adopting the sugary rounds as canvasses for experimentation. Nowadays, you'll find the once humble morning treats infused with house-made jams, splashed with rainbow colors and, as in the case of Dominique Ansel's world-famous Cronuts, imbued with the buttery flakiness of a croissant. From Greenpoint to the Upper East Side, find the best donut shop in NYC.

Find the best donut shop in NYC

Dominique Ansel Bakery

The Soho bakery offers a long list of crafty and innovative pastries, but none have the mass appeal nor the nickname-readiness of the Cronut: a croissant-slash-doughnut. Lines were spilling out of the shop’s doors for weeks following the creation's debut, and Cronut mania doesn’t seem to be dying down. So just how genius are these feats of French pastry chef Dominique Ansel’s imagination? Pretty darn good: They're filled with a light cream center and fried in grapeseed oil, and the accoutrements tend to change up (so far there’s been a rose-vanilla and a lemon-maple iteration) for maximum buzz. $5

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Soho

Donut Pub

One thing doughnuts have that cupcakes don't: rich, creamy fillings. This mom-and-pop icon from the 1960s, with retro neon signage and a throwback long marble counter lined with swivel stools, excels in the genre, so seek out crème, chocolate crème, vanilla crème and, especially, Boston crème (pictured above). Another strong suit of the Donut Pub: They're open 24/7. $1.15–$2.35

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Chelsea

Dough

Doughnuts do not get any fresher than those at Clinton Hill's Dough. The colorful yeast doughnuts are made throughout the day completely from scratch using seasonal ingredients (the staff even steeps the hibiscus it uses for its deep-pink hibiscus doughnut). In addition to eight varieties available daily—cinnamon sugar, plain, chocolate with cacao nibs, salted caramel, dulce de leche, cafe au lait, lemon poppy and coconut—you're bound to come across one or more new varieties each week, based on new market finds, like blackberries. Standard doughnuts $2.25, filled doughnuts $3.75

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Bedford-Stuyvesant

Doughnut Plant

Even the vanilla-bean flavor is delicious at this doughnut mecca, but Mark Israel has gone on to dream up so many more. In addition to peanut butter and blackberry jam (pictured), chocolate chip cookie and strawberry, they’ve got the devilishly delectable blackout cake, which is made super moist by its rich pudding filling, and the famous tres leches doughnut. Renowned for their quirky square shape, the yeast varieties here are some of their best, and include the pleasantly subtle coconut cream (the filling is lime-flavored!) and the vanilla bean and blackberry jam. The one thing they all have in common? They’re worth the trip. $2.25–$3.25

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Lower East Side

Leske's Bakery

Since 1961, the original Leske’s has been baking old-world favorites (Scandinavian kringler, Vienna brøt, Irish soda bread) and New York City classics (Brooklyn blackout cake, black-and-white cookies) in Bay Ridge. A year after shutting down in 2011, the bakery bounced back to life with new owners—Steven DeSimone and Kenny Grande—who are expanding the enduring bakeshop with this South Slope location. Classic doughnuts, including the best-selling jelly-filled variety, are sold for under two bucks, staying true to their original prices. $1-$2

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Park Slope

Orwasher’s Bakery

These fluffy doughnuts are fortified with jam courtesy of a Hudson Valley farm and come in a multitude of seasonal flavors. You won’t find any of that processed nonsense here—the jam contains whole pieces of fruit, from fresh blueberries, seedy raspberries and strawberry chunks (try the sour cherry or the black raspberry, an Orwasher’s staff favorite). Plus, the pastry gurus will fill them right before your eyes. Fans of pie, meet your new favorite breakfast. $4.25, one dozen $44

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Upper East Side

Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop

The Greenpoint standby serves up old-fashioned doughnuts with astonishing variety—here, you’ll find everything from crispy crullers, long braided doughnuts, red-velvet cake, holiday-specific doughnuts and many kinds of jelly-filled varieties. Direct sweet-toothed little ones to the white cream coconuts or the apple-pie–filled doughnuts, dusted in a cinnamon sugar crumble, to make you feel like it’s Thanksgiving all year round. $1, one dozen $10.50

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Greenpoint

Sullivan St Bakery

Having developed a following of carb-loving devotees with his Hell’s Kitchen flagship, acclaimed dough puncher Jim Lahey brought his superlative breads to Chelsea with this wood-laden spin-off in July 2012. For little more than a Hamilton, you can load up on a panino built atop Lahey’s trusty loaf—the combo of salty prosciutto, rich buffalo mozzarella and pickled shishito peppers is a standout ($11). Crunchy, cracker-thin pizzas are as pretty as tarts, layered with golden-edged slices of potato and rosemary, or shredded zucchini with gooey Gruyère ($3.50 each). But the showstopper is the airy bomboloni, a gem at $3.50, filled with super-light vanilla-bean custard, flecked with lemon zest and sprinkled with powdered sugar. $3.50

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Chelsea

Underwest Donuts

New York has plenty an eatery hidden in its deepest nooks and most unexpected crannies—joining the ranks of these cloak-and-dagger dens is this pocket-sized doughnut dive from Chanterelle vet Scott Levine wedged inside a car wash. The old-fashioned cake-style coffee dunkers are pulled from an automatic Donut Robot, which fries and cools the rings behind a glass wall as cars are scrubbed and buffed. Choose from sugared, glazed or plain pastries in flavors like brown-butter, cocoa-raspberry, lime-coconut and even a shredded halva-topped number. $2.50.

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Hell's Kitchen

Find the best donut shops in America

Comments

4 comments
Irish E
Irish E

Nice Post, sweet Food and Delicious, Enjoy all Flavor............

Dan C
Dan C

Mike's Donuts in Bay Ridge. Across from Alpine Theatre

Martin M
Martin M

Fully agree withe "The Donut Pub" being the best! Fantastic place - I even went on an Iceberg (www.iceberg.travel/meet/new-york/) event there recently...ate too much...haha. 

meadonmanhattan
meadonmanhattan

@Martin M Donut Pub is half a block from my new office... I am in so much trouble now with my belts and suit pants.