If you've been hunting through the city’s best bakeries and coffee shops for the best donuts in NYC, look no further. We've compiled a handy list of where to find the city's most exemplary fried rings, from a spot in a Staten Island strip mall to brioche-based treats from the brick-and-mortar offshoot of a beloved online bakery. Feast your eyes on some of the best breakfasts, er, best desserts in NYC.
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Best donuts in NYC
Beneath the elevated 7 train, this 24-hour greasy spoon slings eggs, Irish sausages and its featherlight namesakes. The selection is regularly decimated, so arrive early to order 90¢ homemade delights such as sugar crullers and the crumb-crowned, apple-jelly-stuffed yeast beauty—breakfast’s answer to apple pie.
This traveling donut pop-up brings its funky flavors to bakeries all of over the city: from Jackson Heights to Bayside and even the Lower East Side. Show up early!
Another 24/7 donut spot, this charming old-school haunt is also lovingly referred to as The Donut Shoppe. Shaikh's Place is a lunch counter serving tacos, chicken sandwiches and breakfast options—but fans come hungry for a date with their donuts.
Nibble on pillowy, freshly fried yeast donuts (dulce de leche, passionfruit, salted chocolate caramel) and sip Stumptown coffee at the bar (fashioned from a recycled door) while watching bakers roll out the goods in an open kitchen.
This quirky and inventive donut shop is best known for its unique square donuts stuffed with house-made jams and cream fillings (peanut butter banana, coconut cream). But bakers here also sling chubby yeast-raised rings that are fluffy yet substantial and glazed in rotating flavors (pistachio, strawberry, vanilla bean, Valrhona chocolate), plus cake-style donuts like Brooklyn Black Out and carrot cake. Vegan and gluten-free options are available as well.
Josh Ku and Trigg Brown’s restaurant, Win Son, proffers inventive takes on Taiwanese-American bites. But now, the duo has opened a bakery across the street that serves fried-chicken sandos on milk bread (made in-house by pastry chef Danielle Spence), insanely-good mochi doughnuts, Taiwanese beer and natural wine.
Next door to the ever-popular Union Square Café sits this small café sister issuing out house-baked breads (caraway rye, a house miche) and pastries (crullers in cinnamon-sugar, maple or original glaze). The intimate space operates mostly as a takeout spot but there is a handful of high-top tables if you want to tuck in on site.
Staten Island doesn't get enough credit for a lot of dishes, but these donuts top the charts. Donut World could be easily missed in its strip mall, but once you find it, you'll be coming back again and again. We love the comic book-style signage and its sentient donut mascot, too.
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 expanded the enduring bakeshop with a South Slope location. The store boxes up the same spread of Danish pastries, butter cookies and red-velvet checkerboard cakes, as well as specials like homemade takes on Hostess's defunct Twinkies and squiggled CupCakes.
Find small-batch, hand-made yeast donuts in oddball flavors at this West Village bakeshop. The creative, fluffy rounds include a beet-glazed and ricotta-whipped cream–filled Those Beetz are Dope, and a sweet-and-savory yeast ring showered in cream cheese icing and everything bagel seasonings. There's even a donut stuffed with bone-marrow–infused chocolate on the menu.
Cult-favorite chef Wylie Dufresne (wd~50) returns to his sweetooth roots with this café churning out plump, New England-style cake donuts in eye-catching glazes and a daily rotation of madcap flavors like pomegranate-tahini, ginger-matcha, and Nutella cherry.
Dominique Ansel honed his skills as executive pastry chef at Daniel for six years before opening this American and French patisserie. Caramelized croissants, miniature pastel meringues and the chef's signature Cronut (croissant-doughnut hybrid) creations make up the sweet selections at the counter.
You’ll find doughy fritters, not Tinkerbell, at this Greenpoint standby. Dip your lightly glazed donut into steaming coffee at the curved counter or box up a dozen still-warm chocolate cake rounds and black-raspberry jellies — just some of the 20-odd varieties baked daily.
From this roving truck, self-taught chef Adam Sobel dispatches vegan desserts such as standout crème brulee donuts, overflowing with flavor.
At this Lower East Side bakery, desserts are treated like they're art in a gallery: displayed on a terrazzo bar with shiny to-go, boxes fit for jewels. Though Supermoon has come to be known for its oozing, sumptuous croissants, its donuts are the sleeper hit. Flavors change constantly, so keep an eye out.
Brooklyn's vegan doughnut lovers are in luck—Dun-Well Doughnuts is about as good as you're going to get in the animal-product-free sweet-treats department. Consider the old-timey atmosphere a bonus.
The showstopper on the menu is an airy bomboloni, a soft yeast round filled with super light vanilla-bean custard, flecked with lemon zest and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
This Greenpoint charmer churns out colorful, doughy circles perfect to nosh on in nearby McGorlick Park.
Darn Donuts offers novelty flavors such as key lime pie, Nutella and pretzel at its Bay Ridge bakery.