If youve been searching the citys best bakeries, donut shops and coffee shops for the best donuts in NYC, look no further. Weve compiled a handy list of where to find the citys most exemplary donuts, from a halva-capped round doled out of a West Side Highway car wash to a brioche-based treat from the brick-and-mortar offshoot from a beloved online bakery. Feast your eyes on some of the best dessert in NYC.
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Best donuts in NYC
New York has plenty an eatery hidden in its deepest nooks and most unexpected crannies, from speakeasies above burger joints to coffee shops carved into office basements. 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 to be paired with Counter Culture coffee and espresso drinks. The tiny, subway-tiled space hits Levine’s nostalgic Americana mark, with six seats at the counter and a retro marquee menu displaying daily offerings.
Best donut: Halva doughnut
The owners of Choice Greene and Choice Market in Brooklyn are behind this ten-seat Bed-Stuy café. Nibble on freshly fried doughnuts and sip Stumptown coffee at the bar (fashioned from a recycled door) while watching bakers roll out the goods in an open kitchen.
Best donut: Hibiscus doughnut
You’ll find doughy fritters, not Tinkerbell, at this Greenpoint standby. Dip your lightly glazed raised doughnut 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.
Best donut: Honey dip doughnut
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) creations make up the sweet selections at the counter.
Best donut: Cronut
When Keith Cohen bought this bakery from its founding owners a few years back, he wanted to expand on the century-old kosher spot’s old-world reputation by producing cutting-edge artisan breads. While he still makes Orwasher’s famous Jewish rye, Cohen has remodeled the tiled-floor shop into a sunlit café, and now sells crusty European-style loaves and rustic “Artisan Wine” bread made with natural yeasts found on the grapes at Long Island’s Channing Daughters Winery.
Best donut: Jelly doughnut
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.
Best donut: Bombollini
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. The store will box 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.
Best donut: Jam doughnut
Andrew Bozzo goes all-natural at this roving food truck with his apple-cider doughnuts, using locally sourced cider and organic flour. Get them plain or as an ice cream sandwich. Bozzo also serves cioccolata (Italian hot chocolate) and hibiscus iced lemonade.
Best donut: Apple cider doughnut
Despite the neighboring Dunkin’ Donuts, caffeine addicts and sugar jonesers beeline to this Kennedy-era institution for their daily fix. Palm-size apple fritters, honey-dipped yeast doughnuts and Boston creams lacquered with chocolate icing are on offer any time of day or night.
Best donut: Cruller
Find small-batch, hand-made yeast doughnuts in oddball flavors at this West Village bakeshop. The fluffy rounds come in varieties like the beets-and-ricotta Those Beetz are Dope, and everything-bagel–inspired round and a doughnut filled with bone-marrow–infused chocolate.Best donut: Bacon-maple bar
Find the best donut shops in America
Upper East Siders can continue their search for the perfect pint at Doc Watson’s, the neighborhood’s local Irish pub. Though the bar offers a few signature cocktails and wine options, the beer menu is much more extensive. Like any Irish bar worth its salt, Doc Watson’s has Guinness on draft ($8), and it also carries the slightly harder-to-find Magner’s Cider ($6). The food menu mainly offers standard bar fare, but with an Irish twist—the list of starters includes deep-fried bratwurst wrapped in bacon ($10), cheddar jalapeno pretzel bites ($7) and beer-battered fried mozzarella with marinara ($11). Doc Watson’s offers a variety of different burgers and sandwiches ($13-$17), plus chicken pot pie ($18), buttermilk-fried chicken ($18) and a traditional Irish breakfast—black pudding, sausages, baked beans, eggs, soda bread, the whole deal—served all day ($18).
Venue says: “Join us for brunch Saturday and Sunday $13.95 including two complimentary drinks!”