The crisp, cool days of Fall and Winter are upon us. Long gone is the sweltering summer sun and a longing for watermelon and lemonade. These are the days and nights for comfort food and a hot cup of coffee. Have a doughnut. It will cure what ails ya’.
Gildshire sought out the best doughnuts in the land. It took a toll on our waistline, but we haven’t stopped smiling since we finished the quest. We aren’t “gamers” of the World of Warcraft ilk. But this is a “quest” we can believe in. The list is in no particular order. Because some days we are in the mood for a light and airy doughnut treat. Other times we are in the mood for a doughnut as dense as a truck tire.
• Doughnut Plant- Four New York City locations, nine shops in Tokyo, and one in Seoul, South Korea. This old school doughnut house specializes in seasonal creations. That means some lemon-lime yumminess in the Spring. This time of year, we recommend the fresh blueberry cake doughnut.
• Sublime Doughnuts, 535 10th St NW, Atlanta. They also have an address in Bangkok, if you are going to be in the neighborhood. This place pushes the boundaries of creative flavor combinations. We recommend the banana doughnut. Caramelized banana, white chocolate pearls, and a whipped cream filling.
• Federal Doughnuts, 1632 Sansom St, Philadelphia. Some people come to “Fed’s”, as it is called by the locals, for the spicy fried chicken. The bird is undeniably good. But the doughnuts are stupendous! We recommend the blueberry mascarpone creation.
• Gourdough’s, three locations in Austin, TX. They also have a food truck tooling about Austin. Look for it near the music scene downtown. Half the menu is doughnut creations you have never tried before. Of these, we recommend the Squealing Pig. It is a cake doughnut with cream cheese icing, bacon, strawberry jalapeño jelly and candied jalapeños.
• Champion Malasadas, 1926 S Beretania St, Honolulu. We love the chiffon cake at Champion Malasadas, but the topic today is doughnuts. Malasadas are really deep-fried Portuguese doughnuts, coated in granulated sugar. A unique doughnut treat even for those of us (burp) who have had a lot of doughnuts in our day. Our recommendation? Chocolate filled. Simple, basic, and the best thing you will eat all week!
• Donut Bar, 631 B St, San Diego. We can’t limit ourselves to just one selection at this place. Some like the pretzel doughnut glazed in butter and salt, with a chocolate drizzle. (Isn’t “drizzle” a beautiful word when preceded by “chocolate”?). Others like the Pop Tart flavored doughnut. That’s right. We said “Pop Tart.”
• Psycho Donuts, 2000 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, Calif. They also have a location in Campbell and one inside a movie theater in San Jose. We know we said this is in no particular order, and it is. But there is such a thing as chief among equals. Psycho Donuts donates some of their profits, and products, to homeless shelters and schools for disadvantaged youth. “Great,” you say. “But are the doughnuts any good?” Um, try the Dead Elvis. It’s filled with whipped cream and topped with bananas, bacon, peanut butter, and jelly.
• Blackbird Doughnuts, 492 Tremont St, Boston. Doughnuts and ice cream. Better together. Lord, you can take me now! And you probably will if I go to Blackbird too often. Try the cinnamon sugar ice cream sandwich doughnut. Decadence, thy name is Blackbird.
• Do-Rite Donuts, 50 W Randolph St, Chicago. You can have a plain glazed or cake doughnut at Do-Rite. But you will be missing what makes this place unique and deserving of a spot on our list. Instead, try whatever the special of the day happens to be. Or…try The Overlord. It’s a pumpkin- spice cake donut, with an apple brandy glaze, and cream cheese frosting. It’s topped with spicy pumpkin seed brittle.
• Congdon’s Doughnuts, 1090 Post Rd, Wells, Maine. Baby, it’s cold outside. Probably nowhere is it any colder than in Wells, Maine. Somehow that doesn’t stop the locals from filling the tables at Congdon’s Doughnuts. You can have breakfast or lunch here. But save room for a doughnut if you know what’s good for you. We recommend the blueberry jelly doughnut.
• Top Pot Doughnuts, 12 locations in the Seattle-area. Remember those dense doughnuts we talked about at the beginning? Top Pot’s doughnuts are “hand-forged,” making for a denser bakery treat than what can be found at, for example, Krispy Kreme. President Obama made a special stop at Top Pot during a campaign swing. What’s good? Everything. But, if you want to go all Seattle up in here, try the Spiced Chai specialty cake doughnut.
• VooDoo Doughnuts, 22 SW 3rd Ave, Portland. VooDoo also has locations in Eugene, Ore, Denver, and Austin, Texas. Cash only, please. That’s just one of the quirks at this most unique of all doughnut establishments. The Portland Cream Doughnut comes complete with two cream eyes on top. They represent the vision of the city, and top the Official Doughnut of Portland. Yes, there really is such a thing. But we recommend the Lemon Chiffon Cruller. It’s a French cruller with vanilla frosting, lemon dust, and three marshmallows.
• Donut Savant, 1934 Broadway, Oakland, Calif. So many choices! And that’s just size and style. We haven’t even gotten to the actual doughnut yet! Savant doughnuts come in three sizes and two dough types. The small doughnut is a doughnut hole. The large is a regular doughnut size. The medium is, well, in the middle. We like the fresh strawberry-topped yeast-raised doughnut.
• The Donut Man, 915 E Rte 66, Glendora, Calif. What’s good? It depends on the season. Because that’s the way The Donut Man rolls. Stuffed Strawberry and Stuffed Peach are our faves. But any season is the right season at this trendy establishment on Old Route 66.
• The Donut Stop, 1101 Lemay Ferry Rd, St. Louis. The architects of the Gateway Arch will tell you that is the Gateway to the West. But, handmade doughnuts from The Donut Stop is the gateway to Gildshire Magazines‘ soul. Our favorite? the Cinnamon Glob. It is, exactly, what it sounds like it should be.