Donuts are all the rage right now in NYC, so there are endless donut shops throughout the city where donut lovers can flock to get their sugary fix. The sheer variety in texture and flavor is enough to keep you occupied for weeks or months. Donut enthusiasts know the pain of trekking all the way out to a new donut shop only to discover a sub-par confection. Luckily, we’re here to help you sift through the donut noise, and highlight the absolute best donuts in NYC. Here are our top picks for 15 best donut shops in NYC that true donut lovers won’t want to miss.
1. Doughnut Plant
While Doughnut Plant has been around for a while, it still ranks as one of the best donuts in NYC. And how could it not, with its sheer variety of flavors and dedication to quality? Doughnut Plant makes all their donuts fresh daily and is well-known for their delicious homemade jams and creams. They also turn out incredibly unique flavors daily that reflect the season, such as a filled candy corn “doughseed” and a lemon verbena gluten-free cake donut. They were also the first to serve up filled square donuts so that you get filling in every bite. Genius!
2. Underwest Donuts
This tiny donut shop is tucked away in a car wash way over on 12th Avenue, but we promise it’s worth a visit. Underwest churns out more old-fashioned style donuts–sugared, glazed or plain–with the help of its donut robot. When you order, you can watch the donut robot fry up your donut and cool it behind the counter before handing it over. We highly recommend the brown-butter, lime coconut or shredded halva flavors–though they’re all pretty amazing. Nothing like a fresh, hot donut right off the presses, is there?
3. Supermoon Bakehouse
Lower East Side
For some truly quirky desserts, Supermoon Bakehouse is top of the list. Not only are these donuts inventive, but you can tell there is real skill going into their creation. While they aren’t a donut-only shop, the inventiveness of their donut flavors is definitely worth checking out, especially since they change weekly! For example, you can try the Super Blood Moon donut, which is a red brioche pastry filled with raspberry jelly and topped with raspberry glaze, dehydrated strawberry, pink meringue, red and white chocolate shards, and raspberry dust. OR grab a peanut butter and jelly sandwich donut–now there’s a good idea. You’ve got to see it to believe it.
4. Peter Pan Donut and Pastry Shop
For a classic donut shop, there’s nothing that can beat this Brooklyn establishment. It has been around since the 1950s and has barely changed since then–even the prices seem to harken back to a simpler time, at just $1.10 per donut. For a classic cruller or bismark-cream filled donut, Peter Pan Donut and Pastry Shop is your place. They open at 4:30 a.m. on weekdays, so they’re perfect for early risers or serious night owls (nothing like a warm donut at the end of a long night out, right?).
5. The Doughnut Project
The Doughnut Project is another donut shop boasting brightly frosted donuts in unique flavors. They are known for their delightfully tasty, small-batch, yeasted donuts. The names match the oddball flavors, with quirky inventions such as Those Beetz Are Dope, a beet-glazed donut with ricotta filling, or the savory Everything Donut, designed to resemble an everything bagel (um, yes please). You didn’t even know that a savory donut was something that was missing in your life, but you do now!
6. The Cinnamon Snail
This vegan food truck (now boasting a real, live brick-and-mortar store) made waves a few years ago for offering up some truly inspired vegan food–proving that vegan food can be just as tasty as “regular” food. And their donuts fall into this same category. Completely vegan treats that have as much variety and flavor as any in the non-vegan camp. While they’re all pretty stellar, we recommend sticking with the classic sugared apple cider donut. It’s absolutely perfect in its simplicity. You can also check out their location in The Pensey in midtown for a full range of their donuts.
7. Daily Provisions
Daily Provisions is the next installment in the expansion of Danny Meyer’s empire across NYC. Here they serve up tasty noms throughout the day, starting with out-of-this-world pastries in the morning. We highly recommend starting your day (and seriously, get there early) with one of the famous crullers here. They’re made in the traditional French style from pâte à choux, which give them a delightfully light and fluffy texture. We recommend the maple, cinnamon or regular glazed variety.
8. Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery
While this spot only has one donut on offer, it is good enough that it still makes this best donuts in NYC list. This brioche-style donut is perfectly buttery, with a rich vanilla cream center, and topped with a delightful donut pearl that perches in a small divot on top. That little donut on top makes you feel like you’re getting a little something extra. It’s a simple, classic pastry done just to perfection with nothing over the top about it and we are totally fine with that.
9. Du’s Donuts and Coffee
Since the boom of the donut in NYC, celebrity chefs across the city have jumped on the donut-making bandwagon, and Wylie Dufresne has joined the fray with his Du’s Donuts. Here you can expect to find dense New-England-style cake donuts served in both classic and unique flavors and colorfully decorated. Try the oatmeal chai or brown butter key lime for an out-of-this-world experience, but keep an eye on the menu because the offerings change daily!
10. Black Label Donuts
For those that appreciate the elusive pop-up shop, this is your new donut goal. Black Label Donuts is a unicorn that is only around on (most) weekends and operates out of multiple locations, though usually at Nippon Cha in Bayside, Queens. These donuts are experimental, employing all kinds of new gadgetry and techniques to create the inventive flavors that founder Richard Eng dreams up. Come on out and see what’s on this ever-changing lineup of delicious desserts.
Now the stuff of donut legend, Fanny Gerson’s donut shop is still worth most of the hype it gets. While Dough is famous for its hot pink hibiscus donuts, which you can now find littered throughout bakeries all over town, there are quite a few flavors that you can only get from the original locale. These massive, yeasty donuts are truly spectacular– particularly the cheesecake, which boasts a tart frosting, covered in graham cracker crumble. If a cheesecake donut can’t make the list of best donuts in NYC, I don’t know what can.
The Doughnuttery stands out slightly from the rest of those on the list because they serve up small, piping hot donut morsels that are more like beignets than the massive American-style donuts. You can get them topped with plain sugar, or try one of their own sugar creations such as lavender, matcha green tea or cocoa. Who needs big donuts when you can have a million little ones?
13. The Donut Pub
This old standby is still going strong. Open 24 hours a day since 1964, you can rely on the Donut Pub for a solid, classic donut at any time of the day or night. Known for their perfect apple fritters and Boston cremes, and served up in a classic New-York-style diner-esque locale lined with subway tiles, the Donut Pub is sure to satisfy any donut craving you may have. Though they later jumped on the cronut frenzy (just to prove they could), this joint is good for the reliable donut we all know and love.
14. Sullivan Street Bakery
Sullivan Street Bakery is widely known for serving up some amazing breakfasts. But they are also home to one of NYC’s best donuts, the bomboloni. These filled Italian donuts are definitely some of the best around–outside of Italy.
15. Moe’s Doughs
Moe’s Doughs donuts are impossibly rich and delicious. If you are looking for the ultimate sugar overload, look no further. They’re not trying to reinvent the wheel here, just doing it really really well. Highlights include the raspberry-filled jelly donut doused in powdered sugar or the cakey pistachio donut sprinkled with a crust of actual nuts.
New York is a veritable treasure trove of donut shops of all shapes, sizes and textures. These 15 that we’ve decided to highlight are only the beginning of the incredibly unending list of donuts peppered around New York City, but are truly some of the best donuts in NYC. From traditional and classic, to quirky and unique, there are donuts for all tastes. No matter where you stay or what you do, there’s sure to be a donut spot not too far away.