We’re all about living that healthy lifestyle. We crave kale and a good sweat session on the regular. But we’re also human. And that means we also like bingeing on Netflix and eating junk sometimes.
To us, those ‘sometimes’ need to be special. So when we really want to live it up, we go all in. That’s why we’re bringing you a list of the most outrageous donut creations in the US (one of our favorite cheat foods). These crazy concoctions are decadent, delicious, and drool-worthy.
For years Voodoo Doughnut was the go-to spot for spectacular sweets in Portland, Oregon. And while we’re still big fans of Voodoo, there’s a new king in town: Blue Star Donuts. For those looking to really indulge, try the Cointreau Crème Brulee. It’s a vanilla bean custard-filled donut topped with torched sugar and a pipette holding a shot of Cointreau orange liqueur. This one’s only for those 21 and up!
There’s a lot to love about District: Donuts. Sliders. Brews. For starters, the fresh baked donuts are huge. And they come in all sorts of amazing flavors, like Pineapple Upside Down and Whiskey Ginger. But if you’re really looking to indulge, order one of District’s Croquenuts, a griddled donut sandwich. If you don’t even know how to choose one, try District’s take on the Monte Cristo: smoked ham, Havarti, and dijon on a donut topped with raspberry preserves and powdered sugar.
Donut Bar has been slinging delicious donuts in innovative flavors since 2013. But it was the invention of the Big Poppa Tart Donut that really put the San Diego donut shop on the map. This one-pound (yes, you read that right) behemoth is a mashup between a donut and a Pop Tart, allowing you to eat all your fave breakfast treats at once. The Big Poppa does not mess around either. It’s a two-inch thick square donut filled with strawberry jam and a strawberry Pop Tart, and then it’s covered with diced Pop Tart, sprinkles, and jam.
Don’t be fooled by the fact that most of the treats at Donut Friend in Los Angeles are vegan. Listen, friends – this is a serious sweet shop. Donut Friend has a ton of donuts to offer, like the Srirachosin – a traditional donut stuffed with peanut butter, strawberry jam, coconut bacon, and a bit of sriracha. And if none of the regular donuts sound tasty, you can build your own!
Whether you’re a donut purist or prefer a modern spin, Glam Doll Donuts has got you covered. The cheeky shop sells classics like the Starlet, a donut with chocolate or vanilla icing and sprinkles. But it also slings new school favorites like the Misfit, a donut with orange, ginger, and cinnamon-infused glaze. Fitt tip: As long as it isn’t -10℉, get ’em for delivery via bike messenger.
Dough is kind of a hole-in-the-wall, but it’s making its mark on New York City by coming up with a seemingly endless supply of unique flavors. Dough specializes in donuts topped with innovative icing (think hibiscus and passion fruit). But if you’re really going to go for it, we recommend the Double Chocolate Brownie. This donut is topped with a chocolate caramel glaze, house-made fudge brownies, and walnuts.
Doughnut Vault doesn’t have a huge daily menu, but what it lacks in diversity it makes up for in quality. Served out of a van in Chicago, the Doughnut Vault makes old-fashioned donuts in modern flavors. We’re partial to the Coconut Cream and Triple Chocolate. And we always have our eye on the Vault’s specials, like S’mores and Strawberry Shortcake Crumble.
What happens when a San Francisco chef goes on vacation and starts messing around in her home kitchen? Apparently very good things. Dynamo Donut was born during owner Sara Spearin’s maternity leave in 2007 and now the shop is one of the most popular donuteries (is that a word?) in this food-obsessed city. We love the Caffeinated Crunch – a vanilla donut glazed with local Four Barrel espresso and topped with dark chocolate streusel.
Forget chicken and waffles. At Federal Donuts in Philadelphia, it’s all about the chicken and donuts. Yup, just like Astro in DC, Philly’s got the perfect pairing (only Federal’s been slinging chicken longer). Federal serves crisp fried chicken alongside a honey donut for the perfect combination of savory and sweet. You can also snag one of Federal’s signature donut flavors, like Blueberry Pancake or Strawberry Cheesecake, when you visit.
The Donut Man may be the longest running shop on our list, having served sweets to Southern Californians for more than 40 years. At The Donut Man you’ll find all the classics: raised glazed donuts, powdered sugar cake donut holes, and glazed french crullers. But you’ll also find a few donuts that you won’t see anywhere else. When the fruit is in season, The Donut Man stuffs its sweets with fresh strawberries and peaches. That makes the donuts sort of healthy, right?
What started as a small pop-up shop has become a sensation (for your mouth). Union Square Donuts is right at home in Somerville, a quirky city just north of Boston that’s had a major food renaissance. And soon Union Square Donuts will have a sister location in nearby Brookline. That’s good news for the people who line up in all weather to snag Union Square Donut’s signature creations, like the ever-popular Maple Bacon, Sea Salted Bourbon Caramel, or the Brown Butter Hazelnut Crunch.
Mighty-O Donuts uses organic ingredients to create its vegan, non-GMO, trans fat-free donuts, so we like to think they’re slightly healthier than their conventional cousins. Either way, we can’t get enough of their delicious donuts. Mighty-O’s French Toast donut is the perfect fix for when you’re too lazy to make breakfast at home.
There’s a secret to Holy Donut’s success, and it’s probably one that will surprise you. The donuts are made using Maine mashed potatoes. And they are awesome. For a simple treat, we can’t recommend the Chai Glazed or the Sweet Potato Ginger Glazed enough. But for true decadence, you have to go with the Holy Cannoli, a donut with ricotta filling and a ginger glaze. Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong at Holy Donut.
Food trucks have popped up in nearly every city in the US, but Austin has got to be one of the food truck capitals of the country. And one of the most popular is Gourdough’s, which has so many fans that it has opened a pub that now serves donut burgers, sandwiches, and entrees. Our pick for a decadent treat at Gourdough’s Airstream trailer is the Fat Elvis, a donut with grilled bananas and bacon, plus peanut butter icing and honey. Have mercy!
This family business uses local, seasonal ingredients when possible to craft some of the most interesting flavors we’ve seen anywhere. Glazed & Confused makes all of its sweet treats by hand and is always updating what’s in the rotation. If you’re looking to try a truly unique donut, get your hands on a Jalapeno Popper, a savory jalapeño cream cheese-stuffed donut topped with chipotle drizzle (it’s actually the opposite of gross).
In Washington, DC, Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken focuses on using seasonal ingredients, so the shop’s menu always has something new. The holiday season saw Astro serving Bourbon Eggnog and Gingerbread Pear donuts. And when you pair them with some of Astro’s specialty fried chicken, you can’t go wrong. Looking for something savory? Try the Fried Chicken BLT, which has fried chicken, bacon, and sriracha mayo on a donut with bacon rolled into the dough!
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