The Best Doughnuts In NYC guide image


The Best Doughnuts In NYC

From yeast and cake to mochi and vegan varieties, here's what to get when any old doughnut won't do.

While there aren't a ton of bad doughnuts out there, a few stand out among the rest. These are the doughnuts you think about eating late at night, right when you wake up, and all the hours in between while you're sleeping.


Little Flower Cafe

The Firni Doughnut at Little Flower Cafe is a transcendent experience. It’s fluffy on the inside, crisp on the outside, and has delicate, lightly floral, and nutty flavors that make it one of the most unique filled doughnuts we’ve had in recent memory. It’s not too big and not too sweet, so we recommend that you don’t plan to share it.

Unlike most of the places on this list, Kora doesn’t have a physical storefront. In order to get a box of their Filipino-inspired donuts, you have to visit their website, when orders open on Monday at 3pm, then choose a date to pick up your desserts at their makeshift window in Long Island City. The process is kind of a hassle, and it’s 100% worth it. At $37.50 for a box of five, the donuts aren’t the cheapest in the city—but you aren’t going to mistake this place for Dunkin’. Past highlights have included a brioche donut with a whole flan embedded in the middle and a perfect, sticky ube donut stuffed with ube custard.

Yes, the completely vegan doughnuts at Cloudy Donut Co. in Brooklyn Heights are incredibly cloudlike. These fluffy, airy, and downright dangerous doughnuts come in 40 different flavors that rotate through every week, and the main appeal here is the incredible attention to detail. We’d take their grapefruit mimosa doughnut—which has a grapefruit champagne glaze topped with brûléed grapefruits and a pipette of champagne—over a birthday cake any day. Get to the shop early as they tend to sell out fast.

Don’t be fooled by Super Nice’s unassuming takeout window. This East Harlem spot is beloved by neighborhood residents for their coffee, pastries, and doughnuts with flavors like strawberry lemonade and mango chili. If you’re having trouble deciding, go for their most popular choices: a glazed loganberry with just the right amount of sweetness, and a beautiful pistachio creation that gets some oomph from a crumble with a heavy dose of cardamom and star anise. There’s another location on the UWS, and both spots often have afternoon deals.

Ask anyone who knows their Brooklyn food bonafides where to get the best doughnuts, and they’ll tell you Peter Pan. If they don’t say Peter Pan, they’ll say Moe’s (more on that below). Peter Pan’s doughnuts are old school, and old school flavors are the way to go.

Moe used to work at Peter Pan, which is why you’ll often hear people talk about these two spots in the same sentence. Some people have strong opinions about which one is better, but we think they’re pretty much equal. At Moe’s, though, you probably won’t have to wait in a long line. We love the blueberry doughnuts here.

We wake up at least once a week thinking: “Doughnut Plant sounds good today.” The hefty yeast doughnuts, with their slightly dense, spongy, and chewy texture, made this place well-known. But don’t ignore their other types like the sourdough, cake, and mini filled ones. Some of our favorites are the coconut cream, tres leches, and the crème brûlée, which gets the brittle, somewhat bitter caramelized top layer just right. The savory cacio e pepe tastes like a bowl of pasta in fried dough form, and we’d take it over a dinner roll any day.

Yellow Rose may very well have the best flour tortillas in NYC. It’s hard enough for a place to do one thing really well, so it’s almost unfair (to all other restaurants) that they also do doughnuts just as well. You can only get them during brunch on the weekends, and they’re incredibly light and fluffy. The chocolate one actually tastes a little bitter, like dark chocolate, and the hominy sugar one is mostly savory with just a hint of sugar.

Mochi doughnuts are everywhere now, but Alimama was one of the first spots where you could get these crispy, chewy treats in NYC—and we think they’re still the best. The doughnuts are extremely consistent, and the flavors tend to be modern takes on Asian-inspired flavors.

In the battle for Bed-Stuy doughnut supremacy, Caroline’s scores an upset over Fan Fan, like a bracket-busting win from a 15 seed during March Madness. The consistency of their dough is on the verge of being dense, but stops just short so you still get that desired squishiness. If you’ve only allotted yourself one treat, get the Orange Cream Cheese. You also can’t go wrong with the plain glazed if you want something simpler. This place is takeout-only, so grab your doughnuts and head to the tables and chairs at Brevoort Playground just two blocks away.

This place is aptly named, considering all of their interesting and experimental flavors. We like The Bronx, which combines a sweet glaze with black pepper and olive oil, as well as the Those Beetz Are Dope, which has a bright red beet-flavored glaze and is filled with whipped ricotta. They also have very good vegan cake doughnuts, including one topped with cereal milk glaze and cornflakes. We met someone who lines up before opening time every Friday morning, so The Doughnut Project clearly inspires a loyal following. We can see why.

Supermoon does all pastries perfectly—that’s kind of their schtick—and doughnuts are no exception. Like the rest of their menu, the flavors change on a weekly basis, but expect an incredibly light yeast doughnut with decadent fillings and toppings that are a lot without being too much.

Getting your hands on these doughnuts will take a little planning. They’re only available on Saturdays at noon sharp, and you’ll have to check their Instagram to see what flavor they’re offering. They might have three kinds, or just one, but whatever’s available, get some. We recently had a fantastic Maldon salted caramel and chocolate glazed doughnut stuffed with fluffy pastry cream. We suggest getting in line at around 11:45am. They usually sell out within a half hour.

We’ve never had classic doughnuts quite as light and airy as the raised sugar-coated doughnuts at Shaikh’s Place. The prices here are extremely reasonable—a dozen doughnuts will cost you just over $12. Shaikh’s also makes our favorite chocolate cake doughnuts in the city.

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photo credit: Emily Schindler

The Best Doughnuts In NYC guide image