The 10 Best Philly Donut Shops To Try Right NowThere are a lot of donut shops in the city. Here are the ones you need to know about.
Our love for donuts started with two things—Munchkin birthday celebrations in grade school, and seeing Homer drool over them in episodes of The Simpsons. Now that we're older and have sat through long-winding lines at neighborhood shops, it’s obvious that the city shares our 3rd-grade-level excitement for these hand-held desserts/meals for breakfast. From old-school bakeries in the Northeast to historic marketplaces and fun coffee shops, these are the nine places serving glazed and frosted sweets that we're excited about right now.
No matter what time of day you stop by Beiler’s Doughnuts, you’ll be in for a wait that resembles trying to cross the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge when it’s up. It’s worth it, though, because you can get up to 40 varieties of these warm and doughy homemade Pennsylvania Dutch treats. It’s hard to pick just one favorite behind the glass display, but you can’t go wrong with the classic vanilla sprinkled or filled with jelly.
Make no mistake: Dottie’s Donuts is not a shop that’s just good for vegan donuts. It’s a donut shop that makes great donuts, period. With locations in both West Philly and Center City, they sell everything from classic apple fritters to options like their glazed gingerbread that’s topped with a hunk of chocolate-apple spiced cake. Open until they sell out, try to make it there before noon if you want to get your hands on these consistently delicious and fresh doughy rings.
The first time you have a Boston cream donut from Hello Donuts you may feel like you’re biting into a pillow. You know, if a pillow was edible and stuffed with vanilla cream. With the rotating creative flavors like birthday cake and strawberry pull-apart, some great vegan donuts like summer peach and banana pancake, and the delicious chai lattes, this Kensington spot has a few sure-fire options that'll reward you for getting out of bed before noon.
Biting into a plump, airy sonhos at Kouklet Brazilian Bakehouse is like biting into a sugary pillow. The donut flavors at this bright East Passyunk bakery rotate, but you might find peach, cherry and chocolate custard, or strawberry. No matter which fluffy round you go for, they’re all a great way to start the day (heads up: they’re only open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays).
Frangelli’s Bakery is another place that has been making tasty donuts for a long time—we’re talking longer than the LOVE statue has been around. Through the decades, the legendary shop has sold everything from chocolate frosted, jelly, glazed, and other go-to donut staples. But years ago, they took things to the next level with the “Franolli” and their ice cream donuts. The “Franolli” is a massive donut and cannoli hybrid filled with a mound of cannoli cream and tiny chocolate chips. For the ice cream variety, they slice a donut in half and fill it with a tennis ball-sized scoop of ice cream.
At Okie Dokie Donuts you'll find some creative flavors like orange cardamom, oolong ginger, and earl grey lemon, along with some more familiar staples like cakey apple cider, strawberry cheesecake, and German chocolate cake. When you want to avoid the line after sleeping through your alarm, you can use their online ordering system to nab your perfectly sugary pick-me-up.
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There’s no shortage of filling in the powder cream donuts at Holmesburg Bakery, which is probably why it’s one of our favorites at the family-owned shop. And whether you’re grabbing a batch for a morning meeting or lazy Saturday morning when you don't want to crack an egg, the sweet aroma from any freshly-fried batch will be worth the trip to the Northeast if you don’t live nearby.
Federal Donuts will have you hooked from the first whiff you get when you walk through the doors—you’ll be hit with both the smell of fresh chicken out of the fryer and their sweet donuts. Fans of sugar-topped treats can enjoy their churro or strawberry lavender options, but you can also catch other variations like cheesecake-filled or glazed at any of the franchise’s seven locations in the city.
Mochi donuts are puffier than most donuts, and since they’re made with rice flour, they’re slightly healthier and naturally gluten-free. These are the facts we tell ourselves when we have the urge to order two or 10 of them from this Old City donut shop. And with flavors like chocolate, ube-glazed, strawberry funnel, or churro, it's easy to see why these spots are popping up on every corner like Spirit Halloween stores during the month of October.
Things you might overhear while walking through Rittenhouse Square: a heated debate about who is the strongest Avenger, pigeons fighting over crumbs, and people holding and eating ring-shaped mochi donuts. Mochi Ring is just a few blocks away from the park, and the light and airy donuts are topped with things like Fruity Pebbles, matcha glaze, and cinnamon sugar (and they all taste incredible, we checked). Aside from the donuts, you can get bubble tea and Korean rice hot dogs, in case your people-watching near the park becomes an all-day thing.