The Best Donuts In SeattleThe 17 best places to get donuts in the city.
Everyone loves donuts. And Seattle is full of some yeast-raised, sprinkle-decorated, jelly-filled greats. Whether you’re in the mood to wait in long lines for something fancy or quickly grab a dozen in your finest pajamas, we’ve got options. These are the 17 best spots for donuts in Seattle.
This Northgate spot churns out exemplary, inexpensive donuts that also happen to be the best in town. And while many casual, high-volume shops suffer from unremarkable frosting pumped with artificial flavors, oily dough, and dry cake, that’s not the case at Family Donut. Instead of fake fruit essence, the donuts are coated with a glaze that contains actual bits of blueberry, orange zest, or raspberry puree. A heavy hand of buttermilk makes bars phenomenally moist and tangy, and old fashioneds are soft on the inside despite the craggy crunchy edges. Even the free little hole on a stick you get on your way out is special. Just note that on weekends, they can (understandably) sell out by 10am.
9th & Hennepin is a West Seattle operation that started out as a truck parked at farmer's markets around the city, and they serve phenomenal fried dough that features fresh produce. We're talking about things like rainbow carrots, pears, plums, and herbs galore. Every donut here, be it lime hominy cake with tequila glaze or french cruller rubbed in meyer lemon sugar, are fried to order, so they couldn't be fresher (or hotter, so be careful). Plus, they have a dedicated gluten-free fryer for the occasional wheatless option. Whether you place an order to grab a filled brioche or book the entire truck for a wedding, these donuts are worth any and all extended efforts.
The Flour Box has become such a recognizable staple in Hillman City that it could run for District 2 office. To secure these filled brioche rounds, you’ll need to wait in a line that stretches down the block hours before their 10am opening. So if you’re willing to wake up early (like 8am early) and find a friend who's willing to do it with you, you should—because these donuts rule. Flavors change monthly, but you’ll see fillings like carrot cheesecake, salted beer-infused caramel, and the occasional durian cream special. And while The Flour Box’s overstuffed pillows seem decadent, they’re never over-the-top sweet.
But some of us don’t have the patience to wait for hours just to eat raised brioche. That’s where General Porpoise comes in. The donuts at this coffee shop are much more readily available, but convenience is not their only selling point. The vanilla custard is so rich that it could stand in for crème brûlée filling, and there are often seasonal variations that we look forward to, like peppermint bark in December or summer fruit jam when the thermostat turns up. Grab some for the office before work and be hailed as a hero with impeccable taste.
We have this White Center shop to thank for one of our favorite donuts of all time: the sea salt glazed. It is what it sounds like. But it's not just this shining sweet-savory hybrid that keeps us coming back. It’s also the selection of wackier donuts—like a cheesy apple fritter, Trix cereal donut, or lemon cake with Golden Oreos. They also have a full vegan selection available Thursday-Sunday. Be prepared to arrive when they open at 8am on weekends or else you’ll be out of luck.
The plant-based raised circles at this Capitol Hill spot are not just excellent for being vegan—they’re excellent donuts, full stop. The best flavor here is their sour watermelon. The puckering gummy candy-inspired flavoring in the icing balances the sweetness perfectly, and also gets along suspiciously well with puffy, yeasty dough. You’ll find a wide range of fillings, glazes, and toppings like mango con chile, birthday cake, strawberry milkshake, and a glittery rainbow Pride donut that’s served all year long.
Aurora Donuts used to be one of the last remaining Washington Dunkin’ locations, as evidenced by the fuschia countertops and classic bubble font signage. Now, they serve non-commercial donuts worthy of a morning dozen—even though they all still look like Dunkin’ understudies. Among the classics like chocolate bavarian creme, princess-pink strawberry frosted, and cakey buttermilk rings is a standout bacon maple bar. It’s pleasantly light, and the cured pork has polka dots of black pepper that add spice to the sticky-sweet icing.
This Japanese bakery in the International District is a great place to pick up a fresh malasada. They have a handful of standard Hawaiian flavors like ube and lilikoi, but the greatest one here is the Crunchy Cream—vanilla bean-speckled custard stuffed into a brioche donut that gets rolled in sugar and cornflakes. It’s a nightmare to bite into if you just vacuumed your car, but absolutely worth it. We’re also fans of their mochi donuts, and if you’re reading this without a sweet tooth, you could also grab a curry kare-pan, a fried panko-coated bun filled with beef and Japanese curry.
All week long, Temple Pastries sells baked goods so beautiful that they belong in a museum—and you better believe we’d buy an overpriced gift shop tote to memorialize them. And on Saturday and Sunday, you’ll find a short menu of savory and sweet donuts. The churro variation has sturdy cinnamon sugar that sticks to every ridge, and the brioche one is stuffed with lots of saucy chile verde pork, but the true masterpiece here is their cronut. This thing is complete with light layers of croissant dough stacked like papier-mâché and then piped with silky cream. The honey-dipped honeycomb cronut is so blasted full of honey that we’d recommend eating this one inside to avoid attracting a swarm of bees and/or Winnie the Pooh.
The panko-coated, deep-fried okazu pan at this Rainier Beach shop makes for a $7-or-under lunch that’s just as quick as it is tasty. The dough succeeds on its own, with a crackle on the outside and airiness on the inside. But then it gets packed with fillings like chicken adobo, beef curry, and smoked salmon in a potato cream sauce topped with furikake. The limited specials are where Umami Kushi gets creative, and those end up being our favorites, particularly the pan loaded with tangy crumbled pork and garlicky homemade kimchi. For dessert, they serve puffy beignets topped with things like cocoa powder and berry dust.
King Donuts has been a South End staple since the ‘80s, and for good reason. These donuts are so light and fluffy that we could use a few bags of them to replace our down-filled pillows. And while they nail all the classics, (namely, the buttermilk bars and sprinkle-topped options), they also dabble with specials like a pistachio donut dipped in a nutty green glaze, sea salt caramel twists, and a rich German chocolate cake donut with caramel drizzle and coconut flakes.
Sometimes it’s nice to eat donuts at a sit-down restaurant instead of as a powdered sugar gremlin hunched over the sink. Lola in Belltown is where you can be classy with a pile of donut holes. During breakfast and weekend brunch, they serve miniatures fried to order and shaken in a paper bag of cinnamon sugar that coats every oiled-up surface. These are great as-is, but then they go and give you sides of vanilla mascarpone and jam to slather on your donuts like butter on a roll. You shouldn’t have a morning meal at Lola without these suckers.
Behind the glass case at this Filipino Beacon Hill bakery, the baked goods are as visually mesmerizing as a kaleidoscope, or elementary school children performing Shakespeare. And when it comes to what Despi Delite does best, focus your attention on the ube malasada. It's loaded with a thick Grimace-colored purple filling that oozes out of sugar-covered dough.
This Capitol Hill spot has lots of fun flavors, like a chai-spiced old fashioned and brioche with bananas foster-flavored cream, but they truly excel at the fritter. And this isn't just any regular apple fritter—their caramelized pineapple version is roughly the size of Sasquatch’s footprint and has chunks of glazed pineapple mixed into every bite. It's tangy, sweet, extra sticky, and perfect when dunked into a hot cup of black coffee.
Yeah, we know you’re coming to Ben’s for the english muffins, but don’t skip the donuts. This Phinney Ridge bakery only has one or two at any given time, and these things are scientific feats of pastry. There’s a burst of nutty yeast, a light dough that springs back when you squish it, and a sugary coating that adds crunch and a miniscule sweet kick. You also get more for your money, as these are called “The Whole Donut.” (That means it’s a classic ring topped with a donut hole in the middle.) Past combinations have involved strawberry sugar, chocolate frosting, and cherry jam—but the only wrong choice is to not order one at all.
Dona Queen is a Sodo classic. This Korean deli opens at 4am sharp and instantly gets filled with early morning folks who are there solely to pick up a breakfast sandwich or a plate of spicy pork bulgogi. But it's the glass case of wall-to-wall donuts that you should prioritize. The donuts here are split into two distinct categories— “regular” and “fancy”. Regular donuts could mean glazed or iced, while the fancier donuts could mean a fritter or something filled. Make sure you pick up a bear claw with apple filling that tastes precisely like warm pie. It's fancy.
Raised Doughnuts is a Central District spot where you'll find maple bars, fritters, and a rotating monthly lineup of special flavors like strawberry basil and butterscotch oatmeal. The mochi sugar donut, however, is their finest contribution to Seattle. It’s made with rice flour and has a chewy texture that comes with the territory, and when fried and rolled in sugar, these golden brown puffs taste like an elephant ear from the Washington State Fair. Just make sure to show up early and eat them while fresh to experience the fluffy middle, even if it means you have to quit your job to free up some time.