5 Great Donuts In DC
photo credit: Nina Palazzolo
A run to Dupont Circle’s Krispy Kreme when the “hot” sign is lit is the ultimate DC donut move. But we went on a mission to find donuts that we’d devour all day, every day. The big, the small, the classic, the spicy, the gluten-free, the vegan. You’re welcome.
These light, airy donuts come straight out of the fryer to your table at Little Coco’s in Columbia Heights, and are covered in a sweet raspberry or semi-sweet chocolate sauce. While $6.50 may feel a little pricey for the pair, they're totally worth it since this Italian restaurant is one of the few places in the city where you can get freshly fried rings of sugar on demand. And Little Coco’s serves them during brunch and dinner, so you never have to worry about the dreaded “we’re out for the day.”
When we walked into this Takoma donut shop in a mood, our happiness meter immediately jumped from Wrecking Ball to Party In The USA. Donut Run’s classic glazed donut gives Krispy Kreme a run for its money, but it’s the french toast and death by chocolate that keeps us coming back. Order a dozen, which will come in two giant pink boxes, so you can try flavors like The Homer, a strawberry sprinkle ring straight out of The Simpsons. And for the people who need to know, they’re all vegan.
You need a black sesame donut from Rose Ave Bakery immediately. The sugar-covered brioche treat is stuffed with a nutty black cream and is the perfect blend of sweet and savory. Grab one from the Woodley Park bakery, where you’ll find other Asian-inspired flavors like ube and pandan coconut. All of the donuts are fluffy and fresh, but make sure you come early because they will run out later in the day. The cafe is a great place to work from, which means you can come early, get your favorite, and feel smug when the afternoon crowd is told it’s sold out.
This gluten-free bakery serves the greasiest donuts we’ve ever had, and we mean that in the best way. Their chai-spiced donut is coated in a sweet, spicy glaze and crumbles gently in your hand. It’s one to get your jaw around because it’s as thick as a double patty cheeseburger. Pop into the Hill East rowhouse to grab a couple and a cup of coffee—but get it to go because this bakery is so serious that the kitchen takes up three-quarters of the room and there are only a handful of seats.
When you’re trying to find Donisima and arrive at a West End squash club, don’t worry. You’re in the right place for excellent Latin American-flavored donuts. You could refuel with amor al chocolate after a game on the court, or be like us and yell “good shot” with a mouth full of an arequipe cheese crumble donut. If you want to try lots of flavors without committing to a full-sized sugar rush, the donuts come in mini sizes too. And when you can score four for 10 bucks, you’re in pretty good shape.