My Favorite Doughnuts in the U.S.A.


I’ve traveled the country on my live tour, Alton Brown Live, and have found some of the country’s best doughnuts while doing so. The best part about this list is that it’ll constantly be updated. Tough job, I know.

In no particular order …

ALABAMA

The Heavenly Donut Co. (Birmingham): I am especially partial to their old-fashioned.

CALIFORNIA

Sidecar Doughnuts (Costa Mesa): Two words: Buttermilk Drops. Don’t leave the store without at least 20. Eat half in the car then go back and get another 30. Take the rest of the day off.

The Donut Man (Glendora): If you’re in the remote vicinity of this establishment, run. Don’t walk. And order the tiger tail.

ILLINOIS

Do-Rite Donuts (Chicago): My favorite old-fashioned doughnut in America resides here. There will be a line. It is worth it.

By the Dozen Bakery (Rockford): This old-fashioned doughnut is the reason people like me keep eating old-fashions.

INDIANA

Long’s Bakery (Indianapolis): Order the cinnamon fries at Long’s. Don’t be surprised when you have to wait on a line down the block for them. Your patience will be rewarded.

KENTUCKY

Nord’s Bakery (Louisville): An institution. I don’t think there’s a bad doughnut in the shop, but if you’re going to have one, make it the French fry.

OHIO

Holtman’s Donuts (Cincinnati): I am so pleased they offer a dunking stick at Holtman’s — and it’s mighty good too.

NEW YORK

Paula’s Donuts (Buffalo): Their sour cream old-fashioned absolutely hits the mark. They’ve nailed it.

The Donut Pub (New York City): New York City is home to many doughnut shops. Many of them are good. This just might be my favorite though. Every time I visit, I pick up an old-fashioned and a cruller to-go.

TENNESSEE

Gibson’s Donuts (Memphis): Order the classic glazed. You won’t be sorry.

UTAH

Madbrook Donut Co. (Clearfield): Mad Brook loves me and I love Mad Brook equally.

WASHINGTON

Daily Dozen Donuts (Seattle): Frankly, if I lived in Seattle I would have a dozen of these every day.

WISCONSIN

Cranky Al’s (Milwaukee): The cruller is so good you’ll be dreaming of it long after it’s gone.

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128 Comments

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  1. 1
    Megan

    Clearly you’ve never been to Bill’s Donuts in Centerville OH. That would have been your number one pick with their tasty giant pretzel donut, the butter twists, and the ever popular sour cream donuts. You can’t go wrong with a family run donut shop that hasn’t changes since 1969!

  2. 2
    Rick Seigmund

    Hayden Idaho, just barely north of Coeur d’Alene Idaho.

    Hayden House of Doughnuts

    may they live forever and their children be blessed

  3. 3
    Don Williams

    Well, if you’re ever in the Utica, NY area, you have to check out the donuts at Holland Farms. Best Jelly donuts this side of the Mississippi. And the other side too…
    🙂

  4. 8
    Jane

    Congdon’s Donuts in Wells, Maine are the best! And what could be more awesome than having a ‘wicked good’ donut at the beach? You need to come to Maine, Alton!

  5. 10
    Shawna​

    If you’re ever in the Portland area, come to Beaverton and try Everyday is a Donut Day. Their buttermilk bar is heavenly, but really you just can’t go wrong with anything.

  6. 12
    Todd

    Little Bigs and Holy Donut are great Maine options you should add to this list upon future testing and approval , I think you will find they are both great options Holy Donut being an amazing spud donut , little bigs is my favorite though. The Cookie Jar in Cape Elizabeth beats another local favorite for donuts Frosty’s from Brunswick. I also will give honorable mention to the famous Tony’s Donuts, they do have some great raised glazed donuts just not quite as good as the former options mentioned. Come to Maine Alton , you will not be disappointed.

    • 14
      Route66Kicks

      The Donut Man’s ** award winning ** Strawberry Doughnuts – in season Now. A huge serving of fresh strawberries, spilling out of a delicious doughnut, with strawberry sauce. Bring a napkin or two and a hearty appetite. I always ask for a fork.

  7. 15
    Pam Hunt

    Alton! When you are in Southern CA please be sure to stop by Monaech Donuts in Arcadia. You will enjoy their Apple Fritter!

  8. 16
    Rebecca Marshal

    Next time you’re in Alabama, come to Prattville between 5 & 10 am, and get a donut from Donut Heaven. Best donuts I’ve ever had!

  9. 17
    Kurt Cypher

    When your tour hits Dayton, Oh later this year, you need to check out Bill’s Doughnuts in the suburb of Kettering.

  10. 19
    Matt Regan

    Stan’s Donuts in Santa Clara, CA are heavenly. Their bread and butter so to speak are their classic glazed donuts, which are huge and fluffy. When caught fresh out of the fryer they will melt in your mouth. Second up are their cinnamon rolls, which are roughly the size of your face and are very similar to the classic glazed, but with a delightful balance of cinnamon that is simply amazing with a glass of cold milk. Last of which I recommend checking out their buttermilk donuts, which are similar to old fashioned cake donuts, but a bit more dense and flavored differently depending on the day. The Strawberry happens to be my favorite, but the blueberry, or banana ones are beonderful as well.

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