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 …


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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


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


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





Add yours
  1. 1
    Ena "Cookie"

    Well then, you have to try Round Rock Doughnuts, in Round Rock, Texas, located north of Austin, Texas. Then update your list.

  2. 2
    Pam Carroll

    Back years ago when Las Vegas was a different animal, we would eat breakfast at The Stardust’s buffet, and I always had to save room for their pink iced cake donuts. Too this day, I miss them!

  3. 3

    I know you have visited Oregon and Voodoo, and it does not make your list. These shops must be amazing. Might have to road trip.

  4. 4

    I’ve seen you mention the Buttermilk Drops from Sidecar Doughnuts before. But I have to say you’re missing out from not eating their Butter & Salt doughnut! It’s me and friend’s favorite from them, and my second favorite is Huckleberry. You should try Butter & Salt next time you come back. By the way, they also have Sidecar in Santa Monica if you’re ever in that neck of the woods 🙂

  5. 6
    Kathleen Morrison-Pagan

    There are at least three in FL… none of which are mentioned… Your travels in donuts are FAR from over Mr. Brown… <3

  6. 8

    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!

  7. 9
    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

  8. 10
    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…

  9. 12

    Have you tried the doughnuts at Five Daughters Bakery in Nashville, TN? They have ruined all other doughnuts for me.

  10. 15

    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!

  11. 17

    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.

  12. 19

    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.

    • 21

      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.

  13. 22
    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!

  14. 23
    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!

  15. 24
    Kurt Cypher

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

  16. 26
    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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