Landing on June 2nd, National Doughnut Day has history that goes as far back as 1917. Back in the days of World War I, the Salvation Army lassies, or women who volunteered for the Salvation Army, would fry and serve-up donuts to soldiers as a boost to their morale. These ladies were called “Doughnut Girls” and over 200 volunteers were flown out to France to provide support in the form of clothing, supplies and donuts. While the proper cookware was short in supply, they were innovative and used what they could, frying up donuts in metal soldier hats for the homesick soldiers. Coming in at the 100th year anniversary of this holiday, we’re bringing you a list of great NYC donut shops so that you can celebrate National Doughnut Day any day with a delicious donut in hand!
The Classic Feels: Peter Pan
A trip to Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop is a sweet blast from the past, where the owners of the shop have maintained the classic look of the store from when it opened up in the 1950’s. From the black and white menu signs to the stainless steel round stools along their diner-like counter, it’s all well-preserved, just like their delicious donut recipes. And while the rest of the neighborhood is growing and gentrifying fast, one thing remains sure, that delights both longtime residents and newcomers, is that their prices are not changing much. For just $1.10 upwards, you can get your hands on the most popular ones, such as the apple crumb donut and red velvet donut.
While the line might make you reconsider, the friendly waitstaff move quickly, so bring along lots of cash (as they are cash only) and get ready for a heavenly trip down memory lane.
Photo Credit: Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop
Sometimes Great Things Come in Small Packages: Doughnuttery
Small bites with tasty surprises is the philosophy at the Doughnuttery. These little donuts are freshly made throughout the day The makers are always churning out the fresh dough into the fryer, ready to serve within the hour. While the base of these bite-sized donuts are all the same, what makes each one unique are the sugary coating that comes in various flavors. Such mouth-watering flavors include Purple Pig, which is the sugar coating for purple potatoes, bacon and maple syrup, and Paris Time, which is comprised of lavender, pistachio and vanilla. The orders begin at 6 for $6, with the option to choose two different flavors.
Photo Credit: Doughnuttery
Crafted for Your Viewing and Tasting Pleasure: Doughnut Plant
Home of all different types of donuts, including yeast doughnuts (fluffy sweet bites), cake doughnuts (the denser classic texture) and a whole bunch of filled doughnuts, which include their doughseeds (tastier equivalents of the Dunkin Donuts’ Munchkins). Doughnut Plant is well-known for their flavors that come with a punch, such as the peanut butter and banana cream donut and carrot cake donut. One of their newest doughnuts is a doughflower, which is assembled to look like a tasty, frosted rose. Even the presentation will captivate you, ranging from colors like the magenta frosting of the blueberry doughnut and the powdery green hue of the matcha green tea doughnut. This is the place to come to where every little detail is meant to impress you.
Photo Credit: Doughnut Plant
The More the Merrier: The Doughnut Project
While NYC donut shops are a dog-eat-dog kind of world, the Doughnut Project puts the works on their doughnut recipe. When you walk-in and take a look at their display, you’ll find yourself asking “is that really bacon, sesame seeds or black pepper on that doughnut?” And the answer is: abso-licken-lutely. And while it’s fair to question whether these are even a good idea, the fact that their closing time is when the store sells out says quite a bit about the fanfare. The highly recommended ones here are the beet and ricotta doughnut, which gives a fine subtle balance between sweet and savory, and the bacon maple bar, which is garnished perfectly with a slice of bacon.
Photo Credit: The Doughnut Project
Go Big or Go Home: Dough
A unique aspect of Dough’s doughnuts is their recipe, which uses a brioche-like dough to create a large, puffy doughnut with a denser texture. The bonus is that it all clocks in at about $3 a piece. The larger-than-life portions are great to share with another person, which would be a fun experience in discovering their exciting flavors and creative doughnuts. For a sweet tooth, grab a salted chocolate caramel or a mocha almond crunch doughnut. For someone who likes a little bit of tartness to the taste, their bright pink hibiscus donut will please the palate. An innovative recipe that they are also have ready to order is the doughka, which is the lovechild of a doughnut with the all-time Jewish favorite treat, the babka.
Photo Credit: Dough
Donuts All Day and All Night: The Donut Pub
Another oldie but goodie, The Donut Pub, has been pleasing its fans since 1964. These doors are open 24/7 to offer classic donuts without all the bells and whistles but satisfing the cravings more than enough. The French Crullers and the bacon maple cronut (say “yes” when asked if you want it heated) are delicious options. While their cronuts are quite different from the famous Dominique Ansel cronut, their flavors still deliver, especially between the salty savory bite of bacon with the sweet donut base. Another tip here is to come earlier in the day to get your hands on the bacon maple cronut, as they tend to run out later in the day.
Photo Credit: The Donut Pub
Say It Ain’t Vegan: Dun-Well Donuts
Can the unicorn formula of artisanal, vegan and delicious exist in doughnut form? Dun-Well would like to think so, and their patrons agree that they’ve delivered. After you take a bite, you’d be gleefully raving about the taste without a hint in the world that you just had a vegan donut. Even the dough is soft and fluffy, cunningly mimicking a delicious donut from any other shop. The sure-fire favorites are the peanut butter and strawberry jam donut (with a delightful smidge of chocolate glaze on top) and the French Toast donut. Although smaller than some other shops, the pricing fits to boot, with their donuts coming in a little over $2 each.
Photo Credit: @dunwelldoughnuts