10 Best Doughnuts in New York, 2012


See More 10 Bests: Gelatos | Pastry Shops

Doughnuts may just be bits of dough, dropped into hot oil, but a fine piece of fried dough can be a truly beautiful thing. From classic cake doughnuts and glorious yeasted beasts, to creamy stuffed buns, here are our 10 favorites in NYC right now.

Don’t see your favorite here? Tell us all about it in the comments.

10. Dun-Well
It’s Christmas in July right now at Christopher Hollowell and Daniel Dunbar’s Williamsburg shop, which means the staff saunters about in velvet Santa gear, celebrating with dense, chocolate-peppermint doughnuts. We like Dun-Well’s fun, laid-back approach to vegan baking. And this glazed wreath, dusted with cinnamon sugar, is a nice sweet puff of holiday cheer. 222 Montrose Avenue, Brooklyn

9. The Donut Pub
This narrow, tiled shop on 14th Street has been slinging its simple, classic doughnuts since the early 1960s. The next time you’re looking for something affordable and celebratory, keep in mind that a dozen chocolate dippers–the Pub’s chocolate cake doughnut with a chocolate glaze–will make a suitable, if somewhat trashy substitute, for an actual cake. 203 West 14th Street

8. Orwasher’s
Keith Cohen updated the original Orwasher’s, an Upper East Side bakery founded in 1916, when he bought it in 2007. He also decided to revive and continue some of the bakery’s old traditions, like the jelly doughnuts. The super-light yeast buns are fried off site, then filled to-order with extremely tasty jams from Beth’s Farm Kitchen. The strawberry, pictured, is delightful. 308 East 78th Street

7. DuMont Doughnuts
Dalia Jurgensen oversees the doughnut set-up at Dumont’s little counter on Bedford Avenue, which fries the beignet-like puffs to order. A donut robot sends squirts of batter through a conveyor belt of oil until, finally, they reach the end as dark, often-deformed, delicious crisps with creamy-but-cooked centers. The sweet heat of the ginger-sugar is terrific, and plain ones with a side of extra-thick dulce de leche are fun to share. 314 Bedford Avenue Brooklyn

6. Pies ‘n’ Thighs
These big, soft, sticky confections are available at the counter in fun flavors like ginger-grapefuit or pecan (which trumps the classic cinnamon-sugar). The fancier filled doughnuts collapse like dense stars and will require careful transportation along with a serious appetite. Go for the lemon-curd-filled pistachio or rhubarb jelly. 166 South 4th Street Brooklyn

5. Bottega Falai
Iacopo Falai’s classic, Italian-style doughnuts are our favorite things to grab on the go from this SoHo shop. The elegant, airy bomboloni are dredged in sugar and filled with fruity jam, pastry cream perfumed with vanilla, or lightly sweetened whipped cream. It cuts like a fine, feathery cake, which makes it easy to share, and it’s full of actual flavor, not just sugar. 267 Lafayette Street

4. 606 R&D
Ilene Rosen and Sara Dima, formerly of City Bakery, run this bright, charming Prospect Heights restaurant with a pastry counter up front. In January, they raised $10,000 via Kickstarter to train staff at Donut University (yes, seriously), purchase a mixer, and invest in a donut-making machine. This means you can pop in almost anytime for 606’s wee cake doughnuts, dredged in cinnamon sugar. It’s so nice to be reminded that a hunk of deep-fried dough can be a tender, delicate affair. 606 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn

3. Peter Pan Donut and Pastry Shop
Husband-and-wife duo Christos and Donna Siafakas met while working at a doughnut shop, then took over this old bakery in Greenpoint together. Peter Pan gets just about everything right–the adorable green and pink uniforms, the colorful displays of sprinkled rings and cream-filled buns, the boxes that get expertly tied up with hanging reels of string, and of course, the doughnuts. During rush hour on the weekends, the lines can be ridiculously long, but these beauties really are worth the wait. I love the classic, soft cake doughnut, cratered all over with crispy nooks and crannies, and washed with a very thin layer of glaze. 727 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn

2. Doughnut Plant
Mark Israel started in the ’90s, baking doughnuts by night then hopping on his bicycle in the morning to deliver them to various New York cafes. Now he has shops around the world, and his consistently excellent confections have earned him a very passionate fan base. Stop in for a visit and you’ll get why: The lovely cake rings, the crisp churros, and genius jelly-filled squares are always right on point. The chocolate-glazed and Blackouts are immensely popular, but I always gravitate toward the fruity selections, and right now, the blueberry-glazed yeasted doughnuts are killer. 379 Grand Street

1. Dough
Fany Gerson took months to tweak the yeasted dough recipe and frying technique for this lovely Bed-Stuy shop, and it shows. Dough pushes gorgeously light, plus-size doughnuts with soft, sighing middles. And they’re dressed up in some of the most exciting, delicious glazes in town, from blood orange with candied orange slices, to cheesecake dusted with buttery Graham crumbs. Doughnuts are rolled, stamped, fried, and hand-dipped throughout the day, in a glass-encased kitchen you can swoon over while you eat. Note: the dulce de leche, topped with slivers of toasted almonds, is something of a masterpiece. 305 Franklin Avenue, Brooklyn