Let’s be honest: Fried dough of any kind should be the eighth world wonder (case in point: these fudge-frosted doughnuts from Half Baked Harvest). You can get the dessert anywhere—especially at a doughnut chain—but those of the artisanal variety are especially abundant in New York City. Rightfully so, considering the modern-day form of the doughnut that we know and love was actually founded in Manhattan in the mid-1900s by Elizabeth Gregory, who put hazelnuts and walnuts in the center where the dough might not get totally cooked. (Hence, the name “doughnuts”). Nowadays, New York City bakeries are constantly creating wacky flavors and combinations—Fruity Pebbles is just one novel take. Ahead, find seven spots that sell some of the best doughnuts in NYC. Now go satisfy your sweet tooth.
If you haven’t tried any of this shop’s delicious two-inch mini doughnuts, then you are seriously missing out. (Plus, they’re so tiny that you can rationalize eating more). They’re rolled in more than 25 different types of sugar and best dipped in one of the brand’s signature sauces, including Raspberry Balsamic and Beer Caramel. New to the menu: Disco Doughnuts, which appear to be topped with some variety of colorful, edible glitter sugar. Can we say yum?
425 W. 15th St., Chelsea Market
1000S Eighth Ave., Columbus Circle
1 W. 58th St., Plaza Food Hall
In typical New York fashion, these best doughnuts are served out of a hole-in-the-wall… and we mean this in the best way possible. Underwest Donuts is literally located inside the Westside Highway Carwash, and the treats are made by a former Chanterelle sous chef. Grab one of the best doughnuts in NYC and eat it as you watch the cars getting washed. Can we suggest a vanilla-lavender cake dubbed the “Carwash?”
638 W. 47th St. Hell’s Kitchen
2 Penn Plaza, Penn Station
SULLIVAN STREET BAKERY
Jim Lahey’s Sullivan Street Bakery isn’t only a doughnut shop—it also sells Roman-style pizzas, bread, and other pastries—which makes it even cooler that it serves some of the best doughnuts in NYC. It’s known for its iconic bomboloni, an Italian-style doughnut filled with lemon zest and vanilla bean custard. The final touches include powdered sugar and a dollop of cream.
533 W. 47th St., Hell’s Kitchen
236 Ninth Ave., Chelsea
THE DONUT PUB
This doughnut shop got its start in the 1960s and still has an old-school diner vibe complete with counter seating and neon signs. As much as its modern flavors like Fruity Pebbles and Birthday Cake are totally delectable, traditional flavors like jelly and vanilla creme are still mainstays. Bonus points that you can pick up one of these sweets 24/7.
203 W. 14th St., Chelsea
THE DOUGHNUT PROJECT
If you’re looking for the most outrageous ingredients and toppings, then The Doughnut Project in the trendy West Village is where you should go for the best doughnuts in NYC. We could start talking about the shop's interior design or how it got its start, but it’s really all about the flavors here. There’s an everything bagel-themed flavor, the signature Maple Bacon Bar with a full strip of bacon on top, and even Bone Marrow. (Yes, you heard that right.)
10 Morton St., West Village
This bright red food truck is doughnut heaven on wheels. It’s known specifically for its slightly crunchy unfrosted Apple Cider Donut rolled in brown sugar. What’s more, the brand makes the natural treats from organic flour and local eggs. And if you’re in town for summer, try its FroDo—a doughnut ice cream sandwich with vanilla Blue Marble ice cream.
Location varies, check the Carpe Donut Twitter for updates.
MAH ZE DAHR BAKERY
This West Village bakery is renowned pastry chef Umber Ahmad’s new brick-and-mortar location. Her wholesale pastry line was beloved by everyone from Oprah to Tom Colicchio (he’s now a backer). Mah Ze Dahr Bakery is all about indulging yourself in the unknown and mysterious, and even the cobalt-blue walls lend an exotic feel. And as for the doughnuts, they’re crafted from delicious brioche dough and have vanilla pastry cream in the middle. Side note: The shop pops out the doughnut holes and place them on top, making for a picture-perfect Instagram post.
28 Greenwich Ave., West Village
Which doughnut shop in NYC do you want to check out first? Up next: the top doughnuts in Chicago.