Did you know that National Doughnut Day is a real holiday, not just a bogus way to increase food photos on Instagram? The day actually celebrates the Salvation Army Ladies who served doughnuts to WWI and WWII soldiers. In a pinch, the doughnuts were fried right in the soldiers’ metal helmets, according to the Salvation Army website. You can celebrate how far these tasty treats have come, at the best doughnut shops in Brooklyn.
Word is that star chef Wylie Dufresne spent three months perfecting the cake doughnut recipe for his Williamsburg doughnut shop attached to the ultra modern William Vale hotel. Once you taste the flavors on offer, like Creamsicle and Pistachio Pink Lemonade, you can appreciate the work that went into concocting each confection. They are petite, so it won't take you long to devour one. Try to make it last--the courtyard just outside the shop is a striking space for a doughnut break.
107 N 12th Street, Williamsburg. Open 8am-5pm, M-Th, 8am-7pm F, 9am-7pm Sat, 9am-5pm Sun.
Dough creations are giant pillowy confections that will make your eyes bug out of your head. Any taste combination you can think of has probably been tested in the Dough kitchen: Matcha Sugar, Yuzu Curd, Chocolate Chipotle. The most popular flavors are Hibiscus, Creme Brulee and Plain Glazed. The gooey, cream filled, sticky-sweet flavors will fix even the most desperate of sugar addictions. Their small storefront is unassuming, the price is fair (around $2.75/ donut), and the cheerful staff is happy to help you make the right flavor choice. Choose wisely because you’ll have to take your doughnut to go, as there are no seats for lingering (or ordering more.)
448 Lafayette, Bed-Stuy. Open 6am-9pm
This is your old school donut shop, where the waitresses wear soda fountain style uniforms, and the formica lunch counter serves regulars. The donuts themselves are sweet, dense morsels of cake, with a moist to dry ratio that has been perfected in the over 60 years of being in business. The most popular flavors are the Red Velvet and the Sour Cream, but you can’t go wrong with a basic glazed to go with your coffee. There’s lots of space in the back for sitting, but it’s often so crowded that you may not find a spot. At around $1 a donut, just get a dozen for the road.
727 Manhattan Ave. Greenpoint Open 4:30am-8pm
This is the fanciest donut shop in Brooklyn, with shiny countertops, donut designed benches, and floor to ceiling windows. At $4/ donut, this is where you go when you feel like having a high-end taste explosion. They claim to have invented the square donut (which you can buy here), but most of the popular donuts are smaller dense circles. They use fresh nuts and fruit in their products, and you can taste the luxury in each bite. Nothing is overly sweet and they make the jam fillings in-house. Their most popular flavors are Creme Brulee, Tres Leche and Coconut Cream, but their seasonal flavors are also hard to pass up (the Rose Doughnut, pictured above, is currently trending). If you have buyer’s remorse when you get home, you can always order more. They deliver through door dash, so you’ll never be home jonesing again.
245 Flatbush Ave., Prospect Heights. Open Sun-Thurs: 6am- 10pm, Fri-Sat: 6am- 11pm
This doughnut food truck has perfected the art of a fresh doughy ring. They make only one flavor, Apple Cider, but it is anything but limited. These handmade gems are made on the spot with the highest quality, locally sourced ingredients. Seriously, you can taste the difference. Alongside this one menu item, you can also get coffee or hot chocolate. And this summer, they are introducing the Donut Ice Cream Sandwich filled with Blue Marble Vanilla Ice Cream. This is where you go when you don’t want to overthink your doughnut, but you want something hot, fresh and divine. Carpe Diem, eat your donut!
Bergen & Court Street, Cobble Hill. Open: Most Weekends
Dun-Well is not just NYC’s first all-vegan doughnut shop--it's also the only one inspired by The Simpsons. An anniversary show where doughnuts played a starring role is what inspired the owners to open up shop--now "The Homer," covered in pink icing and coated with sprinkles--makes a regular appearance on the daily rotating menu.
222 Montrose Ave., Bushwick. Open Sun-Th 9am-10pm, Fri-Sat 9am-11pm