They grace the communal table of just about every workplace break room in America. Composed of light, airy dough, tons of sugar, and countless flavor variants, the humble donut has embedded itself into the consciousness of a nation. For those raised on these treats, or for visitors seeking to enjoy a pastry that is indelibly American, seeking out variations of these dessert items that depart the established norms (plain sugar, fruit-filled) is a quest that may net some exciting finds.
Your travels may take you to different regions of the United States, but in the cities that you’ll visit, there are dedicated entrepreneurs turning out creations seldom or never seen before, and the lines are streaming around the door with eager fans waiting patiently to try them.
The following three donut shops in three distinct geographic regions of the US embody that spirit, so leave behind your stereotypical Dunkin Donuts-esque perception of a what doughnut should be … and prepare to get blown away!
1) Voodoo Doughnut, Portland, Oregon
Of all the doughnut shops in America, no place has attracted quite as much notoriety as Voodoo Doughnut in Portland, Oregon. Being situated in a progressive city that constantly pushes the edges of creativity in just about every pursuit of life, it isn’t terribly surprising that this shop is home to a pastry with an actual strip of bacon embedded within it.
The Bacon Maple Bar may have attracted them their initial publicity, but cheeky creations ranging from the Marshall Mathers (a white vanilla doughnut covered in … M&M’s – get it?) to a variety of pastries covered by breakfast cereals, like the Captain my Captain, which is covered with Captain Crunch cereal.
2) Dough, Brooklyn, New York City, New York
Meanwhile, over in NYC, Dough, located in Brooklyn, the hipster haven of the Tri-State area, is a special place that has successfully risen above the noise in an extremely competitive market. They have done this through a fanatical devotion to freshness: spend any significant time here, and you’ll see fresh versions of their products being to the front at an alarmingly regular basis.
Their flavours also tantalize their customers, with creations like blood orange and passion fruit stimulating the salivary glands of the adventurous, while the drooping icing is all it takes to persuade those with a sweet tooth to part with their cash in return for 30 seconds of sugar-infused bliss.
3) Cafe Du Monde, New Orleans, Louisiana
A trip to New Orleans is pure paradise for the avid foodie, with those that like the sweet stuff are not left behind either. At Cafe Du Monde, there is one food item on the menu only: beignets. These are fritters that are prepared fresh, served up to the customer hot out of the fryer, being topped with mounds of powdered sugar as a decadent garnish. Here, you can indulge yourself in this treat while sipping on a strong espresso, watching the eclectic NOLA locals walk by as they go about their day.