Long before the Cronut there was, you guessed it, the donut. And it was great. It still is.
There are all kinds of donuts, and they are made all over the world. There are even different spellings of the word, too. Do you doughnut or donut?
In New York City, there is no shortage of donuts. Indeed, while new Dunkin Donuts franchises proliferate at an alarming rate, mom-and-pop donut operations thrive (and expand.) Brooklyn's relatively new and widely hailed Dough is opening a branch in Manhattan at 14 W. 19th St. soon, and Manhattan-based Doughnut Plant, in business since 1994, is opening a third location near the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in October.
At amNewYork, we love donuts. We love them A LOT. So we decided to share our favorites with you for National Donut Day, a holiday celebrated on the first Friday of June that was started in 1938 by the Salvation Army in Chicago. It was created to honor "Donut Lassies" who served treats to soldiers during World War I, and to raise funds during the Great Depression.
Tell us who you agree with the most in the comments!
Dough's Chocolate with Cocoa Nibbs
There are a lot of doughnuts in this city all claiming to be the best, but one stands out amongst the pack: the Chocolate With Cocoa Nibbs from Dough (448 Lafayette Ave., Bed-Stuy, 347-533-7544, doughbrooklyn.com). The doughnut itself is a good combo of airy and cakey with just the slightest hint that it's actually a fried calorie bomb. The chocolate glaze is every chocolate lovers dream and the sprinkling of crunchy, bitter cocoa nibbs balances the sweetness perfectly. Bonus: 10 seconds in the microwave the next day restores it to almost perfect freshness (you know, if you get distracted and forget to eat the whole thing in one sitting). -ALISON FOX (Credit: Dough)
Doughnut Plant's Crème brûlée donut
I am not a huge fan of donuts (ice cream is my diet-killer of choice), and I especially don't love donuts with a filling. But there is one donut in the city I will make an exception for on both accounts-- the crème brûlée donut at Doughnut Plant on the Lower East Side. Doughnut Plant is always coming up with wacky (and probably delicious) new flavors, but this one became an instant staple, and upon biting into one, it becomes obvious why. A crisp, caramelized outer coating (the best part, in my opinion), gives way to a soft layer of dough and a smooth vanilla custard filling. It's the perfect combination of textures, and, served at a smaller size than most of the other donuts, offers up just the right amount of sweet indulgence. Where: 379 Grand St., East Village (The original) and 220 W. 23rd St., Chelsea; doughnutplant.com -NINA RUGGIERO (Credit: Flickr/C Del Rosario )
Peter Pan Bakery's Sour Cream Donut
I am a savory girl, with only a touch of sweetness, so desserts are usually the last thing I crave. There are some buttery cookies that get me, and some caramel-laden ice creams (looking at you Phish Food and Salted Crack Caramel from Ample Hills) that I melt into, but other than that, it's cheese and crackers and pickles, all the way. But back to the topic at hand. If i'm picking a favorite donut, it's hands down the sour cream from Peter Pan (727 Manhattan Ave., Greenpoint, 718-389-3667, peterpan-donuts.com). This cake-like treat is surprisingly light, given the additional dairy, but the sour note adds depth and complexity and a little bit of character. And it's glazed, guaranteeing that you'll still get a sugar high. Why else would people eat sweets? -GEORGIA KRAL (Credit: GEORGIA KRAL)
Cafe Boulis' Loukoumades
If you want a taste of old Astoria, Cafe Boulis (30-15 31st Ave., Astoria, 718-806-1014, cafeboulis.com) is the place to go. The Greek bakery’s signature dish is loukoumades, a Greek pastry made of fried dough. Boulis’ “Famous Loukoumades” can be soaked in the traditional honey, or you can pick a variety of toppings including powdered sugar, chocolate syrup and agave nectar. Plus, the staff will make the loukoumades right in front of you in a machine brought over from Greece. When I first moved to Astoria, my Manhattanite friends wrinkled their noses at my life choices but said generously “Astoria? Great food.” The response annoyed me at first, but after finding Cafe Boulis and their loukoumades, I can’t really argue since even the doughnuts in Astoria are better. -CAROLINE LINTON (Credit: Flickr / kamekame)
Entemann’s, Brooklyn-born, Long Island-raised, and located in their own case at the end of the supermarket aisle for decades, that's my favorite. A classic variety pack of donuts features chocolate, powdered sugar, plain and crumb. My cabinets growing up were stocked with Entemann's donuts and they were the only company I knew that made a crumb variety. -DAN RIVOLI (Credit: WIKICOMMONS )
A Voce Madison's Bomboloni alla Toscana
A Voce Madison's Bomboloni alla Toscana is a delicious dessert that you can easily share. The sugar-coated Tuscan doughnuts are filled with a vanilla pastry cream and served with a salted caramel sauce for dipping. It's the perfect pairing. (41 Madison Ave., 212-545-8555, avocerestaurant.com) - MEREDITH DELISO (Credit: A Voce Madison)
The Donut Pub's red velvet cruller
Open 24/7, The Donut Pub (203 W. 14th St., 212-929-0126, donutpub.com), which was featured on an episode of "Louie" (but I had been going there long before the show), is always open to give you a sweet fix. My favorite is the red velvet cruller, glazed and delicious. -SCOTT A. ROSENBERG (Credit: FLICKR)
Leske Bakery's Peanut Butter & Jelly Donut
Leske’s Bakery (7612 Fifth Ave., Bay Ridge, leskesbakery.com) is famous in Bay Ridge for its Danishes, Brooklyn blackout cake and black-and-white cookies. But their donuts are so addictive you’ll be thinking about them for days. Their pillowy PB&J is filled with the perfect balance of not-too-sweet jam and peanut-buttery goodness. You'll want to lap up any remaining drop of jelly that oozes out. Don’t like jelly-filled donuts? Try their deceptively simple glazed chocolate donut, which is as buttery light as a French cruller. -CRISTIAN SALAZAR (Credit: FLICKR/ ROBYN LEE)