LATEST PAPER
52° Good Morning
52° Good Morning
Eat and Drink

Sufganiyot: Where to find NYC's top Hanukkah doughnuts

What could make the holidays even sweeter? Doughnuts, of course.

Happily, there's a holiday coming up that calls for eating them. Hanukkah, the eight-day Festival of Lights, is also a Festival of Doughnuts. Sufganiyot (soof-gone-ee-OAT), to be exact -- round Israeli doughnuts that are filled with either jelly or custard.

For Yonatan Floman, CEO of Breads Bakery, it's a little taste of nostalgia.

"Sufganiyot is something that, ever since I grew up, I remember in the '80s eating sufganiyot every Hanukkah," Floman said.

Like its savory holiday companion, the latke, the sufganiyah is meant to commemorate the Hanukkah miracle of a small amount of oil lasting for eight nights to keep a menorah lit.

"Traditionally, you eat a lot of stuff that are fried -- so you have latke, you have sufganiyot," he explained.

What sets them apart from your typical doughnuts?

"You don’t have the hole in the middle. You have the filling basically injected inside," Floman said. "Traditionally, growing up every Hanukkah sufganiyah was always strawberry, with powdered sugar on top."

At Breads, you'll find the same, with high-quality ingredients, like jam from the Union Square Greenmarket. But Breads is known for putting a little spin on the classics -- Nutella babka, anyone? -- so it's offering up other varieties, too. The bakery is frying these doughnuts up all day every day through Dec. 9, so that you can grab a fresh one at any time.

The first night of Hannukah may not arrive until Dec. 2, but Breads is getting a head start to meet demand, Floman said: "There are certain holiday items like Hamentaschen and Sufganiyot that we love so much and the holiday isn’t long enough to satisfy that urge so we extend it."

Here's a look at some of the jelly doughnuts ovens around the city are popping out this time of year:

Breads Bakery

Breads Bakery is celebrating with four kinds of
Photo Credit: Breads Bakery

Breads Bakery is celebrating with four kinds of sufganiyot: strawberry, chocolate, vanilla and halva (typically a sesame seed-based sweet). They made their 2018 debut on Nov. 28 and will be available through Dec. 9. Want to treat yourself? Buy one for $3.50. If you want to share the love, a box of 12 will set you back $33. (18 E. 16th St., Manhattan, breadsbakery.com)

Mile End

The Montreal-style Jewish deli is serving up classic
Photo Credit: Mile End

The Montreal-style Jewish deli is serving up classic sufganiyot for the Festival of Lights this year. Grab a doughnut with powdered sugar and jelly filling as the perfect ending to a plate of smoked meat poutine, or order a whole heap of them to go. A box of six costs $18 and a box of 12 is $30. (97 Hoyt St., Brooklyn, mileenddeli.com)

Underwest Donuts

This is not your typical sufganiyah. A brioche
Photo Credit: Underwest Donuts

This is not your typical sufganiyah. A brioche donut with homemade raspberry pomegranate jam or a salted caramel milk chocolate cream will tempt your taste buds ($4 each). Adding a touch of whimsy are sugared dreidels or Stars of David. Filled doughnuts not your thing? Underwest will also have their classic dark chocolate donut garnished with blue and white Star of David sprinkles and the vanilla lavender Carwash donut striped in blue ($3.50 each). Underwest, which has locations at Penn Station and on the West Side Highway, starts selling them on Dec. 2 through Dec. 10. (2 Penn Plaza and 638 W. 47th St., Manhattan, underwestdonuts.com)

Padoca Bakery

For the eight days of Hanukkah through Dec.
Photo Credit: Padoca Bakery

For the eight days of Hanukkah through Dec. 10, this bakery is turning out all kinds of multicultural pastries "with Brazilian flair" (fun fact: "padoca" is São Paulo's word for "neighborhood bakery"). Its sufganiyot is stuffed with either raspberry jelly or dulce de leche. A box of six costs $24, a box of 12 is $45. (359 E. 68th St., Manhattan, padocabakery.com)

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Eat and Drink photos & videos