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:

amNewYork staff