The 17 Best Doughnuts in Boston
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Home to one of the most recognizable coffee-companion brands in the world, Greater Boston knows its doughnuts. And it’s not just because we have a Dunkin’ on every corner: From old-school bakeshops to Sunday brunch hotspots, pastry chefs all over town have us rolling in dough. Whether you’re craving a classic honey dip, or gourmet pastries topped with toasted marshmallow, maple-bacon, and more, here are the 17 best doughnut spots in Boston.
Pillowy fresh brioche decorated with creative combinations like Key lime pie, bananas foster, and the original everything bagel-cream cheese-filled doughnut have helped this South End favorite hatch additional locations in the Fenway, Harvard Square, and Brighton. In 2020, a Watertown outpost will join the flock, too. Cake doughnuts are also solid from this growing baking company, and even Adele loves Blackbird’s Boston cream Bismarck.
Blackbird Doughnuts, 100 Holton St., Brighton; 30 Dunster St., Harvard Square, Cambridge, 617-482-9000; 492 Tremont St., South End, Boston, 617-482-9000; 20 Kilmarnock St., Fenway, Boston, 617-482-9000, blackbirddoughnuts.com.
Head to this Southie spot any given weekend for an inspired selection of daily doughnuts, courtesy of pastry chef Matthew Dworkin. The photogenic treats feature fun flavor combinations, like house-made “Cosmic Brownie,” brown-butter maple bacon, Cap’n Crunch-topped strawberry shortcake, and mint chocolate chip—complete with a tiny ice cream cone. For an extra $5, opt to have a boozy pairing piped right in. Fluffernutter doughnut with a Frangelico-butterscotch pipette? We don’t mind if we do. The Broadway’s doughnuts are available every Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., or until sellout.
726 E. Broadway, South Boston, 617-307-6480, thebroadwaysouthboston.com.
Since its debut in 2017, this quick-service offshoot of Catalyst restaurant has fueled the Kendall Square community with a daily selection of doughnuts. Pastry chef Yavel Martinez typically has two or three flavors on display each day, from classic apple cider donuts, to s’mores, matcha almond, pumpkin, mocha, and more.
75 Binney St., Cambridge, 857-259-6410, catalystcafecambridge.com.
This Mystic Ave. mainstay has been serving up doughnuts “made in the back, sold in the front” for more than 30 years. Demet’s treats are decidedly fresh and typically sell out by early afternoon, and flavors span the classics, from cinnamon-sugar to chocolate cake to powdered and jelly-filled. Note that this old-school spot—whose retro, orange-hued atmosphere calls to mind a certain other doughnut shop—is cash-only.
199 Mystic Ave., Medford, 781-395-8422, demets-donuts.letseat.at.
Donuts with a Difference
It’s great to be a doughnut fan in Medford, which is also home to this old-school place. Opened in 1984 by a husband-and-wife duo who had past experience working for Dunkin’, the difference here is quality, tasted in everything from the satisfying honey-dipped spheres, to extra-large butter crunch-topped coffee rolls.
35 Riverside Ave., Medford, 781-396 1021, donutswith.com.
Morning, noon, or midnight, satisfy your sweet tooth any time at this 24-hour Southie spot. Alongside a full menu of sandwiches, pizza, coffee, and more, you’ll find a rainbow of frosted carbs, from blueberry honey-dipped to maple-frosted.
220 Dorchester Ave., South Boston, 617-269-7560, doughboydonutsanddeli.com.
Gail Ann Coffee Shop
Visiting this decades-old Arlington bakeshop is like stepping back in time, where regulars are sitting reading the paper and the staff behind the counter is ready with a friendly smile and a fresh cruller. Try the Boston cream “long john,” a huge yeasted treat filled with thick vanilla custard and iced with rich chocolate.
10 Medford St., Arlington, 781-648-9584, Facebook.
Talented pastry chef Joshua Livsey is always bringing some whimsy to this fine-dining institution, including a rotating weekly brunch doughnut. But the baker loves how creative he can be with the medium, so keep an eye out for news about his regular “Hole in the Square” doughnut pop-ups. Themed around nostalgic stories like Star Wars, the Grinch, and Harry Potter, expect unexpected flavors like Chew-Babka (a chocolate babka doughnut), Cinn-dy Lou Who, sprinkled with sugary cinnamon; and “pumpkin pasties” filled with pumpkin napoleon cream.
44 Brattle St. (on the walkway), Harvard Square, Cambridge, 617-868-2255, harvestcambridge.com.
With funky flavors like maple-bacon, crème brûlée, and hard cider-spiked gluten-free apple, one might think this Saugus-born bakery is of the modern, hipster ilk. In fact, Kane’s has been overloading cake and raised doughnuts will crunchy toppings since the Eisenhower era. Bostonians are lucky to have their own outpost in the Financial District, and the Delios family, which owns the brand, has a new drive-through location on Route 1, too.
Two International Place at 90 Oliver St., Boston, 857-317-2654; 1575 Broadway, Saugus, 781-558-5179; 120 Lincoln Ave., Saugus, 781-233-8499, kanesdonuts.com.
Though Jamaica Plain brunch favorite Centre Street Cafe closed in 2018 and became an adorable, celestial-themed diner, the new chef and co-owner Robyn McGrath has continued the storied tradition of house-made doughnuts. Now they’re available every single day—which helps make Little Dipper one of the best brunch spots around. Look for flavors like chocolate-coconut, honey-glazed, and Boston cream pie.
669A Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-9217, littledipperjp.com.
Mass Hole Donuts
Baker Alex Mansfield and his business partner started as a pop-up of creative, gourmet doughnut holes with names and flavors inspired by Bay State tastes. On Saturday, October 19, they’ll open a brick-and-mortar shop in Arlington, where you’ll find bites like the Green Monster, filled with key lime curd and glazed with green tea-white chocolate; the Chocolate Newbury (with blackberry and Nutella); and Pecan Hill, with white chocolate, caramel, and pecans.
Mass Hole Donuts, 2 Lake St., East Arlington, massholedonuts.com.
The fully-stocked pie case at the entrance of this diner-turned-Davis Square hotspot will certainly catch your eye at first, but don’t sleep on the rotating doughnut options. Available every Saturday and Sunday during “Rosebrunch,” flavors have included a chocolate-cake s’mores doughnut with graham cracker crumble and a ring of toasted marshmallow; sweet strawberry and cream; and classic apple fritters.
381 Summer St., Somerville; 617-629-9500 or rosebudkitchen.com.
Decorated pastry chef Maura Kilpatrick, who co-owns this out-of-the-way Cambridge bakery and café with Oleana toque Ana Sortun, has made Middle Eastern-inspired flavors de rigueur in Boston. That’s thanks in no small part to her iconic, weekends-only doughnuts. “Persian spice” is a brioche doughnut rolled in the sweet, floral, warming flavors of cinnamon, rose petal, black pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, and coriander. And you’ll want to get there early to snag one of Kilpatrick’s tahini-brown butter delicacies: the nutty, almost savory specialty—filled with rich brown-butter crème and topped with a milk chocolate-sesame ganache—typically sells out by noon.
One Belmont St., Cambridge, 617-661-3161, sofrabakery.com.
This Beverly-based pop-up outfit is often found slinging doughnuts at taprooms like Bantam Cider Company in Somerville, Short Path Distillery in Everett, and elsewhere. Track down baker Wren Werner to try her fun flavors (and shapes!), like M&M’s espresso brownie; vegan vanilla sprinkles; and a suite of Mean Girls-inspired treats.
Union Square Donuts
Huge, airy doughnuts in glammed-up flavors such as maple bacon, sea-salted bourbon caramel, and zingy raspberry-lime rickey have turned the original Somerville shop into a doughnut destination. With additional locations in Coolidge Corner, at the Boston Public Market, and at Time Out Market in the Fenway, it’s never been easier to get your fill.
20 Bow St., Somerville; 409 Harvard St., Brookline; 100 Hanover St., Boston; 401 Park Drive, Boston; 617-209-2257, unionsquaredonuts.com.
One of the area’s top vegetarian restaurants has an old-school diner vibe, complete with a tantalizing case of freshly-baked treats. Behold fully vegan spins on classic diner doughnuts: Boston cream, cinnamon-sugar (or seasonal apple cider), and jelly. Around holidays like Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Pride, and the Boston Marathon, look out for special flavors, too. Doughnuts are baked fresh every Saturday and Sunday morning, and doughnut holes are free (as long as they last) while you’re waiting for brunch.
450 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-497-1513, veggiegalaxy.com.
Pastry chef Kenny Hoshino shows up every Sunday with baskets full of creative doughnuts, in flavors like roasted corn and Maine blueberry, peanut butter and chocolate, cinnamon walnut maple, strawberry meringue, chocolate pistachio olive oil, and blueberry apricot. Three rotating flavors come per order, so bring friends to this Harvard Square hotspot. Can’t wait for brunch? Hoshino’s signature cinnamon sugar croissant doughnuts are a permanent feature on the dessert menu.
1030 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge, 617-864-2300, waypointharvard.com.