Where to Eat the Top Doughnuts in Boston
The best local spots for a stacked box of a dozen or a sweet brunch treat.
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Birthplace of 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 or maple bacon, or chewy mochi-based treats, here are some doughnut shops and restaurants catching our attention right now. (Looking for cider doughnuts in particular? Find those here.)
Anna’s Hand Cut Donuts
Best of Boston winner, 1996
Something about Anna’s takes you back. It starts with the exterior sign, “Do-Nuts & Coffee, est. 1965”; inside, the handful of counter seats are the kind of place where Boston grandpas might gather to wrap their hands around hot coffee cups and relive war stories from the Blizzard of ’78. And the doughnuts, made in-house daily and displayed on metal tray-lined shelves, are simply delicious—chocolate, honey dip, and jelly-filled alike. One other old-fashioned touch: It’s a cash-only joint.
2056 Centre St., West Roxbury, Boston, 617-323-2680.
Back Door Donuts
This decades-old Martha’s Vineyard icon expanded to the Fenway in 2023—technically as a pop-up, although there’s no planned end date. Grab the famous apple fritter any night until 2 a.m. from a side door (hmmm) of Loretta’s Last Call, or try flavors like buttercrunch, raspberry jelly, buttermilk glazed, and more. Don’t forget to wear your official Back Door Donuts poncho sweater.
Loretta’s Last Call, 1 Lansdowne St., Fenway, Boston, 617-421-9595, backdoordonuts.com.
Pillowy fresh brioche decorated with creative combinations like ruby chocolate sprinkles, 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 elsewhere. (There are currently six outposts.) Doughnut cakes are also solid from this ever-expanding baking company, not to mention soft-serve-and-doughnut ice cream sandwhiches, and even Adele loves Blackbird’s Boston cream Bismarck. Got a doughnut-loving friend out of state? Blackbird even ships some products, including doughnut pies and mini doughnuts.
Multiple locations in Boston, Cambridge, and Newton, blackbirddoughnuts.com.
Brassica Kitchen + Cafe
Best of Boston winner, 2022
There’s a lot to love about this flavorful, fermentation-loving standout by the Forest Hills station in JP, known in particular for its eclectic dinner menu (try the tasting menu, dubbed “The Ride,” for a great overview.) But don’t miss cafe hours—Thursday and Friday mornings and early afternoons, as of late summer 2023—to try the amazing doughnuts, which have a slow-fermented brioche base for plenty of fluffiness and funkiness. The flavors are always changing, but past options have included berry cream cheese and white chocolate apricot.
3710 Washington St., Jamaica Plain, Boston, 617-477-4519, brassicakitchen.com.
Head to this Southie spot any given weekend for an inspired selection of daily doughnuts. 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.
This Mystic Avenue 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, facebook.com/demetsdonuts.
Donuts with a Difference
It’s great to be a doughnut fan in Medford, which is also home to this old-fashioned place. Opened in Medford Square in 1984 by a husband-and-wife duo, 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, facebook.com/donutswith.
Donut Villa Diner
Doughnut French toast, doughnut Benedict, doughnut cheeseburgers, pizza doughnuts, maple doughnut bread pudding: This local diner quartet does it all, and then some. Over the past few years, the original Malden spot has spawned sugary siblings in Cambridge, Newton, and Arlington, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with plenty of doughnut-y options to go around (not to mention other diner classics). On any given day, you might find doughnut flavors like lemon honey dip, black raspberry jelly, white chocolate Oreo, and lots more. There are plenty of vegan options, too, both on the doughnut list and the rest of the menu.
Multiple locations, donutvilladiner.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. Early morning jelly stick, anyone?
220 Dorchester Ave., South Boston, 617-269-7560, doughboydonutsanddeli.com.
Gail Ann Coffee Shop
Best of Boston winner, 1999
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.com/gailannscoffeeshop.
Remember elementary school birthday parties, when someone’s mom might show up with a box of Munchkins for the class? Now take that excitement, but imagine the deep-fried doughnut holes are actually 100 times more delicious and covered in honey, chocolate, or walnuts—and you’re old enough to eat as many as you want. You now understand how it feels to indulge in the loukoumades at Greco, a local group of Greek fast-casual restaurants. Our favorites? Yaya’s loukoumades covered in hazelnut praline and Oreos.
Multiple locations, grecoboston.com.
With funky flavors like maple bacon and crème brûlée, this Saugus-born bakery seems of the modern, hipster ilk. In fact, Kane’s has been overloading cake and raised doughnuts with 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 drive-through location on Route 1, too.
Two International Place at 90 Oliver St., Downtown Boston, 857-317-2654; 1575 Broadway (Rt. 1), Saugus, 781-558-5179; 120 Lincoln Ave., Saugus, 781-233-8499; kanesdonuts.com.
After years spent devising playful desserts for big and buzzy Boston-area restaurants like Yvonne’s, Chickadee, and Ledger, pastry chef Kate Holowchik launched her own exciting pop-up operation with a focus on doughnuts. She pops up at area breweries and other outposts with over-the-top creations like banana split sundae doughnuts, chocolate chip cookie dough doughnuts, and even “Choco-taco”-inspired doughnuts (say what!), among the other fierce flavors on offer at any one time. If a cinnamon roll doughnut is on the menu—in delectable flavors like maple miso or ube—start there.
Various pop-up locations, instagram.com/lionheartconfections.
Mass Hole Donuts
Best of Boston winner, 2020
Baker Alex Mansfield and his business partner started Mass Hole Donuts as a pop-up of creative, gourmet doughnut holes with names and flavors inspired by Bay State tastes. First they opened a brick-and-mortar shop in Arlington; now they’ve relocated to Somerville, where you’ll find bites like the Wicked Pissah Pistachio (pistachio custard filling, pistachio glaze, chopped pistachios, and white chocolate drizzle) and How D’ya Like Them Apples (poppyseed doughnut with apple cider glaze, cinnamon buttercream, and caramel crunch pearls).
1157 Broadway, Teele Square, Somerville, massholedonuts.com.
Mike’s Donut Shop
This Mission Hill doughnut shop, only steps from the Roxbury Crossing T station, has been a neighborhood institution since the ’70s. Though its offerings have expanded over the years to encompass a handful of sandwiches, soups, and salads, the doughnuts remain the draw—especially the legendary honey-dipped variety, best enjoyed with hot java in a 20-ounce Mike’s mug you can take home to be your new weekend-coffee companion. On workdays, meanwhile, you can also grab a commute-friendly doughnut from Mike’s satellite kiosk inside the Forest Hills T station, a few stops away.
1524A Tremont St., Boston, 617-427-6828, mikedonutsboston.com.
Pon de Joy
We’re living in an era of ultra-chewy, colorful mochi doughnuts, and here in Boston, local company Pon de Joy—sibling to Allston’s Kimchipapi Kitchen—is at the forefront. With several standalone locations as well as distribution partnerships, Pon de Joy is sure to be somewhere near you, offering fun flavors like mango Tajín, black sesame, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, condensed milk and so much more, rotating weekly.
Locations in Boston, Malden, and Newton, with Andover coming winter 2023, pondejoy.com.
Decorated pastry chef Maura Kilpatrick, who co-owns this out-of-the-way Cambridge bakery and café with Oleana’s Ana Sortun, is known for masterful Middle Eastern-inspired flavors. 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., West Cambridge, 617-661-3161, sofrabakery.com.
Spoke Wine Bar
This Davis Square wine bar spins magical meals out of its tiny kitchen, featuring an ever-changing array of creative plates influenced by seasonal ingredients. There’s one thing that never seems to disappear from the menu, though, and that’s the umami-packed sunchoke doughnuts, crispy little treats made with XO gouda and powdered leeks. They’re weird and they’re wonderful, and they make a killer pairing for a nice glass of something red and a little bit funky.
89 Holland St., Davis Square, Somerville, 617-718-9463, spokewinebar.com.
Besides its huge, retro-style neon sign (the Citgo sign of the Allston skyline, really), Twin Donuts turns out fresh-made, tasty doughnuts every morning: lemon, apple spice, Bavarian cream, and all the rest. The family-owned, street-corner stalwart still has an Old Boston charm to it, and it doesn’t hurt that the doughnuts are only about a buck apiece.
501 Cambridge St., Allston, Boston, 617-254-9421.
Union Square Donuts
Huge, airy doughnuts in glammed-up flavors such as maple bacon, sea salt whiskey caramel, and zingy raspberry lime rickey have turned the original Somerville shop into a doughnut destination. With additional locations in Assembly Row, Coolidge Corner, at the Boston Public Market, and at Time Out Market in the Fenway, it’s never been easier to get your fill.
Multiple locations in Boston, Brookline, and Somerville, unionsquaredonuts.com.