The Best Places to Get Doughnuts in Boston Right Now
Devoted foodies and restaurant newbies love The Feed. Sign-up now for our twice weekly newsletter.
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, here are some doughnut shops catching our attention right now.
Anna’s Hand Cut Donuts
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 donuts, made in-house daily and displayed on metal tray-lined shelves, are simply delish—chocolate, honey dip, and jelly-filled alike. One other old-fashioned touch: it’s a cash-only joint.
2056 Centre St., West Roxbury, 617-323-2680.
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 elsewhere. Doughnut cakes are also solid from this growing baking company, and even Adele loves Blackbird’s Boston cream Bismarck. (Note: The Harvard campus location is temporarily closed and slated to reopen in September 2021.)
492 Tremont St., South End, Boston, 617-482-9000; 20 Kilmarnock St., Fenway, Boston, 617-482-9000; 100 Holton St., Brighton, 617-482-9000; 55F Union St., Newton, 617-482-9000; 11 Holyoke St., Harvard Square, Cambridge, 617-482-9000; blackbirddoughnuts.com.
Brassica Kitchen + Cafe
There’s a lot to love about this flavorful, funky standout by the Forest Hills station in JP, and plenty of time to experience it all: The covered patio is open Wednesday through Sunday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so you can enjoy chef Jeremy Kean’s impressively eclectic cuisine morning through night. Start your day with baked goods, including amazing daily-changing donuts in flavors such as berry cream-cheese and white chocolate-apricot; move on to creative plates, many with fermentation-forward flavors, such as the koji risotto with charcoal-roasted mushrooms; and take home house-made provisions, like larder-ready jars of hot sauce and maple umeboshi to kick up your own cooking.
3710 Washington St., Jamaica Plain, 617-477-4519, brassicakitchen.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.
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, 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.
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.
Remember elementary school birthday parties, when someone’s mom might show up with a box of Munchkins for the class? Okay, now—take that excitement, but imagine the deep-fried donut holes are actually one-hundred-times more delicious; 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 trio of Greek fast-casual restaurants. Our favorites? The Yaya loukoumades covered in hazelnut praline and Oreos, and the custard-filled kataifi. At the Seaport and Downtown locations, you can even get any flavor topped with kaimaki Greek ice cream.
225 Newbury St., Boston, 617-572-3300; 200 Pier 4 Blvd., Boston; 1 Milk St., Boston; grecoboston.com.
With funky flavors like maple-bacon and crème brûlée, one might think this Saugus-born bakery is 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., 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 recently launched her own exciting pop-up operation with a focus on doughnuts. Besides regular weekend appearances at Reign Drink Lab in Dorchester, Holowchik’s Lionheart Confections can be found sprinkling itself around area breweries and other outposts. There you’ll pick up 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.
Instagram.com/lionheartconfections; Reign Drink Lab is located at 1370 Dorchester Ave., Boston, 617-863-7353.
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. Now they’ve opened 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 New-Berry Street, chocolate with blackberry and Nutella; and Pecan Hill, with white chocolate, caramel, and pecans.
2 Lake St., East Arlington, massholedonuts.com.
Mike’s Donut Shop
This Mission Hill donut 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 donuts 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 donut from Mike’s satellite kiosk inside the Forest Hills T station, a few stops away.
1524A Tremont St., Boston, 617-427-6828, mikedonutsboston.com.
Decorated pastry chef Maura Kilpatrick, who co-owns this out-of-the-way Cambridge bakery and café with Oleana toque 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., Cambridge, 617-661-3161, sofrabakery.com.
Besides its huge, retro-style neon sign (the Citgo sign of the Allston skyline, really), Twin Donuts turns out fresh-made, tasty donuts 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 donuts are dirt cheap—only about a buck apiece.
501 Cambridge St., Allston, 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 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.