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Northeast Donut Shops Are a ‘Hole’ Lot of Delicious

Take a bite of the Northeast’s best independent donut shops.

donut shops

(Photo: Knead Doughnuts)

There are a lot of places around the country that you could call “donut obsessed,” but here in the Northeast, we have verifiable evidence. According to a study by BestPlaces, eight of the country’s top (i.e. most abundant) donut cities are in New England and New York. While we have unquestionable proof that we do, in fact, run on Dunkin’, we still love to support the little guys. Here are some of the best independent Northeast donut shops.

Providence, R.I.

The line around the block may be a hint that PVDonuts is something special, but a taste will have you fully convinced. The menu changes every month, and always with fun and inventive flavors that are equal parts tasty and nostalgic, like their Wild Berry Pop Tart, Funfetti and Dunkaroos donuts. At Thanksgiving, PVDonuts makes a special Friendsgiving donut topped with cranberry glaze, stuffing and fried chicken.

Knead Doughnuts
Providence, R.I.

Knead gets top marks, not only because their donuts are insanely delicious – the brown butter pecan and peanut butter and jelly-filled are among the best – but because they’re also available fresh from their “Night Cruller” window on summer Friday evenings at their location on Providence’s West Side. The donut shop also has Downtown and East Side locations in the city.


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Back Door Donuts
Oak Bluffs, Mass.

We can’t talk about late-night donuts without mentioning Back Door Donuts, the legendary donut shop on Martha’s Vineyard. During the day it’s all business at The Front Bakery Café, but at night it’s a party in the back where people line up by the hundreds at the purple door for hot and fresh donuts. Don’t, under any circumstances, skip the big-as-your-face apple fritters. Open seasonally from April through October.

Blackbird Doughnuts
Boston, Mass.

Blackbird Doughnuts has grown to six Massachusetts locations (including Fenway Park) for a reason. They’re really that good. In addition to the classics, they serve up creative flavors like Everything Bagel, a brioche donut filled with whipped cream cheese and topped with toasted garlic, onion, poppy seeds and sesame seeds. Seasonal flavors include Jalapeno Popper Fritters and BBQ Butterscotch.

donut shops

(Photo: PVDonuts)

Cold Hollow Cider Mill
Waterbury Center, Vt.

Apple cider donuts are one of New England’s signature treats – and the ones that come from Cold Hollow Cider Mill are special. The secret? The fresh-pressed cider made on premises using a vintage 1920s machine. While you can get them hot out of the fryer all year round at the mill, you can also order them online and ship them straight to your house.

Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Peter Pan hasn’t changed much since it opened in the ’50s and like the true classic it is, it doesn’t have to rely on gimmicks or trendy flavors to stand out. Here it’s quality and freshness that earns the affection of regulars and newcomers alike. Order an egg cream or coffee with a red velvet, jelly or sour cream donut, pull up to the counter and enjoy the neighborhood atmosphere. Bet you can’t resist a fresh-from-the-fryer glazed for the road.

Cider Belly
Albany, N.Y.

Throw a rock in New York City and you can find a decent donut shop. The truly great ones, like what you’ll find at Cider Belly, are worth the extra effort to get to. This donut shop focuses on cider donuts but in interesting variations. Try the Sap Sucker with maple drizzle, the Venetian with cappuccino glaze or go all-in with a Double Down, a cider donut with cider glaze.

northeast donut shops

(Photo: The Holy Donut)

The Holy Donut
Portland, Maine

Maine potato donuts are a time-honored tradition, but nobody makes them like The Holy Donut, one of the earliest producers in the gourmet donut trend. Now, they make 2 million dense, moist donuts a year across their three locations around Portland, in flavors like original and dark chocolate potato, sweet potato and seasonal favorites like Maine blueberry. The savory bacon and cheddar-filled donut alone justifies the drive.

Neil’s Donuts and Bake Shop
Wallingford, Conn.

This old-fashioned bakery outside of New Haven serves up fresh bread, coffee cakes, muffins, coffee rolls, pastries, cookies and danish. Although, if you skip getting one of Neil’s 40 varieties of donuts, you’re missing out. Choose from cake donuts, glazed donuts and crullers in flavors like lemon chocolate, blueberry crumb and coconut cream. Or don’t choose and get them all. No judgement here!

Goody Good Donuts
Laconia, N.H.

Make sure you go to Goody Good with an empty stomach – if you choose wisely, you’ll end up with a treat that’s bigger than your hand that would get Homer Simpson’s stamp of approval, and Fred Flintstone’s too! This bakery serves nearly 30 flavors of donut, including the Bedrock, which is a honey donut rolled in Fruity Pebbles. Don’t sleep on the Arnold Palmer, either; the lemon and raspberry combo is a match made in a heavenly glazed shell.

Tell us about your favorite local donut shop in the comments.

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  • The cider donuts from Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury VT are very good, but I like the ones from the Red Apple Farm in Phillipston MA even more. They have more apple cider taste.

    • The Apple fritters at the Back Door are ecstasy. They are a thing unto itself. Not like a donut or anything else. When I can’t get them I fantasize about them


    The “Hole in One” doughnut shop is a must in Eastham,Mass.They also have a shop in Orleans,Mass.A great variety of specialty doughnuts,and cake-like doughnuts .Family owned operated,and baking in the wee hours of the morning. Just Fabulous!

    • Marisa P.

      Doughology is a great little spot. They have locations in Lynbrook and Babylon, and one in New Jersey. You have to try the rainbow cookie doughnut!

    • We do too! We always get our birthday donut cakes from Allie’s. 😉 Delicious!

  • Beignets in Denville NJ makes fresh dough daily and serves hot, made-to-order donuts and beignets. There are many options – maple bacon, s’mores, caramel bacon & more! Or, make your own – they’re all fantastic!

    • eileen c.

      This is great to hear! I’m in Jersey a lot and it is not a big deal to go to denville from my daughter’s house. Sounds like the kind of place my grandkids and I would love!

  • Betty

    Where can you get an old fashioned cake donut that’s crispy on the outside and soft on the inside just like the ones from my childhood.

    • David

      Dotties, Woodbury Ct
      Just what your looking for in a cake donut.

    • Jessie G.

      Coffee ‘An in Westport, CT or Speedy Donuts in Norwalk, CT

  • David

    Brooklyn Bakery in Waterbury CT, the have the finest glazes donuts in the land!

  • Ron A.

    another great place to buy donuts is “Jumbo Donuts” in Uxbridge,MASS.

  • Neil’s Donuts is amazingly delicious! Good coffee, huge coffee rolls, great poppy seed danish, and the donuts are just wow! Chocolate frosted, Boston creme, maple frosted, apple cinnamon filled are wonderful, and their kruellers are the best.

  • Keith

    Best in the area great taste and large. Apple fritters big as your head. Many varieties my favorite maple glazed when available.

    • Patricia J.

      Congdons donuts & Restaurant rte 1,in Wells Maine are awesome! Fresh baked every morning from scratch at 4:30 am. Everyone loves the place and family owned for years! ????????❤️

  • Hands down – if you like fresh cream donuts, that is, which can be very hard to find especially at a reasonable price – Leddy’s in Fall River, Ma.

  • Jim D.

    Everybody’s favorite shop is going to be someplace within “donut distance”, so no surprise that “other” is the runaway winner.
    For NYC, it’s Doughnut Project in the West Village. (At least, for those of use within donut distance of the West Village … you’d need a couple of weeks here to visit all the contenders!)

  • Jim D.

    “Baked in Brooklyn” rules the Sunset Park neighborhood. Their cinnamon rolls weigh in at 16 oz (one pound), and I think they provide an entire weekend’s caloric requirement.
    (The fact that I know so many good donut joints may indicate a problem…)

  • Blazing Fresh Donuts has won “Best on the CT Shoreline” during both its 2 years of operation! Made-to-order donuts can’t be beat!!!

  • Ray S.

    Dottie’s in Woodbury CT has had the No 1 Cinnamon Sugar donut on every national mist for years. Hand made with a slight crunch they are pure donuts without all the flare. No pineapple pizza here!

  • Patti

    Kane’s Donuts – Saugus, Ma. has the BEST donuts and coffee rolls around !!

  • barbara a.

    With our two dogs in line we waited like everyone else for the door to open. The dogs had been here before so knew the routine, QUIET. The smell alone is gorgeous and the donuts glorious. The dogs, Honey and Jasmine were waited on as any other customer, and when we all got our picks, around the corner to benches we went and loved it all


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