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Northeast Donut Shops Are a ‘Hole’ Lot of Delicious

donut shops

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, eight of the country’s top (i.e. most abundant) donut cities are in the Northeast. 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 for their gourmet donuts. Their brown butter pecan and peanut butter and jelly-filled are among the best. Get your fix at locations throughout Providence.

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Back Door Donuts
Oak Bluffs, Mass.

During the day it’s all business at this bakery on Martha’s Vineyard, 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 seven 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 Summer Corn and Root Beer Float.

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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65 Thoughts on “Northeast Donut Shops Are a ‘Hole’ Lot of Delicious

  1. Basic Batch Donuts, Milford, MA sooooo amazing! They even made a donut cake for me on request, basically a huge donut, just what I wanted.

  2. Union Square Donuts and Mass Hole Donuts (donut holes only, but really good), both in Somerville, MA

  3. If you have never been to Waterbury, it’s time to take a trip to Brooklyn baking company. The best donuts anywhere. their jelly in their jelly donuts is not overly sweet or tart. It’s the perfect marriage and i hate jelly donuts anywhere else but I love them here. And it’s hard to find a donut shop in the area that carries Bavarian cream each and every day. They also have a revolving assortment of specialty donuts that they change to keep it interesting. their other pastries are good too. You NEED to try there if you haven’t.

  4. Are you familiar with DUCK DONUTS from the outer banks? It will be arriving in Massachusetts soon. Those are my favorite. Warm Delicious and Made to Order. WOW

  5. Ruby Donut Shop in Ayer MA has a phenomenal and unique variety of very generous and delightfully delicious donuts and a friendly staff

  6. Eighty 8 Donuts in Portland, ME is my favorite. Gourmet and perfect size. Two bites! Check them out if you have not!

  7. The Doughnut Project on Morton St in Greenwich Village, NYC is amazing. Their doughnuts are inspired by meals they’ve had and cocktails. They sometimes have collaborations with restaurants/shops/alcohol brands. Every weekend brings to new special doughnuts. Check them out on Instagram, incredible!!!

  8. Congdon’s donuts in Wells is the absolute best. Oh, and try their bakery or breakfast as well. No sure how they didn’t make the list!
    They bring out samples when the line outside gets long… Worth the wait!

    1. Donut Dip for SURE! Freshly baked donuts, endless toppings and fillings; along with late hours! Now, only open in West Springfield, MA.

    2. Kane’s. Made in Saugus MA. Worth walking in when they open at 3:30 am. True donut fans know what I am talking about.

    3. Jacqueline: You make an excellent point: so many of these surveys ignore western MA. It’s a good thing I don’t go by West Springfield often as I can’t resist their sugared raised crullers…amazing!!

  9. Dottie’s Donuts, Woodbury, CT for cinnamon sugar and The Bakery, Southbury, CT for kettle doughnuts

  10. Bill L is 100% correct. How neither of those made the list is a travesty of donut justice. Also missing is Donut Dip in Springfield, any Kanes shop, Congdons in Wells Maine and Captain Baker Donut Shop in West Dennis. AAA writers…do better.

  11. My favorite donut shop is Allie’s in North Kingston, RI. The best donuts around but unfortunately too far for me to drive all the time. My second best and a lot closer is the Market Basket store in South Attleboro, MA. The donuts are inexpensive and very large, not for the diet conscious. But the best of all is I can trust that all the ingredients are real, not the artificial stuff the chains and many donut shops use because they are cheaper. I know the people there and the company insists on real ingredients and fillings.

    1. I haven’t been to Allie’s in a very long time but my favorite was their fig squares which were large enough to be a meal.

  12. 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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