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January 17, 2019

These are the best doughnut chains in America, ranked

November 2, 2018

{ url: "", caption: "#8 Krispy Kreme \u2014 Since 1937, Krispy Kreme<\/a> has been baking fresh doughnuts throughout the day and letting customers know when they\u2019re hot via a neon sign in the window. They come in several dozen varieties (including limited-edition ones like banana pudding), but one bite of a hot Original Glazed and you\u2019ll be hooked. (Krispy Kreme)", credit: "(Krispy Kreme)", authorsHtml: "By Krispy Kreme ", sourceId: "109550369", shareUrl: "", imageTitle: "#8 Krispy Kreme", },

{ url: "", caption: "#7 Tim Hortons \u2014 This Canadian chain<\/a> is its home country\u2019s largest food service operator, and it\u2019s beloved up in the Great White North, where there are more doughnut shops per capita than any other country. Thankfully, it began its aggressive descent into the U.S. about a decade ago, and has been winning its way into Americans\u2019 hearts ever since. If you still haven\u2019t been, drop by and ask for a Dutchie (a square yeast doughnut filled with raisins); you won\u2019t be disappointed. (Tim Hortons)", credit: "(Tim Hortons)", authorsHtml: "By Tim Hortons ", sourceId: "109550371", shareUrl: "", imageTitle: "#7 Tim Hortons", },

{ url: "", caption: "#6 Honey Dew Donuts \u2014 The first Honey Dew<\/a> opened in 1973 and has been giving the bigger chains a run for their money since day one. With 145 locations in New England, the Plainview, Mass.-based chain also opened the first drive-thru coffee<\/a> and doughnut shop in the region. Founder Dick Bowen has been constantly innovating, inventing new doughnut varieties like the Butternut Donut (coated with rolled oats), the Coconut Jelly Stick, and their popular Cinnamon Stick. Aside from the delicious doughnuts, the company also gives back to the community by sponsoring local sports teams, fundraisers, and non-profit organizations. (Honey Dew Donuts)", credit: "(Honey Dew Donuts)", authorsHtml: "By Honey Dew Donuts ", sourceId: "109550372", shareUrl: "", imageTitle: "#6 Honey Dew Donuts", },

{ url: "", caption: "#5 Daylight Donuts \u2014 Now in its 64th year, this Tulsa-based chain<\/a> has more than 900 locations worldwide, and owes its success to a flour mix developed by founders Tommy and Lucille Day, which results in a distinctively lighter, fluffier doughnut. The trademark mix is produced in a central facility to keep quality consistent, and while the variety skews toward the classic, they do offer a Maple Bacon Long John and they\u2019ll also allow you to request a special doughnut if you give them some notice. Make sure to stop in on the weekend, when the Tiger Tail \u2014 chocolate and regular raised doughnuts twisted together \u2013 is available. (Michelle M.\/Yelp<\/a>) ()", credit: "", authorsHtml: "", sourceId: "109550373", shareUrl: "", imageTitle: "#5 Daylight Donuts", },

{ url: "", caption: "#4 Winchell\u2019s Donut House \u2014 With more than 170 locations in six states throughout the West and Midwest, Winchell\u2019s<\/a> is an example of down-home doughnut shops at their finest. The largest doughnut chain on the West Coast, it\u2019s been making people happy since Verne Winchell opened the first location in 1948 in Temple City, Calif. Today, there are more than 70 varieties of doughnuts and baked goods available, and while they tend to stick to the classics, they do it very, very well. Another plus: Most locations are open 24\/7. (Winchell’s Donut House)", credit: "(Winchell’s Donut House)", authorsHtml: "By Winchell’s Donut House ", sourceId: "109550374", shareUrl: "", imageTitle: "#4 Winchell’s Donut House", },

{ url: "", caption: "#3 Shipley Do-Nuts \u2014 This Southern chain<\/a>, still run by the Shipley family, has more than 190 locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas (most of which are in the Houston area), and has been cutting doughnuts (or \u201Cdo-nuts\u201D) by hand and frying them fresh throughout the day since 1936. The Plain Glazed is by far the best seller, even though more than 60 varieties are available, and they\u2019re all made the same way they\u2019ve always been. One thing that sets Shipley apart from the pack? They also sell kolaches, a filled pastry of Central European origin that\u2019s a Texas specialty. (Shipley Donuts\/Yelp<\/a>) ()", credit: "", authorsHtml: "", sourceId: "109550375", shareUrl: "", imageTitle: "#3 Shipley Do-Nuts", },

{ url: "", caption: "#2 LaMar\u2019s Donuts \u2014 Founder Ray LaMar began perfecting his doughnut recipe in 1933, and in 1960 he brought them to the masses, opening a Kansas City doughnut shop that had people lining up out the door daily. Today there are 26 LaMar\u2019s<\/a> locations in five states (mostly in Colorado, where the corporate headquarters is), and a dedication to the original recipes and high-quality ingredients has let it to stand the test of time. The Original Glazed is a work of art: fried fresh, light and airy, not greasy, and not overly sweet. (LaMar\u2019s Donuts & Coffee\/Yelp<\/a>) ()", credit: "", authorsHtml: "", sourceId: "109550376", shareUrl: "", imageTitle: "#2 LaMar’s Donuts", },

{ url: "", caption: "#1 Top Pot Doughnuts \u2014 Since first opening in Seattle\u2019s Capitol Hill neighborhood in 2002, Top Pot<\/a> has become a beloved institution with 20 area locations (as well as three in Texas), thanks to its old-school aesthetic and outstanding doughnuts. Doughnuts here are \u201Chand-forged\u201D the old-fashioned way, based on a recipe from the 1920s, and while more than 40 different varieties are available, favorites include the classics, like the Old Fashioned, Chocolate Cake, Apple Fritter, and the \u201CFeather Boa,\u201D a cake doughnut topped with pink or chocolate icing and coconut shavings<\/a>. (Megan M.\/Yelp<\/a>) ()", credit: "", authorsHtml: "", sourceId: "109550379", shareUrl: "", imageTitle: "#1 Top Pot Doughnuts", },


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In order to assemble our ranking of the best doughnut chains in America, we started by tracking down doughnut shops with more than 15 locations across the nation — our definition of a chain. We then ranked each one according to a set of criteria: Are the doughnuts baked fresh throughout the day? Is there a good variety, with seasonal options and a rotating menu? Is the chain beloved by its loyal customers, having earned somewhat of a cult following? And for the top of the list, is a visit (and that first bite) a quasi-religious experience? Also note that we’re not talking about coffee or sandwiches here; for today’s purposes, it’s all about the doughnuts. In the end, our list included beloved local chains as well as the behemoths, all united by their passion for doughnuts, one of the most delicious and deceptively simple foods in existence. (This story originally appeared on The Daily Meal.)
(Dan Myers, The Daily Meal)

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