Seems like every food has its national day—or as with the case of
burgers, its own
But when we heard June 1 was National Doughnut Day, it released
an unexpected flood of nostalgia for that sticky-sweet treat.
So we asked Washingtonian staffers to share where they find
their favorite doughnuts. Some are local, some are, sadly for
our taste buds, not—but all are guaranteed delicious. Read on
to discover their tales of deep-fried, caramel-drizzled,
Jessica Voelker, online dining editor
I’m not a big doughnut fan—too heavy—so when the fried-dough fans come calling, I usually lead them to NOLA-style beignets
zeppole, a little Italian confection. I really liked the beignets I tried during a recent brunch at Acadiana, and I’m definitely
going back to Graffiato come fall in hopes of finding the pumpkin
zeppole “nestled in caramel.” Awesome.
Shane Harris, senior writer
My favorite doughnut isn’t actually a doughnut,
and to my knowledge, they don’t exist outside the Pacific Northwest.
a maple bar: a rectangular “doughnut” without a hole, topped
with a maple glaze. And lest you think the similar-looking pastries
in East Coast doughnut shops are the same, or that a Long John
is a close approximation, I assure you, the Pac-NW versions
are superior. The key is that the glaze
must be made with only the best maple, preferably nothing artificial, and the cake can’t have any preservatives. I grew up eating
them in Portland, and they’re the first thing I look forward to when I go back.
Chris Campbell, homepage editor
Since I’m a Midwesterner from Kentucky, the church
my family attended was a block from a Krispy Kreme. We would leave
Mass five minutes early to make sure we beat the rest of the
congregation to the “hot and fresh” doughnuts. This desire to
buy the freshest krullers and glazed doughnuts during my
formative years—instead of sticking around for the pastor’s “message
of the week”—may have been a contributing factor to my quitting
Sherri Dalphonse, senior editor
If you’re a native New Englander, as I am, there’s
no contest—Dunkin’ Donuts is what you think of when you think of these
decadent treats. Go ahead and joke: Yes, there seems to be a DD
on every corner in New England. Yes, you occasionally see
a policeman pull up for a fix. But whenever I go home for a
visit, I can’t resist at least one chocolate glazed.
Bill O’Sullivan, managing editor
I wish I could say the best vegan doughnuts were
in Washington—but I’ve never had any here. Instead they’re at BabyCakes
New York City, a fantastic all-vegan (and largely gluten-free)
bakery on the Lower East Side. You have to like cake-style
doughnuts, but other than that, they’re great (regular size and
miniature, unusual flavors such as cappuccino chip) no matter
what your diet or preference.
Marisa M. Kashino, staff writer
I love doughnuts. Love them. My favorite childhood
doughnut memory comes from beautiful Lake Chelan in the eastern part of
Washington state, where my family vacations every summer.
Nearly every morning, we’d walk across the street from the lake
to Judy-Jane Bakery, which turned out the most delicious
buttermilk doughnuts in the history of doughnuts. A few years ago,
Judy-Jane became—what else?—a Starbucks, and I haven’t yet
Though I should probably be boycotting Starbucks for
stealing away Judy-Jane, I’m embarrassed to admit I sort of love the
chain’s apple fritters. Sometimes, on Friday mornings, I allow
myself to stop in at the Starbucks between the Farragut North
The Washingtonian’s office for a well-balanced breakfast of fried, frosting-covered, cinnamony goodness. (I also order a coffee, but that’s
just for show. It’s the fritter I’m really after.)
And lastly, if you’re into $8 doughnuts (and I am), Graffiato’s
zeppoles—little puffs of deep-fried dough drizzled in caramel sauce—are a life-changing experience.
Carol Ross Joynt, editor at large
My favorite doughnut is, admittedly, a clear case
of beauty being in the eye of the beholder. It’s a bacon-maple-glazed
that’s sold on Saturday mornings at Home Farm Store in
Middleburg, Virginia. It does not shy away from being a bacon
in the least. In fact, bacon appears in whole strips, nested on
top of the sweet maple glazing. One bite and my mouth is alive
with the taste sensations of a hearty breakfast, essentially
pancakes with bacon and maple syrup . . . in doughnut form.
I grew up with doughnuts. As a child in Ohio the
doughnut man came to our door every Saturday morning, proffering a big
of the fresh-made treats. While my parents slept late, my
sister, brothers, and I would make our selections. Back then I was
dedicated to the cake kind with chocolate icing. Glazed, too,
of course, the American classic. I didn’t go fully crazy for
glazed doughnuts until moving to the Virginia suburbs. During
high school, my friends and I would drive to the old Krispy
Kreme factory on Route 1 in Alexandria—often late, after a
night of partying—to pick a dozen “hots.” Cruising the suburban
landscape, windows open to the summer night, we would devour
the doughnuts before returning home, our fingers sticky with
sugar, our bodies jolted by the sugar high. It was so great.
Especially since at 15 and 16 we certainly weren’t thinking about
Later, as an adult, I worked as a producer at ABC News
This Week. Part of the Sunday morning ritual was a
pre-show meeting of the anchors and producers in the top floor
Yes, the meeting was to review the serious global matters that
would be discussed later on the broadcast, but in truth it
was also a doughnut-fest. In particular I recall having to
Sam Donaldson to get to the chocolate-covered cake doughnuts first. We each had our favorites, but I believe
George Will abstained.
If I see a doughnut sign over a store on the side of
the road I’ll generally stop in. Fresh is what I’m looking for (though
I’ve gotten by on Entenmann’s powdered-sugar doughnuts on more
than one occasion). Which is why when I walked into the Home
Farm Store a few years ago and saw the bacon-maple doughnuts,
it was, well, love at first sight. I’ve been known to drive
the hour to Middleburg solely to get one of those doughnuts.
And trust me, one is enough.
Got a favorite doughnut or doughnut-shaped memory? Let us know in the comments!