The Great Doughnut Derby: Dunkin’ Donuts vs. Heller’s Bakery

A chain with Mass. appeal takes on a Mount Pleasant neighborhood favorite.

The last battle of round one pits a New England favorite against a neighborhood bakery in Mount Pleasant. Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.

April has arrived, and so has our final competition in round one of the doughnut derby. On Tuesday we enter the Sweet 16—among the contenders will be yet-to-open GBD, the crispy chicken and ’nut venue arriving in Dupont Circle any day now. Now, however, it’s time to choose the pastry purveyor that will go up against GBD in round two.

On the one hand, we have the pride of Massachusetts: Dunkin’ Donuts, a national chain known to all for its endless variety of fried pastries, and the tiny, round “holes” and giant jugs of coffee that are ubiquitous at the sort of evening meetings that take place in church basements. Then there is Heller’s Bakery, a Mount Pleasant institution where regulars roll in for cinnamon twists and Boston creams, along with decadent apple fritters. As always, be sure to vote before 5 PM.