1308 G St., NW; 7511 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church
The oversized doughnuts at these long-running shops can read more as dessert than breakfast (the best of the bunch: the crackly-topped creme brûlée). In the mood for something savory? The rest of the menu includes six fried chicken sandwiches, which you can get on brioche bun or a biscuit, but also on a savory or Old Bay doughnut.
6700 Crain Hwy., La Plata
Portuguese/Hawaiian hole-free malasadas—both light and rich at the same time—are the thing at this La Plata shop, which formerly had space in Union Market. They’re in the area’s very top tier of doughnuts. Get them filled with housemade three-berry jam, vanilla or chocolate cream, or even crab dip. There are also non-filled vegan doughnuts and American-style glazed and sugared rings.
4434 Connecticut Ave., NW
Mark Furstenberg’s excellent Van Ness bread bakery and market—which recently announced a new location in Dupont’s Phillips Collection—has lowkey some of the best doughnuts (and bagels) in the city. The honey-glazed rounds are big and airy, and even better on the days they come spiked with passionfruit.
749 Eighth St., SE; 1309 Fifth St., NE (inside Union Market); 5 Market Square, SW
DC’s doughnut scene leans more bougie than small-town bakeshop, and this chainlet is a prime example. Flavors change by the season; spring standouts include cookies-and-cream or cherry blossom, a jam-filled round glazed in cream cheese. Other varieties, such as vanilla glazed and brown-butter, stick around all year. On the savory side, there are “doughgels” with cream cheese and everything spice, as well as parmesan-and-leek pastries. It’ll soon make a return to Georgetown, when it takes over the historic Little Tavern space on M Street.
6904 Fourth St., NW
The snug vegan shop, which opened in 2021, comes from husband-and-wife duo Shawn Petersen and Nicole Dao. You’ll find yeast and cake doughnuts in dozens of ever-changing flavors—Thin Mint, blueberry-pancake, and maple Frappucino have been on the recent roster—plus tasty apple fritters and coffee from local Brewing Good Coffee Company.
2150 N. Culpeper St., Arlington
Crusty pumpernickel loaves, biting mustards, and loads of buttery tea cookies can be found at this 48 year-old German-style bakery in Arlington. Also: terrific Berliners, or jelly doughnuts, filled with raspberry or apricot jam. The raisin-studded apple strudel is also worth a place on your breakfast table.
2633 Connecticut Ave., NW
Pediatric nurse/baker Rose Nguyen—who launched her doughnut phenom as an online business during the pandemic—just opened her a brick-and-mortar shop in Woodley Park. Her hit passionfruit doughnut is here, as are confections in flavors such as strawberry/lychee with rose pastry cream, or pandan tossed in sugar and filled with coconut cream.
11869 Grand Park Ave., North Bethesda
Love a jelly doughnut? Head to this pretty Pike & Rose shop for its brioche puffs piped with strawberry jam and rolled in sugar (the unfilled cinnamon sugar version is pretty great, too). The bakehouse also excels with croissants—ham-and-swiss, twice-baked almond—and the baristas make a lovely London Fog.