Are donuts dessert? Or breakfast? Or just an anytime snack? Either way, Philly has some great ones. These are our favorites:
The Classic: Not sure what’s in those 5 gallon tubs lining the booth (shortening?? maybe I don’t really want to know) inside the Reading Terminal Market. All I know is that these are really good donuts. They have a huge variety, but I always get the special – filled & frosted – and am amazed every time. They look like they should be WAY too sweet, but somehow they are always perfect. Strawberry, pumpkin, s’mores, peppermint… (Tobey loves the apple and blueberry fritters). Tip: this Mennonite-owned stand is closed on Sundays. https://www.beilersdoughnuts.com/
The Instagram: These are donuts for the Instagram generation. The thing is, they are also really tasty. They offer 6 varieties of “fancy” cake-type donuts and the flavors rotate every week or two, but they are always pretty and delicious (and they make great hostess gifts if you can manage not to eat them all). In addition to the “fancy” donuts, they also sell fresh donuts right out of the fryer – cinnamon brown sugar, cookies ‘n cream, and strawberry/lavender. Tip: the only way to get one of their yummy honey-soaked donuts is to buy an order of their fried chicken. Yes, the restaurant sells donuts and fried chicken. That’s it. https://www.federaldonuts.com/
The Italian: A classic yeast donut dusted with confectioner’s sugar and stuffed with canolli filling = a Philly “franolli.” The bakery is housed in a South Philly row building with slightly brusque service, creating the perfect South Philly experience. https://www.frangellis.com/franolli.html
The International: The French- influenced, Lebanese, rose & pistachio crullers at this market/cafe/restaurant (named the #1 new restaurant in Philly 2018 by the Philadelphia Inquirer) don’t only look pretty, but pair perfectly with their “oh so photogenic” Lebanese Chai Latte. https://surayaphilly.com/
The Gluten Free: A newish addition to the Philly donut scene, Okie Dokie supplies donuts to several area coffee shops. Their selection changes monthly. All donuts are gluten free, some are vegan. They make fritters on Fridays, and also sell donut bread puddings. They do occasional collaborations, including this amazing gulab jamon version with cardamom dipping sauce with Minan’s World cafe. Okie Dokie Donuts
The Vegan: We are definitely not vegan, but I’m always up for checking out donuts, so we gave this one a try. And, actually, their donuts are very tasty (very much like regular donuts) – nicely chewy dough (yeast), sweet glaze and well-flavored. https://www.facebook.com/dottiesdonutsphl/. They serve other baked goods, as well as vegan lattes with oat, almond, or soy milk. Traditional flavors, plus a rotating selection of specials, including rosewater:
Tobey says: Donuts are not my favorite, but I liked all of these!