Boston Doughnut Roundup
Boston’s doughnut scene is getting fiercely, and deliciously, competitive. And that competition is pretty stiff given that this city is the epicenter of the Dunkin revolution. The first Dunkin’ Donuts opened in 1950 in Quincy, MA, just outside of Boston—and Bostonians are loyal to their own. But these delicious rivals, both new and familiar, can answer your doughnut craving.
The New Contenders
New to the fray in 2015 is Blackbird Doughnuts, located on Tremont Street in the South End. Flavors are ever-changing, but past favorites have included sesame Sriracha, lemon salt and pepper, and peanut butter and jelly Bismark. Those with a savory craving can try the “everything bagel” raised doughnut. There’s soft-serve (and amazing doughnut-based ice cream sandwiches), strongly-brewed coffee, and a friendly face at the counter, even on the earliest morning. And it goes without speaking—the doughnuts are delicious.
Blackbird joins indulgence Union Square Donuts, which opened as a bare-bones operation in Somerville in 2013. The yeasted doughnuts are pure nirvana: light, pillowy, and handmade from scratch. Flavors like brown butter hazelnut crunch, sea salted bourbon caramel, and the wildly popular maple bacon pair deliciously with a coffee or locally-mashed mulled cider.
If absence makes the heart grow fonder, we’re really, really fond of Boston Common Coffee Co.’s once-a-week doughnut series. Every Thursday finds imaginative, ever-changing flavors, like the recent mango lychee, or vegan blackberry ginger. They’re often gone by noon, but if you miss out, console yourself with a tasty muffin top or cinnamon-sugar brioche.
Then there are the old favorites like Kane’s Donuts, open in Saugus since 1955. All doughnuts are housemade from mostly local ingredients, including the eggs, dairy, honey, and even the flour. Decadent choices like crème brulee and a chocolate-peanut butter Reese cup doughnut show up on the menu next to classics like old-fashion glazed, chocolate frosted, and Boston Cream. A second location opened in Boston so devotees can get their fill closer to home.
Anna’s Hand Cut Donuts in West Roxbury has been open for 50 years. The honey-dipped doughnuts are beloved here, as are the black raspberry twists and cakey doughnut holes. Get there early, since the shop starts selling at 5am.
Medford’s little-known gem Demet’s Donuts is noted for their spectacular Boston cream doughnuts and fluffy blueberry “nuggets.” The doughnuts here form part of a complete breakfast, complementing the eggy, savory breakfast sandwiches.
Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the treasured Ohlin’s Bakery in Belmont—currently closed after an explosion in the kitchen, but sorely missed, especially for their maple glazed variety. Keep an eye out for their return.