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Mar 27, 2007 07:42 AM

Looking for the best doughnut

I’m searching for the best doughnut that you can buy – not your great-grandmother’s recipe or a dessert served at a restaurant but something I can buy and take home for dessert.

Any ideas fellow chowhounds?

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    1. re: C70

      Bad advice. There's no way enough doughnuts for dessert would be left in the box by the time Arktik made it home.

      1. re: C70

        Paczki! Paczki! Paczki!

        If you buy 72 you get 6 more for free.

      2. I hate to admit it but Crispy Cremes are the best in my book (but I have not tried the Wawel ones that everyone raves about).

        9 Replies
        1. re: Keramel

          I didn't know about Wawel until they opened up at the JTM, I tried their doughnut on a whim and was very impressed. It can't compare to the chain doghnuts not even close, every now and then someone will bring in Tim Horton's or Krispy Kreme to work, I'll have a few bites and after a few minutes it feels like I have cement in my stomach for the rest of the day. Way too many artificial ingredients and overkill on the sugar. No thanks.

          1. re: ios94

            As a Easter treat to my collegues, I bought a dozen paczki donuts from the Wawel bakery on St. Marc today. I called and reserved the donuts, requesting 4 cream, 4 prune, and 4 apricot. The clerk told me that apricot wasn't available today and that they only had cream and prune. So I told her 6 prune, 6 cream. When I arrived to pick them up, not only did the clerk keep me waiting for about 5 minutes while she chatted away in polish to another customer, but when she served me, she sheepishly admitted to selling two of my cream donuts to another customer! Apparently, just as I placed my reservation, another client was right there and said that she wanted two cream donuts and that she had made the trek to the store just for them. I was annoyed as that I had placed my reservation first and believe that the clerk (proprietor?) should have honored her verbal agreement with me. OTOH, I can't fault her too much as that she had a sure bet sale right there whereas she was accepting on faith that I would show up and purchase my dozen donuts. Still, that combined with her keeping me waiting left a slightly bad taste in my mouth.

            With regards to their donuts, they are tasty, but the cream ones seemed a little bit stale in comparison to the prune ones. Incidentally, I'm finding that some of my colleagues (many of whom have white bread tastes) aren't eager to eat prune donuts. Admittedly, unless you've been exposed to Eastern European desserts that heavily feature prunes, the typical northern american is likely to be turned off by just about prune anything. That and the knowledge that prunes are laxatives give it a bit of a bad rep.

            1. re: Chai Latte

              what a shame you had a bad experience. The couple that run the one on Sherbrooke W. are very eager to please and I've never had anything stale from them. Give them a try next time.

              1. re: C70

                I have been to the Wawel on Sherbrooke West, and yes, the staff are friendly there. Donuts are great too. Not only that, but I've noticed that they are slightly less expensive there. One dozen donuts retails for $7.50, I believe. Today, when I bought the donuts at Wawel on St. Marc, the clerk charged me $8.50. I only went to that Wawel because it is closer to my workplace, otherwise I probably would have gone to the Wawel on Sherbrooke - they give better service and prices!

              2. re: Chai Latte

                ...But how could anyone not love the paczki? The first time I bit into a prune paczek, I knew there was a special place in heaven for Polish bakers.

                1. re: SnackHappy

                  I just discovered the Wawel paczki through this board, and they are the best ever. I dream of paczki now! Nothing else comes close.

                  1. re: SnackHappy

                    Actually, those that tried the prune paczki ended up loving them! I had to tell my colleagues that they were jelly donuts to get them interested. Once they bit into them, I told them it was a prune paczki. Interestingly enough, several of my colleagues thought the donuts were from Krispy Kreme! Two of them did declare that the donuts were the best they ever had.

                    Though I do like the paczki, I wish that 1) they had other flavors (strawberry jelly is one of my faves), and 2) they aren't so greasy. Delicious though the donuts are, they are very very greasy. I put one donut on a napkin, and there was a round indentation of grease on it in just a few minutes from the donut.

                  2. re: Chai Latte

                    "As a Easter treat to my collegues..."

                    That's where you went wrong. By religious tradition, you shouldn't be eating paczki during Lent. A decade ago, when I lived in eastern Ontario, Loblaw's would sell paczki, but only for the week or two before Mardi Gras & Ash Wednesday.
                    If some paczki aren't as fresh as usual this week, it's because the traditionalists are holding off until Easter.

                    1. re: RomanW

                      But you are assuming that my colleagues are devout catholics following the religious tradition of not eating oil, eggs, flour, butter...etc during Lent. Though some are catholic they are not particularly religious and are not observing these old traditions. Some are, in their own way, bending the tradition by forsaking one particular food item that they enjoy during Lent, ex: chocolate, meat...etc.

                      As I said in previous post, it wasn't that they didn't want to eat donuts because they were observing Lent, it was because the prune donut was an unusual food item that was new and not particularly appetizing sounding to them.

              3. I can't believe no one has mentioned Samos bakery yet (there's one on St-Laurent near marie-anne, and another on beaubien est.) They're about the size of your head, and scrumptious! I'm partial to the maple glaze, and the plain glazed.

                2 Replies
                1. re: mainsqueeze

                  Although I love the big doughnuts at Samos, I wouldn't place them above the paczki from Wawel. They do win for moistness, freshness and decadent size, though, and they beat anything you could get at Tim's, Dunkin, or Krispy Kreme.

                  Mmmm... Big apple fritter.

                  1. re: SnackHappy

                    I'm in favour of equal doughnut opportunity, so I will not chose either samos or paczki over the other!

                2. It's been a while since there has been a reply
                  to this thread, but the link below is a good summary
                  about the newest Montreal donut establishments.


                  I recommend Mr. PUffs!

                  1. The lemon meringue donut from Leche Desserts is not only the best donut that I've ever had but perhaps one of the best desserts of any bakery in Montreal. Don't buy them all.


                    4 Replies
                    1. re: catroast

                      I agree about the lemon meringue. I thought their PB & J would be amazing since I love anything PB but it was just OK, not enough PB flavor. The lemon meringue won me over!

                      1. re: catroast

                        Just tried the pistachio donut from Leche and it was very good! The filling was the star; it was a delightfully nutty pistachio pastry cream (perhaps with a bit of almond?). The entire donut was quite light and didn't give me the heavy feeling in my stomach that some other sub-par donuts do.

                        1. re: withaflourish

                          There's a much more thorough and recent donut discussion going on here,

                        2. re: catroast

                          From what I understand at Leche Desserts, it's the same base for all their donuts, it's only fillings that are different for different flavours. If I'm wrong, someone can correct me.