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Maine's Best Doughnuts

Maineats Aug 19, 2008 09:02 AM

I'm a huge doughnut fan, and I'm hoping to spend my upcoming vacation seeking out the best in the state. On my list: Congdon's in Wells, Tony's in Portland, Frosty's in Brunswick, Willow Bake Shop in Rockport. Any fellow doughnut aficionados out there that have any advice? I will be heading up to Baxter State Park, so I'd be up for checking up some northern places too. Anyone heard of Mrs. Mike's in Presque Isle?

  1. l
    lovejoyeater Aug 20, 2008 08:26 PM

    This isn't a real doughnut shop, but Lakeside Orchards just west of Augusta makes excellent apple cider doughnuts. They are small cake doughnuts that come in plain or sugared variety. I think the bakery/store part of the orchard is only open Thursday through Saturday, but best to call and check:

    I'm not a real doughnut aficionado, so I don't know if I'd call them "Maine's Best Doughnuts," but I thought I'd suggest it since you don't seem to be getting much response.

    Good luck, and be sure to let us know what you find/eat!

    2 Replies
    1. re: lovejoyeater
      delong99 Aug 21, 2008 06:36 AM

      I second Tony's. The glazed molasses is yummy as is their regular plained glazed (raised not cake). They are HUGE.

      I've driven by a place called Mike's Donuts up North on my way from Presque Isle to Perham, but I don't know if that's the same as Mrs. Mikes. It was just a tiny little place in the middle of nowhere. I can't speak for it myself, but my dearly departed Mother said Mike's were good.

      1. re: delong99
        Mainegal Aug 22, 2008 08:18 AM

        Just back from the Damariscotta Farmers Market, where Chase Farm had some mighty fine looking homemade doughnuts. It's held every Friday morning, from 9 to noon, and signed off Route 1.

    2. Joanie Aug 22, 2008 10:07 AM

      My one time at Congdon's wasn't that impressive.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Joanie
        GaryLovesFood Aug 27, 2008 04:48 AM

        It wasn't that long ago that Congdon's made their donuts by hand, so each one looked like an irregularly shaped puffy onion ring. On my last visit they had more of a manufactured look and taste. But back in the day, this place was great!

      2. ScubaSteve Aug 22, 2008 06:10 PM

        the Potato Donuts at Blue Sky in York Beach are TDF.

        1. i
          irwin Aug 22, 2008 06:16 PM

          Gosselins Donuts of Bangor are the best.....especially the glazed and the molases.

          1. chefjames Aug 23, 2008 07:05 AM

            The Frog and Turtle in Westbrook is good. We have been featured in a few magazine's. They are a true old fashion donuts with all filling and topping made in house.

            Tony's doughnut are very good and legendary in Maine.

            1. s
              shoes Aug 27, 2008 01:08 PM

              I agree that Congdon's are not that great. Both times I tried them, they were oily and had that old-oil flavor.

              There used to be great donuts at a place in Kittery called Downeast Donuts. It's been years since I've looked for them. Still around?

              1. r
                RibKing Aug 28, 2008 07:22 AM

                Cogdon's in Wells has the BEST honey dipped donut on earth!

                5 Replies
                1. re: RibKing
                  Science Chick Aug 28, 2008 09:19 AM

                  ugh...we stopped there a couple of months ago to check them out. My honey-dipped donut was a sickeningly sweet lardball.

                  1. re: Science Chick
                    jackattack Sep 25, 2008 01:43 PM

                    Aren't all honey-dipped donuts just sickeningly sweet lardballs, by definition? I mean, it's a sweet pastry dipped in glaze, right?

                    1. re: jackattack
                      Science Chick Sep 25, 2008 08:19 PM

                      Actually, I don't think so, or I wouldn't have made the point. IMHO, a good glazed donut should have a base of a very light, fluffy yeast-raised donut that is not all that sweet to begin with. Then, it should have a thin glaze over it, not thick, nearly crystallized sugar. A great example of this is from Donut Cafe in Worcester, MA. This is just my preference, of course...other's tastes vary, I'm sure.

                    2. re: Science Chick
                      mainerjls Apr 27, 2009 04:35 PM

                      Congdon's was voted one of the best doughnuts in New England by Travel & Leisure Mag!!! They are amazing!! And the reason they taste like a sweet lardball is because that is exactly what they are... there are very few places who still make doughnuts like "grandma used to make" with real lard. They are all going healthy now... way different taste though. I have vacationed there many times and I have asked a lot of questions... they are actually hand done.... I guess the plain doughnuts are cranked into the lard but def. not commerically done AND the honey dip are hand spread. YUMMY!!! Makes me want one right now!!!!

                      1. re: mainerjls
                        Science Chick Apr 28, 2009 11:49 AM

                        I am fortunate to have access to many hand made doughnuts in the Boston area and Central Mass. None of them are like Congdon's. Most are light and flavorful with just the right amount of glaze, etc. Anna's in West Roxbury, Donut Cafe in Worcester just to name a few. I personally did not care for Congdon's despite the hype. I'm glad you like them...I just don't like things that are SOOOOO sweet. Personal preference, that's all. And a Travel and Leisure Mag vote is nice, but doesn't mean I have to like them.

                  2. n
                    N8H Aug 28, 2008 11:04 AM

                    What a good idea for a vacation. Thompson's Orchard in New Gloucester (exit 63 or 75 off route 95, depending on whether you're coming from the south or north) makes the best doughnuts I've ever had. Pretty good variety of varieties: cider, pumpkin, cinnamon, chocolate, etc.--all made in an old-fashioned automatic fryer that you can watch through some glass. They're very popular, so they fly off the shelves, which means they're always fresh. Great apple picking, too, and a really scenic setting. Man, I love that place.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: N8H
                      at24 Sep 24, 2008 02:40 PM

                      I second Thompson's Orchard. I live close by there and I am guilty for going there and loading up on doughnuts. I love it when you get there and they are still warm! I love the pumpkin ones, but I think the apple cider ones have moved into first place. Can't say anything bad about these doughnuts. They are addictive! I gotta get around to trying one their homemade apple dumplings! I love this place too!

                      1. re: N8H
                        MangiaMuse Jul 30, 2010 07:03 PM

                        I agree about Thompson's Orchard. The only doughnuts I eat all year, when we go to pick apples in the fall, because they are really worth eating!

                        1. re: N8H
                          sourdough58 Dec 18, 2011 04:00 AM

                          " .--all made in an old-fashioned automatic fryer that you can watch through some glass." For me old fashioned means Hand cut and fried in lard and that covers gradma cooking them in a cast iron skillett or hand cut and frying in a big fryer full of lard for a donnut shop. not a machine making them. IMHO

                        2. m
                          mlzeats Sep 24, 2008 09:12 AM

                          Did you find some good places near Baxter? I will be up in the Moosehead Lake/Baxter Park area in a few weeks and I would be very interested in learning of any worthwhile finds. Non-donut good eats in that area would also be of extreme interest. Thanks

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: mlzeats
                            wintersummer Sep 25, 2008 01:09 PM

                            mlzeats - I'm the one who made the trip to Moosehead last year. I'm also a chowhounder always on the lookout for great donut shops! Many of my posts relate to finding donuts in various parts of the country. We're headed to New England next week and I'm still searching for good donuts. I remember a few Tim Hortons on the way to Moosehead, but nothing around Moosehead. I did have the donuts at Thompson's Orchard - wonderful! We spent some time in Camden and had good doughnuts there - at a place with the name "willow" I think. (edit - just saw the Willow Bake Shop referenced in original post here!)

                            1. re: wintersummer
                              gardgen Sep 25, 2008 03:52 PM

                              in Camden there was an old fashioned drug store with a Soda Fountain, sorry don't know the name, but it was on the west side of the road in the village on Route 1. The donuts are old fashioned style with a crusty exterior. They make a specific number a day and they are ususally gone quite early in the day.

                              1. re: gardgen
                                hdb Sep 29, 2008 02:44 PM

                                I think the place you're refering to is Boynton McKay. They do have very good donuts.

                                1. re: hdb
                                  happybellynh Apr 28, 2009 09:00 AM

                                  Boynton McKay does have great doughnuts- nice and crispy fried edges.

                                  Also- Bolley's in Augusta (near the Hallowell line... or perhaps on the other side of it) also has truly excellent doughnuts- 4 flavors, about 50 cents each.

                            2. re: mlzeats
                              Mainegal Sep 25, 2008 03:29 PM

                              In Abbott, as you're heading north from Guilford toward Greenville, there's a bakery on the western side of the road that's home to the "Skidder Donut." Good local bakery, can't say as I've had a skidder (pron. skiddah) doughnut, but probably worth checking out.

                              As for Willow Bake Shop, it's in Rockland, not Camden.

                            3. Passadumkeg Sep 26, 2008 05:17 AM

                              Near Baxter, Try The River Drivers Restaurant in Millinocket. The chef, Ryan Campbell, just won the "2008 Ultimate Chef Competition" in Bangor (No giggles please.), beating out Roger Gelis of Bangor's Opus Restaurant.
                              Larry's Bakery in Ellsworth, best donuts around, is gone, but they now own the The Trade Winds supermarket in Blue Hill and do donuts there.

                              1. s
                                sourdough58 Mar 20, 2010 09:35 AM

                                My vote would be for the Mohegan style Donuts from the Family Bakery I was selling 150 doz. donuts per day 6 days a wk for years, wholesale and 125 lb of peanutbutter fudge per wk. and 3000 single serving pastrys per mo. I sold my bakery several yrs ago, and now make donuts for fund raisers like Boy Scouts, Church, and the Conway house http://www.crmuseum.org/buildings.html

                                1. Joanie Dec 6, 2011 10:45 AM

                                  I know this is a very old thread, but any more recent thoughts on donuts between Boston and Portland? I added Tony's to my list, had never heard of it before. I could give Congdon's a second chance but I didn't like them the first time. Going up Rt. 1 so don't want to go too far out of the way. Thanks.

                                  11 Replies
                                  1. re: Joanie
                                    sultanaboudreau Dec 7, 2011 04:40 AM

                                    In Portland, Tony's is reliable and a local favorite. The Holy Donut in Portland is really good--old fashioned potato/sweet potato cake donuts. I'm a big fan of their chocolate donuts! They have their own bakery on Middle Street and are also available at Bard Coffee, I believe--

                                    1. re: sultanaboudreau
                                      Joanie Dec 7, 2011 07:01 AM

                                      I called Holy Donut and they said they only do wholesale then gave me a bunch of coffee shops around town that have them. Would be much easier if I could just go to the Middle St. location.

                                      1. re: Joanie
                                        sultanaboudreau Dec 7, 2011 07:13 AM

                                        weird--I could have sworn they opened a retail location this fall. It must not have made it : (
                                        Bard Coffee on Middle Street seems to most always have them available tho.

                                        1. re: sultanaboudreau
                                          sultanaboudreau Dec 7, 2011 07:17 AM

                                          Sorry...I should have checked before I posted...portlandfoodmap reports the retail shop as an experiment that didn't make it; the owner chose to focus on wholesale. The shop was an early morning thing anyway, only open until 10 AM.

                                        2. re: Joanie
                                          monopod Dec 7, 2011 02:45 PM

                                          Whole Foods in Portland carries Holy Donuts as well - I ran into the owner there the other day. She said they usually run out of them late in the day, so you should go early.

                                        3. re: sultanaboudreau
                                          Joanie Dec 14, 2011 05:37 AM

                                          Thanks for mentioning Holy Donut, it was SO good. Went to Bard's and got the plain w/ sugar and really liked it. Wish they had lots of flavors to choose from but obviously cafes aren't going to carry 10 flavors like a donut shop. Tony's had a million flavors tho and I thought the pumpkin and molasses were really good.

                                          1. re: Joanie
                                            sultanaboudreau Dec 14, 2011 06:17 AM

                                            I'm glad you liked the Holy Donut! They are ridiculously good.

                                        4. re: Joanie
                                          irwin Dec 7, 2011 06:43 AM

                                          Tony's is very good donuts as well as a great selection but I get heartburn every time I eat them.... sorry,

                                          1. re: Joanie
                                            rockblogsterbdn Dec 7, 2011 10:54 AM

                                            Weaver's Bakery in Belfast. Hands down. Crispy fried rings of joy. Plain is best.

                                            1. re: Joanie
                                              IWantFood Dec 7, 2011 05:09 PM

                                              Between Boston and Portland: try Cookie Jar Bakery in Cape Elizabeth. Great doughnuts. Have tried them all and they're all good.

                                              1. re: IWantFood
                                                JakeMaine Dec 17, 2011 10:11 PM

                                                Agreed. The Cookie Jar's doughnuts are the best in Maine, far better than Tony's too.

                                            2. n
                                              nyawira Dec 14, 2011 01:05 PM

                                              My goodness. I moved to Maine in June. Then I discovered all the fine restaurants, then I discovered lobster rolls, and whoopie pies, then I found the hamburgers were noticeably better than in my former life, NOW I need to explore donuts! When will it end. I need to get my weight back down!!!

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