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Maine's Best Doughnuts

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?

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  1. 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

      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

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

      1 Reply
      1. re: Joanie

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

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

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

                5 Replies
                1. re: RibKing

                  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

                    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

                      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

                      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

                        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. 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

                      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

                        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

                          " .--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. 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

                            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

                              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

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

                                1. re: hdb

                                  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

                              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. 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. 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. 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.

                                  12 Replies
                                  1. re: Joanie

                                    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

                                      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

                                        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

                                          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

                                          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

                                          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

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

                                        4. re: Joanie

                                          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

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

                                            1. re: rockblogsterbdn

                                              Apparently, Weaver's Bakery in Belfast now focuses on cupcakes and pre-ordered pies. Anybody know if they still make donuts and, if so, are they as good as ever?

                                              Also, a former employee (presumably a Weaver family member) opened his own business last November called Weaver's Roadside Variety on Route 137 in Waldo.


                                              Looks like their donut fryer was installed in the past week and is now operational. Can any hounds out there report on the quality of the donuts at this new location?


                                            2. re: Joanie

                                              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

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

                                            3. 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!!!

                                              1. I recently heard about Edna and Lucy's, an under-the-radar, somewhat newish spot for great donuts in Pownal, located about five miles west of Freeport, Maine. It's appears to be a lunch cafe that specializes in sandwiches, soups, and salads and serves donuts in the morning:


                                                1. If you're venturing further afield in Maine--one of my favorite donuts in Maine is at The Airline Snack bar about halfway down the Airline (route 9) between Bangor and Calais--really great cake donuts.

                                                  1. I noticed that The Holy Donut now has two locations in Portland: one on 194 Park Avenue and the other on 7 Exchange Street.

                                                    Has anyone noticed a difference in quality between the two branches?

                                                    Also, is the newer South Portland location of Tony's Donut Shop just as good as the original branch in Portland?

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: italianices

                                                      South Portland Tony's location is as good as Portland location. Actually, I think I prefer the S. Portland location. Donuts made by hand in both places. S. Portland location's seating area was cleaner, too.

                                                    2. Are there any great donuts along the Bucksport-Ellsworth-Hancock-Sullivan-Gouldsboro U.S. Rt. 1 corridor?

                                                      What about the Blue Hill peninsula or Mt. Desert Island?

                                                      The only place I know of on MDI is the Colonel's Restaurant and Bakery in Northeast Harbor, and while the donuts were fine, I didn't feel they were worth a special trip. Then again, I was there in the afternoon, so maybe that wasn't the ideal time to make an accurate assessment.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: italianices

                                                        Answering my own question, it appears that 44 North Coffee on Deer Isle serves triangle donuts.

                                                      2. I've become a big fan of Urban Sugar, a donut food truck usually in Congress Square downtown Portland. Tiny, cooked to order and very addicting.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: bobbert

                                                          YES! they're very addictive. On the weekends, if they're not working a catered event, they're often at Portland Flea For All then on the Eastern Prom. They were also at Sugarloaf all winter last year--