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Sep 28, 2008 09:58 AM

Are there any good Doughnuts left in Montreal?

When my Mom used to work at The Bay many moons ago (then called Morgan's) she used to get a cake doughnut from the main floor every now and then - somewhat crispy on the outside with a hearty inside served at the horseshoe counter. She hankers once again for a well made, tasty doughnut, one that can stand up on it's own with maybe just a light coating of powdered sugar, maybe some with a more adventurous taste, other than the (excuse the description) processed crap one gets at Timmy's, Dunkin's and the likes nowadays.

I remember the family going for Sunday drives and ending up at a Tim Horton's (in Ontario maybe?) and getting their Apple Fritters. They haven't been worth making the trip in many years...

On a side note of sorts, I can't help but think of the automatic doughnut maker that used to be at the Eaton's downtown on the basement floor when I think of doughnuts. Ususally around Christmas time.

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  1. Two words: Wavel paczki. These delightful filled Polish doughnuts must be tried. My fave is the cream-filled, but many swear by the traditional prune filling. There is also an apricot-filled version available. Several locations in Montreal.

    1. The paczkis from Wawel, the Polish donuts filled with either custard, apricot or prunes are one of my favorite treats in town. I actually prefer the ones that are sold at their Saint-Marc branch, had a few not so fresh duds from their Jean Talon booth.

      I never tried them personally, but the yeast donuts at Samos (two branches, one on Beaubien and one around the 4300 block of St Laurent) get rave reviews too.

      10 Replies
      1. re: emerilcantcook

        I love the doughnuts at Samos as well as those from Wawel. I'm pretty sure the man at the Wawel on Bélanger told me that the paczki all come from one central bakery, so I guess freshness would have to do more with turnover.

        As far as what the OP is looking for, I don't know of a place that makes a really good traditional doughnut. but I'd love to find one.

        1. re: SnackHappy

          Another thought: while still perhaps not a "traditional" doughnut, Vergers Lafrance out in St-Joseph-du-lac has awesome, freshly made apple doughnuts. It's an easy 45-minute drive from Montreal, and you can go apple-picking at the same time.

          1. re: SnackHappy

            The turnover factor explains the situation well. On an average day, I'd be lucky to find any paczkis left at their downtown branch after lunch time, while I was able to get some during late afternoon from the JTM, on a busy Saturday. I guess they are a little too secluded at that corner of the market to sell things as fast.

            1. re: SnackHappy

              I wouldn't swear on a dozen packi - but I'm pretty sure the Wawel on the corner of Sherbrooke and Girourard bakes theirs there.

              Also, if you go to a Eastern European store, you may find two different brands of packi - Rosemont and Wawel.

              I am proud to be polish.

              1. re: maisonbistro

                I was at Wawel NDG & they were just coming out of the oven - had to leave the box open so they wouldn't steam. Couldn't eat them immediately since filling was just too hot (burned tongue trying!), but 15 minutes later ...

              2. re: SnackHappy

                I am nearly 100% sure that the Wawel in NDG makes their own packi- I am convinced I have seen them frying them.

                1. re: maisonbistro

                  Since then, I've learned more about how the paczki are prepared. They come from a bakery somewhere in Ontario, delivered (frozen or refrigerated?) along with the bags of fillings, then fried and filled on site.

                  1. re: SnackHappy

                    This is disappointing news :( Still delicious though.

              3. re: emerilcantcook

                Samos has, as another poster put it diplomatically a couple of weeks ago, a real quality control problem. They are lovely people, but about 60% of the donuts I've had from there (Beaubien & de Gaspé) have been unbelievably stale. In fact -- I was just coming here to post about this -- I've tasted two of their donuts just now that I bought about an hour ago, one chocolate-dip and one maple-dip, and the chocolate-dip was soft and delicious and the maple one seems two weeks old. I have no idea how this happens, but just be really careful what you buy there. It's difficult to tell how stale something is without touching it though.

                1. re: emerilcantcook

                  I didn't care much for the ones at Jean Talon market either. There was a meager amount of a cream filling, and it had an off flavor.

                2. Seen at roadside fruit and veg stands in Lanaudière, and here and there around JTM, and who knows where else in the city, are awesome potato-flour doughnuts that remind me of grand maman's homemade doughnuts, only not as crispy. They come in a brown paper bag with a simply printed label, stapled shut. I've seen both plain and maple.

                  EDIT: the doughnuts come from

                  Les Délices d'Antan
                  446, chemin Bayonne Sud
                  (450) 836-0540

                  The points-of-sale page doesn't list any places in Montreal, but I've definitely seen them at JTM. Sorry, can't remember just where.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Mr F

                    I've seen them at Le Marché des Saveurs.

                    And, I don't know if the still have it, but I already bought them at Les Délires du Terroir on St-Hubert.

                    They're really good ! They used to be shipped on wednesdays and saturdays...

                  2. Then there are always church bazaars... lots of them this time of year.

                    The best plain doughnuts I ever had were from a church bazaar.

                    1. oh my, the donuts at Eaton's, maple or chocolate icing, do I ever remember those !!!
                      I was working in personnel then, I was there when the machine was installed.
                      Thanks, now I feel really old.

                      I had a donut at Timmy's the other day, the walnut bar, not at all like I remembered it, they must be frying them differently, it was soft and mushy.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: superbossmom

                        Eaton's food counter was amazing and was always so busy.