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Jul 15, 2009 02:49 PM

Best donut in Manhattan?

This is really two questions - what place makes the best donuts overall in Manhattan? And what single donut flavor is the tastiest?

I realize I might spark a cake v yeast debate here but having eaten at Doughnut Plant and being slightly underwhelmed (I ate both cake and yeast), and really loving the Balthazar chocolate donut, I'm curious to find what else is out there. Unfortunately I missed the churros at Doughnut Plant.

So if anyone has suggestions on really good churros, that would be appreciated too (not the folks in the subways though.)

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  1. What Donut Plant donuts did you try? I love the cake donuts there, and my favorites are the Tres Leches and Blackout. The yeast ones are fine, but, too chewy to me.

    Unfortunately, NYC is not a huge donut town and you might need to go out of Manhattan to find one you like. Maybe you can have good bagels in a town or good donuts but not both? BTW, Peter Pan in Greenpoint earns rave reviews.

    Personally, I think the absolute best donuts in town are those served in restaurants because they are served fresh and fried to order (beignets at the Bar Room at the modern, donut holes at Jane or Stanton Social, apple cider donuts at Hearth, the ones served at A Voce, etc.)

    IMO, the best churros are those that are fried fresh to order (Donut Plants are not). Are you seeking takeout or places where you order them as part of a meal?

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Second the Blackout. The rest there less so.

      1. re: kathryn

        I had the most recommended donuts - the Tres leches, which I was really looking forward to, but which was just overly gloppy sugary sweet (it was a hot day.) I had the blackout, which I liked better and would go back for. And the Blackbery jam, which was not bad. Surprising results to me cos I prefer cake donuts (I hate Krispy Kreme. Sorry.) Had very good donuts at Craft which were piping hot, as well as at Taralucci e Vino, where they sit on the shelf, but I seem to keep missing the chocolate donuts there.

        I am very open to places where churros are part of a meal. I had really good churros in Philly at Distrito which came with the proper side of thick hot chocolate. But I also had really good churros in Chicago - there's a churro plant in Pilsen that makes them, and they have different flavored filings (choc, custard, and raspberry.) Those were good even if they weren't fresh, unlike the subway vendors' version.

        I think a visit to Bouchon, Donut Pub, and some of the restaurants mentioned here are in order. Besides, I have yet to try the macarons at Bouchon, so they are at the top of my list esp. since I missed going there on a recent Vegas trip.

      2. I dislike Donut Plant. I like my (cake) donuts crispy on the outside from the frier, and dense but soft on the inside. It's a simple concept that's impossible to find in this town.

        4 Replies
        1. re: chet steadman

          donut plant? meh. i have never been able to top the donut pub on 14th manhattan, that is

          1. re: david sprague

            i've been to donut pub and peter pan, and neither has impressed me that much. but i think that's because i've never been lucky enough to try any really fresh donuts at either.

            any idea what the best times are to try and grab a warm donut at pub or peter pan?

            1. re: chet steadman

              I agree. After hearing rave reviews of doughnut pub, I was sadly disappointed with their doughnuts. My opinion may change if I were to have a freshly made one, but as it stands, I would take Krispy Kreme any day over doughnut pub

              1. re: chet steadman

                Peter Pan has decent flavors, but I find the donut itself to be blah. Once I tried plain versions of their raised and cake doughnuts. Neither really had much flavor except for a hint of baking powder. It didn't taste like they used quality ingredients and I couldn't eat more than a bite of each. They're okay when smothered by the fillings/toppings.

          2. I had some good churros last night at "Las Chicas Locas," a new Mexican joint that opened in Chelsea. There's a spicy kick to them. Otherwise, I adore the churros at Five Points.

            My fave donuts are the long, glazed cake sticks that are available at every breakfast/coffee cart in the mornings. Otherwise, I'm a sucker for Krispy Kreme.


            2 Replies
            1. re: LeahBaila

              I was actually eating one of those donut cart marble sticks when I saw your post. I thought I was the only one.

              (edit: no, not at 10:30pm. i can't post from work)

              1. re: chet steadman

                Oooo...The marble sticks are great! I actually had one for dinner last night. My favorite come from this random Halal truck that parks itself on 6th Ave between 24th and 25th. I don't know why theirs are so much better than everyone elses, but I can't get over the freshness and extra glaze!


            2. Defintiely Bouchon Bakery. They only have them on the weekends. Unbelievable and worth the trip if that isnt your 'hood.

              1. If you didn't love Doughnut Plant, give Donut Pub on 14th a try. Two very different styles -- Doughnut Plant is artisan doughnuts, while Donut Pub does more traditional doughnuts like you might find at a chain. I like Donut Pub's old-fashioned chocolate and glazed doughnuts.