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Where are the donuts?

docfood Nov 10, 2013 05:38 PM

There seems not to be a donut culture here in the cities. I have lived all over the country and most locations have donuts and a culture of donuts and donut shops. What is going on in the twin cities? I don't get it. Please hounders, I need my fix, and I don't know where to go. I have been to grandmas in West St. Paul and they are really good, but its such a trek. Any ideas of good donuts closer to the core cities?

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  1. Jordan Nov 10, 2013 05:53 PM

    There isn't a huge donut culture here, compared to places like LA. Dunkin Donuts doesn't have a presence here. Krispy Kreme tried several years ago and couldn't make it work. (Part of KK's problem was that they let their quality slide by selling old stale donuts at every gas station in town.)

    Most bakeries (of which we have many fine ones) will make some donuts, and there are a few old-school dedicated ones, like Mel-O-Glaze Donuts in Minneapolis. (Which I highly recommend, by the way.)

    The recent "craft donut" craze has caught on here in a small way, and there are a handful of places specializing in gourmet-ish, hipster donuts. Glam Doll Donuts in Minneapolis is an obvious contender, as is Mojo Monkey in St. Paul, and YoYo Donuts in Minnetonka.

    1. k
      KTFoley Nov 10, 2013 05:53 PM

      A Bakers Wife
      4200 28th Avenue S.
      Minneapolis MN 55406

      I'm more fond of cake donuts rather than yeasted. The cinnamon sugar donuts here are my favorite over all other places.

      Mojo Monkey, Glam Doll, Mello Glaze all suffer in comparison because A Bakers Wife does exactly what I like so very very well.

      1 Reply
      1. re: KTFoley
        BigE Nov 11, 2013 07:07 AM

        Love them too, though I get the plain cake. They are great, especially fresh out of the fryer.

      2. c
        ChillyDog Nov 10, 2013 07:22 PM

        My go-to place for donuts is Puffy Cream. Bad news for you, they are in Eagan.


        2 Replies
        1. re: ChillyDog
          Pwmfan Nov 16, 2013 05:14 AM

          When I worked in Eagan, Puffy Cream was our donut go-to. They were very good, especially the giant fritter-type.

          1. re: ChillyDog
            Seige Nov 20, 2013 10:47 AM

            +1 on Puffy Cream

            Always a hit at my Eagan-based employer.

          2. Davydd Nov 10, 2013 07:32 PM

            I've been around the Twin Cities for years. There used to be a donut culture equal to most areas but I think this metro area took to the bagel trend and coffee shop scone and muffins hard and donuts went by the wayside.

            Donuts in general are not as prevalent as in the past almost everywhere. However, when we travel to Texas I am still amazed how many independent donut shops exist there.

            1. s
              sandylc Nov 10, 2013 07:32 PM

              I like YoYo Donuts and Granny Donuts; one is more modern and the other is classic/basic.

              Glam Doll Donuts is only so-so - more style than substance.

              I have periodically visited A Baker's Wife over the years, and it seems to be getting dustier and dustier...it just isn't clean or appealing.

              Mojo Monkey does a good job with trendier donuts.

              We did have Donut Cooperative, whose owner actually won one of those donut competition things on Food/Cooking (?) Channel, but the business just didn't make it. Their donuts were pretty terrible the two times I went there, actually.

              We just don't have much in the way of a donut culture in the Twin Cities, but it's much better than it used to be!

              1. ibew292 Nov 10, 2013 08:08 PM

                Sad to say but the Old Fashion at Cub are pretty good.

                2 Replies
                1. re: ibew292
                  BigE Nov 11, 2013 07:06 AM

                  That isn't sad at all, in my opinion. Their glazed old fashioneds are awesome.

                  1. re: ibew292
                    amishangst Nov 11, 2013 02:13 PM

                    Well, then maybe it depends on which location. The last two times someone has brought me a doughnut from Cub (two different locations) the bag was entirely soaked through with grease by the time it got to me a half hour after they bought and the entire doughnut reeked of fryer oil.

                    Old school doughnut shop I'd have to say Granny's in WSP.

                  2. parallevar Nov 10, 2013 08:15 PM

                    As mentioned YoYo Donuts does some of the trendier ones but their classic donuts kill it in my opinion. My go-to for an old fashioned whether glazed or plain.

                    1. j
                      justalex Nov 10, 2013 08:16 PM

                      This going to sound very declasse, but if you can find a very fresh old fashioned donut at a Holiday Station store, they are quite good. Light sugar glaze on the outside, a little bit of crunch and a fluffy fresh inside. Stay away from the glazed donuts.

                      The old fashioned are my guilty pleasure.

                      1. b
                        Brad Ballinger Nov 11, 2013 05:05 AM

                        Always go to Mel-O-Glaze for my fix.

                        1. f
                          foreverhungry Nov 11, 2013 07:01 AM

                          My favs are Mel-O-Glaze in MPLS for classic raised, and Mojo Monkey in STP for the newer, more extravagant types.

                          I've heard excellent things about a Baker's Wife for the cake type doughnuts, I'm just not a fan of that type.

                          I recently had Glam Dolls doughnuts twice, and agree with a previous poster, more glam than substance. Very interesting ideas and concept with their doughnuts, but the execution just wasn't there.

                          Deviating slightly, I find it interesting that a poster above said that the twin cities had a big doughnut culture, but that it disappeared when bagels and other good got popular. It's been a struggle to find a good bagel in the twin cities, with the exception of the St. Paul Bagelry. Like other cities have a solid doughnut shop on most blocks, and others have a solid bagel on most blocks, the twin cities have neither.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: foreverhungry
                            The Dairy Queen Nov 11, 2013 07:48 AM

                            I find St. Paul Bagelry's bagels a little too bready for my taste, preferring Common Roots bagel instead. Neither is the best bage I've ever had.


                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                              teamkitty Nov 11, 2013 05:11 PM

                              Agree 100%. Tandem Bagels in Mankato is excellent and I'd drive to The Gingerbread House in Rochester for their glazed donut holes!

                              1. re: teamkitty
                                dsg Nov 11, 2013 07:43 PM

                                Tandem Bagels is in Northfield now, too, just FYI.

                          2. a
                            american_idle Nov 11, 2013 07:04 AM

                            I was recently in Houston TX and was shocked that there is a donut shop on every corner and 3 in between. Just crazy amount of donut shops, they made coffee shop placements look reserved in comparison.

                            I've liked the two times I've had Glam Doll. For an everyday solid donut, SuperMom's from SuperAmerica are good. I prefer raised versus cake donuts. Cub actually has decent donuts too.

                            1. drew13000 Nov 11, 2013 07:47 AM

                              I'm a big fan of glazed donuts and filled donuts, so my favorites are Mel-O-Glaze, YoYo Donuts and Angel Food Bakery. The glazed at Mel-O-Glaze can't be beat, IMO. And Angel Food has a blueberry glazed that I really love.

                              1. j
                                jeff55432 Nov 11, 2013 07:54 AM

                                Heights Bakery makes IMHO the best raised doughnuts in town (never tried the cake variety) and their apple fritters are to die for. Don't expect anything fancy however; this is just a classic old school bakery. For those of you old enough to remember the "old" Franklin St. Bakery (before they went corporate), you'll know what to expect.

                                Plus, they're only about a 12-15 minute drive from downtown.

                                Heights Bakery
                                4925 Central Ave NE
                                Minneapolis, MN 55421

                                1. d
                                  docfood Nov 11, 2013 08:15 AM

                                  Thanks for all the advice. It seems I will be on the donut hunt soon. For me, its cake donuts or apple fritters. I will check out The Bakers Wife (thanks KT), and Cub!?(Thanks IBEW) soon. With this colder weather, its time for a sweet carb fix.

                                  1. g
                                    gryffindor249 Nov 11, 2013 08:36 AM

                                    Granny Donuts in West St. Paul is as old-school classic as you can get. Their glazed, blueberry cake and apple fritters are all tops. However, the "gentleman" who owns it is very difficult to deal with and frequently works the counter, and he seems to have a litany of things that piss him off coupled with a bizarre sense of humor. Just be prepared that he will always try to upsell you, and if you don't comply you will get an attitude. However, the donuts are worth it.

                                    A Baker's Wife is wonderful, though I always seem to get the tea cake instead of the donuts.

                                    Mel-o-Glaze? No thanks. I went in once in the morning and they were serving stale stuff...at least a day old. There are too many great places in town for me to give them a second chance.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: gryffindor249
                                      clepro Nov 15, 2013 08:51 PM

                                      So weird to read this, as my experience with Granny's is the opposite. I only ever get the apple fritters, not being much of a donut lover. But not only is the owner always pleasant and friendly, he's never tried to upsell me from my one measly fritter purchase and he has sometimes thrown in an extra one gratis. Maybe I just look hungry.

                                      1. re: clepro
                                        sandylc Nov 15, 2013 10:16 PM

                                        My four or so experiences there have been good as well.

                                        1. re: clepro
                                          gryffindor249 Nov 16, 2013 01:40 PM

                                          There was actually an article about his bad attitude in the Pioneer Press a couple of years back. Though rumor has it he can be selective in his harassment.

                                      2. g
                                        getgot211 Nov 11, 2013 11:23 AM

                                        Areed with Mel-o, Yoyo, and Cub. Not much mention of Angel Food but they are quite good as well, also the only place I know of doing 'cronuts'.

                                        Glam Doll isn't worth it. Bakers Wife seemed to have slipped a little the last couple times I went.

                                        A little harder to come by but Bogart Loves which were just sold every other weekend or so at the Kingfield Farmers Market were awesome, highly recommend making your way there next year.


                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: getgot211
                                          getgot211 Dec 17, 2013 01:03 PM


                                          So Bogart Loves will soon have a shop, and will then be about the best place to regularly get donuts.

                                        2. g
                                          GutGrease Nov 11, 2013 11:39 AM

                                          Minnesotans save up their donut cravings for a period in late August called the State Fair. Then they eat bags and bags of mini-donuts, swear them off for good, and then gorge again the following year. No time for donuts in between!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: GutGrease
                                            clepro Nov 15, 2013 09:04 PM

                                            Which reminds me. Several weeks ago I had my first experience with a bag of mini donuts, the apple cider donuts at Apple Junction in Hastings. HIGHLY recommended... sticking your hand into a bag filled with still warm donut holes, the smell of apples and autumn all around, and then popping little nuggets of sweet spiciness into your mouth, is pretty much Minnesota perfect.

                                          2. l
                                            L12 Nov 11, 2013 11:50 AM

                                            I have only had Glam Doll donuts once, 3 varieties, and I thought they were very good, some more than others. Worth a try, and they are open late and convenient location. I didn't think the bacon-chocolate was worth it, but one that was filled with a cream was pretty amazing, i forget exactly, but white chocolate was involved.

                                            I am also disappointed with the lack of doughnut culture in such a cold place, but am adapting. For convenience, Cub's can be pretty good. SuperAmerica is best for ultra-convenience but they are not very good usually. I really don't get Kowalski's. Cereal on donuts is the extent of the creativity? Gross, and boring. Lunds baked goods in general are average and donuts usually out of stock.

                                            Croissants seem to be better done in this city. Sometimes I have to use croissant + nutella as a doughnut replacement.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: L12
                                              Jordan Nov 11, 2013 02:14 PM

                                              I've tried most of Glam Doll's varieties. Some are pretty good; some are just 'fine', and some are definite misfires. The sweetish-savory donut with muenster cheese and curry-flavored icing was just not good, no matter how much I tried to appreciate it for the novelty. The salted caramel-chocolate one has just a teeny pool of liquid caramel on the top. It would be a great donut if they'd use a salted caramel icing and actually get it over the entire donut.

                                              On the other hand, the vanilla donut with the fresh raspberry curd is outstanding. Really great fruit flavor.

                                              They're selling donut chicken pot pies now, I think. I'm afraid to try one, but I have to admire the ingenuity.

                                            2. q
                                              queue4ever Nov 11, 2013 12:19 PM

                                              Can't speak for cake donuts or apple fritters but I get my sugar and glazed donut fix at Cub.

                                              I've gone to Glam Doll in the mornings and guaranteed every time I wind up with a dry donut. Donuts are not their strength.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: queue4ever
                                                L12 Nov 11, 2013 12:29 PM

                                                Maybe they are better at night for some reason...

                                              2. d
                                                docfood Nov 11, 2013 06:46 PM

                                                Thanks for all the donut love out there.

                                                1. c
                                                  Codetron Nov 11, 2013 10:48 PM

                                                  I like the doughnuts and pastries from Sarah Jane's Bakery on Johnson St NE & 29th in NE Mpls.


                                                  2853 Johnson Street NE
                                                  Minneapolis, MN 55418

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: Codetron
                                                    Foureyes137 Nov 12, 2013 09:50 AM

                                                    One note on Sarah Jane's: Closed on Sundays. Which is ridiculous for a donut place, but whatever.

                                                    1. re: Foureyes137
                                                      gildeddawn Nov 12, 2013 11:57 AM

                                                      So's Woullet, and I agree - I've always that was ridiculous.

                                                      1. re: Foureyes137
                                                        Davydd Nov 12, 2013 03:57 PM

                                                        I grew up with the belief donut day was always Sunday morning to go along with reading the newspaper comic pages.

                                                        1. re: Davydd
                                                          Foureyes137 Nov 13, 2013 04:37 AM

                                                          Right? The only time I was allowed donuts as a kid was on Sundays...ostensibly as a reward for having sit through church, and the only day of the week it occurs to be to eat them now is Sundays...so I go to Lund's, which actually has pretty good donuts when you get there early.

                                                    2. d
                                                      Danny Nov 12, 2013 02:52 PM

                                                      I love donuts. OMG, do I love donuts. Unfortunately, the Twin Cities Donut "scene" is dominated by the fancypants donut. I love a maple bacon donut as much as anyone, but the donut purist in me dies a little bit every time I have one.

                                                      Here's what the purists need to know about:
                                                      Valley Pastries. 2570 Hillsboro Ave N in Golden Valley. (Basically 169 and Medicine Lake Road) They're open from 5AM - 11AM Tuesday - Saturday, and 5:30AM-10AM on Sundays.

                                                      I recently found them, and they have the best "plain ole donuts" in the Twin Cities. They're all hand cut, and you can get both yeast and cake varieties! If you play your cards right, you might even luck into warm donuts.

                                                      I promise you that if you find the place, you will love the donuts. But, it's also the kind of place Chowhound was created to discuss. Off the beaten path, and with hours that are, at best, difficult. (Amazingly, they've been in that location since 1987. They trace their history back to 1962)

                                                      I did find one blog post with pictures of their product: http://youcarewhatwethink.blogspot.co...

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: Danny
                                                        teamkitty Dec 18, 2013 05:01 AM

                                                        Thanks, Danny? How are their holes? I'm less interested in eating a whole donut than a good donut hole. Again, if you get to Rochester, check out Gingerbread House.

                                                        1. re: teamkitty
                                                          jsc73 Dec 27, 2013 02:24 PM

                                                          Donut holes from Valley Pastries are really good. Oversized - probably 50% bigger than the typical donut hole. They are a glazed, raised donut hole rather than a cake donut. Melty!

                                                          One tip with Valley - don't go on a Sunday. They don't seem to make anything fresh on Sunday; I am guessing they just sell what didn't sell on Saturday... by 8:00am on Sundays, the selection is typically minimal, if there is anything left at all.

                                                          I'm not trying to be overly critical (because I really like their donuts and cookies), but living a couple miles away and having been there on both Saturday and Sunday, I strongly recommend going on Saturday.

                                                        2. re: Danny
                                                          Bobannon Dec 31, 2013 09:14 AM

                                                          I like Valley a lot too.

                                                          There is another good one in Crystal, just down the road from Valley, Douglas Drive and Medicine Lake Road. Really good and cheap. Always fresh. They have a great special on Mondays too.

                                                          1. re: Danny
                                                            sandylc Dec 31, 2013 09:28 AM

                                                            As an aside, I am always confused by donuts being called "pastries" - ?

                                                          2. t
                                                            TCchef8503 Nov 23, 2013 09:15 PM

                                                            The Lynn on Bryant makes beautiful oldschool donuts for their weekend brunch services.

                                                            1. p
                                                              plautus Nov 24, 2013 12:04 PM

                                                              Mel-O-Glaze. 28th Ave S. and Minnehaha Parkway. Their specialty is the fritter, but everything is good. Everything sweet, that is (don't bother with the bread).

                                                              1. ibew292 Nov 25, 2013 11:14 AM

                                                                Doc. Try White Trash Donuts

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: ibew292
                                                                  docfood Nov 27, 2013 05:40 PM

                                                                  I've tried your old fashioned Cub ones and was pleased! I'll consider the White Trash ones, but it requires frying and I hate doing that.

                                                                2. w
                                                                  wegsjac Dec 18, 2013 12:56 PM

                                                                  Baker's Wife's plain cake donuts are my favorites. Go to Corner Table some time for dinner & get their fresh sweet potato donuts, they come with a molasses dipping sauce, yum! (Also, all of their food & service & everything is amazing - best kitchen table experience we've had so far too.)

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: wegsjac
                                                                    forgottendreamr Dec 19, 2013 08:55 AM

                                                                    I'm glad someone had mentioned Corner Table. They have some of the best donuts I've had in the Twin Cities, hands down.

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