Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Dec 13, 2013 12:53 PM

Best donuts in DC Metro -- esp. Northern Virginia (Not Chains)

I'm craving good donuts not from a chain.

My favorites are Toasted Coconut, Boston Cream, and Bavarian Cream. Every now and then, I'll get a French Cruller.

Good grief, the last cruller I did have (a chain, sadly enough) was nothing more than a greaseball, with a very strange fat (cheap or old shortening?) residue that coated my mouth and lips. ;-(.

On the bright side, about five or six years ago, some donut bakery in Bethesda (?) donated donuts each Sunday for those of us who shuttled from Langley High School to McLean Bible Church on Ball's Hill Rd. These donuts were the best I've had in my life -- moist, super-fresh, not greasy at all, and…quite large!

I found an old donut thread here on Chowhound, but it is not worth reviving, as most of the places are closed. (hah, maybe because they are "old donuts". sorry. ).

What is your recommendation? (And I'm curious about your favorite donuts, too). (If you do know of a chain outlet that in fact DOES have good donuts, please share with us. I find chains' various locations to be quite variable in quality).

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. For chain donuts, Shopper's Food Warehouse are good and cheap.

    1. Certain styles at Shoppers are good ... for mass-produced.

      But the best donut-ish item I have ever eaten, bar none, is the éclair from Heidelberg Pastry in Arlington - - I haven't had their donuts, but if there anywhere nearly as good as the éclair ... wow!

      1. This may not be helpful, because I don't like doughnuts much, but our local bakery, Family Bakery & Mrs. Doughnut, usually has a good selection & I pick up a mixed dozen for the kids after a sleepover. I love their cream cheese/pineapple jam pastry & the enormous cinnamon elephant ears, & they have good baguettes & rolls.

        1. In the District:

          - Heller's Bakery: solid cheap donuts
          - Palena Coffeeshop: great glazed and chocolate donuts (those are the only donuts they sell)
          - GBD - Good, lots of interesting flavors, their glazed is made to order
          - Astros - good, lots of interesting flavors

          1. Not VA, but I like Laurel Tavern Donuts. Bonus: they got pretty good sliders, too.