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Feb 1, 2014 05:04 AM

Best Doughnuts/Donuts in Toronto: 2014

The 2013 thread is getting quite big so maybe time for a new thread?

I added the Donuts spelling variation cuz why not!

Ok, I had an incredible raised chocolate dip donut at Calabria Bakery (Midland Ave. location) yesterday. I prefer cake to raised so if I'm saying this was incredible it was.

Old school, mega flavour. No fancy tricks. Just a delicious goddamn donut. I had mine well after it was made, at 10pm or so, and it was still killer.

Calabria Bakery is a very special place. I'd highly recommend you go on a Thursday or Friday before 5pm, as they make delicious old school pizza on those 2 days only (in the most beautifully impressive brick pizza oven I've seen in Toronto).

Not sure if donuts are an everyday thing there, they kind of bake what they like when they like, but if you can make it to Scarborough maybe call ahead and ask. If they're not an everyday thing I bet they'd make a batch if pre-requested, they are super nice. Enjoy the pic.

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  1. I got some for a meeting at "modern" on College yesterday. I tried 3 varieties and they all sucked and were quite expensive.

    30 Replies
    1. re: frogsteak

      I take it you mean Jelly Modern.

      1. re: magic


        it wasn't even worth learning its real name

        1. re: frogsteak

          I agree frogsteak. I can't understand why people rave about them. They are some of the worst doughnuts I've had!

          1. re: kwass

            I think Jelly Modern might be hit or miss, or perhaps a little inconsistent. They were a miss for me when I was in Calgary before they opened their TO location, but I know a few TO Chowhounds who really enjoy them.

            1. re: prima

              I wish that were the case prima. I've had them 3 or 4 times, and they've been a miss every time. They get points for freshness. They're unbelievably fresh, but that's the only good thing I can say about them.

              They're waaaaay too sweet, and they use waaaaay too much frosting. I think their motto is more is always better.

              I wanted so much to like them, but they just aren't good!

              They need to take a page out of VON doughnut's book and pull back a little.

              1. re: kwass

                At least yours were fresh! My complaint about the Jelly Modern doughnuts I tried in Calgary was that they were a little stale.

                1. re: prima

                  Probably because they are not selling fast enough. There are no stale donuts (or doughnuts for that matter) at VON

                  1. re: foodyDudey

                    To be fair, donuts do dry out faster in Calgary, due to the climate, and I visited mid-afternoon. That being said, my old school donuts from the Donut Mill in Red Deer are always fresh.

                  2. re: prima

                    In their favour, I've only had fresh doughnuts from JMD.

                  3. re: kwass

                    I agree some of them are yucky in terms of over-icing (and I love icing..). But the creme brulee was gooood.

                    1. re: Ediblethoughts

                      I didn't realize JMD had a creme brulee doughnut. I don't remember seeing that there.

                      1. re: Ediblethoughts

                        Have you tried Von's creme brûlée version?

                        1. re: Full tummy

                          No. Because I've only been there on Sundays, and they're not available on Sundays. I'm thinking of making a special order, which I know they'll do, depending on the amount ordered.

                          P.S. Oops, I thought you were asking me. Sorry FT!

                          1. re: kwass

                            We're going tomorrow. The creme brûlée is on the list. I really wanted To try the carrot cake, but it's not available on Saturdays.

                            Edit:going to Von's

                            1. re: kwass

                              Hehehe! No problem. I also really liked the peanut butter and jelly doughnut, and another that was caramelly, but I don't know which one. Also enjoyed the dill though I felt it was too sweet to be really enjoyed as a savoury option. Thought the banana cake doughnut, Porky Monkey, needed more banana oomph. Looking forward to trying more of their flavours!

                              1. re: Full tummy

                                Loved Von's peanut butter jelly time doughnut! It was fresh and not too sweet.

                                Can't wait to go back to try other flavours, especially the creme brulee.

                            2. re: Full tummy

                              I've tried both. Von's has way more of filling and burnt sugar but JMD's was good too. Less of both but still nice.

                              1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                Is JMD's yeast raised? I am not a fan of cake doughnuts.

                                Thanks for the info.

                                  1. re: mrsleny

                                    As kwass said, they have both. Most are yeast raised though. (The creme brulee was yeast-raised.)

                                    1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                      Thanks kwass and ediblethoughts! Can't wait to try.

                                      1. re: mrsleny

                                        Actually, mrsleny, I'm not a fan of JMD, but who knows, you might like them.

                                        Whatever the case, please report back :)

                                        1. re: kwass

                                          I'd like to hear more details about why are not a fan. I can't afford to waste calories on a mediocre doughnut :)

                                          1. re: mrsleny

                                            JMD are ridiculously sweet, and they use way too much icing. I don't like them @ all. Not worth the money and definitely not worth the calories!

                                            1. re: kwass

                                              Thanks kwass! Think I will stick to Von Doughnuts then.

                                                1. re: kwass

                                                  If I was in the neighbourhood and they were both options, I'd pick VD also. But when I'm west around 400s of Queen, they are the main choice. (Except for the Danforth choices for Greek, not alot of reason to go East!)

                                            2. re: mrsleny

                                              I agree that some have waaay too much icing--as in cupcake level. They look like cupcakes. But there are exceptions like the creme brulee and salted caramel was almost as good.

                                              The rest... well, probably prettier to look than pleasant to eat.

                    2. re: frogsteak

                      I had the creme brulee last night and I thought it was very good.

                      1. re: Ediblethoughts

                        That was from VON doughnuts, right ET? Does JMD make a crime brûlée?

                    3. Stopped in at the start of this week at Furama on Spadina for some sweets. Tried their coconut twist. Just like a regular sugar twist donut but twice the size and had coconut sugar on top. Delicious! Had to stop by again on Friday and purchased some more. At only 90cents you cant go wrong.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: juliewong

                        Sounds amazing. Will have to try that.

                        Also a Furama location in the PATH, at First Canadian Place.

                        1. re: magic

                          I've tried the PATH Furama sugar donut and it was just too greasy, in an almost beefy way. I don't know if it picked up flavour from something else in the fryer or it was my imagination, but I didn't enjoy it.

                      2. Paula's in Buffalo . Obviously not in Toronto but enough of us know about them so they're worth mentioning. True, old school doughnuts like we used to get as a kid. Its worth the drive. Anybody think we could organize a delivery service from them? With enough orders, you never know.

                        14 Replies
                        1. re: barneyvernon

                          Road trip!

                          Enjoy the Paula's pics.

                          1. re: magic

                            Hey those coconut-crème filled bismarks available at grocery stores (have seen them at Sobey's and Loblaw's) for 99 cents are plastic wrapped and do doubt highly processed but pretty darned tasty for the money imho.

                            1. re: magic

                              Thank you, majic!. I have GOT to shuffle......

                              1. re: magic

                                Is that a filled cake doughnut or cruller i the first pic? I don't think I've ever had either of those filled in my doughnut eating past.

                                1. re: Yongeman

                                  Raspberry jelly filled cake stick. To die for.

                                  Filled cake raspberries are unheard of here but seem are not too uncommon in the States. Americans know how to make a donut. We used to know how.

                                  1. re: magic

                                    Mmmm. Gotta get to Paula's soon.

                                    1. re: magic

                                      *I think some Canadians outside the GTA (in Red Deer, not sure where else) still have the donut know-how.
                                      Next time I go to NOTL, I'm going to stop in Hamilton to try Grandad's:


                                      1. re: prima

                                        Thanks for these links, prima. I'm going to read.

                                        True, I can really only attest to Toronto's donut know-how, which I remember as being fantastic growing up. But now, I find donuts either awful or too fancy. Tasty sometimes yes, but not like it used to be :( Maybe I should start researching good Canadian donut joints.

                                        Now I feel I have to go to the States to get my donut fix. So I just do that. :)

                                        1. re: magic

                                          Magic, you should try VON Doughnuts. Although their doughnut descriptions sound fancy, they're actually quite simple doughnuts (I think I may have said that previously. If I did, I apologize). And I think that you'd really like their cake doughnuts! The carrot ones rock!!

                                          1. re: kwass

                                            Oh I will for sure try. Prolly within a month :)

                                            I'm looking forward to it. Everyone has good things to say so I'm not worried.

                                            1. re: magic

                                              Awesome!! Can't wait to hear your thoughts!!

                                2. re: barneyvernon

                                  Hi barneyvernon ~ on my list for the next road trip! Do they taste ok the next day, or best on day of?

                                  1. re: red dragon

                                    That's another great thing about Paula's.

                                    They taste GREAT the next day.

                                    Especially the cakes ones.

                                3. BlogTo just did a feature on best doughnuts. It's a pretty accurate list, with the exception of JMD, which in my opinion are just horrible!!

                                  Here's the link:


                                  21 Replies
                                  1. re: kwass

                                    Who here agrees with BlogTo and would place GHD in the #1 spot?

                                      1. re: foodyDudey

                                        I didn't think GHD were all that. I still have to try VON.

                                        1. re: prima

                                          Please do prima. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Even though the descriptions are deceiving, they are actually quite restrained...and utterly delicious!

                                          P.S. When I say that the descriptions are deceiving, what I mean is that they make the doughnuts sound quite over-the-top, when in fact, they're not. They're really a great-quaility, great-tasting doughnut.

                                        2. re: foodyDudey

                                          I would definitely not place GHD in the #1 spot. I would reserve that for VON doughnuts. I wasn't agreeing with the order, I was agreeing with the list.

                                          1. re: kwass

                                            I understand, but I asked the question as I can't imagine that GHD is truly #1. Perhaps a case of "money talks"

                                            1. re: foodyDudey

                                              I think @ this point it's name recognition. When people think of gourmet doughnuts, they think GHD.

                                              1. re: kwass

                                                That brings up the question - when eating a GH doughnut, which side of the hole should I eat, the back or front? Obviously only one side is the glory hole.

                                                1. re: foodyDudey

                                                  I think I should keep quiet on this ;)

                                                    1. re: prima

                                                      I know what they sell, and I know what the tern refers to, I just had to ask that silly question to add a bit of my style of humor to the conversation. :-)

                                                  1. re: kwass

                                                    I think of Doughnut Plant when I think of Gourmet doughnuts! :-)

                                                    1. re: prima

                                                      I am dying to try doughnut plant. I'm constantly harassing them on Instagram to open a shop in Toronto.

                                                        1. re: kwass

                                                          Behold :)

                                                          Doughnut Plant - Blackout, creme brulee, and others....

                                                          1. re: magic

                                                            magic, you're killing me!!!

                                                            You have to follow them on instagram. Their daily pics make me very happy...but also a bit sad, since they're all the way in NY ;)

                                                            1. re: kwass

                                                              Doughnut Plant was YEARS in waiting for me. Imagine what I went through! NYC is no short order for me, it's a big deal for me to get there. It was a tough wait. You'll get there too.

                                                              Paula's is more doable and frankly, better.

                                                              Doughnut Plant is great don't get me wrong and I look fwd to getting back for sure, but Paula's is real special. And easier!

                                                              1. re: magic

                                                                I rarely, if ever go to Buffalo, but I do have family who goes occasionally. I might just have to ask for a favour :)

                                                                As for NY, I haven't been in years. I have friends who go, but getting them to bring me back doughnuts is never easy. Trust me...I've tried :(

                                                                1. re: kwass

                                                                  Lots of incredible food in Buffalo.

                                                                  But yeah, it's not easy, of course.

                                                                  My last Paula's run was just a day trip. There and back. Doesn't even have to be a whole thing.

                                                                  1. re: magic

                                                                    True!! Maybe it's time to dust off the passport :)

                                            2. Those doughnuts look awesome magic!! Unfortunately, I'm never out that way :(

                                              9 Replies
                                              1. re: kwass

                                                Sucky. Well, who knows, maybe one day, right.

                                                I think you'd like.

                                                1. re: magic

                                                  I'm going to do my best to get out there magic because those doughnuts do look ridiculously good!!

                                                  1. re: kwass

                                                    kwass, they are stupid.

                                                    Please get there. You'll see what I mean. In fact, I kind of want to be there when you see for yourself.

                                                    1. re: magic

                                                      You're too funny magic!! Ok. I'm definitely going!! I have a few places to get to 1st, but I promise, that I'm going to go sometime within the next month.

                                                      1. re: kwass

                                                        Within a month! Wow, that would be great.

                                                        If you do go check out the Main St. location. Both locations are great but I just like the neighbourhood feel of the Main St. location. Tons of tables and counter seats to enjoy a gorgeous donut and coffee (or millk!) and watch the locals.

                                                        Get the carrot cake too to bring home (even great several days later). Best I've ever had.

                                                        1. re: magic

                                                          Ok. Will take your advice on both counts...carrot cake and Main St location :)

                                                            1. re: magic

                                                              I'm sure I will! I trust your recs!!