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Donuts. Everybody loves donuts whether it’s baked or fried. They’re tasty and easy to carry around. In fact, we recently asked travel writers on their best recommendations for the best gourmet doughnuts in the USA and received several nominees for the best gourmet donuts in the world that are definitely worth learning about. (If you haven’t read it yet, we recommend you do!)
Without further ado, here is the list of the best gourmet doughnuts in the world.
Robert De N’Oreo from Doughnut Time in London
Greta of Greta’s Travels shares what she thinks is the best donut in London.
“Doughnut Time in London has some of the best donuts I’ve ever eaten,” says Greta. “There are a number of branches all over London, but my personal favorite is the one in Shoreditch, just outside the Old Street tube station. Besides having plenty of donut choices, it also has a cool murals facade, which makes for great Instagram photos!”
“They have a wide variety of flavors, all with awesome pun names inspired by celebrities (eg. Bueno Mars for a donut with kinder bueno, Robert De N’Oreo for a donut with Oreo cookies and Snicki Minaj for one with snickers). But if the cool names aren’t enough, don’t worry as the taste is incredible too,” according to Greta.
“My personal favorite is the Robert De N’Oreo; this donut is stuffed with cheesecake filling, topped with white chocolate and has tiny Oreos on top. Donuts cost 4.50 GBP each or 16 GBP for a box of four donuts.”
Crosstown Doughnuts, London
“Whenever my path brings me back to London, I somehow end up at Crosstown for my doughnut fix,” shares Laura of Travelers Universe. “Every time. It’s like a powerful magnet. Eating doughnut at Crosstown is one of the best things to do in London if you ask me. That’s because once you have tasted their doughnuts you will, for sure, be back for more,” Laura suggests to future London travelers.
According to Laura, Crosstown Doughnuts is not hard to find. “They make it easy too, as they have multiple locations spread throughout the city.” She continues to share her recommended flavors. “They also offer an incredible variety of flavors, from classic ones, like vanilla glaze, raspberry jam, cinnamon sugar, and chocolate truffle to some seriously delicious vegan options,” she adds.
Laura shares what makes Crosstown Doughnuts special. “Vegan doughnuts are prepared, stored and displayed separately. They include tasty flavors like lemon-thyme with beetroot dough, lime & coconut, rhubarb, and peanut butter. My favorite flavor, however, is the matcha tea doughnut. Trying it is a must.”
Papanasi from La Mama in Ateneu
“Dining like a local in Romania is not complete without trying the best incarnation of donuts known as Papanasi,” says Karolina Klesta of Lazy Travel Blog. “Better than the average donut, the Papanasi is made of cottage cheese-based dough with a gooey, fruity and rich jam and cheese filling. Served with a dollop of sour cream and more thick jam on top, it is impossible not to come home with cravings for this Romanian treat,” she explains.
“The berry-flavored Papanasi of La Mama in Ateneu seems to be on top of the list. At 13 Lei (roughly 3EU) for a 250-gram serving, you can have more than one during your stay in Bucharest. Satisfy your sweet tooth by paying them for a visit,” suggests Karolina.
Loukoumades from Krinos in Athens
Mansoureh Farahani of Travel with Mansoureh votes for Loukoumades, a traditional Greek donut, as one of the best donut in the world.
“When it comes to yummy doughnuts, we all think of a tasty fried ball of dough with a colourfull icing and decorations. But, one of the best doughnuts I ever tried was totally opposite all the modern doughnuts we know. It is called Loukoumades, also known as traditional Greek doughnuts,” says Mansoureh who also wrote about other traditional Greek food during his Athens Food Tour.
“Greeks soak the fried dough confection in honey syrup and you can add a sprinkle of powdered sugar or cinnamon.
In the past, Loukoumades was only served to the winners of the Olympic Games, but nowadays they are served as a dessert in many places in the country,” shares Mansoureh.
“The traditional bakery of Krinos in the center of Athens is the best place to try Loukoumades,” suggests Mansoureh. “This cafeteria has been serving their special recipe of loukoumades for more than 90 years. Here you can have Loukoumades in a traditional way with honey syrup, cinnamon, and crushed nuts and they serve it in a metal plate. They might not look so fancy, but the taste is so good.”
Vegan Donut from Vegan Food & Sweet Bar in Brno
“The best doughnut I ever ate was in Brno, the second-largest city in the Czech Republic,” says Wendy Werneth, creator of The Nomadic Vegan. “It was at a place that, at the time, was called Vegan Sweet Bar. A “sweet bar”, or cukrárna in Czech, is a popular type of snack shop in the Czech Republic that usually serves ice cream as well as sweet pastries. This particular one has since added some savory items to their menu, so it’s now called Vegan Food & Sweet Bar,” Wendy explains.
“As a vegan, my dessert options are often limited when traveling, so coming across a vegan pastry shop in Brno was a rare and special treat. And there were so many flavors of doughnuts to choose from at this place! I finally settled on one topped with raspberry jam, chocolate syrup, and coconut flakes. It was absolutely divine, and you never would have guessed it was vegan!”
Mr. D Dining in Napier, New Zealand
Sarah Kennerley of Sarah Sees The World pitches in her bet for the best gourmet doughnut in the world. “Mr. D Dining in Napier, New Zealand is famous for its D-doughnuts.” She continues to describe the best doughnut she ever ate. “Their plain cinnamon sugar doughnuts are beautiful – crunchy and sweet on the outside and fluffy and doughy on the inside. But the trick is to upscale them with a fix!”
Sarah shares what makes the Mr. D Dining special. “Fixes come in a syringe you inject into the fleshy middle of the doughnut. The classic fixes are custard (my personal favorite), jelly and chocolate. If choosing is too hard you can just order all three!”
“Mr. D Dining also offers R-18 syringes where the custard, chocolate, and jelly are spiked with cognac, run, and manuka honey vodka respectively.”
Floresta Donuts in Japan
“One of the greatest donuts we’ve ever had was Floresta Donuts in Japan,” says Thais Saito of World Trip Diaries. “They have stores in Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara, and they’re adorable.”
“They are all-natural, so they do taste a little different than the conventional donuts – a little drier and tasting a bit of baking soda – but they’re healthier and worth it!”
“They cost around ¥200 and you won’t get to choose a flavor, but an animal,” Thais shares the unique experience with Floresta Donuts. “Depending on the inspiration on the day, they change them, so there’s no way to get bored at the cuteness.”
“If you have the time, some stores even offer you the chance of making your own donuts!”
Donut Shop in Prague, Czech Republic
“The all-time best donut I’ve ever had is a vegan pandan and coconut cream donut from Donut Shop in Prague, Czech Republic,” says Randi Delano, creator of Veggie Visa. “All of the donuts at Donut Shop are excellent and have a fantastically fluffy and slightly dense dough that is fried to crispy perfection and topped with sugary sweet concoctions,” recalls Randi about the delicacy she had in Prague.
“This particular donut, however, is special and one of the best desserts in Prague,” she says. “Its green-tinted glaze is made from a sweet, creamy mixture of tropical coconut and grassy floral pandan extracts. The donut is finished with a dusting of slightly crunchy coconut flakes giving it a bit of extra texture. When enjoyed freshly fried, early in the morning, the dough’s extra crunchy edges make it a perfect mix of delicious flavors and complementing textures. The donut is approximately 62Kč ($2.69) and well worth every koruna.”
Keria from Traditional Cafes in Southeast Asia
Ming of Flyerism bets on something closer to home for the best donut in the world. “As someone who would always have room for dessert, I’ve sampled lots of doughnuts all over Europe and Asia. You may say I am biased, but I think the best donut in the world is something from home.” Ming hails from Asia and writes about cheap travel alerts and itineraries like this one about Daocheng Yading Nature Reserve Hike.
“It’s called Keria, Malaysian-style doughnuts made of sweet potato and frosted with palm sugar (locally known as Gula Melaka),” says Ming.
“The local delight is widely available in the morning market, Malay stalls and Kopitiam (traditional cafes found in Southeast Asia). It can be served as breakfast, snack, or even supper, usually pair with coffee or milk tea. Depending on the area, a piece of Keria is usually priced at just RM0.50 (~USD 0.11).”
Svenj in Morocco
Amber of Food and Drink Destinations also nominated a traditional donut from Morrocco. “When people think of traditional Morrocan food, they probably don’t think about donuts.”
“Couscous and tagines are the most famous Moroccan dishes but the svenj or Moroccan version of the donut is a must-eat for any traveler to Morocco,” she says.
She describes what goes into the delicious Moroccan treat and how locals eat it. “Served piping hot and found throughout Morocco in street stall and pastry shops, svenj is formed into a typical donut shape and deep-fried. Moroccans enjoy their donuts either plain, with sugar, local jam, local honey or even with a fried egg on top.” One svenj costs approximately $0.10 (US) making it a great deal for breakfast or a mid-morning snack. Even some Moroccan homestays, or gites, serv svenj as part of a breakfast spread, meaning it’s possible to enjoy a Moroccan donut with a view of the Moroccan countryside.
Glory Hole Doughnuts in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
“Glory Hole Doughnuts has been serving up unique flavor combinations of donuts since 2012. One of my favorite desserts in Toronto is their Toast and Butter donut,” says Brianna of Curious Travel Bug.
“At first glance, this sounds like a rather strange flavor for a donut to be, but it’s the perfect balance of brown butter frosting and cinnamon. It’s even topped with breadcrumbs,” says Brianna about what makes Glory Hole Doughnuts so special. “This is easily one of the best donuts I’ve ever had, its only competitors are other donuts from Glory Hole.”
When asked what she would recommend, she says, “Worth mentioning is the Ferrero Rocher donut because hazelnut and chocolate is always a good idea. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. Glory Hole changes the menu seasonally. So, there are always new donuts to try like the phenomenal Raspberry Pistachio or Caramel Apple Cheesecake.” She even recommends it for vegans. “If you’re vegan, there are always two flavors on the menu. So, you aren’t left out of the donutty-deliciousness. You can pick up a donut for 4$.”
Shortstop Donut in Sutherland Lane, Melbourne
“Hidden away in a laneway of the marvelous city of Melbourne sits the most magnificent donut shop in all of the land,” says Jean Cheney of Traveling Honeybird. “It’s hard to see but once you’ve had your first Shortstop donut you’ll never forget the soft, fluffy joy. There’s a variety of cake, filled and cruller styled donuts. For me, there is only one donut – the cardamom cinnamon donut. A classic with a beautiful twist of spice.”
“Now, these may look like your everyday donuts for the modern hipster. However, the team behind Shortstop is responsible for the high-quality donuts we now get to enjoy in Melbourne. Having taken a 6-month USA research trip before launching this petite store.”