With all the trendy treats to hit town in recent years, we’ve now come full circle back to the humble doughnut. Top chefs from New York to Los Angeles are sexing up this sweet-treat, reinventing the regular round with unlikely ingredients (foie gras) and curious infusions (orange and cream with Earl Grey-tea sugar). Piggybacking on these variants, A-Town toques are toying with toppers, like salted caramel, and flirting with unusual combos (reduced balsamic vinegar, bacon and caviar). Here, the city’s top doughnut spots take our fave staple out for a unique, made-from-scratch spin. Go ahead and upgrade that gym membership—you’re going to need it.
Dutch Monkey Doughnuts
All of Dutch Monkey’s recipes (including the shop’s namesake creation, a dulce de leche doughnut filled with bananas) are inspired by owners Arpana Satyu and Martin Burge’s time spent in top New York kitchens. Everything from the chocolate ganache to lemon curd is made from scratch, with many ingredients coming from local farmers. Even the coffee is carefully considered, chosen by blind taste tests. Cumming, @dmdoughnuts
Doughnuts occupy a small—but vital—piece of real estate on the menu at one of the city’s oldest and most beloved bakeries. (Don’t miss the apple fritters and honey buns.) “Those who order them, need them,” says owner Madeline Leonard (granddaughter of Henri). Their secret? A recipe from the ’40s and made-from-scratch chocolate. Ask nicely, and they’ll even decorate your doughnut like their famous cakes. Buckhead and Sandy Springs, @henrisbakery
Pastry chef Kamal Grant is a man on a mission—to get people excited about doughnuts. Whimsical creations, such as the Sublime Burger (split chocolate doughnut filled with Oreo ice cream, then topped with vanilla icing and crushed Oreos) and the famous A-Town Creams, have taken him from a one-man shop to global acclaim in just four years. Grant recently opened a second outpost in Bangkok… as in, Thailand. West Midtown, @sublimedoughnut
Dough in The BOX
Venezuelan owners Dannia and Jesus Balestena take three things very seriously: coffee, chocolate (made-from-scratch every day) and doughnuts (ditto). Everything else, such as their ’70s-inspired white-and-orange decor, takes a backseat. But no one’s complaining—especially since they offer 29 flavors, call-ahead ordering and complimentary doughnut holes with each order. Most recently, we’re obsessing over the peanut-butter iced chocolate cake variety. Marietta
Owner and baker Maria Moore Riggs makes a mean vegan doughnut. Her loyal farmers market following helped the pastry pioneer go from tent to brick-and-mortar in a little more than a month, mainly thanks to online fundraising-site Kickstarter. But omnivores can rejoice, too: the salted-caramel-bacon doughnut—made with local charcuterie—is a best seller. Pig out! Decatur, @revolutiondonut