In a world of elaborately decorated cupcakes and dainty macaroons, there’s something so irresistibly delicious about a simple doughnut. These Philadelphia spots prove that these rings of fried dough aren’t just for breakfast anymore. From classic favorites to exotic flavors, you can enjoy your doughnut in the morning, as dessert or even as a component of the main course.
Beiler’s Donuts and Salads
Reading Terminal Market
12th and Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Things just got even better for fans of Beiler’s Bakery. The Beilers have been delighting patrons of the Reading Terminal Market for years with their cinnamon buns, whoopie pies, breads and other assorted treats. While the family often served doughnuts made in an electric fryer at a variety of Pennsylvania Dutch festivals in the area, the doughnuts weren’t available in the Market. That is, until this spring. The Beilers closed their other stand, AJ Pickles and Salads, and reopened it as Beiler’s Donuts and Salads. Salad and pickles will still be available, but they’ll be offered alongside delicious filled doughnuts. Prepared in the family’s new gas-fired fryer, there are about 40 different flavors available. Choose from Boston crème, vanilla, Dutch apple, strawberry glaze and more. At 90 cents each, $4.95 for half a dozen and $9.50 for a dozen, prices are set to encourage bringing home all your favorites.
Vegan donuts named after a grandmother? If that doesn’t sound like your bag, don’t stop reading — these confections are amazing. With an array of flavors ranging from classic (cinnamon sugar) to odd (crunchy peanut butter) to wayyy out there (in a good way — think elderflower and mocha latte), these donuts are decidedly NOT your grandmother’s. Pick ’em up at shops and cafes like Green Line, the Gold Standard and Milk & Honey.
1632 Sansom St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
1219 S. Second St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Federal Donuts has three simple things on the menu: coffee, doughnuts and fried chicken. But the flavors are far from ordinary. Here, fried chicken and doughnuts are made fresh and often sell out by early afternoon. While the crispy chicken is worth a trip alone, the doughnuts are often the star of the show. The fluffy confections are available in two varieties. Hot Fresh doughnuts are $1.25 each ($6 half dozen, $11 dozen) and are served fresh from the fryer and dusted with toppings such as cinnamon brown sugar, vanilla spice or strawberry lavender to order. While the Hot Fresh are best eaten immediately, the Fancy doughnuts have greater staying power. At $2 each ($12 half dozen, $20 dozen), choose from unique flavors like blueberry muffin, Turkish coffee and cookies and cream. Flavors change frequently and vary between the locations, so check Facebook for new flavor announcements. Just this spring, Federal Donuts opened a stand behind section 140 at Citizens Bank Park, so now you can also enjoy chicken and doughnuts while cheering on the Phillies.
PYT at the Piazza
1050 N. Hancock St., Suite 67
Philadelphia, PA 19123
Located in the Piazza within Northern Liberties, PYT goes beyond your typical burger joint. Here, the cooks pride themselves on coming up with a new crazy burger every week, and the favorites become regulars on the menu. Next to unique burgers like the Korean BBQ short rib and cheesesteak pretzel roll burgers, you’ll find Krispy Kreme sliders. For $10, enjoy three mini beef burgers topped with chocolate bacon and served on small Krispy Kreme doughnuts with fries and a pickle. If you can’t stomach the idea of beef with your doughnut, you can also order a Krispy Kreme sundae. Grilled doughnuts are topped with vanilla ice cream, chocolate bacon, chocolate syrup, whipped cream and a cherry for $7.
Related: Top Burger Joints in Philadelphia
1516 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
Keeping with REX 1516’s Southern roots, chef Justin Swain is serving “Donuts & Coffee” for dessert. This unique menu item is a twist on New Orleans’ famous beignets and coffee, and while it was originally offered as a Mardi Gras special, it has earned a spot on the spring menu. For $7, sweet potato beignets are covered in powdered sugar and served alongside an espresso sized cup of cardamom-spiced coffee custard.
Sweet Freedom Bakery
1424 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
Sweet Freedom is a dream come true for every Philadelphian with a food allergy or intolerance. The cupcakes, cookies, cakes, breads, muffins, brownies and more are all vegan (no eggs, dairy or casein) as well as gluten-free. Common allergens including corn, wheat, soy and peanuts are avoided, and chemical sweeteners, preservatives and highly processed sugars are never used. Here, you know exactly what you’re ordering (lists of ingredients are readily available), so you can feel good about what you’re eating. And the baked goods taste good, too! Doughnut flavors like cinnamon sugar, lemon coconut, chocolate, apple cider and pumpkin are available at $3 a piece or $33 for a dozen.
Various locations (Temple, Drexel and The Porch)
“Dip, dunk or swirl…The choice is yours,” is the motto of this new food truck, which peddles dessert-masquerading-as-donuts-on-steroids. Stalk the truck’s Twitter feed for locations, then get your hands on instant classics such as the Captain Kranky (strawberry dunk, crunch topping) or the cleverly-named Euro Smash, a delish dough-ring slathered in chocolate and Nutella and topped with crushed nuts.
Michelle Hein is a copy editor for a women’s fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. If the writing gig doesn’t pan out, she constantly dreams of owning her own bakery…perhaps connected to the restaurant/bar that her lawyer boyfriend would love to open. Examiner.com.