It's Worth Getting Sloppy For This Grilled Cheese Taco
With a menu of quirkily delicious flavors like Orange Cinnadough and chocolate-bacon, and the hair-raisingly strong Cuvée espresso shots made to order, Sunset Valley newbie Bougie’s certainly lives up to the name. But there's nothing fussy about their mission: elevating the classic coffee-and-a-donut combo to an art form. Our go-to is the Homer -- strawberry-frosted with rainbow sprinkles -- with an iced Americano on the side.
Angel makes a mean traditional donut, but it's also got the best selection of gluten-free donuts in town. With flavors like blueberry-cake and chocolate-peanut (which tastes like a fluffier version of a deep-fried Reese's Peanut Butter Cup), as well as cake balls and excellent bubble tea, the menu is packed with treats delicious enough to make you reconsider your feelings about flour. The salted caramel-cake donut alone is worth the trip: buttery rich and dense with caramelized sugar bits, brightened by a light sprinkling of sea salt.
Voodoo is Austin’s newest addition to the donut scene. Greatly anticipated, the Portland, Oregon export has lived up to the hype with its wild donut creations. Your favorite childhood breakfast cereals are back, atop crispy donuts with Captain Crunch, Froot Loops, and Cocoa Puffs setting the stage for some of their must-haves. Voodoo also has less family-friendly themed donuts including the Maple Blazer Blunt donut, Cock-N-Balls donut, and, of course, the Voodoo Doll donut, all of which will leave you in a form of bewitchment.
Don’t let the Dirty Sixth Street location deter you: these donuts are worth pushing past all the bros to get to.
Little Lucy’s is the cute pink truck located across the street from all the Rainey Street bars. And, unlike many of the food trucks in that plaza, you don’t need to have been drinking to enjoy them. Pick up a large pink bag of the cinnamon-sugar miniatures and choose from free dipping sauces including chocolate and caramel (the best one). Or, since each bag has plenty of mini donuts, you can try them all. (But we’re serious about that caramel.)
Taco Donut Palace is such an Austin institution that someone wrote a song about it. And with a rainbow of brightly glazed donuts in the display case, as well as some pretty solid steam-table breakfast tacos, and some of the best jalapeño cheese kolaches in town -- crispy edged with cheese oozing from both ends -- there's a lot here to sing about. Try the infamous El Torro donut, which is fried in the shape of a hand doing the hook 'em sign and has plenty of crispy edges perfect for dipping in the surprisingly excellent coffee.
Made famous by the TV show Man v. Food, Round Rock Donuts boasts a “Texas Sized” glazed donut that clocks in at almost two-pounds. But the shop, popular with both locals and tourists, also serves a classic “orange glaze” donut that’s the best $0.69 you’ll ever spend. Come expecting a wait and arrive early if you want to make sure nothing is sold out.
This no-frills joint off Manor Road is famous for the shockingly fluffy dough in its donuts and kolaches, as well as the warmth and friendliness of everyone who works the counter. S-H is a family-run fixture of the community, and you're likely to find plenty of folks being greeted by name as they pick up boxes of perfectly sweet, plain glazed donuts. Yes, the shop is only open mornings, but it's well worth getting out of bed for -- unless you prefer to get your donut fix on the way home at 5am.
Gourdough’s stands out with the most elaborate donuts on the list (even more so than Voodoo); these are donuts that take a fork and knife to get through, like the Elvis, which boasts caramelized banana, bacon, and peanut butter on a single ring. A first glance at the menu may give you paralysis-by-analysis, but even if you make an impulse order because you’ve been awkwardly looking at the menu for five minutes, you’ll still end up with one of the best and most memorable donuts you’ve ever had.
Like the sugary, morning equivalent of your neighborhood bar, KC Donuts is your friendly, locally owned donut shop down the street. The donut holes are about twice your average size, and if you’re a first-timer, you may find a few extras end up in your bag -- it's that type of place. Light and fluffy, the donuts themselves can speak for themselves without the elaborate toppings. Bonus: the cinnamon rolls add the perfect cap to any KC order.
North Austin (North Loop)
“Quality Donuts Since 1948.” That’s what's on the sign, and that’s what you get at Mrs. Johnson’s. There is a limited, no-frills menu, and Mrs. Johnson’s opens at 7:30pm (yes, PM) and stays open ‘til noon the following day, making it the go-to extra-late hours spot to get your donut fix. Order yourself a “raised glazed,” and you’ll see why they’ve had no problem staying in business the past 67 years.