There will be a time in Austin when you must take a break from breakfast tacos. That time will come at different points in a person’s life, but when it does, it is important to remember donuts. Luckily, Austin has its fair share of places to get the hot, glazed pastry that has always been there for you.
The Best Donut Shops in Austin
Voodoo is Austin’s newest addition to the donut scene. Greatly anticipated, the Portland 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 Coco 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 St 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.)
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.
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. At 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.
Love free donuts? Find out where to stock up for this year's National Donut Day on Friday, June 3rd.
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Brent Underwood is founder of "HK Austin" the top rated hostel in Austin. When he's not roaming the streets of East Austin with a variety of foreigners in tow, he's eating donuts. Find him on Twitter.
The ultra-famous Portland sweetshop brings its crude, sometimes X-rated, doughnuts to the heart of Austin's Dirty Sixth. Pastry options include Diablos Rex, Maple Blazer Blunt, Old Dirty Bastard, and Cock-n-Balls.
Adorable mini doughnuts are what's on offer at this Rainey St pastry shop. You won't miss this food truck, which operates out of a hot pink van. Some of our favorite flavors include the blackberry & walnut and peanut butter banana mini doughnuts. Lucy's also offers classic flavors like cinnamon sugar and old fashioned yeast.
Using a "world famous" recipe from the 1940s, Round Rock donuts continues to keep fans of the yellow donuts coming back for more. The distinct yellow color comes from fresh eggs -- and unlike donuts made in the typical manner, these cannot be machine-made. Each one is hand-rolled, cut, fried, and iced. On busy days, you’ll see a long line of people who can’t wait to get the freshly made, still warm, glazed original donuts.
Gourdough's takes a bold stance on donut toppings -- you can find anything from gummy rattlesnakes to fried chicken being piled onto freshly fried donuts in their vintage Airstream. Stop by for a taste of the Flying Pig, complete with bacon and maple syrup icing.
Get your savory and sweet fix in at this local South Austin coffee shop and bakery. This eclectic watering hole and breakfast spot serves donuts, kolache, croissants, and tacos. Enjoy your grub counter side or take out.
Established in 1948, Mrs. Johnson's keeps Airport Blvd supplied with fried, sweet goodness by handing out hot, fresh donuts every night around 8:45 pm. although the recipes have recently been overhauled by Freddie Lee -- owner of Michi Ramen -- the nostalgic integrity remains intact. Try a Bavarian cream-filled donut, a kolache, but never skip the O.G. glazed variety.