If Boston were a donut dictatorship, it's safe to say that Dunkin' would be its Pol Pot. And since nobody liked that dude, we're casting off the oppressive yoke of fried-dough tyranny and rounding up the five best donuts in Boston that won't lead a successful Khmer Rouge takeover of the donut Cambodian government.
The Must-Get Donut: Honey-Dipped
Gracing Bon Appetit's list of the country's top 10 donut spots, this family-run Saugus institution has been frying dough since 1955 and peddles more than 20 styles, including honey-dipped seasonals like Pumpkin and Apple Crunch, plus a giant, big-as-your-head coffee roll.
The Must-Get Donut: Maple
Another spot that's been family-run since the '60s, this no-frills, take-out-only bakery in Belmont rocks a retro aesthetic and tasty assortment of donuts highlighted by a Maple-Frosted number fo' shizzle drizzled in chocolate.
Verna's Donut Shop
The Must-Get Donut: Chocolate Honey-Dip
A short detour from Davis Square on Mass Ave, this "locals welcome, others kind of, maybe, welcome?" Cambridge icon nearly shuttered in 2007 (after 56yrs in business), but thankfully lives on baking some of the area's top donuts (each under a buck, too!!) like the Raised and Glazed, Coconut Cake, and the Honey "Tip", a donut named for legendary Cambridge-native and Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neil. Add a chocolate glaze to said Honey "Tip" because, chocolate glaze.
Union Square Donuts
The Must-Get Donut: Maple Bacon
The newest kid on the dough-frying block, USD opened earlier this year to rave reviews and lengthy lines -- selling out of donuts in 90mins or less on some days. They've since moved their bake sale-esque operation into a larger space down the street and continue to pack in people who moved out of Allston when it got too conformist with flavors like Brown Butter Hazelnut Crunch, Sea-salted Bourbon Caramel, and bacon-bit-topped Maple.
Anna’s Hand Cut Donuts
The Must-Get Donut: Black Raspberry Jelly Stick
Owned by the husband-and-wife team who've hand-cut donuts in this West Roxbury hole-in-the-wall for more than 20yrs, Anna's is cash-only, closes by lunch, and kicks out sugar-sprinkled jelly sticks so good you could eat 13 of them in one sitting if you were a pitcher for the Red Sox in 2008 and it was pre-game and your name was Bartolo Colon.
Kane's Donuts is a local, and national, favorite. Standout varieties like the honey-dipped have landed this family-run Saugus institution on Bon Appetit's list of the country's top 10 donut spots.
This family-run, take-out only bakery has been open since the '60s, serving quality baked goods to Belmont patrons. The main attraction here are the donuts -- be sure to try their maple-frosted, chocolate-drizzled variety.
This Cambridge favorite is known for serving up fresh donuts daily, each to the tune of less than a buck! At that price it's easy to sample a variety, but make sure you don't leave before you try their MVP -- the Chocolate Honey Dip.
Union Square Donuts is a charming, unassuming counter-serve in Somerville that is well on its way to knocking Dunkin' off its throne with a variety of specialty doughnuts. Each doughnut is thick and fluffy while remaining airy and light. The fan favorite is Maple Bacon, a maple glazed donut topped with pieces of crispy, salty bacon. Rotating specials include the peanut butter cream-filled donut topped with Fluff glaze and peanuts, in honor of Somerville's annual Fluff Fest.
Make sure you get to this West Roxbury hole-in-the-wall by 1pm, or you're going to miss out on delicious donuts and some of the best sugar sprinkled jelly sticks in the area.