Donuts are the new cupcakes right? Naptown's institutions of dough and sugar are going strong, and a new class of palate-pleasing pastries has come along to provide edgy flavor combinations and options for vegans and gluten-free dieters. There are even a few restaurants on this list that serve fresh, warm donuts to go with your after dinner coffee. Morning or night, you can always make time for Indy's best donut shops.
About 35 minutes northwest of the city’s center is one of the best donut shops in the state. Titus is most famous for the donuts, but you can also sit down for a sandwich at the deli. Trust us when we tell you that the maple-iced, cinnamon swirled Pershing is absolutely worth the drive. Sunday donut seekers are out of luck though, as the shop is closed on the Sabbath.
Vegans are in luck at this newly opened shop on the northwest end of Fountain Square. They’re most known for the meat-free offerings and a nod to Leslie Knope in the form of a waffle donut. This one also belongs in the “craft donut” category of local shops, so wear your best skinny jeans.
Indy finally has our own version of the Portland-famous Voodoo Donuts. Similarly, these big pastries are filled and topped with maple and bacon, peanut butter and jelly, and everything in between. The shop closes when they’re out of donuts, plain and simple, so get there early to get the biggest and best selection.
This itty-bitty bakery is a staple for Southsiders and Greenwood residents, serving a daily selection of traditional donuts baked fresh every morning. Lines might be long before 9am on weekdays, but the line moves as quick as the donuts fly off of the shelves.
If we’re going to do this, we’re kicking it off with the local legend. Long’s has been serving fresh, pillowy donuts for decades in the Circle City. Purists should look no further when in search of the perfect glazed yeast donut, as nothing compares to a dozen fresh Long’s donuts. This location has always been and will always be cash-only, so bring some physical dollars with you.
The sister shop to Indy’s favorite cupcake shop, The Flying Cupcake, this donut shop serves pastries that share the cake shop’s quirky DNA. You can get big yeast donuts covered in kids’ cereal or one filled with fresh strawberry cream, all served with lots of hot coffee. Vegans and gluten-free folks can indulge here as well.
55th & Keystone
Ultra-cheap breakfast served all day, rock-hard booths that haven’t moved in decades, and a line for donuts out the door. That’s what you can expect from the Donut Shop every weekend morning. It’s cash only but they have an ATM just inside the door, a pain in the butt that’s totally worth it when you get a bite of their buttermilk cake donut.
Carmel (& other locations)
Jack’s is another Indy institution that has expanded in a major way in the last few years. They serve absolutely massive donuts and cinnamon buns, fresh hot coffee and exactly nothing else, because they do those two things really well. A downtown location is on its way, and the handful of independently owned shops around town can satisfy your craving in the meantime.
Yes, Hart does a whole mess of baked deliciousness, but what you should make a point to order is a fruit strudel or the old-fashioned sticky roll. The strudel should be ordered ahead of time as it’s not always available in the shop, but it’s a great thing to add to a brunch buffet or make a morning meeting more tolerable.
Another donut shop worth the drive turns out the traditional favorites like yeast donuts and apple fritters, but you should go for the Nutella or dirt pudding donuts, topped with Oreos and gummy worms. Or you could go ahead and lay down in your coffin by enjoying donut smothered in sausage gravy. Your arteries, your America.
These are true, old-school style donuts: petite and perfect for dipping into a mug of hot coffee. Taylor’s cake donuts taste have the taste and texture of little hoops of actual cake, and the double-chocolate old-fashioned donut is almost a glazed brownie. The shop can also bake you up a custom cake or a fancy decorated cookie.
Chef Dan’s Southern Comfort Restaurant is one of Irvington’s many gems along Washington St, but nothing compares to a plate of hot beignets served with Chef Dan’s hot chocolate. On a cold or gray day, it’s like getting a little bite of NOLA in Indy.
This is another one that’s been around for 40+ years, serving Brownsburg’s need for sweet since way back when. The shop has plenty of room to sit down and stretch out, and lots of windows if you want to take in some sunshine with your donut and coffee. If you want to say “I love you,” in the best possible way, pick up a donut with heart-shaped sprinkles.
If there is a heaven waiting for us all, someone will be there serving endless, warm doissants just inside the gates. Indy’s answer to the cronut comes from the same kitchen that serves, hands-down, the very best croissants and laminated breads in the city. The key is a light frosting on top with a dusting of sugar on the sides, to it stays sky-high puffy and holds tons of pastry cream filling, if you want that in there. It’s not a daily offering, so stay tuned to their social media to see when they’re serving them up next.
White House epitomizes the phrase “hole-in-the-wall gem,” turning out delicious fresh donuts for a limited run out of a tiny shop in Westfield. Get there early, as the shop closes at noon, and get one of the old-fashioned donuts draped in glaze and crispy on the edges.
SoBro & Northside
Served with “spiced apple spunk syrup,” Sinking Ship’s Sack O’ Balls are vegan and delicious. Like a lot of the Ship’s food, they come out hot and rolled cinnamon and sugar, and they’re the only donuts in town you can get until 3am every day.
Love free donuts? Find out where to stock up for this year's National Donut Day on Friday, June 3rd.
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Sarah Murrell blogs about all things food and sex in the 317 at The Sensualist. All psychics have predicted that her death will be donut-overdose-related. Follow her on Twitter to find out: @likesquirrel317.
1. Long's Bakery1453 N Tremont St, Indianapolis
2. Rocket 88 Doughnuts874 Virginia Ave, Indianapolis
3. General American Donut Company827 S East St, Indianapolis
4. Boyden's Bakery Inc.3953 S Meridian St, Indianapolis
5. Titus Pastry Shoppe820 W South St, Lebanon
6. The Dancing Donut1134 E 54th St, Indianapolis
7. The Donut Shop Bakery & Restaurant5527 N Keystone Ave, Indianapolis
8. Jack's Donuts516 E Carmel Dr, Carmel
9. Hart Bakery7030 E 10th St, Indianapolis
10. Krenolies Donuts14300 Mundy Dr, Ste 500, Noblesville
11. Taylor's Bakery6216 Allisonville Rd, Indianapolis
12. Chef Dan's Southern Comfort5593 Washington Street, Indianapolis
13. Hilligoss Bakery805 Main St., Brownsburg
14. Circle City Sweets222 E Market St, Indianapolis
15. White House Donuts212 E Main St, Westfield
16. The Sinking Ship4923 N College Ave, Indianapolis
Once you get a taste of their glazed yeast donuts, or the blueberry cake, or that apple one, you won’t mind the lines. And with donuts being under just barely over half a dollar, you won’t mind the cash-only policy either.
This organic, vegan doughnut shop serves up such gourmet flavors as lemon champagne, Mexican hot chocolate, butter brown pretzel, and chocolate chip cookie dough. They also do all the classic flavors super well. And if doughnuts aren't your thing, fancy variations of bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches are available on the weekends .
This quaint doughnut shop in Fletcher Place serves artisanal treats baked fresh everyday. Always handcrafted and made in house, flavors range from old standbys like powdered sugar and cinnamon to more fruity and savory options like raspberry key lime doughnut holes and peanut butter and jelly mini doughnuts. They also make their own homemade pop tarts! Score.
This old-fashioned, neighborhood bakeshop on the Southside serves traditional, tasty treats. Be sure to arrive early if you're coming here for your weekend sugar fix-- lines can be long and sometimes donuts sell out early.
Just a short drive outside of downtown Indianapolis, Titus Bakery in Lebanon serves some of the best pastries in the Midwest. This family run shop has been in Lebanon for 32 years and recently expanded to nearby Westfield. Making a wide variety of homemade donuts, cakes, pies, and cookies, here there's a sweet to satisfy every tooth.
This is the place to go for all of your donut and dessert needs.
This eponymously named donut purveyor and lunch counter offers simple fare on the cheap. Stop by for jelly donuts, old fashioneds, and chocolate glazed. Whether you eat them or breakfast or dessert is up to you.
This Indiana donut mini-chain has been family owned and operated since its inception in 1961. The Carmel location offers all of Jack's trademark treats including cinnamon pretzel and chocolate pretzel braided donut holes. Try it now, thank us later.
This family owned and operated bakeshop serves up every sweet treat under the sun: coffee cakes, strudel, fritters, croissants, danishes, donuts, cookies, and cakes. We especially love their blueberry cake donut holes, available weekends only. This is the perfect place to go on the Eastside when you're looking for a sweet treat.
Made from scratch every day of the week, Krenolie's Donuts are too legit to quit. The thick, fluffy confections at this old school spot are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth-- go traditional with a old fashioned or glazed yeast donut, or try a more experimental flavor like Fruity Peebles or Nutella donuts
Taylor's is a one stop sweet shop: they make custom cakes, fresh baked cookies, ooey, gooey donuts and churn up their own ice cream. Hungry yet? Established in 1913, Taylor's is an Indianapolis hometown fave.
Chef Dan's bringing Bourbon St to Naptown with his Southern Comfort eats. His recently opened brick and mortar resto in Irvington is an upgrade from the food truck days; the extensive menu is divided into two sections, Louisiana and Mississippi, allowing you to mix and match flavors from both the Delta and the Bayou. For dessert, try the beignets and prepare to have your mind blown.
This Brownsburg bakery is a must for donut lovers across the Hoosier state. Open since 1974, Hilligoss cranks out freshly baked sweets so well that they've been named Best Donut Shop in Hendricks County numerous times over the years. Donuts this good are worth the drive.
One of Indy's best bakeries in Cole-Noble, Circle City Sweets serves up a mean doissant. What's a doissant, you ask? Think of it as Indy's version of a cronut-- tasty, flaky fried croissant dough, fashioned into a glorious, gooey, bite-sized treat. It's as good as what'd you get in NYC, and you probably won't have to wait in as long of a line to get one.
Take a day trip outside of Indy and experience some of the best donuts Central Indiana has to offer at White House Donuts. This pint-sized family owned and operated spot serves up freshly baked donuts every day of the week, which always taste good dipped in hot cocoa or coffee.
SoBro’s The Sinking Ship manages to stay afloat, thanks to its meat-heavy plates that are as tasty as its vegetarian options. The pub’s menu is divided into “Appetizers,” “Salads,” “Meals,” and “Burgers,” and it spans Stoner Fries, with queso blanco, bacon, pickled jalapenos, and red onions, a Thai seitan salad, with romaine, cucumber, tomato, sesame sticks, and house peanut vinaigrette, and the Chuck Norris, a burger patty with fresh jalapenos, wasabi mayo, and pepper jack. Inside The Sinking Ship’s main room, marked by dark wooden high-tops, the wryness continues: though the content playing on its flat-screens is “provided” at the Ship’s “discretion,” staff members will “entertain changing the channel if the price is right.”