The Best Donut Shops in Indianapolis
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.
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.
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.
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 2, 2017.
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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.