When it comes to deep fried desserts, New Orleans is of course most famous for our beignets. And for good reason: our beignets are incredible. However, as righteous as it is to get down and dirty with the powdered sugar at Cafe du Monde and Morning Call, there are still plenty of bakeries in town specializing in traditional donuts, and these are the best places to get them...
OK, so this place is technically a grocery store and not really a donut shop, but if you’re headed there, don’t miss the opportunity to stop by their awesome in-house bakery to pick up a freshly baked, hot glazed to snack on while you "make groceries."
Lower Garden District
A relative newcomer to the NOLA donut scene, District was a hit from the start with its perfect little sliders, nitro-brewed ice coffee, and, naturally, donuts. They’re best known for their rotating cast of 200+ fanciful flavor combinations, with options like a maple-bacon-Sriracha donut topped with candied thyme, as well as a "red beans and rice" donut (just try it). But the true hero here is the "dough à la Mode," a warm griddled donut stuffed with Creole Creamery ice cream. Yeah, it’s as good as it sounds.
This family owned and run spot over in Gentilly is beloved for being open seven days a week -- and for their attention to freshness, not to mention their fondness for fun, holiday-themed creations. Go for a classic here: like a sprinkle donuts, just like the giant one on their sign.
We all know that cops love donuts... and that’s exactly what led to the creation of Blue Dot, which was founded by three NOPD officers with a Chief Wiggum-sized passion for, yeah, coffee and donuts. This joint stands out for eschewing donut machines, preferring to hand cut each little work of art themselves. If you want to get triple indulgent, snag the banana cream-filled with Nutella topping. Nutella really does make everything better.
Though Wink’s offers plenty of fresh-baked donuts in a variety of flavors, fillings, and toppings -- as well as savory breakfast and lunch items -- you’re really going there for one reason and one reason alone: buttermilk drops. This New Orleans-invented glazed ball of buttery goodness is a classic treat, and few places do it better than Wink’s.
You have to get here early to get your fix, since they’re only open until 11am (and closed on Mondays), but this straightforward spot is a favorite of local epicures and chefs for a reason. They keep to the basics, like the glazed twist, and do them brilliantly. Plus, during carnival season, they make a mind-blowing donut king cake.
You’ll find comforting soul food and great po-boys at this laid-back joint... and also really good donuts. They stick mostly to traditional fare, but hey, if you’re going to eat a giant fried shrimp po-boy for lunch, why not use the opportunity to be a workplace hero by grabbing a fresh-baked dozen of chocolate glazed for the office? Or to bring home. For yourself. Carpe diem, man!
The name "McKenzie’s" has a special place in the heart of almost every person who grew up in New Orleans, which made it so heartbreaking when the classic NOLA bakery shuttered for good. But in a deus ex machina move, Tastee bought the rights to all of McKenzie’s wonderful recipes, like their old-school jellyrolls and classic buttermilk drops, and revived a treasured Crescent City donut tradition.
When you walk into this Prytania St bakery and cafe, you’ll find some fantastic savory breakfast options (bagel and biscuit sandwiches are a must), not to mention a Wonka-esque confection counter filled with a dizzying variety of turtles, cookies, chocolates and bonbons. Naturally, they also have donuts, and even invented the "do’sant" -- which is essentially the NOLA version of the cronut, and which is similarly insanely popular when available. They have literally been known to start fights.
Arabi and Chalmette
If you’re planning a trip out to the Chalmette Battlefield for a morning of history, you’d do yourself a service by planning a stop on the way for a morning pick-me-up at Gerald’s, an old-school bakery that sells new school donuts. Their concoctions are clearly not approved by four out of five dentists, seeing as they have a habit of topping their donuts with crushed up bits of candy and cookies, like their amazing Oreo donuts. Be like that fifth dentist and just go for it already.
1. Dorignac's Wine Shop, Metairie
2. DISTRICT: Donuts. Sliders. Brew.2209 Magazine St, New Orleans
3. Daddy's Donuts2051 Caton St, New Orleans
4. Blue Dot Donuts4301 Canal St, New Orleans
5. Wink's Bakery & Bistro1218 Decatur St, New Orleans
6. Bakers Dozen1-99 Williams Ave, Jefferson
7. Freret Street Poboys & Donuts4701 Freret St, New Orleans
8. Tastee McKenzie's901 Harrison Ave, New Orleans
9. Manhattanjack4930 Prytania St. , New Orleans
10. Gerald's Donuts6901 Saint Claude Ave, Arabi
On the outside, Dorignac's may look like your typical, average grocery story, but on the inside you'll find some of the most delicious fresh-baked donuts in New Orleans. Maybe snacking on them will make grocery shopping less horrible. Maybe...
As the name implies, DISTRICT excels at coffee, sliders, and donuts, all while making innovative changes to each. In lieu of your average breakfast sandwich, expect "croquenuts" (a hybrid of a croque madame and a donut) or bacon & egg on a miso-praline biscuit. Donuts, meanwhile, range from the simple glazed and cinnamon sugar to the more unconventional Sriracha-maple, candied thyme, and cereal & milk. While you could pair your sugary goodies with a basic brew, we suggest you opt for house staples like Vietnamese cold brew or the "Sproca-Cola," a winning combination of cola, espresso, and chocolate milk.
Daddy's stems from three family-owned bakeries and they continue the tradition of churning out delicious donuts and pastries, the best of which might be their tasty apple fritter. This bakery is considered one of the best by Gentilly locals, and you should stop by one morning and find out why for yourself.
Originally opened by three NOLA police officers (and now with multiple locations), Blue Dot is famous for its Bacon Maple Long Johns, PB&J donut, Red Velvet w/ Cream Cheese donut, and its gigantic apple fritters. We suggest that you get your breakfast here instead of your usual coffee shop.
There are plenty of great places to grab a donut in New Orleans, but Wink's Bakery & Bistro is by far the best place. They serve other things in addition to donuts for breakfast and lunch, but the donuts are worth waiting around the block for. (Thankfully, you won't have to.)
Everything is fantastic about the Bakers Dozen Bakery, except for the fact that they close by 11am. That means if you want to try one of their delicious, locally loved donuts, you need to get there as early as possible. Trust us, it will totally be worth it.
We bet that you never realized how badly you wanted a local restaurant that specialized in po'boys and donuts until now. Their donuts are delicious and freshly baked, and their fried shrimp po'boy will revolutionize your lunch break. You need to add Freret Street to your food bucket list.
Tastee McKenzie's has been a staple in the New Orleans pastries scene for awhile now, earning their fame through their fresh-made donuts, especially their buttermilk drops. Make sure to add Tastee McKenzie's to your food bucket list if you are a donut lover.
Manhattanjack serves up gooey, sweet chocolates, confections, and baked goods (including sammies) without the guilt. All of the products are made using original recipes with natural and local ingredients, so you can indulge and throw around the whole, "it's natural" excuse.
This old-school bakery specializes in both classic and wacky flavored donuts which are sure to wake you up in the morning. We suggest heading here for your on-the-go breakfast sweets instead of your usual coffee shop.