The Most Delectable Donut Shops in New Orleans
Go beyond Café du Monde.
It would be impossible and, frankly, gastronomically reckless to visit New Orleans without paying a visit to one of the city’s outposts for its most famous deep-fried treats: beignets. And while the version you can get at any of the Cafe du Monde outposts are golden fried perfection rolled in a generous helping of powdered sugar, there are still some delightful options for when you need to scratch the itch of a craving for some good old traditional donuts. Whether you’re celebrating Mardi Gras, looking for a classic glazed donut to dunk into a hot coffee, or wanting to try something a little more adventurous, New Orleans has you covered.
Okay, 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."
DISTRICT. Donuts. Sliders. Brew.
When District landed on Magazine Street, its easily Instagrammable donuts were an instant hit. But don’t let that fool you: The perfect sliders and coffee are also worth the stop, so it’s easy to make a full meal out of your trip no matter what time you stop. 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, king cake and even cannoli. Check their social media for the latest specials.
This beloved family-owned and -operated spot over in Gentilly is beloved for being open seven mornings a week—and for their attention to freshness and a fondness for fun, holiday-themed creations. Go for a classic here: like a sprinkled donut, just like the giant one on their sign.
Blue Dot Donuts
It may be a cliche that cops love donuts, but that’s exactly what led to the creation of Blue Dot. Three NOPD officers combined their Chief Wiggum-sized passions for, yeah, coffee and donuts, and the result is a perfect little neighborhood joint stuffed with the classics and a few more creative options. If you want to get triple indulgent, snag the banana cream-filled with Nutella. (Walking the neighborhood with your pooch? These guys love dogs, too, so be sure to grab a treat from the counter-top jar on your way out.)
You have to get here early to get your fix, since they’re only open until 11 am (and closed Mondays and Tuesdays), but this straightforward spot is a favorite of local epicures and chefs for a reason. They make great basics, like the glazed twist, and do them brilliantly. But they also have a little more fun with themed specials, like during Carnival season when they make a mind-blowing donut king cake.
McKenzie's Tastee Restaurant
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.
Even if you’re not 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 melt-in-your-mouth sweet dough is the perfect base for giant apple fritters, classic glazed donuts, cinnamon twists, and even more fanciful options like the ones that come covered in M&Ms.
Most people know Hi Volt for perfect coffee pours and healthy breakfast and lunch options. But if you’re avoiding the bakery case, you’re missing out. Alongside the giant scones and muffins, HiVolt keeps a rotation of vegan and gluten free donuts. The options change with the seasons —pumpkin spice has made an appearance—but they’re always an excellent choice.
Gracious Bakery + Café
The pastry cases at Gracious never disappoint, and neither do their donuts. When you make a stop here, pick from options like blueberry glazed, mango cream-filled with coconut or honey cornmeal—then grab a couple of baguettes to make sandwiches for later.
The Buttermilk Drop
If you haven’t had the pleasure of dropping a hand into a big paper bag filled with still-warm, sweet glazed buttermilk drops, then you need to rethink your priorities. They’ve got some other traditional donuts, too, but the buttermilk drop is a classic New Orleans treat, and the Buttermilk Drop Bakery is the quintessential place to score a few.