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Doughnut Stop Believin': A Doughnut Guide to Seattle

Picture this: a drizzly, foggy, and grey day in Seattle. Oh, wait: it's November! We have at least five more months of this to look forward to. But no need to hightail it to the Aurora Bridge quite yet. We know what will cheer you up: sweet, hot, cakey doughnuts. No matter where you are in Seattle, surely one of these places will beckon.

Cakespy Note: Doughnut or Donut? Both are valid in our mind, so we've tailored it to reflect what each establishment calls their version of this holey, wholly delightful treat.

Countryside Donut House: If you like Krispy Kreme's lighter texture, but want more flavor, this is your place; it has an extremely dedicated following and couple of locations, although none directly in the city. 11613 124th Ave NE Ste E at NE 116th St., Kirkland; 21919 66th Ave. W., Mountlake Terrace.

Dahlia Lounge / Lola: Both of these Tom Douglas restaurants, perched on either side of Fourth Avenue at Virginia, have beautiful mini-doughnuts on their menu which are unexpectedly rich and delicious; they're like doughnuts on a higher plain, served with sides like vanilla marscapone and seasonal jam. Call ahead to confirm availability. Dahlia Lounge, 2001 Fourth Ave.; Lola, 2000 Fourth Ave.; both at the corner of Virginia St; online at tomdouglas.com.

Daily Dozen Donut Co.: Watch cute punk rockers dole out cute mini donuts? Yes please. These lilliputian donuts are simple and unpretentious, usually available in plain, cinnamon-sugar or "fancy" with sprinkles--they're best hot, and we'll admit to a certain thrill when they shake the brown takeaway bags open with a snap. 93 Pike St., Pike Place Market (right across from DeLaurenti).

Family Doughnut:
Perched near the freeway exit and next to a 7-11 in Northgate, it's not going to win for ambiance, but the doughnuts are so good, they will frequently sell out early on Sundays. Ridiculously cheap: most doughnuts are under one dollar. Cake Gumshoe Allison suggests the "old fashioned" doughnuts. 2100 N. Northgate Way, Unit S (at Meridian).

Mighty-O Donuts: They're vegan, so basically they're health food, right? Sure, if that's what you need to tell yourself. Get a donut here, vegan or not; they have a delightful denseness which is very comforting on a cool day and lovely with warm (soy) milk. Our favorite is the lemon poppy cake donut, although we hear that they've got killer pumpkin donuts too around this time of year. 2110 N. 55th St.; online at mightyo.com.

Pike Place Bakery: Although they are a full-service bakery, one of their signature products is their "Texas-sized" donuts, which are so big that you wouldn't dare finish one in front of someone (although at home, alone, you might). We recommend the maple donut. 1501 Pike Place; online at pikeplacebakery.com.

Top Pot Doughnuts: It's true; Top Pot supplies doughnuts to Starbucks. Does this lessen quality? Not so, as proven by our recent doughnut experiment. We favor the Belltown location for its coziness and quirky building, but Capitol Hill and Wedgwood both have their loyal followers (hipsters and families, respectively). They have a great variety of flavors; whether it's the chocolate sandcastle or a Homer Simpson-worthy pink frosted cake doughnut, be sure to try an ovaltine latte too; they're amazing. Various locations; online at toppotdoughnuts.com.

Winchell's: Sometimes, we've been known to just go in here and sniff the sweet air, and then leave just as quickly. While we don't think their donuts are the best in Seattle, we wouldn't say they're terrible. And if we have to buy one every once in a while just to preserve that sweet smell along 45th Street...then so be it. 211 NE 45th St.; online at winchells.com.

Bonus Buy: Need a mascot for your tasting adventures? Invest in a felt doughnut made by Seattle-based Sew Dorky. Available at Bluebottle Art Gallery, 415 E. Pine St.; online at bluebottleart.com.

Also: a must-visit for any doughnut/donut lover is theblognut.net. Just go, you'll see.

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Reader Comments (17)

CLEARLY i need to go to seattle.

November 16 | Unregistered Commentermoonrat

Moonrat, you come to Seattle and we are going out for some serious dessert-tasting. Promise.

November 16 | Unregistered CommenterCakespy

What a great blog! Very informative and such yummy looking things!

November 16 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

Clearly, I have not been visiting the right places when I go to Seattle! But I can vouch for the Pike Place Market Bakery. My family luurves the glazed, maple-frosted variety best. But it's the cinnamon crispies that I can't live without.

November 16 | Unregistered Commentersurcie

PS: I absolutely adore your illustrations!

November 16 | Unregistered Commentersurcie

I love CakeSpy!!! In my imagination the great cake detective has a little companion pet! :)

Here is my favorite sweet related item:Beard Papa Cream Puffs!

xo, KittenChops ^,,^

November 16 | Unregistered CommenterKittenChops

How come all these doughnuts look so perfect and wonderful. I tried making some yesterday and they were terrible. Did u manage to get a full proof recipe ?

November 16 | Unregistered CommenterKate / Kajal

Hi! To respond...Surcie-- thank you for your kind words, and I'm glad you've experienced the joy of the Pike place bakery! I love how they're not gourmet per se, but very very sweet. Everyone there is super nice too. Kittenchops I have walked by Beard Papa but never actually eaten one! I am going to NYC for Christmas...will have to go...and Kate / Kajal, I think there are some AWESOME doughnut recipes in, of all places, the Cupcake Cafe Cookbook by Ann Warren. The Cupcake Cafe, in NYC, has doughnuts which might just be as good if not better than the cupcakes! Well, let's not be rash.

November 17 | Unregistered CommenterCakespy



November 18 | Unregistered CommenterCookie Jill

oh btw, i'll be adding you to our blogroll :)

November 18 | Unregistered CommenterTattooed Mama

love the blog!! thanks for the comment and i'm sorry it's just for babies. i'll be on the look out for chenille knit hats for us :)

November 18 | Unregistered CommenterTattooed Mama

These people are on the Wrong Damn Coast!

November 29 | Unregistered Commenterbill

Hmph. We don't have doughnuts like that in NYC. Call me a traitor, but I'd trade in the Krispy Kremes and the Dunkin' Donuts in a New York minute for a box of those beauties!

November 29 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

you are killing me here! YOU ARE KILLING ME.

November 29 | Unregistered CommenterLori Pickert

Ann: what doughnuts do you like in NYC? I really like Doughnut Plant on the Lower East Side. Or there's this really unassuming place on E. 86th street and Lexington...forget the name. I used to live near there though. Or the doughnut shop on 14th st. and 7th ave? Mmm.

Lori: At least we're killing you softly. :-)

November 29 | Unregistered CommenterCakespy

Note: Mr. Cakespy and I recently tried out the Columbia City Bakery in Seattle, and they have something called a doughnut muffin!

Check it out here:


November 30 | Unregistered CommenterCakespy

My husband and I love to split a chocolate-covered "Texas Size" when we're at Pike Place (but when I was little, one was shared between the 5 kids in our family.) A little farther out from Seattle, try the maple bars at Chuck's Donuts on 4th Street in Renton Highlands. Best I've had in my life! Thanks for the "to-do" list.

March 17 | Unregistered Commentermyrnie_twin
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