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Dead Men Doughn't Bite: An Epic Donut Battle in NYC

Coffee and Donut
As discovered via the New York Times, today in NYC, mass hysteria broke out as Tim Hortons opened its first locations in the city, in 12 locations which had previously been Dunkin' Donuts locations. The doughnut wars had begun.

While the NY Times article (which focused on Dunkin' vs. Tim Hortons) resolved that neither company's doughnuts were noticeably more delicious and concluded that "mass-produced doughnuts are achieving total global mediocrity", the subject has clearly brought out some strong feelings in doughnut fans.

While I had previously thought that the ultimate US Donut battle was between Dunkin' and Krispy Kreme, apparently Tim Hortons is a new challenger in the ring.

Personally I'm a DD fan for life--probably the result of having grown up on the Jersey Shore, where there are so many locations that their pink-and-orange logo seems etched into my childhood memories--but I realize that this is probably nostalgia, rather than doughnut quality, speaking.

But it does bring up an important point: which of these kingpins of the doughnut industry do you prefer, and why? Or if you can't stand any of them...why not?

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Reader Comments (14)

Well, I am Canadian so I'm going to go with Timmy on this one. I've had DD once or twice, but think Tim's are way better. Their Boston Cream is to DIE FOR! Their muffins suck, however.

I moved to Michigan 2 years ago from New Orleans. All New Orleanians I know of go for our local chain Tastee Donuts, but I always liked Krispy Kreme. I still do, but I now "get" the Tim Horton's thing. We have them all over here and they are really good. I prefer the texture and yumminess of Krispy Kreme, but the TimBits...a box of them, especially donut holes with jelly inside! They're REALLY good. And you get a ton of donut variety in a box. I've never been able to stomach Dunkin Donuts. Even fresh they're hard and stale tasting. They have that "donut look" you think of when you think of donuts, but they're pretty flavorless.

So to summarize- Krispy Kreme IMO is pretty tough to top, but if you're up for more than a glazed plain donut, TimBits will rock your socks.

July 16 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

1. I love all doughnuts
2. I really love Krispy Kreme
3. But I owe my children to DD since I met their father while working there in college (yea, I ran off with the boss:)
So...I guess DD it is!

July 16 | Unregistered CommenterLibraryGirl62

I've had Dunkin Donuts, Krispy Kreme, Tim Hortons, and a ton of local stuff. I live in Seattle and I will DRIVE TO CANADA to get Tim Hortons. Every trip I take up there, The only thing I have to declare at the border is my canister of Timmy's cappucino mix and my 3 big boxes of TimBits. (which are sucked up in a morning by my co-workers) I can't even tell what makes them so good. Maybe the fact that they don't go stale for a week? Who knows. I just wish they'd replace some of the places around here!

July 16 | Unregistered CommenterMeg

Is Winchells a large chain anymore, or no? There was one by my place in Seattle and I've seen one in San Diego, but I don't know if I've just happened upon the two Winchells enclaves left. Anyway, I love the crustiness in Winchell's old fashioned donuts. Otherwise, I'd probably go with Krispy Kreme for chains. Their hot donuts are better than anything I've tried at Timmy Ho's or DD.

July 16 | Unregistered CommenterLaurel

Actually, maybe surprisingly, I've never heard of Tim Hortons. I will go to Dunken when I need a quick doughnut fix. However, I find it almost impossible to enjoy them when I know I am so close to places like The Doughnut Plant, which has the best doughnuts I've ever tried.

July 17 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

@Laurel - Yes Winchell's is still alive and kicking - really popular here in Los Angeles.

Is there anything that is so totally unhealthy and yet so totally irresistable as a donut? I've never had Tim Horton's and never even heard of it until this post, and now I'm curious...

For DD - I am a huge coconut fan and I have yet to find a coconut anything that beats DD's buttermilk coconut donuts. The rest of them are meh.

For KK - You simply can NOT beat their simple glazed donuts HOT. I have no idea why other stores haven't picked up on this and started serving hot and fresh donuts. I mean, they just melt in your mouth. But cold - meh.

Aside from that DD buttermilk coconut and KK hot, it's worth hunting around for a good mom and pop - those are best donuts around.

July 17 | Unregistered CommenterNatalieMac

I haven't tried DD so I can't compare with that, but I have to say that Tim's is better than Krispy Kreme. KK's are way too sweet, and the only decent flavour is the regular glazed, whereas at Tim's there are so many good ones to choose from including the Boston Creams and crullers! And they have pretty decent bagels too. I personally tend to avoid their soups though because I find them too salty.

July 17 | Unregistered Commenterbruleeblog

Well this is a hard question for me to answer. I prefer the donuts made by this little bakery back home (Fremont, OH), but after them I would choose KK. Now that is a problem because now I live in NY and there are tons of DD and very little KK or TH. Although I prefer TH breakfast biscuit sandwiches DD and TH can tie on the donuts. Both are ok but I like a more yeasty light donut over a cakey donut. Ok sorry for the rant:)

July 17 | Unregistered CommenterNutmeg Nanny

This is so funny and it delight me a lot!


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July 18 | Unregistered Commenterjustice

i went to the 96th st Tim Horton's on sunday morning. SLOBBER. oh my GOD their honey crullers are THE BEST THING EVER BAKED.

Oh Canada!

July 21 | Unregistered Commentermoonrat

Gotta love Canada! I couldn't live without Tim Horton's... old fashioned glazed doughnuts are heaven. If you haven't heard of TH or tried their timbits, I strongly recommend you do!!! DD was a big let down, and KK only has one doughnut flavour, so I'm definitely a Timmy's fan.

July 21 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The Fractured Prune (www.fracturedprune.com) spoiled me for other doughnuts. When you enter the store, you choose what you want...and they make it on the spot, and serve it to you still hot. Ecstasy. Unfortunately they haven't spread very far yet.

The second-best doughnuts I ever had were from a kosher bakery that has, alas, closed.

July 23 | Unregistered CommenterQuill

If it tastes good, why not?

May the best tasting doughnut win.

July 25 | Unregistered Commenterace
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