It's true that New York isn't really a donut town. So far off the true donut path have we fallen that half the restaurants in town serve "donuts" that don't even have a hole! How pathetic is that? If you love the real, old-school item, though, here's where to go.
If there were a National Registry of Breads, Orwashers would have to be near the head of the list. If it's not the oldest, best, and more representative bakery in New York, I'll give you my double-seeded rye.
If there are hipsters and yuppies in Brooklyn, Bay Ridge never got the memo, and Leske's is proof: a complete throwback bakery, it's known best for its black-and-white cookies, but the babkas, donuts, and danish are exemplary as well.
The doughnuts are good, don't get me wrong. But this vintage midcentury operation is also a full-service diner, and makes a textbook midcentury coffee shop burger.
I'm just going to go ahead and say that this is the best donut shop in the five boroughs. The time-machine decor, preserved magically; the stupendous, massive cruellers; and a broad selection of utterly perfect fried and cake donuts that come in tied-up unmarked white boxes can't be beat.
These massive, much-hyped, square donuts, with their progressive toppings and flavors, are beloved by a certain class of eater. I personally loathe them but I appear to be alone in this. They are definitely a far cry from Krispy Kreme.
Donut love is an odd and subjective thing, but there are those of us who would rather hit the Donut Pub than any place else you can name. The donuts are puffy and sweet and delicate, and the glazes are somehow better than their rivals. Or maybe it's just the room. Anyway, it's my favorite.
Yes, it's pretty much what the name implies, but this Williamsburg lardcore mecca produces both on a level rarely seen in NYC. Bring several people so you can eat several pies.
It's tiny and there's always a line, but there's a reason: noplace has better croissants, whether they're plain, almonds, or chocolate. Come early and get them when they're fresh. And while you're there get a baguette...and a tart....and...um.....
Beloved as much for its status as a hipster / artisan oasis in a rough neighborhood as for its odd pastries, this high-end donut shop challenges expectations, and not always in a good way.
I think we can all agree that these are the best donuts in the history of the world. The only question is whether you should eat them hot (an orgiastic, messy pleasure) or cold (a measured does of hedonism.)