Good news, Bo's. There's an easy way to upgrade your donut repertoire, and it's only two and a half miles from campus. Union Square Donuts, located in the up-and-coming Union Square neighborhood of Somerville, is a huge step up from the Dunkin on Boston Ave.
Since opening three years ago in May 2013, the shop has made their donuts by hand, from scratch, daily (also known as the trifecta of great pastry). While slightly pricey at $20 for half a dozen donuts, the proximity to Tufts, the quality taste, and the great Instagram you'll get after a trip to Union Square Donuts make it worth the money.
Although the storefront on Bow Street is small and unassuming, the interior of the shop is sleek and bright. The donuts are front and center, showcasing signature flavors like Maple Bacon, Brown Butter Hazelnut Crunch, and Sea-Salted Bourbon Caramel, as well as rotating seasonal flavors such as Vietnamese Coffee and Pumpkin Maple.
(Of course they offer the classic Vanilla Bean and Boston Cream flavors to appeal to their more traditional customers.)
What stands out about Union Square's donuts is their fluffiness. There is absolutely no contest between the texture of these donuts and the papery, dry texture of Dunkin's dough. The dough of Union Square Donuts is the freshest, airiest, softest I have ever encountered. And even better, they aren't full of holes like many donuts I've eaten. Union Square Donuts has somehow found the perfect balance between fluffy and dense.
Must Try: Both Maple Bacon and Vietnamese Coffee were insanely soft, fresh, and not sickeningly sweet. The glazes each conveyed the flavor of the donut perfectly, without being overpowering, and the bacon in the Maple Bacon donut was the perfect savory, salty touch.
Don't Bother: While the overwhelming experience was a hit, I don't recommend ordering the Boston Cream donut, as the filling had a strange consistency and not enough of the vanilla pudding flavor that is signature to the donut. I suggest going for the more out-of-the-box flavors that USD is known for.
Any time is fantastic to make the trip out to Union Square Donuts to experience heavenly soft, deliciously sweet, and insanely unique flavors. Tufts students can get to Union Square by a ten-minute car ride, a ten dollar Uber (less if you split with some foodie friends!), or a quick bus ride on the 87. Also, their donuts are sold in Cambridge, just two T-stops away, at the Harvard Farmer's Market every Tuesday from 12-6pm.
It's as easy as that. So ditch the Dunkin and treat yourself to a gourmet foodie adventure.
#SpoonTip: The shop closes at 1pm during the week and 3pm on the weekends, so be sure to arrive early (they open at 7 am) to guarantee you have your choice of all the great flavors.