Fall is hands down the best season for food. Once the leaves start turning I’m instantly craving pumpkin lattes, hot cider and, of course, boxes on boxes of donuts. While we’ve all recently been acquainted with the new Tim Horton’s on South University, sometimes chain donuts just doesn’t cut it.

Locally, the two specialists in A2 come down to Washtenaw Dairy and Dimo’s Diner and Donuts. But with both locations out of the way for most students, which local shop was worth the travel effort?

Washtenaw Dairy in all its glory. Photo by Julie Mirliss

Washtenaw Dairy, though known primarily for ice cream, has a solid selection of homemade donuts — they’ve got powder, sprinkles and frosting for days. For my taste test I bought a plain donut as a control (thank you Stats 250) and an apple cinnamon (for some seasonal flair) as my variable. The donuts were dense and subtly sweet, but the apple cinnamon left me wanting more apple flavor. Still, they were both pretty good (see my face in that photo for clarification).

I’m changing my Facebook relationship status to “It’s complicated” as we speak. Photo by Julie Mirliss

Dimo’s Diner and Donuts, unlike the iconic Washtenaw Dairy, is further out of town and much less well known. I honestly hadn’t heard of it before Googling donut shops around town.

Photo by Julie Mirliss

Oh my god – what a mistake.

Photo by Julie Mirliss

Dimo’s donuts were big, fluffy and (literally) melt in your mouth good.  I bought another plain donut and a cinnamon powdered sugar donut to compare (alas they had not jumped on the pumpkin bandwagon), and both were just the right amount of sweet sugary goodness.

I even met Dimo himself! Turns out he started working in the family shop when he was 13, and has been there for the past 41 years. Clearly, the man knows his stuff.

Dimo, the man behind the donut. Photo by Julie Mirliss

In terms of convenience and accessibility, Washtenaw is the move. Their donuts are legit and who isn’t down for October ice cream? But, if you’ve got a car on campus or are really, really into cross-country running, you’ve got to try Dimo’s. That’s my choice as the victor in this, the first annual Ann Arbor Donut Games – plus you’ll get total hipster cred for going to a donut shop no one’s heard about.