I’m not exaggerating: there’s actually an establishment in downtown Gainesville that serves mini donuts, tasty craft beer, and a cornucopia of video games all in one place! Mini Donuts Plains, formerly the bar “Elixir,” is located beside Starbucks and across the street from Maude’s and Liquid Ginger. Although the size of the bar/arcade/patisserie might be modest, the variety of flavors and entertainment are not.


Kristen Smith

Barely one inch across and small enough to fit five on one palm, these donuts are the most guilt-free dessert I’ve eaten in a while. They are smaller than the blink of an eye, which means I can eat ten, right? Although they are tiny, their unique flavors are mighty; Samoa, lemon poppy, cinnamon sugar, pumpkin pie, and s’mores are just a few examples of available varieties (for an updated list of options, check out the Mini Donut Plains website here).

The bite-sized donut theme pervaded throughout the space: there were plastic sprinkles on the wall, a massive donut rug on the couch, and an overall “Instagram” aesthetic that fit well with the visually appealing desserts. When a fried piece of dough has more style than you, you know the restaurant is doing something right! Besides looking pretty, the taste of the donuts was also incredible; light, fluffy, and cake-like, they were a perfect complement to the beers and video games.

Craft Beers and Wine

Kristen Smith

No Bud light for me – Mini Donut Plains caters to craft beer palettes and offers 9 styles on tap. Since I’m a sucker for bitter beers, I went for the Lake Tribe Red Cloud IPA (7.4% ABV) brewed in Tallahassee. Other beers included Terrapin Chocolate Porter, Wicked Weed Passionfruit Gose, and Infinite Trails Belgium Style Pale Ale. Although I was surprised to see no local Gainesville brands (i.e. Swamp Head or First Magnitude), the selection was still diverse and local to Florida in general. 

The menu also reeled off your usual wines, including a fine Pinot Noir Canyon Road from California and a Rosé House Wine from Washington. And for those who aren’t 21 yet, there’s also a tame menu of hot-brewed coffee, cold brew, craft soda (with flavors like rhubarb lavender, ginger, and mango habanero), and milk. Check out their happy hour specials below:

Kristen Smith

The Video Games

Kristen Smith

Has Barcade finally met its match? Although I wouldn’t go that far, Mini Donut Plains has a row of back-wall TVs for the casual gamer and observer. The screens were connected to PlayStation consuls and played colorful snippets of Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros, Natari, and others (I don’t play video games, so everything looked pixelated and bright to me!)

Besides digital games, a bookshelf holds a cache of old-fashioned video games such as Catan, Ticket to Ride, Connect4, and Cards Against Humanity. If you’re feeling the slightest bit bored (or the 7.4% IPA made you antsy), there is more than enough distractions at Mini Donut Plains.

Overall Atmosphere

Kristen Smith

I was hooked to Mini Donut Plains the instant I heard them playing Undone – The Sweater Song by Weezer. That early 2000s, nerdy throwback vibe went hand in hand with the PAC MAN decorations on the walls and the retro video games. It was like experiencing a mix of middle schoolers, emo music, Instagram-able donuts, and tipsiness all at the same time, but I am so here for it. The different “zones” of the space (beverages, games, and donuts), while disparate, nevertheless melted together in a Third Eye Blind and Jimmy Eat World daze.