Doughnuts are a versatile treat, great for breakfast, a snack, or even dessert. There is no wrong time to eat a doughnut. The best doughnuts have both a solid base pastry and delightful accoutrements of toppings and fillings that make each bite one to savor. And they have to be easy to grab and go, because nothing should stand in the way of a good doughnut. Unfortunately, not all doughnuts meet those standards, as I’ve found out the hard way. Doughnuts are my go-to sweet treat, so naturally I’m eager to try every doughnut that I cross paths with. I’ve sampled dozens of doughnuts from all over and have found the doughnuts that stand out. Here are the places you need to run, not walk, to for the best doughnuts in the fast food game. 


Photo via Dunkin'

Dunkin’ is a classic pick, and with over 13,000 stores across the globe, its doughnuts are practically unavoidable. Not that that’s a bad thing — easy access to doughnuts is always ideal. Dunkin’ has a huge array of flavors, in both cake and yeast form, from plain, powdered, and glazed to blueberry, coconut-covered, and jelly-filled. The chocolate with sprinkles is a classic you can’t go wrong with, but the toasted coconut is also truly a standout doughnut. Sweet with a delightful texture. And if you can get your hands on the Valentine’s Day brownie batter doughnut, you’ll be golden.

Dunkin’ also has the doughnut holes called Munchkins, whose “pop-ability,” if you will, is 10/10. Nothing beats a box of powdered or cinnamon sugar Munchkins — they’re a perfect finger food. Pair any of the doughnuts with a cup of Dunkin’s coffee, and you’ll quickly find yourself in sweet treat heaven.

Krispy Kreme

Photo via Krispy Kreme

If you are a lover of glazed doughnuts, Krispy Kreme is simply unbeatable. The chain understood the assignment of having a signature doughnut. No one has a better glaze than Krispy Kreme — it’s just the right amount of sweet, nicely melty (as it should be, because if your fingers are getting messy while eating a doughnut, you’re doing it wrong), and has the ability to make you devour five in one sitting.

And if glaze isn’t your thing, don’t go anywhere, because Krispy Kreme has many tricks up its sleeve. The chain often partners up with other brands to create specialty doughnuts that you can’t pass up. Recent team ups included their chocolatey, candy-covered collaboration with KIT KAT and a southern-dessert inspired Dolly Parton collection, featuring flavors like peach cobbler and banana pudding.

Harris Teeter

Doughnut-specific stores aren’t the only places with great on-the-go doughnuts. Harris Teeter’s house-made doughnuts are a major player in the doughnut game. The store sticks to traditional flavors like glazed and icing-covered, but has creme-filled and long twisted doughnuts and even apple fritters if you’re looking for something different. These doughnuts are massive, nearly the size of my hand, and are light and fluffy and very filling. Plus, they taste fresh throughout the day, good for both a breakfast on the fly or an afternoon snack.


Another grocery store that doesn’t come to play in the doughnut business is Wegmans. The selection is fairly small, but the phrase “small but mighty” describes the store’s doughnut selection perfectly. Wegmans’ highlights are its glazed doughnut, which is just the right amount of sweet and messy and the filled doughnuts. Limited edition doughnuts are also available, which are delectable. I will never be the same after trying the peanut butter and chocolate filled doughnut — if you can get your hands on one, you too will be in doughnut bliss.


Photo via Mochinut

Mochinut brings a twist to the doughnut game, combining doughnuts with mochi to create a must-try treat. Reminiscent of funnel cake and greasy carnival desserts, these doughnuts are rings made up of chewy, mochi-like dough balls and dressed with a variety of toppings, ranging from breakfast cereal to Nutella to ube. Not to mention that Mochinut also has other treats like Korean hotdogs, icecream, and bubble tea. The mochi doughnut and boba combination is nothing short of the perfect summer sweet treat.


Safeway doughnuts had a legendary status as a kid — they were always the treat brought to special occasions. And these doughnuts are still fantastic. They’re decently sized, the bigger the better is absolutely applicable to doughnuts, and the right amount of sweet. The melt quality of the icings is stellar, and the chocolate icing is better than just your average chocolate icing, instead tasting like brownies. If you’re in need of a doughnut, and are near a Safeway, you can’t go wrong. 

Duck Donuts

Photo via Duck Donuts

Getting doughnuts from Duck Donuts is an experience, because customization is the name of Duck’s game. The moist cake doughnuts — served hot — are freshly made just for you, and the doughnuts operate as a vehicle for a massive selection of icings and toppings. You don’t go to Duck for a glazed or a chocolate. You go for the combinations of your wildest dreams: PB&J, S’mores, or even French Toast, amongst dozens of others. The sweet and savory maple iced doughnut topped with bacon bits is a personal favorite. At Duck, the world is your oyster — or doughnut, in this case. 


Now, I know what you’re thinking. A gas station doughnut, really? Yes really. Wawa’s house-made doughnuts are a delight. They’re fluffy and flavorful, sweet and sticky. And the glazed ones are reminiscent of a honey bun, which makes them even better. They sometimes come in individual baggies, but you can’t judge a book by a cover in this case because Wawa knows what it's doing. Truly a tasty on-the-go snack.


Another gas station doughnut? I must be joking, right? Nope. In late 2023, Sheetz put out a new line of doughnuts so of course, I tried them. Sheetz has your generic glazed and chocolate-iced, which are both solid contenders. If you’re not looking for anything fancy, these are a great go-to because the actual doughnut base is good pastry. And then there’s some funky flavors — Oreo, strawberry shortcake, and peanut butter cup to name a few — that are certainly an acquired taste but definitely worth trying for the fun of it. The chocolate and coconut doughnut was my personal winner as it’s reminiscent of the Girl Scout Samoas. 


Last but not least, Lidl — well, it does have the least amount of doughnuts on the list. But that doesn’t make the doughnuts less tasty. The store keeps it simple with a glazed, a chocolate-covered, and a jelly-filled. Lidl’s simple, it turns out, is very effective. The doughnuts are light and airy and delicious. Their freshness is evident and the chocolate specifically tastes like real chocolate as opposed to the waxy chocolate you get in boxed brand doughnuts. Plus, Lidl’s bakery has a plethora of other goods to satisfy the desire for pastry from a variety of croissants to cookies to soft pretzels.