I’m back with another bad pun title and another one of my favorite food categories - doughnuts. Oscar Wilde once said, “The optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole," but I just don’t see how anyone can be a pessimist when there are doughnuts involved. I don’t think I ever even realized how much I love them until I moved to Seattle. Seriously. I’ve been known to enjoy a sour cream glazed or honey cruller from Tim Hortons from time to time, but aside from Doughnut Party/Moonshine Doughnuts in Edmonton (which are SUPERB, by the way), I had never really appreciated just how good they could be. Seattle has forever shifted my view on that. Let me show you why.
Side Hustle Doughnuts - Inside Lowercase Brewing, 6235 Airport Way S
This is the aptly named side hustle of Lower Case Brewing in the Georgetown neighborhood. They make small batches of their doughnuts using spent-grain from the beer they brew. Whoever came up with the idea is a genius. They make both frosted and cream-filled varieties and while they are considered mini-doughnuts (I’d call them midi-doughnuts… does that apply to things other than skirts and dresses?), you can’t go wrong with the price. They’ll run you $0.85 for a single doughnut, $5/ half dozen, or $10/dozen. They only sell them Fridays from 7-10am, and Saturday/Sunday from 9am-12pm, OR until sold out (which almost always happens in the first 2 hours), so they’re a little harder to come by (but so worth it). Oh, and if you ever get the opportunity to hit up one of their “Doughnites,” do it. We snagged their last order of specialty doughnuts at their Thanksgiving edition and they were a real treat - the “appetizer” was a doughnut with brie and fig, the “meal” a turkey, stuffing, and cranberry jelly doughnutwich (is that a word? it is now), and the “dessert” was an apple pie doughnut (please let me continue pretending it wasn’t all just dessert). What I love about them is that they are so light and fluffy, which is generally everything I want in a doughnut. The next time I ordered a dozen, obviously, so that I could try each of their flavors. Twice. Just kidding, I’m a nice wife and got Chris one of each to try, too (kidding again, I’m not actually that nice, I just didn’t want to share). This time they had vanilla cream, chocolate cream, raspberry cream, coffee cream, vanilla sprinkles, and chocolate sprinkles. The cream-filled ones are clear winners for me, especially the coffee. Since you have to buy them so early, and they come in these cute egg cartons, they’re a perfectly legitimate breakfast right?
Mighty-O’s Donuts - 1400 12th Ave (Capitol Hill location)
If I’m being honest, cake doughnuts are not my absolute favorite (I generally prefer yeast-raised), but these are not just your run-of-the-mill cake doughnuts. Not only are they organic, vegan, and made from scratch, Mighty-O’s supports local artists in their venues, donates extra doughnuts to non-profits, and composts all food waste. It’s pretty hard to feel bad about eating doughnuts with all of that in mind. They’ve got a pretty good variety of both chocolate and vanilla (either glazed or iced, with added/flavors and toppings, like mint, coconut, peanut butter, etc.), a couple of specialty flavors, like Lemon Poppyseed and French Toast, and a few yeast-raised, like Long Johns and Jam-O’s. Several of their flavors even come in mini-doughnut form. The price depends on the variety. On my latest visit, I tried the Chocolate Peanut Butter. It was dense, but still very moist (I am SO sorry… I hate that word, but is there really another word to describe it? According to the thesaurus, the answer to that is no. They were neither muggy, nor damp and I think dank doughnuts are sold at an entirely different kind of shop). I think the reason why cake doughnuts don’t reign supreme in my personal doughnut hierarchy is because they have the potential to be on the drier or crumbly side, but not these ones! If you’re vegan, like sustainable business practices, or you know, a fan of cake doughnuts, check this place out.
Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts - 609 Summit Ave E (Capitol Hill location)
This is probably Seattle’s most prolific doughnut shop, with 20 in the Seattle area, and somehow three that snuck over to Texas. They’re also the easiest doughnuts to find, because you can pick them up while grocery shopping at your local QFC. Their website boasts 40+ flavors of doughnuts, but when I went to the Capitol Hill location, there were about 15 to choose from. Don’t get me wrong, that’s still a good selection, but don’t expect 40 flavors to choose from at once. They have quite a few standard varieties, as well as a few more interesting kinds. Again, the price varies by type of doughnut. I was tempted by the feature doughnut - a Samoas-inspired doughnut, but since I have 4 boxes of Girl Scout cookies coming my way in the next week (don’t judge me, it’s for the children, ok??), one of which is a box of Samoas , I opted for the apple fritter instead. Honestly, it was the sheer size of it that tempted me. It’s huge. I had planned on sharing half with Chris, but then he was working late that night and I kept sneaking bites of his half until there was nothing left. I really can’t be blamed, with all of that cinnamon and apple goodness sitting right out in front of me. It’s not like he even knew it was there in the first place. It was definitely one of the best apple fritters I’ve tried. Overall, I think Top Pot is a great place for your more standard doughnuts, but they still have some cool features if you feel like spicing it up. Also, Chris if you’re reading this, I’m sorry and I’ll buy you your very own Top Pot doughnut soon. I promise.
Daily Dozen Doughnut Company (Pike Place Market)
The doughnuts at Daily Dozen inside Pike Place Market are true mini-doughnuts. Take a hard left at the famous Pike Place Fish Market, the fish-throwing stall, and let your nose guide you the rest of the way to these little freshly-baked delicacies. And when I say fresh, I mean fresh. You can see the Donut Robot (seriously, that’s what it’s called) making them right in front of you. I, for one, welcome our new Donut Robot overlords. They have six varieties of doughnuts - plain, cinnamon, powered, sprinkled, maple, and maple bacon. You have the choice of ordering either a 1/2 dozen or a dozen, and the price depends on the variety you choose (the range is $4.25-$9.00 and they are a cash only stall). I went for the assorted 1/2 dozen so I could try each one, but I didn’t realize until after that for $1.50 more, I could have doubled the amount of doughnuts I had. Big mistake, but you live and learn. All of the doughnuts were hot and crispy on the outside, and light and fluffy on the inside. I was most excited for the maple bacon doughnut, which was tasty (because bacon), but there was a clear winner of the six for me, and it came as a bit of a surprise - the cinnamon. Such a simple flavor and SO delicious. I think it’s worth trying them all, but now that I have, I think next time I would just go straight for the cinnamon ones. And I’d spring for the dozen.
General Porpoise Doughnuts - 98109, 1020 E Union St (Capitol Hill location)
I’ve saved the best for last. If you happen to also follow me on instagram, you’ve almost certainly seen me post about GP. They are hands-down my favorite doughnuts ever. EVER (though admittedly Side Hustle is a close second). I can’t get enough of them. They are the most delicious, fluffy, light, little pieces of cream-filled heaven. Or custard-filled. Or jam-filled. or curd-filled. Take your pick. My point is, they are amazing and you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t indulge in one (or two, I certainly won’t judge) while in Seattle. Their permanent flavors include Vanilla Custard, Lemon Curd, and Chocolate Marshmallow Cream, in addition to two changing specialty flavors. I was iffy about trying a custard-filled one (bad memories of the Boston Cream from Tim Hortons), but you guys, the Vanilla Custard is. the. bomb. It is such a smooth, light, creamy texture. None of that weird, yellow pudding that I usually associate with custard. I think it might be my favorite doughnut of all time, with their Lemon Curd coming in at second place. But wait, there’s the specialty Coconut Cream to consider. And the Peppermint Cream. I’ve eaten a lot of their doughnuts, ok? I don’t usually lean towards the fruit filled ones, but I’m sure they’re good too. General Porpoise has never steered me wrong. They also have a great selection of coffee and the interior of their shops are an instagram dream. Even their bathroom is instagram worthy. The doughnuts come to $4.27 with tax and service charges, so clearly not the most affordable option on the list (ok, probably the least), but I promise it will be worth every penny.
Well, there you have it - five reasons why you need to be eating doughnuts in Seattle. There are still a few other doughnut shops on my radar, but I really feel like there’s something for everyone on this list, which means you really don't have an excuse not to try some. Besides, Seattle is known for its coffee and nothing goes better together than coffee and doughnuts. It’s a match made in heaven. A hole-y match, if you will. Ok, that was not my best (especially if you consider that half of these doughnuts didn’t even have holes). Right, well, I think I’ll see myself out. Thanks for reading! Bye!
Side Note: the dictionary spelling of the word is actually “doughnut” (which is how I personally choose to spell it), while “donut” is an americanized spelling of the word and is generally less common, though still used by some shops. Just thought I would mention that in case you noticed some of the inconsistencies!