It used to be a cold hard truth that we didn’t have any cool, local doughnut joints in Bon Air. We had grocery store doughnuts and there was a Dunkin’ Donuts not too far away, but all of the tasty local doughnut bakeries required a trip.
On mornings when I craved a doughnut, I used to dream about opening what I call a “doughnut aggregator”—a dreamy spot where the best doughnuts from the best shops all over the RVA would be available in one place. I daydreamed about getting to peruse all of the best options. Then, I’d make my final choice based on what doughnut “moved” me that day.
We’ve got a couple of local doughnut shops now. But the harsh reality is that there’s no such thing as a doughnut aggregator; it’s nothing more than a product of my imagination. So we’re left with one, desperate option if we’re going to partake of all of the doughnut goodness around town: get in the car, and go try them all. And there’s no better day to get started than National Doughnut Day!
Chances are, as you sample every one of Richmond’s finest ring-shaped fried cakes, your favorites will become clear, and they’ll surely be different than mine. Doughnuts are like tunes; you like what you like.
I’ve got my own list of doughnut go-tos. I’m sure the list will grow and change as I try new options. Maybe you can recommend some for me to try. But for now, this is my doughnut playlist:
1. Krispy Kreme
June 2nd, get one free doughnut of your choice! No purchase necessary!
Why I go:
- Watching the extruders squeeze out dough into a molten oil bath never gets old.
- I like to imagine myself guzzling the sheet of glaze. But just for a second. I know that wouldn’t end well.
- The heavy smell of sugar in the air and the lingering sugar smell on my clothes when I leave.
- The long lines of excited customers inside and in the drive-thru during peak times: “Doughnut energy.”
- Wearing the Krispy Kreme hat.
- Watching friends and family struggle through the doughnut selection process.
- Hot doughnuts now!
- When we go with my friend Amanda, she licks the icing off of the top of her doughnut before she eats it. She started that habit when she was a kid to dissuade her brother from stealing her food. Now, it’s just bizarre entertainment.
2. Sugar Shack
Why I go:
- We finally have fun, local doughnuts in Bon Air!
- The cake doughnuts. Yep! I prefer those to the regulars. These dense, sugary beasts are scrumptious. And no, I don’t want to know the calorie count.
- I’ve heard that their super-extra-large birthday doughnuts are amazing. I’ve also heard that they are, for some reason, even better than the regular doughnuts. I regret that I haven’t had one yet.
3. Duck Donuts
June 2nd, get one free donut with any purchase!
Why I go:
- A fresh, hot off the press, maple bacon doughnut may be my #1 most favorite doughnut of all time. Good. Ness. I even have a picture of the first one I ever had in the Outer Banks. Look at that beauty!
4. Westhampton Pastry Shop
Why I go:
- Westhampton Pastry Shop has two types of doughnuts: glazed and chocolate glazed. That’s it. And they’re extra tall and extra sweet. I think it’s fair to say they’re super-sized-double-decker doughnuts. They’re impressive, y’all, and I can only handle one.
- My in-laws love these doughnuts so much that they try to stop by whenever they’re in town to grab a few.
- I once piled a stack of chocolate glazed doughnuts high on a platter, tied a birthday balloon on, and took them to my son’s school for his birthday celebration. They were a major hit with the kids.
5. Country Style Donuts
Call for National Donut Day specials!
Why I go:
- The original location is out by the airport (there’s one in the West End now), and I don’t usually get out that way, but I love it when I get the chance. Recently, a young family friend wanted to celebrate her birthday there. We got the call at 9 p.m. at met them out there for a late evening doughnut celebration. Open 24 hours.
- I know we’re talking doughnuts, but their other pastries rock, too.
6. Dunkin’ Donuts
June 2, enjoy a free classic donut with any beverage purchase!
Why I go:
- The doughnut holes. That’s it. Sometimes, I crave a big box of assorted doughnut holes. I’m not exactly sure why I prefer the doughnut holes to the whole doughnuts, but I do. Yum!
I’ve never been to these doughnut shops, but I’d definitely like to:
- Mrs. Yoder’s Doughnuts in the parking lot at the Westbury Pharmacy or at the South of the James Market. I’ve heard they’re the stuff of legend.
- I just heard about a place on the southside called The Treat Shop. Has anyone been?
- Are there other tasty doughnuts in Richmond that I’m missing? What are your favorites?