By Alison Bailin Batz
They’re doughy and delicious. They’re sweet and scrumptious. They’re glazed and gooey. They’re doughnuts! With more than 10 billion of these treats enjoyed each year in the U.S. alone, olykoeks – as they were first called when Dutch settlers brought them stateside in the early 1800s – are not just tasty, but big business.
So, which local businesses should be on your go-to list when you need your sugary-sweet fix? Here are some of our favorite makers of doughnuts whether they are iced, powdered, chocolate, jellied, baked or fried.
The Local Donut
While also a bakery and pastry shop, doughnuts are the clear star here. According to Buzzfeed, The Local Donut is the top spot for doughnuts in Arizona, featuring both traditional options as well as what they call “fancy doughnuts” on the menu. These dazzlers run the gamut from creme brulee to salted caramel to peanut butter and jelly varieties. They also have croissant doughnuts, more commonly known as cronuts, available each weekend, with both Nutella and vanilla bean options. 3213 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale; 480.500.5236; www.thelocaldonutshop.com.
Masterpiece Donuts & Coffee
To say owners Tom and Sheri Schrader are doughnut-obsessed is an understatement. In fact, Tom claims he developed a daily doughnut habit that lasted three decades before he and Sheri made the jump into opening Masterpiece last year. Their concept allows guests to “customize the canvas” that is a basic doughnut, giving patrons 90 seconds while their vanilla-based doughnuts are made fresh to choose glazes, icings and other yummy treats as toppings. Taking this concept even further, there’s also a semi-private “Artists Corner” inside where children are able to work on arts and crafts projects. 3950 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix; 602.633.1550; www.masterpiecedonutsandcoffeeplus.com.
While the theme at these shops – which are now 12 strong in the Valley and counting – is no frills, the doughnuts will make you rave nonetheless. BoSa doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel but, instead, focuses on the dough, and it shows; they have the airiest, fluffiest dough around. Don’t expect seasonal flavors or out-of-the-box toppings. Instead, just order tried-and-true glazed or sprinkle doughnuts and let them rock your world in the simplest-yet-most-satisfying way ever. They are also open late, most until 10 p.m. or even open 24 hours a day, so you can stop in (or use the drive-thru) whenever you have a craving. Multiple locations; www.bosadonutsaz.com.
Remember those Choose Your Own Adventurebooks from your youth? This hot spot features this same concept, except with doughnuts. They offer guests the chance to customize their own made-to-order mini doughnuts, allowing you to mix and match frostings and toppings at will. Of course, they also have a long list of creations they’ve come up with, including birthday cake, apple pie, Oreo, and salted pretzel options, if you’re having trouble choosing. 10105 E. Via Linda Road, Scottsdale; 480.307.9373; www.cravegrounds.com.
Rollover Doughnuts + Coffee
Like the other best shops in town, Rollover Doughnuts, which shares its space with Short Leash Hot Dogs in Downtown Phoenix, makes everything from scratch daily. But, unique to Rollover is the dough. They use brioche as the base for everything, from basic vanilla- and chocolate-glazed options to their more complex offerings, which include an orange-glazed doughnut topped with chopped pistachios and a chocolate chip cookie dough doughnut with a salty-sweet brown sugar glaze. They also have their own doughnut food truck available for parties, catering and special events. 110 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix; 602.795.2193; www.shortleashhotdogs.com.
The Original Rainbow Donuts
This family-owned and -operated shop, which differs from the franchise by the same name, opens at 4 a.m. to ensure they can offer even the earliest of risers something special to start the day. Baked fresh daily, they feature traditional favorites such as the bear claw and French cruller as well as cronuts, maple bacon beauties, and even some infused with fresh whipped cream. Another reason to love them: Doughnuts left unsold are donated daily to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul or to a local church. Two locations; www.theoriginalrainbowdonuts.com.
Nami tSoft tServe and Coffee
This concept was inspired by “tSoynami,” which is the owners’ own homemade, vegan “tsoft tserve” (the actual proprietary name and made with soy) ice cream brimming with all sorts of goodies like cake, cookies, chocolate or peanut butter stirred in. For their doughnuts, Nami expands this concept into baked treats, crafting 100 percent vegan doughnuts with similar vegan ingredients mixed into the dough, squeezed inside or added on top. Daily fried vegan options include blueberry, banana nut, and cookies and cream. There are also fritters, specialty maple doughnuts, and even gluten-free vegan options, which change daily. 2014 N. 7th St., Phoenix; 602.258.6264; www.tsoynami.com
This bakery was initially born out of necessity by one very determined mother. Owner Julie Moreno developed the concept when her daughter, Sophia, developed severe abdominal issues. When Sophia found relief by cutting all gluten from her diet, Julie sprang into action. After experimenting, she developed dozens of sweet and savory recipes for her daughter, each gluten-free. Word spread, and Julie eventually opened Jewel’s in Arcadia to help others like her daughter. And while not strictly a doughnut shop, those seeking a truly fantastic gluten-free goodie will love the cinnamon, chocolate or vanilla with sprinkles options as well as the special-order pistachio, s’mores and Fruity Pebbles varieties. 4041 E. Thomas Road, Phoenix; 602.714.5243; www.jewelsbakeryandcafe.com.