We could sit here and fire off our 5 favorite donuts shops and are completely prepared to do that. We could describe to you the sweetness, density, fluffiness and moistness of each maple bar tried “in the name of science.” We could share that our resident doughnut enthusiast is currently cutting carbs out of his life and couldn’t join us. We could tell you about how we chose the shops and the metrics used to compare them. We could even offer you some pretentious definition of “local shop,” but we won’t insult your intelligence.
However, I want to fan the flame that is your sense of adventure. The best local doughnut shops have more than great doughnuts. They are a community place where you can go to catch up with the neighborhood. They are places that are best when self-discovered. So, instead of giving you my favorite doughnut shops, I’m going to give you a few tips and send you out for some urban exploration.
It's Dangerous to Go Alone
While not technically true, adventures are always more fun with friends. Gather a few food and fun-loving friends on a day that you all have free. It shouldn’t be hard to convince them to go on a local doughnut shop tour (or crawl, or hop, or whatever you want to call it). After all doughnuts are inherently great.
Don't Fear the Mornings
A lot of local doughnut shops open early in the morning to accommodate for the varying travel times of their community. Because of this, many shops sell out just after noon and others close after breakfast. I’m not saying set an alarm and wander in at the crack of dawn, because that’s almost completely unnecessary. In my experience the best time to shoot for is somewhere between 7-9 am.
Grab a cup of coffee or a bottle of milk and sip it slowly (with your doughnut of course). Relax for a second and take in your surroundings. Some shops like to hang local kids’ artwork or pictures of long-time customers. The walls can tell you what the shop cares about in the community. Sample the surrounding conversations and you may learn something new about the place you live.
So you’ve made it to the shop and the selection is a treat for the eyes, nose and imagination. Don’t let your watering mouth get the best of you! I’d recommend getting two donuts. One being your all-time favorite and the other being the shop's specialty doughnut. If they don’t have a specialty doughnut, you can’t go wrong with the classic glazed yeast doughnut.
Y’all Come Back Now, You Hear!
You’ve finished your first tour, but you’re conflicted. You liked more than one shop and for some reason think that you should only choose one. Well, luckily there is a solution for that! You make more trips to the shops that stuck with you. If you find that you can’t choose just one, that’s good too.
Go forth my urban explorers! There are many great local shops in your area. So if you have time, grab some friends (the ones who aren't cutting carbs), run a google search and let your journey begin.
- James Leggett, Social Media Coordinator and Doughnut Czar