Sometimes it seems like every corner of New York has its own doughnut shop (or at least a bodega where you can get one), a virtual Eden where an assortment of fried dough is readily available, just the way god intended. So when National Doughnut Day passed last week, we noticed we suddenly had a ring-shaped void in our hearts (and our stomachs), one that could only be filled by something dusted in powdered sugar and injected with jelly. Thus the 2015 Doughnut Crawl was invented.
Because really, why should we only pay homage to the doughnut once a year? As if one day could satisfy our sugar-craving palates? And as our own Kristin Iversen once said to me, “Every day can be National Doughnut Day if we want it to be.” So I say, let’s modify carpe diem into something more suitable and useful like… carpe testa, or “seize the glaze,” and gorge on some of the best doughnuts Brooklyn has to offer.
First, though, here are some tips for a successful crawl:
1) Start early to help avoid lines. Some of these places are extremely popular, and will have lines that will chew up your doughnut-eating time. Plus, doughnuts are traditionally a breakfast snack, so having one (or 20) before noon is perfectly fine. We won’t judge.
2) Bring milk or your preferred beverage to help wash down the sweetness. Don’t waste your money on beverages; bring your own.
3) Snag two doughnuts from each location to make a perfect dozen. And if you’re feeling fancy, go for a baker’s dozen. (Get that third one at Dough, our favorite spot.)
4) Have cash because even though it’s 2015, some of these places only accept dollar bills.
5) Drag a friend along. They will come in handy when you fall into the inevitable sugar-induced coma.
6) Pace yourself. This isn’t a doughnut-eating contest. Though if it was, we’d definitely win it.
And now,without further ado, here’s the perfect Brooklyn Doughnut Crawl.
DunWell Doughnuts: Blueberry Pistachio
With more than 200 flavors in their cue, settling on blueberry pistachio was tough but not made in error. This bite-sized doughnut packs a lot of flavor. The nuttiness of the pistachio caught me off guard but it paired so well with the blueberry glaze that I almost ordered seconds.
222 Montrose Avenue, Bushwick
Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop: Coconut
Let me preface this by saying: I hate coconut shavings. The texture reminds me of construction paper, and my childish habits of snacking on odd things (like baby powder) are behind me. But in the spirit of the crawl and going out of my comfort zone, I gave it a shot. And it was not in vain. Maybe it was the honing of the craft after 65 years of business or even my unadulterated love for fried dough, but the toasted coconut shavings were so subtle as to merely tease my tongue with their presence while I enjoyed the rest of the rich, glazed pastry.
727 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint
Moe’s Doughs Donut Shop: Red Velvet Crumb
Just a few blocks down the street from Peter Pan stands this newcomer. Hitting the doughnut scene back in 2014 by former Peter Pan baker Mohamed Saleh, this shop has been deflecting ethical criticism from the jump, but it doesn’t seem to deter the place from creating masterpieces like the red velvet crumb. The cake-like doughnut is just as rich and moist as a slice of birthday cake, but with a dollop of frosting nestled inside to awaken your inner child.
126 Nassau Avenue, Greenpoint
Doughnut Plant: Tres Leches
My roommate made it apparent that it was crucial that I go here. After ordering the Tres Leches cake doughnut, I understood why. Although it was small enough to consume in one bite, I could not finish this bad boy in one setting. All I can say is sweetness overload. From the glaze to the filling, this pastry carries a massive punch.
245 Flatbush Avenue, Prospect Heights
7th Avenue Donuts: Apple Turnover
They say that life flashes before your eyes before you die. Now I’m not sure whether that’s true or not, but I had a similar encounter after biting into this apple turnover, only instead of my life’s most important moments, it consisted of all the apple pies I’ve ever eaten. There was something so familiar and comforting about eating this doughnut that I gave my mom a call just to tell her about my day.
324 7th Avenue, Park Slope
This behemoth was my first doughnut of the day, and as superficial as it sounds, the glossy, pink glaze that I deemed worthy of an Instagram post was what initially drew me in. And for once, society’s ideals of what we regard as beautiful had relevance, because after one bite, I was overwhelmed in what could only be described as a serenade of sweetness and tanginess across my unworthy taste buds. The experience was a spiritual awakening.
448 Lafayette Avenue, Clinton Hill
*Dough is the last pit stop on this crawl, because it set the bar so incredibly high that none of the other shops really stood a chance thereafter.