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Doughnut Porn in NYC: Manhattan's Doughnut Plant

Coconut cream. It might not look fancy, but this shit is legit.
Coconut cream. It might not look fancy, but this shit is legit.

There's a reason doughnuts have been around since forever. More than cupcakes, muffins, or pastelitos, doughnuts are the ultimate breakfast indulgence. Just ask Homer Simpson -- or your local police officer (zing!).

Sadly, Miami is without a lot of options for those seeking anything beyond your average Krispy Kreme glazed or Dunkin' Donuts cruller. So while in New York City, I made a trip to Manhattan's famous bake-shop Shangri-la, Doughnut Plant. Is it worth the epic hype? Find out after the jump.

See also: Anthony Bourdain's NYC Layover: Short Order Style

So many doughnuts, so little time.
So many doughnuts, so little time.

Here, they're serious about doughnuts -- at least, as serious as you can get about a sugar-filled, waist-widening treat.

Doughnuts on the walls, doughnuts on the tables, doughnuts on the floor.
Doughnuts on the walls, doughnuts on the tables, doughnuts on the floor.

The Chelsea location at 220 W. 23rd St. has walls lined with doughnut-shaped pillows. The tables are ringed with brightly colored circles, and the door handle sports a giant circular ring. And oh, the bathroom -- a mirror-mosaic, disco-ball delight. Not your average doughnut shop.

It's like pulling down your drawers at Studio 54.
It's like pulling down your drawers at Studio 54.

In line in front of us were two of New York's finest -- a good sign. You know this city's men in uniform don't get their breakfast fix from just anywhere.

The case, calling to us like a Tiffany's window, was arranged from doughseed-filled (mini, round variations in gourmet flavors) to standard-filled (packed with house-made jams and custards) to yeast (light and airy) to cake (leavened with baking powder) -- plus an impossibly fat, towering cinnamon roll poised on top like the angel on a Christmas tree.

Commence Homer Simpson drooling sounds.
Commence Homer Simpson drooling sounds.

There was cashew and orange blossom doughseed; peaches and cream doughseed; coconut cream; peanut butter and banana cream; vanilla bean with blackberry jam; coconut lime; carrot cake; tres leches cake; blackout cake; and more. Flavors vary with the seasons, so coconut and lime are about to disappear in place of raspberry and pistachio.

Plus, these doughnuts are free of trans fats, eggs, preservatives, and artificial colors and flavors. So you can almost fool yourself into believing they're healthful.

From $2.25 to $3.50 apiece, it's not exactly Dunkin' prices, but far less onerous than we'd have imagined. Once we got a glimpse at that case, we would have shelled out gold bullion just to get a taste.

The kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
The kingdom of Heaven is at hand.

So was it worth the trek? Is Doughnut Plant all it's cracked up to be? My taste buds offered a resounding round of applause. Yes, definitely yes. Peanut butter, banana-filled (Elvis would be proud), and coconut cream, FTW! We savored the frosted, pillowy soft treats like so much heavenly nectar.

South Florida is coming up in the doughnut world, thanks to Josh's Deli, Sweetness Bakeshop, and Mojo Donuts -- but we've got a hell of a way to go before we've got doughnuts like these at our grubby little fingertips.

Verdict: Next time you're in NYC, make the trip. It's worth eating salad for a week just to put away copious calories of these extra-special treats.

Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.

Follow Short Order on Facebook, on Twitter @Short_Order, and Instagram @ShortOrder.


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