Best of Miami

The Ten Best Doughnuts in Miami

Doughnuts could be the most democratic of all foods. These pastries come in all different shapes, sizes, and flavors. Some are filled with custard or booze. Others are vegan or gluten-free.

The age-old treat, said to be invented in the mid-1800s, represents a feeling of childhood to many. But in 2016, the treat has transformed into an Instagram-worthy culinary delicacy, with restaurants and shops adding their own inventive twist on the ring-shaped bite.

Like cupcakes and cake pops before it, the doughnut craze is sweeping the nation. From Portland, Oregon's Voodoo Doughnuts to New York's Doughnut Plant (not to mention Dominique Ansel's doughnut/croissant love child, the cronut), the great citizens of the United States have gotten used to setting their alarm clocks a few minutes early to allow time to queue up for the circular treats.

Alas, for years, doughnut shops in Miami have been few and far between, with many locals defaulting to Krispy Kreme, Dunkin' Donuts, or supermarket shelves to get their fix. Finally, the Magic City caught up with yet another gastronomic trend. 

Buckle up, Miami, because the craze is crashing like a sugar-fueled freight train into our fair city. In the past few months, the local doughnut scene has evolved. From the Salty Donut's wildly popular weekend pop-up in Wynwood to the resurrection of Velvet Creme in Little River, doughnuts are back and trendier than ever in the 305. 

Miami isn't quite the doughnut capital yet. Though there are some fine shops selling everything from guava creme to Nutella varieties, we still have to get our doughnut fix wherever we can find it. That could mean following a food truck, waiting in line in the rain for an hour, or paying dearly at a fancy restaurant for a bowl of chef-driven doughnut holes smothered in banana sauce. We hope to live in a Miami where there's a doughnut shop in every neighborhood. Until that day, here are the top ten places to get your sugar rush right now.

10. Krispy Kreme
For a long time, Krispy Kreme was one of the only places in Miami to get a quality doughnut. The shop opened way back in 1937 and has remained relevant over the decdes. Each location can produce up to 3 million doughnuts per day, totaling more than a billion a year, which probably explains why our city never felt the need to add more doughnut shops. Krispy Kreme's glazed doughnut remains a bestseller, but there are 30 varieties of others to choose from, including powdered cinnamon cake, strawberry iced, and cookies 'n' kreme. Doughnuts start at 99 cents.

9. Chez BonBon at Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel
From afar, Chez BonBon's doughnuts, lined side-by-side and boasting different frosting and topping finishes, look like works of art. The doughnuts, among other treats sold in the lobby-level pastry shop at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, are handmade and crafted using fresh ingredients without preservatives. Created by executive pastry chef Simon Bregardis, chocolate, Nutella, cinnamon sugar, and strawberry doughnuts are sold daily for $2.95 each. 

8. Vegan Maple Bacon Donut at Choices Café
Doughnuts come in myriad iterations, like vanilla, chocolate, or plain glazed. Now there are vegan doughnuts too. Choices Organic Café offers freshly baked maple "bacon" doughnuts for $5.50 each. They're vegan and soy- and gluten-free, and the bacon comes from a tree instead of a pig. Choices' Lori Zito says she wanted to offer a healthy version of a doughnut and started playing around with recipes at home. The faux bacon — coconut tossed in liquid smoke and organic maple syrup — is what makes this doughnut a real treat.

7. Thai Donuts at NaiYaRa
The Sunset Harbour eatery by Piyarat Potha Arreeratn, better known as Chef Bee, is a mix of Thai street fare and Japanese specialties. On the menu are Chef Bee's beloved Thai donuts ($8). A special dollop of batter is fried, adding a crisp crunch on the outside while keeping a soft, doughy inside. Banana sauce is drizzled on top for hit of natural sweetness.

6. Passionfruit Doughnuts at Driftwood Room
Be it for breakfast or dinner, passionfruit doughnuts are on the menu at Driftwood Room. Chef Alex Guarnaschelli's Miami Beach eatery offers the doughnuts made to order. Topped with white sugar and served with a side of vanilla cream, they come warm and ooze passionfruit custard. They're served in sets of three ($12) and will have you fighting fellow eaters for the last bite.

5. Dandee Donuts (102 N. 28th Ave., Hollywood)
Though it might be a bit out of the way, Dandee Donuts is worth the drive to Broward. The Hollywood doughnut factory offers more than 50 varieties, which are all baked in-house daily. Flavors include apple 'n' spice, maple bacon bomb, glazed twist, double chocolate, and cherry crunch. A full-service menu is available too, with breakfast sandwiches, omelets, salads, sandwiches, pizza, and pastries. Only $3.59 gets you a cup of coffee and two donuts, making for an affordable caffeine and sugar fix anytime.

4. Doughnuts at Beaker & Gray
The newly opened Wynwood restaurant and bar, helmed by chef Brian Nasajon and bartender Ben Potts, offers a variety of bites. Before you eat your way through the menu, make sure to leave room for the mini carrot cake doughnuts ($10 per order). The bite-size nuggets come in sets of six, accompanied by an orange sauce for your dipping pleasure. Though they look crunchy on the outside, their center is warm and doughy, just the way a doughnut hole should be.

3. Mojo Donuts (7906 Pines Blvd., Hollywood)
For a long time, Mojo Donuts was one of South Florida's only craft doughnut shops. Housed in a little strip mall in Pembroke Pines, these doughnuts have enough mojo to make up for Miami's lacking scene. Varieties change daily, but mango 'n' cheese, guava 'n' cheese, maple bacon, red velvet, cinnamon cake, blueberry, raspberry glazed, classic glazed "Mojo rising," chocolate 'n' strawberry, Boston cream, and key lime are regulars. These freshly baked treats range from $1.09 to $1.75 each, and a dozen costs $12.99. Pair one (or two or six) with coffee, tea, or a latte, also served in-house.

2. Velvet Creme
The iconic doughnut shop had been a Miami staple for more than 50 years until a family illness crippled the business in 2000. Robert Taylor, along with partners Jorge Rios and daughter Krista Rios, decided to revive the beloved brand created by Jim Hadler, Taylor's brother-in-law. This February, Velvet Creme will reopen at 8291 NE Second Ave. in Little River. In the meantime, find its doughnuts via the Velvet Creme food truck around town (starting at $1 per doughnut). Traditional flavors like glazed and chocolate are favorites, but look out for exotics like guava and key lime. Regulars swear by the Round John, a creme-filled, chocolate-frosted doughnut. The doughnuts are also available frozen to be shipped worldwide. 

1. The Salty Donut
Though the Salty Donut will open a brick-and-mortar inside the new Wynwood Arcade building later this spring, hundreds of patrons line up across the street every weekend in a small courtyard (29 NW 24th St.) for its pop-up. As Miami's first artisanal doughnut shop, the Salty Donut has seen unimaginable success, tapping into the hearts and stomachs of Miami's young and old. About 1,200 doughnuts are produced daily Friday through Sunday, but the pop-up usually sells out in less than four hours. The shop offers sweet varieties like traditional glazed buttermilk, savory ones like maple bacon, gluten-free versions, and even alcohol-infused treats like mimosa-style or spiked doughnut holes (prices vary). Though the pop-up opens at 11 a.m., plan to be there by 10:30 because the line is known to grow once Miami wakes up.

Follow Clarissa Buch on Twitter.
KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Clarissa Buch Zilberman is a writer and editor, with her work appearing in print and digital titles worldwide.
Contact: Clarissa Buch