Skip to content

11 Best Donuts in Atlanta

Nothing hits quite like a donut.

The crunch, the flavor, the shape…it’s an endlessly comforting treat, whether you’re eating it for breakfast, dessert, or just because you’re in the mood (the best excuse there is).

Donuts (or is it “doughnuts”…the world may never know) have a higher floor than just about any other food — even the worst one isn’t too shabby — so the ceiling must be sky high. There are plenty of donut spots around Atlanta that are floating around that top layer, so let’s explore some of the finest in town.

Trust us, you’re going to go nuts for these donuts.

The pride of the Outer Banks (eat your heart out, John B)

Duck Donuts

Straight out of the Outer Banks (the location, not the cheesy Netflix show), Duck Donuts is a welcome addition to the donut scene. Their donuts are a more old-fashioned and crunchy donut, and they do great work with the toppings and other add-ons to the bare treats.

My personal favorite was the Blueberry Pancake (top row, middle), which has blueberry icing and a maple drizzle, topped with powdered sugar. As you would hope, it tastes like a fresh stack of blueberry pancakes drenched in maple syrup. Other winners were the Maple Bacon (bottom left), with a MAPLE glaze and pieces of…you guessed it…BACON, and the Bare, which is a good control item that lets the donut speak for itself!

Photo Credit: Trip Advisor

Five Daughters Bakery

While Five Daughters began in Franklin, Tennessee, the locations at Ponce City Market and in West Midtown have become local favorites. Their signature item is the 100 Layer Donut, a combination of a croissant and a donut. Repeat: a croissant AND a donut. It’s crunchy like a fresh donut but flaky and melt-in-your-mouth like a croissant. This juxtaposition leads to a perfect bite.

Less is more with the Purist, a simple 100 Layer Donut dipped in a vanilla glaze. If this is your first foray into Five Daughters, this is your perfect order. But if you’re feeling adventurous… 

Bacon had itself quite a moment in the 2010s, being used in all kinds of things besides the usual breakfast sandwiches and WaHo All Star Specials. Its overexposure has mostly subsided, but the King Kong donut (top row, middle) is a perfect example of bacon being used just right. This donut is rolled in sugar, infused with vanilla buttercream, and topped with a maple glaze and candied bacon pieces. It has every taste and texture you could possibly imagine, and they combine spectacularly.

A HEROic sight

Hero Doughnuts & Buns

Jeremy Chambers, of Jim and Nick’s fame, developed this Birmingham-based spot from a popup into a rapidly-growing phenomenon with locations in Charleston and Atlanta with upcoming new stores in Charleston and Chapel Hill (and many more to come).

These donuts stand out because they’re made with a brioche dough, offering a perfectly fluffy texture to complement the sweet taste. I tried a wide variety, and each one was delicious. The stars for me were the strawberry (third one in the middle row), bursting with a surprisingly fresh fruit flavor, and the one with Cap’n Crunch on top (fourth one in the middle row), walking that fine line near overkill, but instead sticking the landing and turning out phenomenally. 

(L to R) Hero Burger, Super Crunch, Breakfast Super Crunch

This same brioche dough is also used to whip up cloudlike buns for various sandwiches. I tried the Hero Burger topped with cheese, onions, and some fantastic house-made pickles (the world needs more simple but amazing burgers like this) and the Super Crunch and Breakfast Super Crunch sandwiches, the former consisting of a crunchy and juicy fried chicken breast, pepper jam, pickles, and house sauce, while the latter had egg and cheese as well. Every sandwich is completely elevated thanks to the incredible brioche buns. 

Donuts that’ll make you go, “Hell yeah!”

Hell Yeah Gluten Free

Who said being gluten-free means you can’t enjoy a donut? 

Alejandra Luaces was inspired by her own allergy and love for baking to open the door for patrons of all dietary restrictions (if any at all) to enjoy one of life’s greatest foods. Everything at Hell Yeah is gluten-free, not to mention dairy- and nut-free, and you surely won’t miss their absence once you try these donuts. Each one I tried was unique; my favorites were the maple miso (bottom left), which perfectly mixed sweetness with miso flavor, and the chocolate peppermint (bottom right), which tasted like a giant peppermint patty with a nice crunch.

Masks can’t stop these smiles!

In addition to donuts, Hell Yeah also serves savory treats and other tasty pastries, including stunning cakes. No matter the occasion, I can guarantee that these folks will take good care of you.

A menagerie of shapes, sizes, and toppings

Dutch Monkey Doughnuts

Dutch Monkey Doughnuts is located OTP in Cumming, but it’s well worth the drive if you’re not from around town. Founders Martin and Arpana know their donuts, having won the very first episode of Food Network’s Doughnut Showdown in 2013. If I were a judge, I would’ve made the same call on these decadent treats.

One of the stars of the Dutch Monkey lineup was the Caramel Apple Fritter (not pictured because it may or may not have been eaten before I took the photo), which was perfectly sweet and tart with a nice dense bite. There’s also the chocolate iced donut (second row, middle), dusted with even more cocoa so you’re getting a super chocolatey bite that isn’t overwhelmingly rich. Their signature item, however, is the Dutch Monkey (third on the top row), which is topped with bananas and chocolate and is just what the donut doctor ordered.

Photo Credit: Facebook.com

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

The granddaddy of them all.

It’s hard to even qualify a fresh Krispy Kreme donut as a solid food because as soon as you put it in your mouth, it dissolves into a magnificent cloud of everything right in the world. While the “Hot Now” sign is a welcoming beacon that your donut is about to be even fluffier and tastier than usual, don’t sleep on the surprisingly amazing results of microwaving your donut for 8-12 seconds.  

The iconic location that has been on Ponce De Leon Avenue since 1965 made headlines in 2021 when it caught on fire not just once in February, but again in July. The current plan is for it to be rebuilt some time in 2022, but in the meantime, they have a temporary pop-up in the parking lot as well as the consoling words of partial owner Dr. Shaquille O’Neal.

“We will bounce back better than ever – Shaq”

Thank you, Shaq.

 

In addition to these premier donut places, here are a few others I couldn’t visit for this particular research but I have either enjoyed myself or been told by trusted sources that they’re worthy of including:

  • Sublime Doughnuts (open 24 hours with donuts that run the spectrum from tried-and-true to extravagant) 
  • Mochibees (recently-opened spot slinging mochi donuts, with the classic crunchy exterior but a much chewier interior)
  • Revolution Doughnuts (massively popular despite having only two locations; emphasizes doing everything by hand)
  • Scream’n Nuts (an Alpharetta-based donut and ice cream shop that combines the two in drool-worthy ways)
  • Dunkin’ Donuts (small Massachusetts-based joint I’ve heard good things about) 
Restaurant Finder