image courtesy of flickr
For a long time, finding good donuts in the Triangle was always something I puzzled over – up until quite recently there just weren’t many options. But now we can have a legitimate debate: whose donuts are the best? I’m going to leave that up to you to decide! Here are a few places where you can score some donuts and/or other delicious eats:
Rise (Durham, Southpoint area):
I’d had their donuts before, as well as a day old biscuit, but I’d never been to the storefront. It’s extremely small inside, with very limited seating, but there are some tables out front. Be sure to grab a numbered ticket when you enter; the ordering queue gets a little jumbled as 1/2 the people don’t realize they are supposed to do this (I was guilty the first time through the line). There are biscuits with any number of toppings, and then there are the specialty ones featuring all sorts of gourmet arrangements. I went with a simple fried chicken biscuit ($3). The biscuit itself was super, the fried chicken – a little thin (too must crust/meat). But do try the ham biscuit – you get a nice fat hunk of roasted ham (not a traditional country ham like you might expect). The biscuits are big, but not quite big enough for an entire lunch for me. Thankfully, they have donuts too! Though I love sweets, I think the donuts here are second fiddle to the biscuits. Jelly-filled and chocolate glazed with sprinkles were average; the coconut cake, better. Many of the donuts are gourmet-creative-exotic, but I will say that some plain glazed mini ones we got recently were feathery light and just perfect.
Monuts (Durham, downtown):
Like others in Durham, Monuts has graduated to a genuine store front, in their case beginning as a simple stand at the farmer’s market. The store is super cute, and they also serve home made bagels. And, somewhat perplexingly, wine and beer. But get a donut – you won’t regret it. I’ve tried a chocolate chai (cake) that was really good, an earl grey cake (great flavor, mediocre texture) and an apple cinnamon cake (crumbly and sugary in the best way). I need to get back and try some yeast donuts.
I’ve also tried donuts from Sandra’s Bakery in Sanford and these were quite good, but I wouldn’t go way out of the way for them. I’ve had an excellent buttermilk donut from the Cup 22 coffee shop in Saxapahaw, though donuts at the general store next door have been less than thrilling. I’ve yet to try Daylight Donuts, but people seem to really like them (they are a nation wide chain). And, speaking of chains, last but not least, there’s good ol’ Krispy Kreme, whose “hot now” glazed donuts are pretty hard to beat.