Top 5 doughnuts in the Twin Cities

Just say yes
Just say yes

Few foods on earth are as glorious and as worthless as the doughnut. Even pizza has some nutritional value, but a doughnut is strictly about the endorphin rush of dough, sugar, and grease. Though they are manna to sugar fiends, doughnuts can be hard to come by in the Twin Cities in the absence of major national chains.

Word is that Dunkin' Donuts will soon be blitzing.Minnesota with more than a hundred outlets of its decent if not spectacular sugar bombs, and the company's food truck showed up recently at Taste of Minnesota dispensing its highly touted coffee.

But the confection's rarity in Minnesota makes the payoff all the more pleasurable. We have several shining examples of homegrown doughnuts in the Twin Cities. Here is our list of the Top 5.

Top 5 doughnuts in the Twin Cities

5. Raised doughnut at Mel-O-Glaze Bakery Raised doughnuts are usually considered the ugly stepchildren of the fried-dough world--always the last ones left in the box at the end of every business meeting. Not so at Mel-O-Glaze, which somehow imbues its raised glazed with an ethereal lightness, a subtle vanilla richness, and a generous icing that makes them the equal of every other doughnut in the dozen.  

Top 5 doughnuts in the Twin Cities

4. Apple fritter at Granny Donut The apple fritter is the king of doughnuts, and no one does it better than this blue-collar, old-fashioned shop in the no-man's-land of West St. Paul's business district. The secret of a fritter is in the frying. In less masterly hands, the globs of dough can still be mushy in the middle and soft at the edges. But Granny's apple-stuffed fryers are always expertly sizzled, with a well-done center, perfectly crisped edges, and a respectful complement of grease--sugary works of real craftsmanship.

Top 5 doughnuts in the Twin Cities

3. Sugar and cinnamon cakes at A Baker's Wife A past City Pages winner for Best Doughnuts, this Nokomis-area gem of a pastry shop doesn't make a lot of doughnuts--but the cake varieties they do carry are a thing apart. The moist and delicate toruses, dusted with cinnamon and sugar, seem more baked than fried--less sweet than usual, and so light and fresh that you'll think you've discovered a different doughnut species.  

2. Churros at Masa Purists may question whether a churro is a doughnut, but it meets every criterion, and no purist will still be complaining once he's eaten one at Masa. These wondrous sticks of fried dough are moist, ultra-fresh, and heavily laced with lemon zest, which makes every bite a surprise. And just to gild the lily, each order comes with a little cup of heavenly chocolate sauce for dipping.

Top 5 doughnuts in the Twin Cities

1. Indian-spiced mini doughnuts at Chef Shack The doughnuts sell like hotcakes at this gourmet food truck, and no wonder. These miniature marvels come fresh from the fryer, puppy-dog warm, perfectly crisp, and laden with a subtle and creative Indian spice blend of cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg, cardamom, fennel, and most likely cocaine. The fact that you have to track down these critters by following the Chef Shack's Twitter feed makes the conquest all the sweeter. If taste buds had toes, they would surely be curling.

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Chef Shack

Mill City Farmers Market, 704 S. Second St.
Minneapolis, MN 55401


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