Whether you prefer cake or yeast donuts, here are the best places to snag ‘em in Atlanta.Less
Don’t mistake the shipping container sitting in the parking lot of Lenox Square Mall for a Macy’s inventory delivery gone wrong. It actually houses DaVinci’s Donuts, a small to-go donut and coffee shop. We could eat their cakes plain because they’re incredibly soft and sweet enough on their own, so having choices like cinnamon roll, strawberry shortcake, and maple bacon is just an added bonus. Their donuts are a little smaller giving you a solid reason to order a dozen for yourself.
If for some reason your mind immediately drifts to a rain-drenched Enrique Iglesias when you head to Hero Doughnuts in Summerhill, we understand. But once the cashier politely interrupts, order the light and airy donut holes and the Apple Crisp (our favorite) with a cinnamon apple mash on top that tastes like a homemade apple pie—not that poser synthetic filling from a jar. If you need more sustenance than sugary bread, Hero has spicy kolaches and sandwiches, like their egg and cheese bun.
We’ll happily fight through Buckhead traffic if we can get Duck Donuts to start our day. It’s an ego booster to walk in unannounced and watch a team scramble behind the counter to make your actual order fresh (yes, we’d like oreo and graham crackers, s'il vous plaît). But don’t dive into the doughy goodness right away because they come out steaming hot. It’s so fresh, the dough seems borderline raw and the smell of fried dough (much like funnel cake) hits you in the face.
Sitting between Walter’s Soul Food and a barbershop in a Cleveland Avenue shopping strip, Atlanta Donuts has a type of donut for whatever mood we’re in. If we just want a sample of sweetness, we opt for the light and fluffy donut holes that huddle in their own shelf of the old school pastry display case. When we need a hearty breakfast to start the day, the dense cake donuts fill us up. Get the blueberry—that’s an order.
Doughnut Dollies takes its name from American Red Cross’ Donut Dollies who delivered coffee and donuts to soldiers during WWII. Luckily the only battle you'll have to endure to get one of these giant donuts is finding a parking spot on Virginia Ave. When you head into the tiny interior, whether you get the yeast donuts made with 24-hour brioche dough or a cake donut, prepare yourself because they are massive and thicc. The hot cocoa donut is one of our favorites.
Mochinut in Chattahoochee Food Works makes donuts with rice flour for a stretchy and chewy texture (mochi, get it?). Like the ones made famous by Japan’s Mister Donut chain, these mochi doughnuts form a ring of eight connecting mini dough balls. There are a variety of ever-changing flavors to choose from like the raspberry funnel cake and a caramel churro. Mochinut doesn’t open until noon, so it’s ideal for those of us who regularly hit snooze seventeen times in the morning.
The OG Rev Dough opened in 2012 in Decatur. Five years later, they expanded with another location in Inman Park, serving up their made-from-scratch yeast and cake-based donuts. With a few tables inside, this is the perfect place to party like it’s your birthday with a birthday cake donut topped with chocolate icing, sprinkles, and whipped cream. These donuts aren’t revolutionary, but they are damn good and offer fun flavors like tangerine-pistachio and banana creme pie.
After taking a bite of the moist and sugary Funfetti donut from Hell Yeah Gluten Free!, our take is more like “gluten who?” This small, single counter storefront off Dekalb Ave in Inman Park is strictly a grab-and-go spot. Order their double chocolate vegan donut with pureed veggies (from now on we’ll only eat our veggies if they’re disguised in mounds of chocolate, because damn) or the chai crumb cake and see if you can refrain from saying “hell yeah” after the first bite.
Originally started by a Tennessee couple, who (you guessed it) has five daughters, this doughnut chain is famous for its 100-layer croissant-doughnut hybrids. With two Atlanta locations (a walk-up counter on the Westside and a stall in Ponce City Market), we’re partial to the bigger PCM one, so after lunch in the market, we can pick up a fresh strawberry lemon shortcake donut, which is basically just dessert.
You probably know Beetlecat in Inman Park for their oyster and seafood selection, so it might be a surprise to find out they offer a donut brunch on the weekend. With eight donut options and a full brunch menu (including their famed lobster roll), breakfast at Beetlecat feels like a casual morning spent dockside with friends. The original glazed Plain Jane holds its own, but for extra flair get the Unicorn, a glazed topped with raw cookie dough and sprinkles.