The Best Cities for Donut Lovers

Mmmmm donuts. Homer Simpson was onto something, for sure.

Whether it's glazed, sprinkles or jelly-filled, donuts are one of the most iconic breakfast treats in the country.

Best cities for donuts

Our rankings go beyond favorite shops around the U.S. We looked at the 150 most populated cities in the country. Then, to create our top 10, we looked at the proportion of donut businesses in a city, donut businesses per capita and donut businesses per density.

Take a look at our top 10 best cities for donut lovers — you won't be able to walk away without your favorite donut hole.

10. McKinney, TX

mckinney tx

Historic downtown McKinney will capture your heart with its charm. Visit one of the many stores on Main Street, followed by a bit of barbecue and a concert at the McKinney Performing Arts Center.

The quiet town is only 45 miles from Dallas with about 15 donut shops per 100,000 residents, so you'll have your pick. Get in line for one of The Donut Kitchen's apple cinnamon donuts that tastes just like fall.

9. Philadelphia, PA

philadelphia pa

We'll never know if our forefathers enjoyed a good donut, but Philadelphia, indeed, has many options when you look both at density and per capita rank. You'll get a unanimous "Beiler's Doughnuts" on where to go first if you ask anyone in the city. The Amish bakery serves Pennsylvania Dutch doughnuts like an apple fritter, chocolate glazed cake and famous peanut butter and jelly.

For the vegan inclined, Dottie's Donuts offers lemon lavender, vegan maple bacon, cinnamon sugar and even a vegan Boston Creme.

8. Orlando, FL

orlando

Orlando is currently a hub for some of the best donut shops in the country — Portland's Voodoo Doughnut at Universal and the Salty Donut hailing from Miami with delicious cake donuts.

Or, Seattle's Dochi Japanese Mochi Donuts serving donuts made with rice flour that are chewy inside and crispy outside. But it also has some delicious local options like DG Doughnuts' fluffy yeast donuts or Valkyrie Doughnuts' cronuts and vegan offerings.

Orlando has one of the highest per capita numbers in our top 10 list, with about 23 stores per 100,000 residents.

7. Boston, MA

boston ma

Boston enjoys a high city walk score of 89, making it easy to hop from donut shop to donut shop in the mornings with a bit of cardio in between. The city has 11 stores per 100,000 residents and a high density of donut shops at 1.6.

Union Square Donuts takes the cake for most original with brioche-style dough that resembles more pastry than a donut but is equally good.

If you're just looking for a cup of joe and a traditional donut, try Demet's Donuts.

6. Newark, NJ

newark nj

Newark isn't just an airport layover stop — it's also home to more than 25 Dunkin' locations just minutes from each other. The density of Dunkin' in Newark and how many hot and fresh donuts they're making each morning pushes Newark to No. 6 on our list.

If you want something more unique, stop by Suissa. This small Portuguese bakery makes a deep-fried sonho, a sugar-topped donut you'll love.

5. Buffalo, NY

buffalo ny

In Buffalo, Paula's Donuts reign supreme. Among the favorites? Paula's peanut sticks, a cake donut stick coated in peanut. The menu also includes classic sprinkles, Bavarian-style donuts, glazed and jelly donuts. In a recent Buffalo News survey, one reader said that they would drive 1,800 miles for one.

You'll have choices beyond Paula's as Buffalo has 18 donut stores per 100 residents.

4. Providence, RI

providence ri

Despite having a population of fewer than 200,000 residents, Providence has an impressive density of donut shops. For gourmet donuts, visit PVDonuts, a local favorite that serves brioche-style donuts along with seasonal offerings. Similarly, Knead Doughnuts makes fresh donuts every day via pre-order like maple sea salt, butternut squash fritter and spiced sour cream.

3. Jersey City, NJ

jersey city nj

Sure, you could go to Krispy Kreme, but Jersey City has so many more donuts to offer. Taking the No. 3 spot on our list, Jersey City has both coffee shops and donut shops to choose from. The Grind Shop carries donuts from New York's Doughnut Plant with flavors like matcha green tea, red velvet, PB&J and more.

Or, head to The LoDG, where very creative flavors rotate monthly. Don't miss the Lil' Chickies (chicken and waffles cake donut), What's the Flan and Reverse O-S'moresis.

2. Rochester, NY

rochester ny

Family-owned and secret recipes are the name of the donut game in Rochester. Since 1958, Donuts Delite has baked their famous cannoli donuts. The donut is filled with fresh cannoli cream and chocolate chips. Ridge Donut Cafe, operating since 1977, boasts over 30 varieties, including the classic glazed, coconut and powdered blueberry.

Rochester has a pretty high density of shops, so these two will get you started on a delicious tour.

1. Worcester, MA

worcester ma

And our No. 1 best city for donut lovers is Worcester, with an impressive density of shops that offer hot donuts. Worcester also has a whopping 22 stores per 100,000 residents — that's a lot of donuts near each other. Glazy Susan, a newer specialty shop in the city, slings flavors like cannoli, pumpkin cheesecake, maple French toast cake and, of course, chocolate sprinkle. Get there early, as the shop tends to sell out.

The 50 best cities for donut lovers

Your city didn't make the list? D'oh! Don't worry, check out the 50 best cities for donut enthusiasts below and find the nearest spot to you.

RankCityPopulationDonuts Proportion RankDonuts Per Density RankDonuts Per Capita Rank
1Worcester, MA 185,428 393
2Rochester, NY 205,695 2551
3Jersey City, NJ 262,075 5115
4Providence, RI 179,883 2135
5Buffalo, NY 255,284 1074
6Newark, NJ 282,011 7411
7Boston, MA 692,600 24214
8Orlando, FL 287,442 53162
9Philadelphia, PA 1,584,064 19618
10McKinney, TX 199,177 2256
11Garland, TX 239,928 42412
12Chicago, IL 2,693,976 231028
13Grand Prairie, TX 194,543 14810
14Long Beach, CA 462,628 171329
15Yonkers, NY 200,370 131139
16Miami, FL 467,963 122831
17Fontana, CA 214,547 62632
18Santa Ana, CA 332,318 301148
19Ontario, CA 185,010 93622
20Irving, TX 239,798 123216
21Baton Rouge, LA 220,236 54317
22Frisco, TX 200,490 154419
23Fort Lauderdale, FL 182,437 731713
24Tampa, FL 399,700 65278
25Fort Worth, TX 909,585 115821
26Plano, TX 287,677 292820
27Oxnard, CA 208,881 182050
28Tulsa, OK 401,190 28639
29Huntington Beach, CA 199,223 271836
30Houston, TX 2,320,268 372923
31Anaheim, CA 350,365 362243
32San Bernardino, CA 215,784 145234
33Arlington, TX 398,854 224335
34Dallas, TX 1,343,573 354126
35Riverside, CA 331,360 334030
36Pittsburgh, PA 300,286 982324
37Baltimore, MD 593,490 611942
38Oceanside, CA 175,742 204946
39Moreno Valley, CA 213,055 86259
40Lincoln, NE 289,102 265733
41Lubbock, TX 258,862 347427
42Cincinnati, OH 303,940 963825
43Knoxville, TN 187,603 776917
44Chandler, AZ 261,165 315654
45Fresno, CA 531,576 434652
46Las Vegas, NV 651,319 913340
47Sacramento, CA 513,624 683749
48Columbus, OH 898,553 415553
49Tempe, AZ 195,805 454756
50New York, NY 8,336,817 4415137

The top 10 worst cities for donut lovers

A lower density of donut shops leads to long lines, sold-out inventory and you missing out on a Saturday morning treat. Here are the top 10 worst cities.

RankCityPopulationDonuts Proportion RankDonuts Per Density RankDonuts Per Capita Rank
1Sioux Falls, SD183,793150147150
2Montgomery, AL198,525146149147
3Spokane, WA222,081149135148
4Laredo, TX262,491140142149
5Anchorage, AK288,000144150144
6Brownsville, TX182,781127148145
7Memphis, TN651,073141140143
8Madison, WI259,680145125141
9Minneapolis, MN429,60614896146
10Milwaukee, WI590,157143103142

Methodology

To find the best cities for donuts, we looked at the 150 most populated cities in the U.S. according to the Census Bureau's population estimates. We then used a database of more than 8 million business listings to determine the count of donut shops in any given city.

Then, we calculated the proportion of donuts (donut shops compared to all businesses), donuts per density (donut shops per square mile) and donuts per capita (donut shops per population) in each area. We weighted these factors, and the cities with the best overall score were determined to be the best cities for donuts in America.

Business listings may not reflect recent openings or closures.

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Muriel VegaMuriel Vega is an Atlanta-based journalist and editor who writes mostly about technology and its intersection with food and culture. She’s the managing editor of tech news publication Hypepotamus, and has contributed to The Guardian, Atlanta magazine, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, VICE and more. She spends her time eating her way through Buford Highway and exploring Atlanta's arts scene.

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