There are two popular doughnut bakeries in New York: Doughnut Plant and Dough. Both are always cited on “Best Doughnuts in NYC” lists. After trying both, my conclusion: skip Dough, RUN for Doughnut Plant. Seriously. Run to get your hands on any of Doughnut Plant’s stunning doughnuts. You won’t regret the calories!
Ever since Mark Israel started Doughtnut Plant in the 90s, it has swiftly become a New York institution that has expanded to Tokyo and Korea. But unlike Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donut, one of DP’s most unique feature is its offering of four types of doughnuts: yeast donuts, cake donuts, filled square doughnuts, and doughseeds. My first visit to DP was at its Chelsea branch. For a doughnut shop, the decor was so modern and doughnut-yyy. Seriously, there were rings of doughnuts everywhere you looked…
November seasonal specials:
First you are greeted by a whole wall of their doughnuts… In the form of cushions!
Then proceed to the counter and pick your doughnuts.
If you are visual and cannot order with a peak at Instagram, DP has a neat little display box of the day’s selection to save you the trouble of social media. All doughnuts are decorated differently so one will never get confused by the flavours. Sweet!
That morning I got two doughnuts cause, you know, when one is on holiday, everything contains zero calories. (I can be so delusional sometimes.) Anyway I began my DP adventure with a totally unique square Peanut Butter & Banana Cream doughnut and a Carrot Cake doughnut. These two I sure can’t find in Krispy Kreme.
Then grab a seat on their signature benches. More doughnut rings…
Peanut Butter & Banana Cream: For the square doughnuts, it’s a yeast doughnut with filling that is evenly distributed around the square. It’s huge. It reminded me of eating a sandwich. The first thing that hit me on first bite… Moist Central! Good god was the texture so tender and pillowy!
The chunky peanut glaze was, surprisingly, not cloyingly sweet. And that smooth banana cream was found in every inch of the square doughnut.
However the clear winner that morning was the Carrot Cake! Essentially the BEST carrot cake you ever had but in the form of a doughnut. The cake texture practically melted in my mouth. The pretty little caloric breakfast was studded with bits of real carrots and drowned in whiter-than-white icing sugar. Strangely the icing sugar coating wasn’t all that sweet. But my friends, its inside that counts. Containing raisins, walnuts and spices and a thick cream cheese filling, every bite was magical! Boy did I fall madly in love with a doughnut right there and then.
On my last day in the city, I knew I needed just one last Doughnut Plant fix. So I ran all the way down to their flagship location off Chinatown. The shop was a different layout from the Chelsea branch.
See that shelf of doughnuts behind? The window at the back slides open and fresh doughnuts replenished regularly. The doughnuts are baked just behind.
Once again I got two doughnuts: a Sunday special, Oatmeal cake doughnut, and Doughnut Plant’s most famous Crème Brulee doughseed.
The Oatmeal Cake doughnut was completely different from the earlier Carrot Cake. The outside of the cake doughnut was coated with toasted oat bits and tasted similar to a Nature Valley bar. But the winning quality was inside. Tender sponge studded with cashews, sunflower seeds, cranberries, and apricot.
The crème brulee doughnut was a dessert for breakfast. It had an enjoyable burnt sugar top that you crack into to reveal a soft and sweet doughnut filled with a heaping mound of luscious custard. However I have had the best filled doughnut in the world and this doughnut may have been good but no match.
Oh and another thing, their Coffee was free-flow!!! You need one cup as you are savouring the doughnuts, and another to kick away the sugar coma. Perfect!
Every doughnut at DP differed significantly from the other. That’s what I liked most. That a lot of effort was put into each flavour. Definitely one of the best eats to sought out in New York. Doughnut
220 West 23rd Street
New York, NY
379 Grand Street
Telephone: (212) 505-3700
Over at Brooklyn’s very own Dough, it wasn’t that the HUGE doughnuts were bad. Rather they were just boring. Simply the same yeasted plain doughnut glazed with different toppings.
I got the Mocha Chocolate Crunch from one of its many branches: food court, City Kitchen on 8th Avenue. While undeniably fluffy even in its cold state, it lacked a coffee flavour. However the buttery crunch was quite delightful.
I wished the flavours of the one doughnut was punchier. The huge-assed doughnut tasted monotonous after a while. I did not seek a second one after or for the rest of my trip. You will, however, find Dough in more places than Doughnut Plant. Clearly someone is more likeable to investors.
But you know what was good? Their coffee. It was the best cup I had in Manhattan during my trip.
Find Dough at many places too!