In honor of National Doughnut Day, we’ve rounded up a few of our food writers’ recent forays into the world of deep-fried, sugary goodness.
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The Flour Box
5520 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle; theflourboxseattle.com
Baker Pamela Vuong makes the best doughnuts in the city right now, according to food writer Tan Vinh. Her puffy brioche doughnuts have beautiful honeycomb structures with such a distinctively wet mouthfeel that they make many other yeast doughnuts taste dry in comparison. She also does cakes and other baked goods, but her doughnuts are the attraction, with fillings ranging from durian to a banana-coconut milk. A fan favorite is when she soups up the classic vanilla custard filling with a torched crème brûlée ($4) on top of the doughnut, a smoky, sugary sheen to go with a creamy filling with flecks of vanilla beans. Hers rivals the stellar Cointreau Crème Brûlée doughnut at Blue Star in Portland. For now, you can only order her doughnuts online starting at 10 a.m. But you gotta be quick on the draw since her sweets sell out within five minutes.
5 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday-Monday; 2100 N. Northgate Way, Seattle; 206-368-9107
The couple running this little strip-mall shop in Northgate greets every person with a hearty “Good morning!” even when it’s barely 6 a.m., according to Seattle Times food writer Jackie Varriano. There’s a large selection of bars, rings, raised, cake, claws and even cinnamon rolls. She got an assorted half dozen for $8.49: a strawberry-glazed cruller, sugar twist, maple bar, blueberry glazed, a glazed ring and a plain cake doughnut. Strangely enough, the plain cake doughnut was her favorite. It had a crisp, almost crunchy exterior and a dense, not overly sweet interior. Varriano wished for a bag of doughnut holes made of the same stuff. Second favorite would be the springy strawberry-dipped cruller — this, she lost to her kid after one bite.
5 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 140 S.W. 152nd St., Burien; 206-241-8929, luckydonutswa.com
The runaway winner here was the glazed twist, wrote Varriano. It was like eating a cloud of sugar, so light and airy. The buttermilk bar was also very good, with a density that made it a perfect accompaniment to coffee and a chocolate frosting that leaned toward the dark side.
3 a.m.-noon Monday-Saturday; 5335 N.E. Fourth St., #1, Renton; 425-228-6336
There are two words that surface any time Renton shop Chuck’s Donuts comes up in conversation: maple bar. And according to Varriano’s maple-loving Vermont-raised husband, it is indeed the best maple doughnut from the shops they sampled. She also loved the glazed bar with a ribbon of cinnamon sugar running through the dough and a lemony glaze. In fact, the regular glazed ring had a burst of citrus to it as well, which was a welcome zing to plain glaze.
7 a.m.-noon and 5-7 p.m. Monday, Wednesday-Friday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 9232 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle; 206-721-3103, facebook.com/kingdonutsseattle
Hong Chhuor and his family took over this beloved neighborhood shop in Rainier Beach in late 2017. They still serve doughnuts in the morning and teriyaki and Thai dishes in the evening. Currently they close from noon-5 p.m. on weekdays due to the pandemic. When Varriano arrived just after opening, the doughnut case wasn’t yet full, making King the only shop of the four at which it didn’t pay to arrive early. Still, she grabbed a blueberry glazed, a chocolate bar and a maple old fashioned ($4.80). Out of all the doughnuts she’d eaten lately, that chocolate bar was the absolute best. It was crunchy and had a texture that was almost cakelike. The chocolate wasn’t too thick or too sweet. She swears she tasted a hint of coconut — perhaps from the oil?
Information from The Seattle Times archives included in this report.