For a beignet town, New Orleans sure knows how to do donuts. When it comes to these delightfully warm, sugary treats, we don’t discriminate on color, shape, or size. Whether they’re sprinkled, jelly-filled, powdered sugar-topped, or sliced in half and used as sandwich bread, donuts have found a way into our hearts and onto our plates faster than you can say, “One dozen, please.” These fantastic New Orleans donut shops are ready to satisfy any kind of craving.
New Orleans Donut Shops
As unoriginal as it might be for three police officers to open a donut shop, it’s the original flavors that have made Mid-City’s Blue Dot Donuts a favorite among locals. The red velvet cake, banana cream filled with Nutella topping, key lime crumb filled, and maple bacon long Johns are just a few top customer picks. And when the weather cools down, it’s all about their warm donut bread pudding with white chocolate sauce. Treat yourself to more than 50 varieties of cake and yeast donuts. What’s more, they’re all cut by hand. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 6 a.m. until 1 p.m. Closed on Mondays.
On picturesque Prytania Street, this bakery specializes in their own confections, cookies, and other baked goods — but their donuts are delivered fresh every morning by way of Tastee Donuts. Choose from regular glazed, chocolate iced, blueberry, and chocolate cake donuts, along with their famous buttermilk balls. Open 6:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. seven days a week.
The name pretty much says it all. This neighborhood eatery has all the breakfast fixins’, donuts, wings, burgers, and po-boys to keep you coming back all hours of the day. The donuts are simple and delicious, and the price is just right: it’s only 80 cents for regular and chocolate glazed, jelly filled, cream filled, chocolate iced and cake donuts. Honey buns are $1.75, and apple fritters are $2. There’s no excuse not to get a dozen to share. Or not. Open Monday-Saturday, 7am until 5pm.
Located in the historical Treme neighborhood on N. Dorgenois Street, Dwight Henry’s Buttermilk Drop Bakery and Cafe is a place where you can get warm, melt-in-your-mouth glazed donuts, golden brown apple fritters the size of baseball gloves, and his award-winning fried buttermilk drops with a delicious sugar glaze. Crunchy on the outside and cake-like in the center, buttermilk drops are a unique local favorite. Dwight’s bakery sells them every day beginning at 6 a.m. for less than $8 a dozen.
Wink’s on Decatur Street in the French Quarter is Dwight Henry’s second location that sells all the same donuts and buttermilk drops in addition to pound cakes, pies, and king cakes year round.
Since it opened in October 2013, this delightful shop on Magazine Street and Jackson Avenue has been making all of New Orleans’ donut and coffee dreams come true.
With flavors like miso praline and olive oil, NOLA cream, brown butter pistachio, Sriracha with candied thyme, lemon poppyseed, and Vietnamese iced coffee, District is serious about its roster of “fancy donuts.” In addition to donuts big enough for two, District’s other breakfast creations include kolaches, pork belly, egg and avocado breakfast tacos, and buttermilk biscuit egg sandwiches with miso-praline bacon. Plus, their cinnamon roll is topped with extra sugar and brûléed under a blow torch, which is pretty awesome if you ask me. Additional locations include Lakeview, Elmwood, and Baton Rouge. Open 7 a.m. until 9 p.m., seven days a week.
European baker extraordinaire Ziggy Cichowski is the mastermind behind this small bakery on Maple Street, cranking out some of the best baked goods in the city. The chocolate chip cookies are amazing, as are the tarts, éclairs, and Napoleons. But the best in show are the glazed donut twists: soft, yeasty donuts fried golden brown and covered in a decadent, sugary glaze. Grab them early (the bakery opens at 6 a.m. and usually sells out by 9 a.m.) at Cichowski’s flagship shop on Maple Street or his other location Uptown on Ninth and Magazine streets, which opens at 7:30 a.m.
Frey isn’t technically a donut shop, but this new barbecue joint is dishing out some of the baddest milkshakes in town, including one called “coffee and donuts” that features blended coffee ice cream with a classic glazed donut on the side and two mini Hostess donuts on the straw. Only serious ice cream and donut lovers need apply! Open seven days a week, 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.
A Bit about Beignets
Named the official state doughnut of Louisiana in 1986, beignets are a long-standing favorite among tourists and locals alike. A recipe adapted from our French ancestors, beignet batter consists only of butter, water, flour, and eggs. Only when the dough is tossed into hot oil does it puff up, developing the classic, airy interior and golden brown, slightly crunchy exterior. The hot puffed pastry is then plated (always three to an order) and topped with a generous amount of powdered sugar. And in New Orleans, there are only two places to really get them:
Having opened in 1862, this iconic open-air Decatur Street beignet and coffee stand is the oldest operating in the city. Enjoy the sounds of French Quarter street musicians as you sip hot cafe au lait and proceed to give yourself a powdered sugar mustache. The Decatur Street location is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with the exception of closing at 6 p.m. Christmas Eve, all day on Christmas Day, and reopening at 6 a.m. on the 26th. Visit their website to see their other locations throughout New Orleans, Metairie, and Covington.
With two locations in City Park and Metairie, this locally loved beignet and coffee stand has also been in operation since the late 1800s. Trade in the sights and sounds of the French Quarter for a relaxing walk around City Park, and then treat yourself to coffee and beignets among historic oak trees. Also open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with the exception of Christmas Day.