Another week, another seven day stint raising the profile of a product we’re already well aware of. This time round it’s National Doughnut Week (9-16 May). To honour this humble, yet delicious, food we’ve rounded up our favourite 10 places to get sweet and savoury rings in the capital. In the immortal words of Homer Simpson: “Mmmmmmmmm, doughnuts…”
Considered to be ‘the daddy’ of London doughnuts, made fresh in St John’s Bakery every day. Their famed jam and custard ‘nuts are available daily from St John Bread & Wine; Monday to Friday from St John, Smithfield, and St John Druid St bakery every Saturday and Sunday morning. Fillings include raspberry, rhubarb, peach, strawberry, and apricots, as well as jam/custard ‘fusion doughnut fillings – rhubarb and custard or salted caramel custard.
After a successful pop-up run these purveyors of designer doughnuts launch the brand’s first permanent site in Soho’s Broadwick Street. And just in time for National Doughnut Week too! Hard to beat their original vanilla bean glaze but their creme brûlée doughnut might just do it. You’ll find their offerings at several locations across the capital (like Notes, Fernandez & Wells and The Providores), there’s a handy map here: http://www.crosstowndoughnuts.com/locations/
“So hard to get a table!” – poseurs and paparazzi abound at Nuno Mendes’s hot Marylebone newcomer… but less starry-eyed reporters say the food is actually pretty “meh”; “superb fun,” though, and the room itself is “amazing”. Our reporters may think most of the food is “meh” but everyone agrees that the crab-stuffed doughnuts are worth a trip – go for brunch/lunch though, the wait for a table at dinner is scandalous.
“Views to die for” and “one of the most interesting breakfast menus in London” are twin-peak attractions of this 40th-floor City eyrie; it’s open 24/7, but – especially given the “stratospheric” prices – the performance at other meals can seem “amateurish”. Nothing amateurish about their spicy ox cheek doughnut though, one of the best savoury ‘nuts to be had in the City. Served with apricot jam and smoked paprika butter. Like with everything else at D&W though it ain’t a snip at £10.
Critics of this southern-USA yearling attack its “alarmingly uneven standards” and “surprisingly unatmospheric” interior; fans, though, love its “down-home, sinfully delicious and calorific” treats, which include “the best fried chicken” and “amazing cornbread”. Among those calorific treats are desserts by chef Brad McDonald’s 1235 Doughnuts – French Beignet-style ‘nuts via the Deep South.
“Plates of steamed buns with delicious fillings, and lots of little nibbles such as sushi” offer some “good Asian flavours” at this “industrial-style” Covent Garden basement yearling – a sibling to Bone Daddies; at the peak, though, the atmosphere can be “mad”. Lovers of doughnuts though will brave the crowds to sample one of Flesh & Buns’s ‘Kinako Donuts’ served with black custard sugar.
Co-founder Justin Gellatly takes the skills he honed at St John’s Bakery and parlays them into creating some of the best doughnuts in the capital. Bread Ahead was formed in partnership with Matt Jones (founder of Flour Power) and has a purpose built bakery school, as well as a renowned stall, at Borough Market.
Find doughnut duo Betsy and Jo and their handmade bite-sized treats at food fests across London like KERB, Street Feast and R3D Market. They have a remarkable array of sauces and toppings, like mini marshmallows, cardamon sugar, sprinkles and salted caramel. You can keep up to date with where and when You Doughnut will pop-up next on Twitter.
Not trying too hard to be hip, this new Shoreditch canteen offers some interesting twists on fried chicken, and – on our early-days visit – a warm welcome too. They also dish up fresh doughnuts from their street side hatch every morning. As well sweet options of various glazes and fillings there’s a Canadian take on the bacon sarnie – The Doughnut Buttie – crispy bacon in a fresh doughnut covered with maple drizzle (£3.50).
“A great find, in the backwaters of Kensal Rise” (by the better-known Paradise); Jesse Dunford Wood’s “fun” and casual hang out serves “insanely great” retro scoff at “everyday prices”. Throughout National Doughnut Week Parlour is raising funds for charity with a special three course menu. A smoked salmon doughnut with sour cream & fennel is followed by rabbit with asparagus, radishes & doughnuts, with cinnamon doughnuts and vanilla yoghurt for dessert. For every menu sold, £2 will go to The Children’s Trust. Lunch £10 for 2 courses, Dinner £18 for 2 courses.