Move over cupcakes… donuts are the latest dessert craze and we’re not just talking about your grandma’s donuts either. These days, you can find gourmet donuts in every flavor imaginable, with unique toppings and even as part of a sundae or a sandwich. So, whether you prefer your donuts sweet or savory, there’s something to satisfy your appetite at these six best donut places in North Carolina.
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Duck Donuts, Duck (Nearby Hotels)
Although Duck Donuts has locations throughout the state of North Carolina, as well as up and down the east coast and in Texas, the original shop that started it all is located in the Outer Banks town of Duck (hence the name). When owner, Russell DiGilio, and his family realized there was nowhere in their favorite vacation town to get a warm, fresh donut, they decided to fill the need themselves. Since 2007, they’ve been serving up warm, made-to-order donuts that come in both featured flavors and make-your-own with a variety of frostings, glazes and topping combinations like maple bacon and chocolate Oreo.
Hendough, Hendersonville (Nearby Hotels)
Hendough, the quaint little breakfast and lunch shop located in Hendersonville, NC, combines two of your favorite comfort foods under one roof – fried chicken and donuts. For breakfast, you can order a fresh-made donut, or get a little more adventurous and try a donut breakfast sandwich, donut French bread or two eggs served in a donut basket with a side of fried chicken. Or for lunch, grab one of their signature chicken sandwiches or chicken by the piece, with one of their amazing side dishes like sweet potato salad with bacon, smoked Gouda mac and cheese or roasted jalapeno grits. And of course, you can always add a drink and – what else – a donut to any meal too.
Your Mom's Donuts, Matthews (Nearby Hotels)
The folks at Your Mom’s Donuts set out to offer gourmet donuts made with high quality, local ingredients and they’ve definitely hit the mark. They cater to both the traditional types – with standard flavors like glazed, cinnamon sugar, vanilla bean and powdered sugar, to those who like to be a little more daring in their culinary adventures – with rotating seasonal flavors like pineapple strawberry moonshine, watermelon mousse and bananas foster with a buttered rum drizzle. They also serve fair trade and USDA-organic coffee for you to wash it all down.
Hole Doughnuts, Asheville (Nearby Hotels)
Asheville’s Hole Doughnuts serves up made-to-order, hot doughnuts that are made with organic stone-ground flour, unrefined organic cane sugar, sea salt, whole butter and cage-free eggs, and are fried in non-GMO rice bran oil. But, don’t let all that healthy talk fool you… the flavors here are still delicious and unique, like strawberry lemonade, toasted almond sesame cinnamon and mint julep.
Rise Biscuits and Donuts, Durham (Nearby Hotels)
Although Rise began in Durham in 2012, they have since grown to ten locations throughout North Carolina, as well as seven other states. And once you taste their food, you’ll understand why. Like the name says, they offer a whole slew of unique biscuit sandwich options including huevos rancheros, fried green tomato, smoked pork and of course, their “righteous chicken.” But, you can’t stop into Rise without trying one (or a few) of their fresh “Jane Dough’s Donuts.” Choose from old classics like sprinkles, raspberry jelly or lemon iced, or go out on a limb and try the maple bacon bar, crème brulee or the cherry smash – made with sweet cherry and cream cheese filling, chocolate icing, crushed peanuts and a cherry on top.
Wake N' Bake, Wilmington (Nearby Hotels)
With two locations in North Carolina – Wilmington and Carolina Beach – Wake N’ Bake has not only been named a fan favorite by the local media, but has also been voted Best Donut Shop in NC by Buzzfeed and champions of the Cooking Channel’s “Donut Showdown.” Their menu is extensive with a wide variety of flavors of signature donuts, stuffed donuts and fritters, including the Pebble Rock – vanilla glaze and fruity pebbles, the Chocolate Couch Potato – chocolate glaze with potato chip crumbs and Dat Ghost Fire – ghost pepper infused chocolate glaze, candied jalapeno and chocolate cherry whipped filling. Or you can try a stuffed donut like the Snickerbomb, which is stuffed with a Snickers bar, caramel glaze, chocolate chips and crushed peanuts.