Kathy Chan and I recently brought you our picks for the best doughnuts in New York City, but the post doesn't encompass all the doughnuts we ingested for your benefit. There were more. Many more. Many more that ranged from, "Eh, it's okay," to, "Oh god, this can't be a doughnut."
Here are the worst offenders.
Pretty Much Every French Cruller
Kathy mentioned that we bought French crullers from Mike's Donuts, 7th Ave Donuts, Donut Pub, and Peter Pan, but didn't describe how bad they were. I still remember my first bite of the one from Mike's Donuts and thinking, "Is this doughnut full of cream? No... that's the batter. The not-really-cooked batter." Each one after Mike's was less offensive, but by the time we reached Peter Pan they had all disappointingly lacked a crispy exterior. Maybe it was just a bad day for French crullers.
Glazed from 7th Ave Donuts
The glazed doughnut from 7th Ave Donuts in Park Slope had a dry, cottony, bread-like texture. We responded to our single bites with sad faces and bewilderment over how a doughnut could be so unlike a doughnut. This is the kind of doughnut that makes babies cry.
Pumpkin from Cupcake Cafe
Perhaps the name Cupcake Cafe should've tipped us off, but why would a bakery make so many doughnuts if they weren't good? We have no idea who's buying these doughnuts, as the pumpkin doughnut we tried didn't deserve more than a bite. The texture was dry and dense, and it didn't even taste like pumpkin.
Apple Cider from Breezy Hill Orchard and Cider Mill (Union Square Greenmarket)
We rushed through the Greenmarket to get apple cider doughnuts, unfortunately picking what must have been the worst doughnut there. The doughnuts from Breezy Hill Orchard and Cider Mill reminded us of the Cupcake Cafe doughnuts: dry, heavy, bready, and devoid of fluffiness. They were even worse though because we were forced to buy a bag of three.
Our Doughnut Route
I only joined Kathy for one leg of her doughnut hunt. If you want to recreate our journey and possibly put yourself in a sugar coma by the late afternoon, here's the route we took:
- 8:30 a.m: Start at Trois Pommes
- R → Mike's Donuts
- R → 7th Ave
- Walk to F → (optional lunch break at Shopsins) → Doughnut Plant
- Walk to Balthazar
- 6 to Union Square (Greenmarket doughnuts)
- Walk to Cupcake Cafe
- Walk to Donut Pub
- 1 → Bouchon
- 1 → 7 → Alpha Donuts
- 7 → G → Peter Pan
You may notice that Donut Pub is part of the doughnut route but didn't end up on our Best or Worst doughnuts list. That's because it didn't fit on either; their doughnuts weren't particularly great or bad. While you shouldn't go out of your way for it, it's perfectly acceptable if you're nearby and want a doughnut.
Map of Doughnuts in New York City
A map of all the doughnut places mentioned here and in our doughnut guide. Red = no, green = go!