Breakfast Beat

The 12 Best Doughnuts in Metro Phoenix

Chin Up Donuts think outside the box.
Chin Up Donuts think outside the box. Allison Young
There are doughnuts, as in the convenience store kind, and then there are doughnuts — as in sweet rings of fluffy, golden, deep-fried dough.

Well, doing doughnuts in the Valley just got a lot more fun thanks to an influx of ingenious flavors and doughnut slingers unafraid to think outside the box.

Not that we’re knocking apple fritters (as if!), but with Crème Brulee and custard-filled malasadas calling your name, the Valley is raising its doughnut game.
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A pop of ultraviolet purple peaks out from the ube malasadas.
Hapa Food Company

Malasadas at Hapa Food Co.

5235 East Southern Ave, Mesa
480-654-8581
The malasadas from Hapa Food Co. in Mesa are a revelation. The small, round, yeasted doughnuts, a fried favorite in Hawaii, are made to order and come out hot and coated in just the right amount of course sugar. They are filled with custards flavored with coconut, passion fruit, banana, and, most eye-catching of all, purple ube. One bite simultaneously delivers a blast of light and fluffy dough along with rich and creamy custard for a texture journey as fun as a trip to Hawaii itself. They sell out, so pre-order your dozen to avoid disappointment.
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The Everything Bagel Donut at Chin Up is everything you imagined.
Chin Up Donuts + Coffee

Everything Bagel Donut at Chin Up Donuts + Coffee

7325 East Frank Lloyd Wright, Scottsdale
480-912-1240
Chin Up Donuts + Coffee is not your ordinary neighborhood doughnut shop. Here, owner Alex McEntire thinks outside the box and way beyond standard sprinkles. Instead, you’ll find magical mashups of brioche doughnuts that’ll make you go both "Hmmm?" and "Mmmm." Combos include Sriracha glaze topped with red pepper flakes, a fritter stuffed with cheesy macaroni and covered in cheese sauce glaze, and the famous Everything Bagel Donut, a true sweet-salty seductress that somehow turns sesame seeds, onion, and garlic into a melt-in-your-mouth doughnut marvel.

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It's eye candy galore at SoJo’s Donuts.
Allison Young

Vegan Donuts at SoJo’s Donuts

1305 West Guadalupe Road, Mesa
480-590-6716
SoJo’s Donuts serves decadent raised doughnuts that also happen to be vegan from an adorable shop, complete with pastel pink and blue walls and a too-cute kitten logo. The Maple Glazed flavor is covered in house-made rice paper bacon, the Boston Cream is filled with a creamy coconut milk custard, the S’mores comes with house-made toasted marshmallow and graham cracker crumble, and fan favorite Strawberry Shortcake is coated in a glaze made with real strawberries and vanilla cake crumbs. Plush, playful, and pretty, SoJo’s doughnuts prove that plant-based doesn’t need to sacrifice indulgence.

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Yes, those are real blueberries on the blueberry fritter.
Allison Young

Fancy Donuts at The Original Rainbow Donuts

15834 North Cave Creek Road
602-867-9502
The Original Rainbow Donuts is just that, an OG north Phoenix family-owned stand-alone that’s been going strong since the '90s. In other words, it's not just any Rainbow Donuts. The regular doughnut case won’t disappoint, but their top-tier treats are the holy grail. Best sellers include maple bacon behemoths crowned with two slices of crispy bacon, twisty chocolate tiger tails that could feed a family of four, and a fab selection of fritters, all craggy with sugar coating and crammed with fresh apples, blueberries, and cherries. Open daily 4 a.m. to 2 p.m., they often sell out by noon.


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Black and Blue and yum!
Allison Young

Black and Blue at Short Leash Hotdogs + Rollover Doughnuts

4221 North Seventh Avenue
602-795-2193
Rollover Doughnuts' owners Brad and Kat Moore don’t make boring doughnuts. Instead of regular old doughnut dough, they use hand-rolled brioche — a richer and sweeter base thanks to extra eggs and butter. Then there’s the lineup. Sure, Short Leash Hotdogs + Rollover Doughnuts has the sprinkle-topped variety, but also Spicy Thai Coconut, Triple Chocolate, and a booze-filled doughnut for the over-21 crowd. But it’s the Black and Blue that left us weak in the knees. That sweet dough paired with the tart punch of the jam filling paired with the gritty crunch of the course, lavender finishing sugar is an opposites attract attack of taste and texture. Your only defense: Close your eyes and savor the onslaught.

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The apple fritter at Beyond Donuts & Café.
Allison Young

Apple Fritter at Beyond Donuts & Café

8110 West Union Hills Drive, #208
623-312-3780
You haven’t tried an apple fritter until you’ve tried this apple fritter, a glistening, glorious gem of deep fried perfection. It's created by owner Seath Duk of Beyond Donuts & Café, a true doughnut dude with 20 years of experience under his baking apron. This blurb is a love note to you. Your fritter is bomb — all peaks and valleys and glaze for days with just the right tang of apple to cut through the sweet. But it’s the dough we adore with those chewy globs of glazed goodness that somehow get better with each bite. So thank you Fritter Man, and keep the magic coming.
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Donut Worry Coffee & Smoothies serves classics.
Allison Young

Buttermilk at Donut Worry Coffee & Smoothies

9115 East Baseline Road, Mesa
480-621-6600
No need to fret, you’ll be very happy after inhaling this doughnut at Donut Worry Coffee & Smoothies. It’s the kind of back-to-basics buttermilk that will make you forget all those hip doughnut dressings that usually involve bacon, so you can get back to an OG doughnut done right. Slightly tangy, perfectly crispy, all craggy and crunchy on the outside, and moist on the inside. The fry oil penetrates the dough just enough so it’s simultaneously crunchy, gooey, and oh-so-sweet. Bonus: The weekend means custom-filled malasadas in flavors like raspberry, apple, Boston cream, and guava.

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The Crème Brulee doughnut enters another dimension.
Allison Young

Crème Brulee at The Local Donut

3213 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale
480-500-5236
Crème Brulee is a solid dessert, even sigh-inducing if it’s done right. But this doughnut. This doughnut! By adding deep-fried dough, glazed goodness, and caramelization to the mix, Crème Brulee enters another dimension at The Local Donut. Let’s start with the filling — a custardy creation that imbues the dough with a pudding-like consistency. Not that this doughnut is all ooey gooey. The architecture of the exterior is spongy yet solid with a sugar glaze, slightly torched and topped with a perfect raspberry. One bit takes you from hard, to soft, to "oh my gosh."

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With locations all over the Valley, BoSa is a Phoenix favorite.
Allison Young

Coconut Crumb at BoSa Donuts

Multiple Locations
Ask your friends their favorite doughnut, and no doubt BoSa Donuts will be brought up with fandom and fury usually reserved for football. We get it. It’s a locally owned chain with a ton of locations, and you can totally go in your PJs at midnight thanks to 24-hour drive-thru. It’s an absolute institution in the Valley, but does one flavor stand out from the rest? Yes, it’s the buttermilk … no, wait, it’s the honey cruller. Actually, can we change that to the coconut crumb?

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Everything's a winner at Donut Parlor.
Allison Young

Anything at Donut Parlor

1245 West Elliot Road, Tempe
480-570-1900
Donut Parlor has a bone to pick with all those ordinary doughnuts out there. You know, the ones so coated with in-your-face sweetness, and all you can taste is grease and sugar. Owner Chhaya Tan’s deep-fried creations are way more nuanced than that. Instead of the usual doughnut dough, Chhaya lets his rise not once, not thrice, but four times to create a barrier so fryer grease doesn’t just soak in and take over. That means real ingredients have a chance to sing, like the stewed apples and cinnamon sugar crumb on the Apple Pie doughnut. Choosing just one is like picking a favorite child — near impossible — but when a half-dozen is just $8.99, thankfully you don’t have to.

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Coconut Cream is a dream at Dutch Donut Factory.
Allison Young

Coconut Cream at Dutch Donut Factory

1152 North Power Road, Mesa
480-748-4037
The “Best Donuts In Town” emblazoned on the window at Dutch Donut Factory is the first sign. Regulars ordering a dozen to go but not getting out the door before downing at least two is the second. Yes, you’re in store for something special and one bite into the Coconut Cream proves it. Balance is the name of the game here. This puffy, light, yeasty delight delivers just the right ratio of toasty topping to chewy dough to glazed sweetness to creamy filling so your taste buds get a multi-layered treat.
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The totally dunkable Red Velvet at Lucky Donuts.
Allison Young

Red Velvet at Lucky Donuts

2510 West Thunderbird Road
602-439-2057
At first glance, this local doughnut hole looks like all the rest. It’s in a strip mall, it deals dozens in pink boxes, and it whips up boba tea. Pretty standard. But look closer and the case is a cut above at Lucky Donuts. The Rattlesnakes are perfectly coiled, the crullers expertly dipped, and the sprinkles evenly dispersed. But it’s the Red Velvet that truly stole our hearts. It's a cakey cut above, all moist and crumbly with just the right amount of glaze — plain delicious and totally dunkable.
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Allison Young has written about food, nutrition, and travel for Sunset, Women’s Health, Oxygen, Clean Eating, Mindbodygreen, and Prevention. Her local jam is food writing, where she happily eats her way across the Valley to discover the best hidden gems, hole-in-the-walls, pizza joints, and the latest Phoenix food trends. She also loves to pick Valley chef’s brains for their favorite food finds. On her website, TheGlitterList.com, she posts one thing she’s looking forward to each day, from food to books and podcasts.
Contact: Allison Young

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