Minneapolis, a city without donuts?
While Boston -dubbed the nation's donut capital- has one donut shop for every 2,480 people, Minneapolis has just one per every 33,000 residents. It's no surprise, then, that recent survey of the U.S.'s 50 most populous cities revealed Minneapolis to rank 48th in availability of donuts (stat). Only Albuquerque, New Mexico and Colorado Springs, Colorado rated more poorly.
According to locals, it is not a lack of interest in donuts that brings the city's stats so low; actually, there is a vibrant donut scene in this donut-poor city. Instead, the consensus in the donut circuit is that the lack of donut chains (particularly an absence of Dunkin Donuts, which have not operated in the city since 2005 -info) sinks their sinkers' stats.
Where to find the donuts
In this statistically donut-lacking city, not only are there a handful of fabulous donut shops turning out amazing donuts, but there are also many passionate donut crafters and bakers, stoked about their trade.
Check out these five spots to get amazing donuts, all within Minneapolis proper:
A small-batch, from scratch bakery, Angel Food's morning line-up is heavy on donuts, then leans toward bagel production as the morning progress, and finally cupcake creation later in the day.
Fair-trade Brazilian Peace coffee complements the eclectic donut options, which change daily. The majority of the donuts are yeast-raised; Angel Food produces a few cake-style donuts daily as well, which are gluten free.
Our favorite donut: the Raspberry Chocolate Chip. We also recommend: the frosting-filled Tiger Stripe and the gooey, fritter/croissant-esque Dough-napart.
Seating: a few coveted seats overlooking the decorating station and the open-air kitchen, with seating for 6 more in a hallway outside the shop
Location: 86 S. 9th St., Minneapolis 55402 (note: poorly signed from the outside; look for the red "Hell's Kitchen" awning) - MAP
Another from-scratch donut shop -using recipes from the owner's grandmother!- Glam Doll Donuts has taken craft donuts to a fun and showy level, melding classic techniques with bold flavors.
Add direct-trade Intelligentsia Coffee and a retro 50s décor, and Glam Doll becomes a highlight of a trip to Minneapolis.
Our favorite donut: the peanut butter and Sriracha Chart Topper. We also recommend: Night Moves with blackberry jam and blackberry Hennessy icing, and a chocolate and peanut butter Cosmopolitan Girl. Glam Doll also offers vegan donuts.
Seating: plentiful; whimsical and varied, from a 1960s dining table to an easy chair from the 70s, with even a period cocktail bar thrown in
Location: 2605 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis 55408 - MAP, and a second location coming in winter 2016-17 at 519 Central Ave. NE
A little less showy than Angel Food and Glam Doll, Bogart's sticks to the basics. Bogart's from-scratch recipes are lighter, airier, and more understated than their competitors, meaning this city has something to offer a range of donut palates.
Our favorite donut: the subtle, and surprisingly airy-for-a-cake-donut Lavender Cake. We also recommend: the traditional Chocolate Cake donut.
Seating: none at Bogart's main location, atrium benches at the IDS location
Locations: 904 W. 36th St., Minneapolis 55408 - MAP (additional kiosk located in IDS Center, 80 S. 8th St. - note: kiosk closed Sundays)
A BAKER'S WIFE
A general sweets bakery rather than a specialized donut shop, A Baker's Wife turns out some pretty nice donuts. And at unheard of prices! With artisanal donuts running $2-$3 a piece elsewhere, A Baker's Wife instead offers traditional cake donuts, like their "State Fair Donut," for 54 cents. Interestingly, they only offer cake donuts, no yeast-raised donuts; but plenty of yeast-raised, non-donut pastries available.
Our favorite donut: a slight twist on a classic, the cherry sugar cake donut. We also recommend: here we deviate from the donut topic, because a stop at A Baker's Wife has to include an American tea cake. (And to show the camaraderie amongst bakers in this city, it was actually Emily of Bogart's Donuts who told us not to miss the tea cake here!)
Seating: a few stools squeezed along a window counter indoors, although you'll feel like you're blocking the line if you try to sit in them; five outdoor tables
Location: 4200 28th St. S., Minneapolis 55406 - MAP
Note: cash only!
Not a donut shop by any stretch of the imagination, Hi-Lo-Diner is still a must-stop for donuts. Their signature "Hi-Tops" are made with slightly-less-sweet-than-usual glazed donuts, loaded with breakfast items atop.
Come for this donut dish, but don't forget to savor the history, too: Hi-Lo is an historic 1957 Fodero dining car (aka diner), recently moved from its Pennsylvania location to Minnesota to spare its demolition and preserve a beloved piece of Americana. It is one of only a handful of Fodero diners that remain in existence; one of only two not on the East Coast (with the other being in Rochester, NY).
Our favorite donut: pictured above, The Notorious P.I.G.! A citrus-glazed donut is piled high with Cuban pulled pork, a sunny side up egg, black bean and sweet corn salsa, seasoned sour cream and cilantro.
Seating: Diner seating! 12 stools along the counter; booths fill the rest of the dining car; plus seasonal, shaded patio seating outdoors
Location: 4020 E. Lake St., Minneapolis 55406 - MAP
Pin this post for your next trip to Minneapolis!
A special thanks to these local writers for getting this donut quest started:
Have we missed any great Minneapolis donut locations?
Let us know in the comments below!
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