7 Boston-Area Doughnut Shops to Try

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During the past two years or so, we’ve all been seeking out comfort. We’ve taken up new hobbies, joined virtual book clubs, and explored new places to hike. Some of us found our comfort in cooking (or takeout).  

My son and I have found our vice in… doughnuts.

I consider myself a generally healthy eater, but we all have our splurges. During 2020, doughnuts somehow became mine. I remember back to my childhood when my dad would bring home a dozen doughnuts on a Sunday morning, most likely from Dunks (were there even other choices back then?). Over the last few decades, my taste in doughnuts has evolved. 

I think I have become a doughnut snob. No longer do Munchkins do it for me. 

My son and I have developed an oh-so-sophisticated taste for exquisite doughnuts during this pandemic. And oh, have we been spoiled. It’s not hard to find gourmet “boutique” doughnuts in the greater Boston area.

As I write this, my mouth waters for a maple bacon doughnut from Kane’s (located in Saugus and the Financial District, but they also deliver and ship!).

When much of society shut down at the start of the pandemic, doughnut shops found a way to keep us happy. Union Square Donuts (my absolute fave!) in Somerville, for example, perfected the non-contact doughnut plan. Simply pick out what you crave on their website, choose your pickup time, and they bring the coveted box out to your car! Yummy perfection. (They also have locations in Boston and Brookline.) Note: I felt a smidge less guilty ordering the vegan ones, fooling myself into believing they were more healthful.

In the mood for a sophisticated take on the Munchkin? Look no further than MassHole Donuts in my hometown of Arlington. The perfect bite-sized treats — that kids of all ages will love — each have their own Boston-themed name. Flavors change weekly and include options like New-berry Street (rich chocolate-cake doughnut hole topped with vanilla bean glaze, Nutella, and blackberries) and Mama’s Lil Mass Hole (old-fashioned poppy seed cake doughnut topped with vanilla bean butter glaze and rainbow sprinkles). Order ahead here as well with a quick and easy sidewalk pickup.

If old-school doughnut joints are more your style, I recommend Gail-Ann’s Coffee Shop, also in Arlington, and Linda’s in Belmont. Both offer old school flavors from wonderful family businesses.

Then there’s Blackbird Donuts and Donuts with a Difference — two more of my go-tos when I want to switch things up.

Try them all, if you dare. During difficult times, there is nothing wrong with seeking out what gives us comfort. For me, that is something as simple as a doughnut. Give my family a dozen from any of these places, and we have found our comfort. At least for a while.

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