Doughnut Plant, NYC

chocolate doughnut new york

Could the Doughnut Plant be the best place in the world?

I’m sorry, but I don’t remember the name of each and every doughnut we had at Doughnut Plant in New York City. Frankly, I was so caught up in ordering doughnuts, passing them around, trying to take a few snaps, while going berserk over each and every flavor of doughnut we tried, my sanity took a temporary leave and I just let the overwhelming experience of being surrounded by fluffy, just-made, extraordinarily wonderful doughnuts pass over (and into) me.

chocolate doughnut plant doughnut plant menu

It was standing in the middle of a storm of doughnuts, literally playing referee between the hungry mob I arrived with.


The fellow behind the counter told me, “Just sit down and I’ll pass over what you want”, and viewing the line of people crammed into the little storefront, surging forward, I took his advice and we took our place in the window seat, and watched the action.

inside dos leches doughnut

On the way in, I heard someone in our group say “Tres Leches doughnuts”, which are now my three favorite words in the English language. A creamy doughnut, moist and sweet, with a silky-smooth filling and a sugar-crusted exterior. One bite and I knew we were going to be in for something special.

2 doughnuts

I’m not a fan of fruit or jam-filled doughnuts (it seems odd to fill something sweet with something even sweeter) so passed on the wildly-blue blueberry and jam-filled square doughnuts that everyone else was swooning over.

jelly doughnut jelly doughnut

But also, I figured while they were all filling their craws with the fruity specimens, I would distract them away from the Blackout Doughnut (my favorite) and the giant, puffy Valrhona chocolate doughnut. Both were so…so good.

chocolate doughnut chocolate doughnut

Since I was with a group of deranged doughnut-lovers, I felt like I was in the eye of the storm. Or like the hole of the doughnut, since everyone around me was passing around and ripping into the doughnuts while I seemed to be in the ‘dead zone’.

doughnut plant doughnut dos leches doughnut

Even though Doughnut Plant is pretty far downtown, I think I’m going to have to go back. They were closed yesterday but have started their ovens up again, to prepare for the crowds of doughnut-lovers who are going to start lining up today.

chocolate-covered doughnut doughnut plant sign

And I will be one of them.

doughnut plant-new york city

Doughnut Plant
379 Grand Street
Telephone: (212) 505-3700
(Closed Monday)

Related Posts

Momofuku Milk Bar

Dynamo Doughnuts

Sugar-Crusted Popovers (Recipe)

Citizen Cake Cupcakes

German Chocolate Cupcakes (Recipe)

New York City Dining & Travel Notes

86 comments

  • I fell in love with the coconut doughnut last time I was there and I plan on trying many more next time in NYC

  • If you cannot make the trip downtown to Doughnut Plant, you can swing by Dean & Deluca on the Upper East Side (Madison Avenue and the 80s) for a limited selection of Doughnut Plant doughnuts. D&D does not usually have the creme brulee donut (my favorite), but I’ve seen the PB&J and the jam-filled doughnuts pretty regularly.

  • I don’t have a lot of experience with “gourmet” doughnuts. Most of the doughnuts I’ve eaten have been from Tim Hortons. The sour cream glazed holds a special place inn heart and gives me a sense of comfort, nostalgia, and blue collar lunches.

    I find the best doughnuts are the fresh out of the fryer that you find at roadside doughnut and cider shops on long drives.

    Wow. Nostalgia.

  • God, I LOVE Doughnut Plant. I dream of donuts every since I moved to Sweden. Any Donut shop would make me cry of happiness at this point.

    Eat an extra donut for me.

  • What exactly is a Blackout Doughnut?

    And the other question is, are you going to fit in your apartment upon your return to Paris?

  • David, I really can’t believe you skipped on sampling the jelly filled. But then again that meant more for me so what am I saying? I’m glad you didn’t try it. So there. GOD I LOVE THAT PLACE.

  • Oh. My. Goodness. This just isn’t fair. Here I am, stomach growling for breakfast and nowhere near the Doughnut Plant.

    For the record, I’d eat your jam-filled doughnut (twss). Can’t let it go to waste!

  • I’m not a doughnut lover..but when you said Tres Leche Doughnut, I thought I could possibly be persuaded to change my mind. And Blackout..oh, I can’t even imagine resisting that one!

  • This is just cruel. First thing in the morning, and now all I want is a doughnut.

  • Oh, how I miss the Doughnut Plant. It was near the top of the list of places I had to go last time I was in NYC, and next time I go. That Tres Leches doughnut is killer.

  • Neat! I’d never heard about this place until about a month ago when one of my favorite blogs, Luxirare, posted about it; now one of my other favorite blogs is posting about it. Guess that means I have to go to NYC now.

    So exciting to see you posting about places I might actually have a chance of getting to in the next couple of years!

  • That sounds like a great bakery! Have to agree with Matt. Love the jelly filled ones!

  • I saw you going in—I gave you a big smile! I live next door so… I lean towards the small cake doughnuts and the crème brulée. Mmmm!

  • I know they keep the recipe/process secret, but any ideas on how to replicate the Tres Leches Doughnut?

  • I walked by Doughnut Plant once when I lived in New York when I was doing some retail research for work–I had just had a huge cupcake and practically kicked myself when I walked by Doughnut Plant and really wasn’t hungry in the slightest. I’m kicking myself again right now. How I wish I had a deep fryer so I could make some doughnuts of my own in my tiny studio!

  • I live dangerously close to the Doughnut Plant. The lines aren’t as long during the work week. If you haven’t had one yet, make sure you get a creme brulee one when you go back, they’re pretty special.

  • WOW! They all looks and sound incredible! I have serious doughnut envy. There is nothing like this anywhere near where I live in the UK. Peanut butter & Blackberry doughnut and Carrot Cake Doughnuts!!!! It’s torture!

  • You didn’t try the creme brulee doughnut? That’s the best one ever…

  • Donut Plant!!!! Their coconut doughnuts are the best. And last Christmas, we brought a bunch to the family gathering for the dessert table. Pomegranate were the favorite by far.

  • david – i love you for posting this perfect, most wonderful post.
    ahhhh
    it’s like a little bit of heaven that doughnut plant–:::sigh:::
    did you have a sugar crash later? lol

  • Don’t miss the rest of the “gourmet ghetto” on Grand Street, David!

    http://tastytravails.blogspot.com/2010/03/gourmet-ghetto-grows-on-grand.html

  • David, I’m really loving these NYC posts – not least because I’m finding plenty to add to my list of must-visit places for our trip in October. I already had Doughnut Plant down there, but it’s great to see so many photos – they look absolutely delicious!

  • I’m not hugely into doughnuts, but I must agree that the tres leches doughnut really is to die for!

  • Oh goodness. Well, now I know where we’ll be going next time we’re in New York. This is such an unfair post, by the way. Now, I’m starving for some good doughnuts.

  • If you go back, you should stop by Kossar’s Bialys a few doors down. Their bialys and bagels are soooo good.

  • Wow, these all look so amazing. Did you know that there are several Doughnut Plant, NYC shops in Japan, too? Doughnuts seem to be quite popular here, though you wouldn’t know it by the looks of people! The “Mister Donut” chain (akin to Dunkin Donuts in the States) is everywhere. They have some interesting Japanese-inspired doughnuts – there’s one dusted with kinako (roasted soy bean powder), an extra-chewy kind with a mochi-like texture, and of course several matcha varieties… Just in case you were curious!

  • I had my first taste of Doughnut Plant a couple of weeks ago for my birthday and it was a delightful adventure involving a park , a girlfriend , torrential rain, and delicious, delicious doughnuts . When you go back, I suggest you take your pile of donuts to the lovely, nearby Seward Park and enjoy them there. The rain is not necessary for enjoyment but it adds a little spark.

  • Isn’t it fantastic to go to a restaurant that has crazy, over-the-top hype and find out that it’s warranted? Far too often those places are letdowns.

    And yet again, you are writing about a place on my “next time I’m in New York” list.

  • yes, it could be the best place in the world.

  • I just received your Paris book for my birthday. It is absolutely BRILLIANT. I can’t read it fast enough, even though I want it to last forever. Well done!

  • Doughnut Plant is by far my favorite part (yeah, I love doughnuts that much) about NYC. The Tres Leches doughnut is my favorite, although the valrhona chocolate is not far behind. Normally when I go to NY, I make a point of trying new things (never the same thing twice) but I always make an exception for the doughnut plant!

  • I’m not the biggest donut eater (that’s not to say I don’t like them though!), but I am absolutely flabbergasted by the variety at this place! They look amazing!

  • While you were there did you go next door to Kossar’s and get a bialy? My daughter works at the Hester Street Market on weekeinds and brings home doughnuts and bialys when done. Great doughnuts and great bialys!

  • I’m not the biggest doughnut fan but man oh man, this post may have converted me! I’ll have to check it out

  • Melissa & Nancy: Kossar’s was closed that day (it was Saturday) so no bialys for me. But if (er…I mean) when I go back, will get a couple as well.

    cj: Glad you liked the book : )

  • I’m going to be in New York with my sister for a few days in the fall; I’m definitely putting this place on the “must try” list. Thank you for sharing your find :D

  • carrot cake doughnut ? yes, please.

    oh, and while i’m ordering, i’ll take a peanut butter with blackberry jam doughnut. thank you ever so much.

  • Holy effing shit. I very nearly checked flight prices to New York for this (then remembered my parents are flying in for the weekend. Damn you, birthday!).

    Just.

    Wow.

    Donuts are one of those things that make me completely lose control of myself.

    I am now dead.

  • I know the first place I am heading to once I am back in NYC. I am drooling!!

  • Oh wow, I’m going to New York this weekend. I will definitely have to check out the Doughnut Plant. I’ve always meant to do so but haven’t gotten the chance.

  • Yummy! I love doughnut plant. the counter person is usually on the phone having a conversation with someone else as I try to order.. its very hard to distinguish if he is talking to me or his phone.. so I just give my order.. say please and thank you.. and hand cash.. waiting for my fresh gooey selections.

    David, you have hit two of my three frequent flying spots in which i go weekly. Next spot should be Butter Lane on 7th street. ((it seems as though the LES is hogging all the great sweet spots))

  • WOWSERS!! This looks amazing!!!!

    Looks like doughnut heaven ;))

    Thank you for sharing. It’s now on the bucketlist ;))

  • Oh good lord. This will be my first stop next time in NYC.

  • I haven’t had a decent doughnut in years! Krispy Kreme just doesn’t count!!! OMG!! I want to go to NYC just to try some of these.

    When we head to Boston (sometime soon), we may have to take the train to NYC for a few other goodies and these doughnuts!!

  • Adore you completely, but . . . “yuck” on doughnuts! :-)

  • Do you think a doughnut plant would grow in Southern California? I’d love to wake up in the morning and pick a few of those delicious looking doughnuts to have with coffee. If not, I think I’d better fly to New York immediately. How far is it from the airport?

  • Definitely one of my favorite things about NYC. They’re supposed to be opening a shop in my neighborhood (near RUB), though I haven’t decided if that’s a good thing or a bad thing considering my will power (or lack thereof) when it comes to tres leches doughnuts.

  • David;
    You just HAVE to look at this site.

    http://voodoodoughnut.com/

  • This makes me at once mortified to think that I’ve spent my life being anti-doughnut, but at the same time I feel justified about that. How could I appreciate doughnuts when, in Australia, all I see are supermarket-quality plain iced doughnuts? If I’d had access to creme brulee or peanut butter doughnuts in my childhood, I’m sure things would’ve been different.

    The only real agony here is that I didn’t go to Doughnut Plant when I was in NYC in December. Shame on me.

  • Next time you’re in the Austin area, make the drive up to Lone Star Bakery in Round Rock (just north of Austin). They make a glazed doughnut that is to die for.

  • Bunkycooks: I never “got” the Krispy Kreme thing. I tried them and thought, “Eh?” And folks told me, “You have to try them warm” which I did, and still didn’t get it. I prefer regular ol’ Dunkin’ Donuts to them, personally. But these were really great.

    MicChef: He was pretty funny and just made us sit down next to the counter and kept a running order of our doughnuts. I wish I had brought a few home because I was being a good friend and feeding my comrades, when I should have been helping myself! (Too.)

  • David, don’t miss ChikaLicious dessertclubnyc.com 204 E. 10th Street. Wonderful!

  • I have been waiting patiently for three long years to visit Doughnut Plant in NYC – and am waiting still until we can afford to take a week to visit NYC – and that is one of the first things to do on my list. I am glad to hear more good things from trusted sweets eaters!

  • Monsieur,

    You have finally gone too far with your food porn. These doughnut shots have elevated the lowly, holy pastry to new, desirable status. I thought signs for Chinese food restaurants that served doughnuts in San Francisco had removed the doughnut from my temptations.

    But no.

    You have to go to NYC and come back with this filth, this taunting sugar puff thing and….well.

    It may take awhile to forgive you. It may take a trip to Doughnut Planet. Once again, you can rest, knowing that your torture of us is complete.

    Merde, et merde encore.

  • David! I’m sooo glad you got a taste of Doughnut Plant! I absolutely freaking love this place. I can’t get enough (I don’t get the Krispy Kreme thing either – a bit of a sugar shock for me and, mind you, I have a sweet tooth)! The raspberry jam (or blackberry, or blueberry…) filled ones are divine. And they are pretty empty (or rather, manageably busy) during the weekday, work hours.

    Also, I’m glad to have had the chance to meet you at Borders last week, though being able to make it was unexpected and so I didn’t have my book! I believe you mentioned that you couldn’t find any good Mexican food in NYC? Have you tried Mama Mexico? It’s the closest I can get to something delightfully edible and the flavors of what I’ve ordered to date have never disappointed. I can only vouch for the uptown location, however (2672 Broadway).

    If you do make it back to Doughnut Plant, see about visiting Sugar Sweet Sunshine over on Rivington Street. I’m not a huge Magnolia Bakery fan (their icing causes a similar sugar-shock sensation as the Krispy Kreme doughnuts), but I could easily live on the “Sexy Red Velvet” cupcakes at SSS.

    Happy travels!

  • Thank you for gorgeous descriptions! But what is the doughnut made of? Is it the American version of the Spanish churro? Would you say that doughnut (and cupcakes) is patisserie à l´américaine?
    Can one say at all that there is an American patisserie? I find doughnuts so large.
    Are there no baby sizes?
    There is in Las Vegas at the Bellagio hotel a wonderful French patissier who upon my surprise at the tremendous size of his croissants told me that Americans expect jumbo size on everything.

  • In LA I had a maple bacon donut , a lavender donut & Half & Half chocolate donut ( dark & milk chocolate with a light chocolate sauce ).,,nice and fluffy .

    I need to go back to Doughnut Planet ~ I see that there are new flavors.

  • This is so unfair!

    I’m sitting at work and having my morning coffee with nothing sweet in sight. And here are these pictures! And describtions! This is nothing but a torture! And I dont even like doughnuts (which might be due to the fact I’ve never been to US and/or tasted any trully yummy ones)!

  • Oh my, the carrot cake doughnut is a new one… must add that to the must-eat list. Oink oink!

  • OMG a carrot cake doughnut! Doughnuts in the UK are awful affairs, unless you pay the over inflated prices for a Krispy Creme

  • Jelly in a donut us like butter on a croissant….completely unnecessary and excessive, but donuts and croissants are already pretty decadent so what’s thedifference?

    I have a son who is a donut fiend and would sell his family for a trip to this establmishment.

    Thanks for sharing :)

  • Yes yes yes! Divine, to-die-for doughnuts! We play hooky to get them.

    I LOVE bialys and will stop by Kossar’s as well next time… maybe this morning?

  • Just a little bit happier knowing such a place exists.

    I think everyone agrees that your photos are beautiful, but the backdrop of the graphic table made for an especially compelling photo. Well spotted! Your “Take away with attitude” is another favourite of mine.

    Thanks so much for the swell foodalogue. Still having intrusive thoughts about Porchetta (intrusive thoughts = love).

  • Oh my, the Doughnut Plant. Every time I get to go to NYC, I make a special point of heading there. Best story? My coworker received a square one in a ziplock sandwich container, FedEx’d from her loving spouse, who was there on business! My first encounter with their fluffy majesties was in Grand Central Station, where I had the coconut and the Valrhona – a fantasy of chew, an explosion of mmmmm. Next time, I had to go to the source, and my cousin and I got a sample of 4 different ones, including the blackout. But our favorite was the Peanut Butter & Jelly, the slightly salty glaze countering the jam in the center (David, you must sample this one!). After finished our “lunch”, we shivered and jittered all the way back to Union Square…

  • I wonder if they deliver? To Denver? My anticipated breakfast of Cheerios, again, now seems pathetic and I am DYING for one of many of these. Creme Brulee, Valrhona , Tres Leches…swooning.

  • Saw this horoscope from The Onion and thought of you: ‎[GEMINI] Your life will be cut tragically short next week by the untimely discovery that your breadmaker can also be used to make doughnuts.

  • Now this looks like doughnut heaven,and another place to put on the must do list when in NYC.

  • David, You must, must try the creme brulee doughnut. It’s heaven.

  • I love reading about your food adventures in Paris, but since I am visiting my daughter in NYC next month, I am putting all of these places on our “have to go to” list.

  • Will something finally usurp cupcakes in the dessert trend world?

  • You are so cruel. Those pictures are driving me INSANE!

  • Thanks for this post. Will be in NY in 2 weeks and looking for recommendations like that:-)

  • My mouth is just watering, and my waistline is expanding just looking at those!

  • I was told about this place by my psychiatrist before my first trip to Paris, stopping over in my home town of NY mmm. and I was staying in the lower east side and missed it. I was too busy eating poppyseed bagels which we don’t have here in hawaii. I love anything blueberry. Next trip. btw Paris was sooo great first trip, not last. next time I will go to the plant. I hate to say, I am not a chocoholic so the pics didn’t do it for me but my bf was drooling!!
    I just wrote a book, and got a publisher (not about donuts) see above about psychiatrist, and will urge my UK publisher to send me to NY to try the Plant. How could I have missed it sigh thanks David for bringing this up Aloha Maya

  • you know, i’m not really a big fan of doughnuts, but these bad boys had me drooling. literally. now i’m going to have to break out my baked (yes, baked) chocolate doughnut recipe with the chocolate ganache icing. to.die.for.
    hope you ate one for me!

  • YESSSS!!! Doughnut Plant! It’s my happy place.

  • Ooh!! yummy Doughnuts,..they’re making me crazy, Can’t wait- I want some doughnuts!

  • There are times like when I read this blog that I remember not being a SAHM and having a job where I travelled the world and went on eating adventures. Like looking for the best cupcake shop in NY for a week long trip to visit a girlfriend there. Or the time before that, doing a tour of mexican taco shops, at least two a day, to find my definite favourite, and eat-up things you just can’t get here in Australia.

    Cheese does it for me. I sent my younger sister your post about where to shop in Paris when she was there a few months ago and I think she blew her entire weeks’ food budget on cheese at one of the places you recommended. And was happier for it, even if a little skinnier at the end of the week.

    ….

    I will just have to satisfy my donut envy by making a batch of caramel salted cashew icecream.

  • David — I love coming home from work to find great reads and pics from you! Doesn’t matter if its Paris or NY (where I am) your stuff is always fun and filling!

    Doughnut Plant rocks — almost as much as David! :)

  • Their chai tea is the best I’ve ever had.

  • Being on Weight Watchers and having lost 10 of my 40 pounds, I find my favorite past-time is reading my favorite food blogs and dreaming. Had a wonderful time reading the “Doughnut Plant dream” and imagining. No calories in looking and reading…dreaming! Beautiful!

  • We were shooting a film a few blocks away from the donut plant (that I had read about in Gourmet Mag) a while ago and my art crew became totally addicted to them. I would bring a bag in the morning and work would stop while everyone swooned over the donuts. Crack with a hole in the middle… and great coffee and milk too!

  • Doughnut Plant IS God. I can’t believe you didn’t give them the benefit of the doubt and try the jelly! You know they make it themselves, so it’s fresh and real-fruity and not too sweet. And knowing your love of peanut butter (right there with ya, babe!) you must try their PB glazed jellies. Once, I had one with homemade, slightly tart rhubarb filling… bliss!

    p.s. yes, they have them at Dean & DeLuca, but the freshness is not the same, and the freshness is crucial.

  • we missed this place last time we were in NYC. and by “missed”, i mean less fanatical friends insisted that the financial district was of greater importance. i have learned my lesson, to say the least.

  • David, Rumour has it that they will be opening a larger, sit-down version in the Chelsea Hotel on 23rd Street. It was supposed to open in OCt., but Ican’t imagine that happening…

  • David,
    I am soooo enjoying The Sweet Life in Paris…thank you for that! And for all your amazing recipes..the BEST vanilla and chocolate ice-cream, chocolate orbit cake…too great!
    My question: Any suggestions for replicating the Donut Plant’s creme brulee custard?
    It is absolutely the best I’ve ever had, not flour-y at all! Simply delectable.
    What do you think?
    Joann