Yes, it’s true that Boston is home to Dunkin’ Donuts, but if you’re looking for the best donuts in Boston, there’s so much more to explore. The best donuts in Boston are to be found off the beaten path, whether you’re into maple glazed, cranberry frosted, cake, raised, or all of the above.
Who Makes the Best Donuts in Boston?
Every shop has their own take on the beloved Boston cream, filled with either custard or Bavarian creme depending on which shop you visit. In our guide, we’ve rounded up the best donut spots in the greater Boston area. Enjoy and happy eating!
10. Doughboy Donuts & Deli
South Boston, aka Southie, is home to some of the best donuts in Boston at Doughboy Donuts & Deli. This cute little shop is open 24/7 and even has a drive-through for extra convenience! The donuts here are just what you’d expect with a name like Doughboy—big, delicious, and fun. The flavors rotate often but they always have the classics, and from those we recommend the Boston cream and butternut. Bonus points: Doughboy Donuts is also a full deli, so it’s actually impossible to leave hungry.
9. Twin Donuts
Twin Donuts is a funky little spot with some of the very best donuts in Boston. It is located in the center of Allston, with a big retro sign that’s impossible to miss. It’s part diner, part counter service, and opens at 4 a.m. for all the early risers who can’t start their morning without a donut. Their donuts are simple but oh-so-tasty, and the best flavors go quickly. Our favorite has to be the classic chocolate frosted. It gets extra credit for being only 85 cents!
8. Mass Hole Donuts
We get that you’re looking for the best donuts in Boston, but it would be a crime to miss out on Boston’s incredible donut HOLES! Mass Hole Donuts in Arlington is a newer shop that makes the cutest, fancy-pants donut holes you’ve ever seen (or more importantly, tasted). The dough itself is good, but the fillings and toppings are what really steal the show here. We highly recommend the Revere Peach, packed with flavorful peach filling and topped with toasted coconut. The apple cider donut holes are another well-loved pick. These glorious dough balls sell in packs of six or 12 so you can sample as many creative flavors as your stomach desires.
7. Anna’s Hand Cut Donuts
West Roxbury is home to Anna’s Hand Cut Donuts, an old fashioned, simple little shop with some of the most delicious donuts in Boston—especially if you like jelly. Here, they serve jelly sticks and jelly donuts, sugared and glazed, in a variety of fruit flavors. We especially love the blackberry jelly donut, which is a light and fluffy raised donut stuffed full of jelly. The owner says he eats this donut three times a day (at least!), so you know it’s gotta be good. Everything served at Anna’s is extremely fresh and made with love.
6. Blackbird Doughnuts
Blackbird Doughnuts now has five locations in Boston including Fenway, Harvard Square, Brighton, Newton, and the original in the South End. Blackbird bakes up artisanal donuts with traditional cake, extra decadent brioche, or vegan dough. They have lots of creative rotating flavors, including BBQ Butterscotch and Boysenberry Bismark. But what makes this place stand out is their absolutely amazing, wish-you-bought-two, Everything Bagel donut. It’s got all of those savory, beloved bagel seasonings on top and is filled with decadent cream cheese. It’s a refreshing change from all the sweet flavors you’re used to, and tastes just like an everything bagel…but better, because it’s a donut.
5. Donut Villa Diner
Looking for the best donuts in Boston means looking outside Boston proper, where many hidden-gem donut shops have thrived for decades. In an old strip mall in Malden (just north of Boston) lies the Donut Villa Diner. As soon as you walk in, you’ll hear 50s music playing above and instinctively look around for Danny Zuko, but instead find full-service breakfast and delicious donuts to-go. We are always amazed at how big, fresh, and affordable the donuts here are, and while there are plenty of fun candy-topped flavors, we can’t help but obsess over their classic honey dip. If you’re feeling more adventurous, try the Nutella donut—it’s just like a Boston cream but with Nutella on top. YUM!
4. Demet’s Donuts
3. Union Square Donuts
2. Donuts with a Difference
We will forever be dreaming about how fluffy the donuts from Donuts with a Difference are. This no-frills donut shop will absolutely knock your socks off. It’s small, with a single row of bar stools, and filled mostly with locals who just pop in to order their regular to go. The donut selection here varies day by day but always includes classics like Boston cream, cruller, and butter crunch. We can’t get enough of the jelly donut with powdered sugar (filled with jelly sooo fresh) and the honey twist (that will melt in your mouth). Warning: you may not find jolly customer service here, but it’s all part of the experience!
1. Kane’s Donuts
Ask a local where to get the best donuts in Boston and they will tell you, without hesitation, to go to Kane’s. And we couldn’t agree more! Started in 1955, the original Kane’s Donuts is in Saugus and is a landmark in the North Shore, though they now have two additional locations—one downtown and one on Route 1 that has a drive-through. Kane’s is famous for their extra-large, super-fresh, delectable donuts. They’ve been using local ingredients and adding funky toppings for decades, with flavors like Maine blueberry and creme brulee (with a torched-sugar top and custard filling, just like the dessert). It’s the type of donut shop where you can trust that every flavor is going to be mouthwateringly amazing. You truly cannot go wrong at Kane’s.