For a relatively straight-forward dessert, the doughnut has a messier past than your last Tinder date. The origins of this sweet treat are up for debate, but the common denominator that links each theory is its North American roots. The doughnut even has its own holiday. One thing we know for sure: while we’re down to celebrate on any given day, we’re happy June 2 is a special one to honour these deep-fried goodies.
Unlike some designated days that seem to feed our favourite indulgences (here’s looking at you, National Drink Wine Day), National Doughnut Day has some deep-rooted history. It was established in 1938 by the Salvation Army to honour the women who handed out doughnuts to soldiers during WWI.
Whether you’re up for a crazy creation or good old cinnamon-sugar is more your style, here are some of the best spots to pick up a tasty treat across Canada. We dare you to make it through without drooling.
Find it: 122-1689 Johnston St.
The low-down: First opened in 1979, this Granville Island Market staple still makes each doughnut by hand to this day.
The goods: It offers fluffy treats in an array of flavours, like Chocolate Sprinkle and Strawberry.
What to order: Hot Honeydip
Honey Doughnuts & Goodies
Find it: 4373 Gallant Ave., North Vancouver
The low-down: Located in the gorgeous Deep Cove, this homey café is popular among outdoor enthusiasts.
The goods: Along with the Honey, Maple and Chocolate doughnuts, they also have you covered for a wholesome breakfast or lunch.
What to order: The classic Honey Glazed.
Lucky’s Doughnuts at Forty Ninth Parallel Café
Find it: 2902 Main St.
The low-down: This chic coffee and doughnut shop has two locations, with a third opening later this summer.
The goods: Known for its ever-changing menu, some of their unique creations include Rhubarb Crumble and Earl Grey/Lavender.
What to order: The new Chocolate Sourdoughnut, Canada’s first 100 percent naturally leavened sourdough doughnut.
Find it: 534 West Pender
The low-down: With three locations, this cool locale is decorated with modern illustrations — perfect for snapping pics.
The goods: All doughnuts are natural and made from scratch, with vegan and gluten free choices.
What to order: For a taste unlike anything you’ve ever had, try the Honey Parmesan.
Jelly Modern Doughnuts
Find it: 100 1414 8 St.
The low-down: The flagship location to its five locations across Calgary and Toronto offers unique artisan treats with sophisticated flavours.
The goods: Doughnuts come in both hand-dipped and hand-filled varieties, with a wide range of flavors available daily.
What to order: The Peanut Butter Cup, which is decorated with chocolate ganache, peanut cream filling and topped with salted peanuts.
Find it: 536 42 Ave. SE
The low-down: Like a Pinterest board come to life, this sweet spot offers a modern twist on old-school recipes.
The goods: Fun flavours like Birthday Cake, Cotton Candy and Raspberry Rose come in both regular and baby bites, if smaller treats are your thing.
What to order: For a nostalgia-inducing treat, try the Fruity Pebble, topped with your fave childhood cereal.
Find it: 19, 3919 Richmond Road SW
The low-down: Celebrating its 40th anniversary, this family-owned spot has won the Calgary Herald’s Reader’s Choice Award for Best Bakery countless times, most recently for 2016-17.
The goods: They cover the classics like Boston Cream and Sprinkle, served up in a handful of varieties—small and round doughnut holes, Texas doughnuts, classic, filled and Long Johns.
What to order: Chocolate Long John.
Find it: This pop-up makes its way around town — scope its next location at moonshinedoughnuts.ca.
The low-down: These small batch doughnuts are as beautiful as they are delicious — each batch looks like a work of art.
The goods: Its colourful creations include Birthday Cake, Chocolate Pistachio and Raspberry Rosewater.
What to order: The menu changes things up daily, so be on the lookout for unique new flavours.
Find it: 10938-119 St.
The low-down: Open since January, it has quickly become a hot spot for those seeking the deep-fried treats. Be sure to head there early, they’re only open until they sell out!
The goods: Often sold in curated boxes of six, this joint is known for its one-of-a-kind flavours like Sour Blue-Raspberry and Birthday Cake.
What to order: Chai Rosewater Pistachio.
Jackie O’s Sweet Treats
Find it: These doughnuts are always on the go — check their site to see where you can catch them next.
The low-down: This travelling truck pumps out dozens of fresh doughnuts on the daily.
The goods: Specializing in mini doughnuts, they serve up classics like Cinnamon Sugar, but also have a few tricks up their sleeve with gourmet flavours like Maple Bacon and Strawberry Shortcake.
What to order: Death by Donut aka mini doughnuts drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauce, topped with fresh whipped cream and Skor pieces.
Find it: 326 Broadway, also available at a handful of coffee shops and restaurants around the city, ohdoughnuts.com
The low-down: This gourmet locale focuses on minimal impact by using locally sourced ingredients, plus its frying oil is later refined to be used as bio-fuel.
The goods: It offers handmade yeast and cake doughnuts, with gluten-free options. Every Thursday to Saturday they also have crohnuts on the menu.
What to order: Cherry Amaretto with Toasted Almonds.
Find it: 3-100 King St.
The low-down: This two-year-old doughnut and coffee spot is a family affair, run by two IRL bros—and their sis.
The goods: Made fresh each morning, each batch is crafted with house-made toppings and fillings.
What to order: George, a banana bread doughnut with cream cheese dip and candied walnuts.
Find it: 713 Danforth Ave.
The low-down: Made fresh every day, all of the icings and fillings are made from scratch and are trans-fat free for a less guilt-enducing snack.
The goods: A rotating daily menu packed with original flavours like Blueberry Lime and Malt Vinegar.
What to order: Sangria, the perfect summer doughnut with a white wine glaze and strawberry jam.
The Rolling Pin
Find it: 1970 Avenue Rd.
The low-down: This ’50s-themed bakery isn’t just known for its Insta-worthy doughnuts—its cakes and pies are also wildly popular.
The goods: With a weekly rotating schedule, some options verge into science-experiment territory with injectable tubes for added flavour.
What to order: Jamoca Almond Fudge, a yeast doughnut dipped in chocolate ganache, filled with mocha custard and topped with almond pie crumbs and a squeezable shot of espresso.
Find it: 374 Royal York Rd.
The low-down: First opened in 1969, this family-run bakery has been a Toronto staple for almost 50 years.
The goods: Be sure to check out its Doughnut Day menu, with six drool-worthy flavours like Caramilk and Orange Chiffon Dipped.
What to order: Crunchie, a June 2 special, that encases an entire chocolate bar inside its deep-fried goodness.
Find it: 1596 Queen St. W
The low-down: The friendly staff hand-crafts three types of dough—yeast, cake and vegan doughnuts—fresh every day, each with a unique taste.
The goods: One-of-a-kind flavours they create include Hibiscus, Toast and Butter, and Lemon Ricotta.
What to order: Apricot Ginger, a yeast doughnut topped with apricot ginger infused glaze sprinkled with candied ginger.
Little Jo Berry’s Coffee & Eats
Find it: 1305 Wellington St. W.
The low-down: This quaint café serves up one-of-a-kind vegan treats crafted with locally sourced ingredients that are egg and dairy-free.
The goods: Along with their tasty assortment of baked treats, this spot also served up a rotating lunch menu.
What to order: Matcha doughnut.
Maverick’s Donut Company
Find it: 1500 Bank St. Unit 36
The low-down: This shop has signature house-made flavours, but if you’re feeling crafty, you can customize doughnuts to a flavor of your choosing.
The goods: Signature doughnuts include Cherry Cheesecake and the Chocoholic, and they’ve got a variety of glazes and toppings for creating your own.
What to order: Wake’N Bacon, a cake doughnut topped with Canadian bacon and maple icing.
Find it: 969 Wellington St. W.
The low-down: An Ottawa staple for five years, this busy shop bakes their treats using the traditional old Finnish “Sugar Munkki” recipe.
The goods: They cover the classics like chocolate and sugar, but also boast more experimental goods like Raspberry Lemonade and Mango Lassi.
What to order: London Fog, dipped in a vanilla bean glaze with a subtle bergamot flavor from loose leaf Earl Grey tea.
Strawberry Blonde Bakery
Find it: 114B Grange Ave.
The low-down: If allergies have you avoiding these deep-fried treats, this spot serves up vegan, gluten-free and nut-free creations.
The goods: Along with its selection of doughnuts they whip up, like Lemon Sugar and Mint Chocolate Chip, they also serve other desserts like cupcakes and cookies.
What to order: There is no set menu as its always pumping out new creations, but some past flavours include Coconut Lime and the fruity Raspberry-filled Chocolate Covered doughnut.
Find it: 640 Rue de Courcelle, lechedesserts.com
The low-down: Pop in to pick up one of their pre-made options, or if you’re feeling like a Master Chef, schedule a session to make and decorate your own doughnuts.
The goods: Along with their lineup of doughnuts like Passionfruit and Berry Cheesecake, this spot also serves cakes, cookies and brownies.
What to order: Lime Coconut, for a fresh, summer-worthy flavour.
Trou de Beigne
Find it: 156 Saint Zotique E, troudebeigne.com
The low-down: This artisanal shop started off as a delivery-only biz, but opened its very own shopfront in 2016 due to a high demand for these treats.
The goods: Offering nine signature flavours, some unique flavours include Blueberry and London Fog.
What to order: Péché Mortel, iced with a beer and coffee glaze topped with roasted hazelnuts and dark chocolate.
Find it: 2202 Avenue Mont-Royal Est
The low-down: You’ll feel like you are in France with these delectable creations—owner Remy Couture trained at the pastry school of renowned French chef Pierre Hermé.
The goods: Delicious doughnuts aren’t the only treats they offer—they also make cakes, pastries and pies.
What to order: Vanilla and Cookie, topped with a sweet glaze and cookie crumble.
Find it: 5319 Decarie
The low-down: Taking the classic size down a notch, these pastries are three-bite, the perfect size if you want to snack guilt-free (or want room to try more than one).
The goods: A seasonally changing menu with some awe-inspiring flavours, like the Lucky Charm-topped Midnight Snack 2.0 and Movie Time, complete with butter popcorn.
What to order: Breakfast In Bed, that’s topped with a maple syrup glaze, mini pancake and whipped cream.
Queen B Doughnuts
Find it: 120 Westmorland St.
The low-down: A staple at the Moncton Market, Queen B’s menu is constantly changing, with different confections highlighted each week.
The goods: Specializing in filled doughnuts, sweet flavours like Salted Caramel and Berry Jam ooze freshly made creams and jams when you sink your teeth into them.
What to order: Lemon Curd.
Scanway Bakery + Café
Find it: 1567 Grafton St.
The low-down: Known around town as a catering company, the stand-alone Bakery is chalked-full of delicious pastries and snacks.
The goods: Some of its most popular flavours include Peanut Glaze, Sugar-Dipped and Lemon Cream.
What to order: With flavours changing daily, there’s always something new to try.
Ol’ School Donuts
Find it: Always on the move—find out where you can catch the truck here and at @OlSchoolDonuts.
The low-down: This mobile shop, housed in a school bus, moves around town and also makes deliveries.
The goods: It serves up solo doughnuts, tasty platters you’ll need to devour with a fork, and pizza boxes filled to the brim with 36 minis.
What to order: The compote-slathered Lemon Raspberry.