(Updated 6/1/16) As a little kid without calorie constraints, who didn’t love a donut?! Glazed, cake, chocolate, cream-filled and more, they were a delicious treat that I rarely felt guilty about. But then you grow up. And you realized that those durned delicious donuts were really not good for you. And you cut back on eating those doh-doh’s but who wants to live forever? Every now and then those delectable fried treats are ok, right? So come to the dark donut side my friend, here are some of my favorite donut shops in the Triangle!
(Note: Monuts has moved to a new location in Durham- 1002 9th Street)
First on the list is Monuts Donuts which I visited for the first time pretty recently. A small shop in downtown Durham, Monuts does donuts and other circular pastries like bagel sandwiches on their menu. They have a changing menu of seasonal flavors and a dozen runs about $18. The flavors are spin-off’s and a bit unconventional like bourbon-peach, snowflake and more. Everything I tried was very tasty and fresh so I’m quite pleased with Monuts even for the price. Just watch out for the long lines due to its popularity and limited space.
Rise is one of the big-hitters in the Triangle donut world having pioneered the upscale donut offering for the area. It’s sooo popular, that there’s regularly a line out the door during mornings. And there’s a good reason why! Rise puts out some amazing donuts ranging from their popular maple-bacon bars to the creme brulee donuts. The creme brulee donut is amazing, a carmelized sugar coating on top and a creamy filling makes for a great sugar hit. They usually have 10 or 15 types of donuts, fritters and more including the elusive cronut!
Rise is also known for their hearty breakfast biscuits that can be customized for the filling ranging from eggs, meat, cheese and more. Add in the funky and bright space along with solid hipster service and a visit to Rise for breakfast or lunch is worth the effort. Just make sure you allocate enough wait time to get your goodies. But thankfully with new locations in N. Raleigh, Cameron Village Raleigh and Morrisville, the Rise donut love is now diffused a lot more in the Triangle!
Baker’s Dozen is my GoTo donut spot for work since it’s right on the way to the office. What I like about Baker’s Dozen is the mix of value and deliciousness that it delivers for $8.50 per dozen. While it’s got a set menu of classics (glazed and cake), they fill in the donuts when you order and they’ve also got some additional pastries such as the super popular apple fritter and bear claw.
Service is prompt and efficient, they work very hard here in this independent donut shop. With a minimum of lines in the morning, you can normally get in and out in 5 – 10 minutes. But if you’ve got time to hang out for a bit, Baker’s Dozen has plenty of casual dining room space for you to enjoy your sweets! The newer location in N. Raleigh is near identical to the original. Just enjoy their donuts and fritters whichever location you choose since they are a great deal and dee-licious.
A newer donut option in the Triangle is Duck Donuts with locations in Cary and N. Raleigh. What differentiates Duck Donuts is that your treats are made to order! Take one of their freshly fried cake donuts (yellow) and then add your custom choice of glaze and toppings, way cool. And oh the choices! Chocolate, strawberry, lemon glaze and more. Peanuts, bacon, sprinkles, there must be 100+ different flavor combos at Duck! And as you can guess, it’s a favorite with kids who want that one special donut. Super popular with families, they move pretty quick but the line can back up.
Now of course you can’t have a list of best donuts in the Triangle without having Krispy Kreme on it! When I lived in California, a Krispy Kreme donut was a special treat that I’d wait in line for an hour for. Fast-forward to my life in NC and what a difference! Based out of Winston-Salem, Krispy Kremes can be found in a variety or retail locations but it’s still hard to miss the big Krispy Kreme on Peace and Blount. The make a LOT of donuts here, which is why the Krispy Kreme Challenge goes through this location. It’s fun to grab a dozen and watch the automated donut making line run in the back behind a large pane glass window. Grab a hat along with a hot Krispy Kreme to really get in the mood here!
So it’s hard to resist a donut whether you’re talking about a light, yeasty doh-doh or a dense, cakey version! And all of these donut shops do an excellent job in tempting your sweet tooth. Give em a shot if you’re in the hood because sometimes life needs to be a bit sweeter. And a donut will certainly keep you happy!
Great Donuts in the Triangle
Krispy Kreme- Raleigh