They are the holiest of snacks.
And the capital has seen a semi-religious resurgence in both the quality and quantity of doughnut places it offers. Here’s where to get the very best doughnuts in London:
Let’s start with the obvious. Crosstown is a doughnut specialist bakery and coffee shop that’s originally based in Soho, (but they can be found popping up at Spitalfields Market, Westfield Stratford, the Real Food Market at King’s Cross, Nova Food etc.). And what sets them apart is the fact that they’re made with sourdough, and everything is made in-house: jams, glazes, you name it.
Highlights include a Cinnamon Scroll that is spiced and iced to the perfect proportions, and a crème brulee doughnut with an expertly caramelised sugar coating.
Bread Ahead Bakery
Located south of the river at Borough Market, Bread Ahead are not only surrounded by other artisanal bakers, they’re also a bakery school. And like most good schools, they both preach and practice good fundamentals, which in this case mean simple, sugar-coated filed donuts.
Get the crème caramel and salted honeycomb doughnut. Thanks us later.
St John’s Bakery
The doughnuts created by the St John’s restaurant group are a bit of an enigma in the city. With their Druid Street Bakery only open on weekends, their doughnuts are more readily available from their Bread and Wine shop in Spitalfields. However, they do have a long list of coffee shops, delis, hotels and even department stores that they supply to.
Their classic filled doughnuts are uncomplicated and simple, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t spectacular. St John’s pride themselves on the time they spend letting their dough mature and prove. And this translates into a fluffy cloud-like texture that is both delicious and moreish.
Sticking with the traditional you can’t go wrong with a St John’s raspberry jam filled doughnut. Then realize why they have a Michelin star.
From the classic to the absurdly modern. Vicky’s Donuts produces wonderfully exotic dough rings from their base in Hackney, popping up at many a food market across town.
Fans of The Simpsons can pick up a pink iced ring doughnut aptly named The Homer, but to really tackle your taste buds look no further than The Reese’s doughnut, which – you guessed it – is a combination of peanut butter and dark chocolate.
Dum Dum Donutterie
Most famously known for its store at BoxPark in Shoreditch, Dum Dum doughnuts can also be found at Harrod’s (la-di-daa!). Building a reputation for breaking convention, Dum Dum doughnuts are mostly baked rather than fried in oil – making them borderline healthy compared to some of their competitors.
The winner here is their simple Chocolate Creme number, filled with buttercream, and coated with chocolate ganache.
We’ve veered from the traditional and we may as well carry on off the beaten track.
Rinkoff Bakery of East London work out of two locations: Jubilee Street and Vallance Road. Supplying the locals with a vast array of breads and pastries, the baking demigods at Rinkoff are also specialists in the cronut-knockoff, the crodough.
They come in a who’s who of popular sweet flavourings. You can get a peanut butter and jelly crodough, a cherry pie crodough, a s’more crodough, a lemon drizzle crodough and even a Creme Egg crodough (but only at Easter).
They run rings around other snacks.
Main Image: Crosstown
Nicely satiated with the finest doughnuts in London? Maybe best to save our central London ice cream crawl for another day, then…