The 10 Best Donut Shops In Boston

Boston has many claims to fame. Between its key role in the American Revolution, successful sports franchises, and innovative spirit, the city is celebrated for its rich history and lively culture. As a coastal metropolis, Boston is also famous for its seafood, offering up some of the best clam chowder and lobster rolls in the country. But Boston also happens to be a worthwhile destination for all kinds of sweet treats, including the reigning champ of breakfast confections: donuts. With their syrupy glazes, candied crumbles, and sweet fillings, donuts offer a way to basically have dessert for breakfast. And there's no doubt that the simple pairing of a fresh donut with a great cup of coffee is one of life's great joys.

In fact, the Boston cream donut is so delicious that it can be found in donut shops across the country. Glazed with chocolate and filled with creamy vanilla custard, Boston cream donuts are one of the most delicious donuts of all time. Of course, Boston's donut shops have plenty more to offer. But in a huge city like Boston, how should you know which donut shops are worth visiting? Luckily for you, we've taken the time to round up some of our favorites. Whether you're looking for a spot that exclusively specializes in donut holes or an amazing donut shop equipped with a drive-thru for ultimate convenience, we've got you covered. Read on to check out the 10 best donut shops in Boston.

1. Lionheart Confections

Run by pastry chef Kate Holowchik, Lionheart Confections is a pop-up operation that's rightfully earned a reputation for having some of the best donuts in Boston. While the company has plans in the works to open its first brick-and-mortar spot, you can keep tabs on Lionheart's rotating specials through its social media accounts. Wildly delicious creations like Lionheart's Orange Blossom Creamsicle and Caramelized Rhubarb Morning Buns showcase Holochik's undeniable talent for enticing flavor combinations.

Another stroke of genius includes the Caramel Popcorn Cheesecake Fritter, made with vanilla brioche, brown sugar cinnamon, cheesecake mousse, and topped with caramel popcorn. Then there's Lionheart's Salted Caramel Brownie Donut that's dipped in chocolate ganache, glazed in brownie batter, dolloped with salted caramel buttercream, and finished with moist chunks of mini brownies.

Eating donuts is about giving in to temptation and indulging in pleasure. Lionheart Confections gleefully delivers this visceral joy with a level of passion and finesse that Boston is lucky to have at its fingertips.

2. Mass Hole Donuts

The beauty of donut holes is that it's easy to sample a variety of flavors. This was the revelation that led to the opening of Mass Hole Donuts, which has been in business since 2018. Selected in Boston Magazine in 2020 for having the best donuts in the city, Mass Hole Donuts has steadily risen to stardom over the years to become a local staple in the world of sweets.

One look at Mass Hole's rotating menu makes it clear why the company has achieved so much success. Mass Hole features a handful of tasty flavors that change every week, and each creation is an epiphany of deliciousness. For those who love some fruity brightness, there's the Bedford Farms Blueberry Donut. Made with a poppy seed cake donut with a sweet and tangy lemon glaze, this donut hole is also topped with vanilla buttercream and fresh blueberries. If you've ever dreamed of a donut that's fused with the flavors of a cookie, then keep an eye out for the Toll House donut. Made with brioche and stuffed with vanilla custard, this donut is smothered in a glaze of sweetened cream cheese and then garnished with dollops of cookie dough.

If you have a curious palate and you're in the mood to try different flavors, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better option in Boston than Mass Hole Donuts. Be sure to check out the company's weekly flavors to see the kitchen's latest sweet treats.

3. Back Door Donuts

Back Door Donuts operates a Donuts After Dark pop-up operation out of Loretta's Last Call. Part of what makes Back Door Donuts so exceptional are the hours of operation: It runs from 7:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. This makes it a choice destination for night owls on the prowl for some sweets to cap off the evening after a night of partying.

If you're lucky, you might visit when Back Door is serving its ice cream sandwich special. Made with two honey-dipped donuts, this sandwich is filled with vanilla ice cream and then drizzled with chocolate. It's fairly common to see ice cream sandwiches use cookies, but Back Door's choice to use donuts for this item is brilliant. The donuts act as the perfect bread for the ice cream sandwich — stable enough to hold everything together, but soft enough to soak up a little melted ice cream. The end result is amazingly delicious and worth every penny.

There are plenty of other options to pick from, too. Maple bacon donuts, Boston cream donuts, coconut donuts, and donuts sprinkled with cinnamon sugar are just a few of the donut varieties that you can select from at Back Door Donuts. No matter what you choose, you better buckle up for some deliciousness.

4. Blackbird Doughnuts

Blackbird Doughnuts has a few locations around Boston and changes at least ten of its flavors every month. The bakers at Blackbird create all of the shop's glazes and fillings from scratch, and they start making donuts at 3:00 AM to provide customers with a fresh batch every morning. Blackbird's dedication to quality is a big part of what makes it one of the best donut shops in the area.

One of the donuts that Blackbird is most known for is its Everything Bagel donut. What's unusual about this donut is the fact that it embraces savoriness rather than sweetness. Made with brioche, this donut is filled with whipped cream cheese and then sprinkled with a blend of everything bagel spices. The end result is delicious but somewhat bewildering: all the flavors of a bagel are there, but the softer texture and somewhat sweeter taste feel like a curveball. Blackbird also has more traditional donuts like Boston cream, chocolate sprinkle, and vanilla glazed.

It's the monthly specials that truly showcase Blackbird's appeal. Raspberry toasted coconut, vanilla lemon poppyseed, and a S'mores-inspired donut filled with toasted marshmallow and coated in chocolate ganache and graham cracker crumbles are just a few examples of the company's knack for culinary ingenuity.

5. Donut Villa Diner

For some inexplicable reason, donuts and diners don't often join forces. There aren't many spots where you can score a gooey tuna melt and a succulent hanger steak along with bottomless coffee and a variety of inventive donuts all under the same roof. But Donut Villa Diner offers all of this and more on its expansive yet smartly-curated menu.

While Donut Villa Diner offers commonly-seen donuts like maple bacon and chocolate coconut, the convergence of donuts and diner grub is also on full display here, where donuts sizzle on the griddle to form inventive temptations. Look no further than the diner's Donut French Toast — made by soaking donuts in French toast batter and sizzling them on the griddle before topping with powdered sugar and chocolate — for evidence of the restaurant's propensity for culinary brilliance. There's also the simple but spectacular Donut Breakfast Sandwich, which comes with bacon, egg, and cheese on a griddled donut — it unifies sweet and savory like no other. The restaurant's flair for flavor makes Donut Villa Diner an absolute must if you happen to be around Boston.

6. Kane's Donuts

Kane's Donuts has received tons of praise and has been selected by The Travel Channel and Boston Magazine for having some of the best donuts around. In fact, Kane's donuts are so delicious that some people have even decided to buy them by the hundreds instead of a wedding cake. When the bride and groom are willing to forgo a traditional wedding cake and head for a donut shop instead, you know that there's really something special going on in the kitchen.

Part of what makes these donuts special is the high-quality ingredients. Kane's uses local and organic whole-food ingredients in order to offer the freshest donuts possible. One of Kane's specialties is the French cruller, which is coated in a honey glaze and is equal parts eclair and soufflé. There's also a cinnamon-frosted coffee roll that's so big that it's often lovingly referred to by customers as a hubcap. The Turtle donut is another all-star, strewn with sprinkles of Heath Bar and crisscrossed with sticky strands of dulce de leche frosting along with a glaze of dark chocolate. And if you enjoy the taste of pumpkin spice, Kane's has a donut that features the flavor year-round.

7. Doughboy Donuts & Deli

If the munchies hit in the middle of the night and you get a craving for something sweet, Doughboy Donuts & Deli is a fantastic place to check out. Donuts at this deli are available around the clock every day of the week — but you might want to give the shop a quick ring first and see if it still haz some left. These donuts are so good that the restaurant often sells out.

Doughboy has a revolving list of different donuts to pick from. Some of these include apple spice donuts, coconut donuts, powdered Bavarian cream, and Cocoa Krispie donuts. Strawberry frosted donuts, donuts stuffed with blueberry jam, and maple frosted donuts are also in the rotation. Doughboy also has muffins with flavors such as coffee cake, cranberry walnut, and mocha fudge. Cupcakes, cookies, and fresh pies are also available. Sweets aside, Doughboy also makes breakfast sandwiches, subs, and serves slices of pizza all day. No matter what you're in the mood for, there's a good chance that Doughboy has something on the menu for you.

8. Mike's Donuts

Open since 1969, Mike's Donuts has a menu that has gradually expanded over the years. What started as a simple donut operation has successfully evolved to offer hearty breakfast sandwiches, lunch, smoothies, and ice cream. Customers tend to praise Mike's donuts for their generous size and fresh-tasting fillings. The donuts here have a cake-like texture that's moist yet fluffy.

After nearly 100 reviews on Yelp, Mike's has earned four out of five stars — an impressive feat for a diner in an area like Boston that has a lot of heavy competition. As one customer on Google so aptly puts it, "They sell good donuts at a reasonable price. We went to several different shops today on a donut safari, and Mike's was my favorite." Not only is Mike's well-known for its fluffy donuts, but other people point out that the shop also makes some delicious hot chocolate — which is a great sweet treat to help wake you up on a chilly morning. Mike's has also become a local favorite for its breakfast sandwiches, which are available on croissants, bagels, or English muffins. Bottom line: Mike's is well worth a pit stop in the morning to kick off your day in a delicious way.

9. Union Square Donuts

The tiramisu donut alone is worth the trip to Union Square Donuts. Filled with mascarpone espresso cream and made with dark chocolate ganache and cocoa powder then topped with a homemade ladyfinger, this donut conjures up a wallop of flavor in every bite. Another delicious stroke of genius is the Oatmeal Cream Pie donut, which is stuffed with marshmallow buttercream, coated in a Biscoff cookie glaze, and topped with a homemade oatmeal cookie crumble.

Those who like fruity donuts should dig the Pineapple Upside Down donut, made with homemade pineapple preserves, chopped maraschino cherries, and caramel topped with a pineapple chip. There's also the Blackberry Basil Lime donut, coated in a blackberry basil glaze that's citrusy, sweet, and herbaceous. Union Square also offers unique drip coffee, such as its Black Velvet Roast coffee which was developed with Atomic Coffee Roasters. This coffee features notes of toasted sugar, graham cracker, and malted milk balls. At Union Square, come for the donuts — but stay for the coffee.

10. Little Moose Donuts

According to Little Moose Donuts, there was nowhere in Boston to get fresh mini donuts before it arrived on the scene to save the day. After customers select the number of donuts they would like, they can then choose a topping from the menu. Some of these toppings include cinnamon sugar, pink watermelon, vanilla with rainbow sprinkles, and maple glaze.

What really sets Little Moose Donuts apart from its competition is the fact that it makes its donuts fresh to order. This creates a level of freshness that some other donut shops just can't compete with. Another great thing about these donuts is the texture. They are light and airy and don't have the heavy greasiness to them that some donuts tend to have at other shops. Instead, these donuts are soft and have a pleasant sponginess to them. And because these donuts are made fresh to order, they retain some warmth that makes them extra enjoyable and practically melt in your mouth. Located at Hub Hall, Little Moose Donuts is a great spot to grab a tasty snack if you're passing through the train station that this popular food hall is connected to.