Here are five fabulous places where you can dunk the most creative, delicious, unique treats you’ve ever tasted from Tampa to Key West.
Ever wonder who invented the doughnut, or how it got its distinctive shape? At least in the US, its history can be traced to Dutch immigrants in 17th- and 18th-century New York, where fried dough balls called olykoeks, or “oil cakes,” were prepared.
But these doughy orbs were nothing like the modern treat. In fact, it wasn’t until around 1850 when an American sailor is said to have transformed its shape by cutting a hole through the middle. This was an important innovation because the hole allowed doughnuts to be baked larger in size without creating a raw, doughy center.
History aside, that small ring of sweet fried or baked leavened dough is still a favorite all over the world—especially in sunny Florida, where we’ve picked out five outstanding places across the state where you can savor the sugary concoction in all its delicious varieties.
2444 Central Ave, Saint Petersburg
12226 Corporate Blvd, Orlando
Valkyrie Doughnuts serves heavily glazed, super-sized treats sure to satisfy the doughnut freak in all of us. Sweet? Sure. Fluffy? Especially. But here’s what sets these impressive desserts apart: They are 100% egg-free and dairy-free.
Celine Betgens, owner of popular vegan bakery Valhalla, started Valkyrie Doughnuts in 2016, bringing on chef de doughnuts Steven Brinkman to work his magic creating “monstrous” square doughnuts that come filled, glazed, or plain and always hit the sweet spot.
Favorites include the French toast, Boston cream, and lavender lemon doughnuts. But the daily rotation of flavors will keep you going back to try a new treat. And what’s a doughnut without coffee? At Valkyrie you have a great java selection, from cappuccino and cortado to the rose pistachio latte. When in doubt, dunk.
420 Eaton St., Key West
Located in the heart of Old Town in laidback Key West, Glazed Donuts has the unique distinction of being the southernmost doughnut shop in the continental US.
But that’s not the only thing that makes this picturesque place special. The doughnuts are made from scratch, and you can choose between fritter-style or cake doughnuts. Beside their signature glazed doughnut, the menu includes exotic tropical treats like key lime and piña colada doughnuts, and even a delicious doughy concoction with hibiscus syrup.
Come for the doughnuts and stay for the organic coffees—or the paintings of giant robots. Whatever it is that gets you in the door, you’ll quickly realize that “this is the donut shop you dreamt of as a kid,” as the website claims.
Eight locations spread throughout Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and West Palm Beach
Husband and wife team of Amanda Pizarro and Andy Rodriguez always dreamed of creating a community gathering place centered around doughnuts and coffee—a place where folks could have a first date, celebrate a birthday, or meet up with friends after the workday.
So the duo marshaled all their resources to purchase a 1950s vintage Aljoa camper and lease a commissary kitchen to test their doughnut creations. To say the experiment was a success is an understatement. A year later their first retail store opened in Wynwood, and since then The Salty experience has spread to other locations in Florida, Texas, and North Carolina.
Latin-inspired doughnuts include the white chocolate tres leches and the Cuban-inspired guava and cheese. There’s a pumpkin spice and brown butter delight that is perfect for the season, and a spectacular ube pina colada treat. Coffees include cappuccino, espresso, Americano, and, of course, the Latin cortado.
39024 Highway 19 N., Tarpon Springs
14406 N. Florida Ave., Tampa
Listed in Yelp’s 50 Best Donut Shops in America in 2022, Hole in One Donuts boasts giant apple fritters, glazed twists, and chocolate-covered glazed croissants sure to please the doughnut lover in all of us.
The team at Hole In One Donuts starts their day before sunrise, preparing fresh doughnuts from scratch and using only the finest ingredients and traditional methods to create treats such as jelly-filled delights and cream-infused indulgences that will satisfy any sweet tooth.
The strawberry cake doughnut—soft and moist with perfectly crunchy rounded edges—is highly rated, but the apple fritters and pumpkin doughnuts are equally plump, soft, light, and oh-so-satisfying.
Add the friendly, helpful staff, and you’ll see why Hole in One Donuts is one of Tampa’s favorite hangouts.
1636 Hendricks Avenue Jacksonville
When the situation calls for artisan doughnuts and quality coffee, which it so often does, this friendly neighborhood spot hits…well…the spot. All their doughnuts are handmade from scratch in small batches throughout the day, so freshness is assured.
Some of the plump, pillowy temptations include the delicious brown sugar doughnut, the classic milk chocolate, the original glazed, and the vegan cardamom sugar, served only on Fridays. To keep things interesting, Good Dough has a flavor of the month that’s always bound to surprise your palate. That’s not all—they celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday with themed employee outfits and Harry Potter doughnuts.
With its bright interior and quaint old-time school feel, this friendly neighborhood shop boasts great service. In fact, some visitors call the staff, “the friendliest ever.”