They call me the Doughnut Dude.
That’s because I like to bring doughnuts to The Daily Herald newsroom every once in a while. It’s a simple gesture that costs around $20. It also turns my weakness for sweets into a benevolent gift to my fellow journalists.
When you’re craving doughnuts, you could always grab some at the nearest supermarket. Because, as food writer Megan Gordon said about doughnuts, “When they’re bad, they’re still kind of good.”
I don’t claim to be a gourmand. I just have a soft spot for sweets. Here are some of my favorite shops in Snohomish County for one — or a dozen — doughnuts.
A1 Donut, 12025 Highway 99, Suite E
One of the area’s newest shops, A1 Donut is a bold shop on busy Highway 99.
It has the staples, but the specialty offerings of apple fritter, Bavarian cream and Oreo are worth the stop.
Recently, the shop rolled out a PB&J, a raised doughnut filled with peanut butter and strawberry jelly, and topped with crunchy or smooth peanut butter.
I chose creamy peanut butter — it was thicker than I expected, a delightful surprise.
Bonus: If you’re a first-time customer, you get free doughnut holes with your order.
If you’re looking for seasonal treats, you can order crushed peppermint cake around Christmas time.
Despi Delite Bakery, 3713 Broadway
The shop across from Funko Field has become one of the most beloved confectioneries in Snohomish County.
The Filipino tradition of baking with ube, a purple yam, is prevalent in the display case alongside more familiar fare. But owners Christian and Melissa Despi, who opened the northern outpost of the Despi family’s storied shop in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood in 2017, are happy to experiment.
Some are seasonal, like a suite of Cinco de Mayo doughnuts named after cocktails such as margarita, strawberry daiquiri and pina colada. They’ll even serve up doughnuts for themed days, including Star Wars-decorated delights resembling Boba Fett, Princess Leia and R2-D2 for “May the Fourth Be With You.” Those designs hint at the business’ custom cakes.
The top-sellers are apple fritters and maple bars. But I’m convinced their most important offering is the vegan blueberry fritter. In my experience, everyone who tastes it becomes a fan. Buy it and eat it, then thank me (but mostly Despi Delite Bakery) later.
Henry’s Donuts, 2515 Broadway
Henry’s has shops in south Everett, Lynnwood, Marysville and Monroe. But the Broadway location in north Everett offers something special: they open at 3 a.m., which makes it a great stop for early risers and late-night cravings.
Henry’s is my neighborhood doughnut shop. You won’t find anything too fancy here. It’s a world apart from notable doughnut pioneers like Voodoo Donuts in Portland, Oregon. But what they do, they consistently do well.
Lake Stevens Donuts, 1805 Main St.
Get there before noon or you may not get what you want, which happened to me recently when I popped in to grab a maple bar for my dad. They were out of that common top-seller, but still had plenty of other staples, including apple and blueberry fritters, Bavarian cream doughnuts and chocolate bars. All of them are solid options.
The store’s location, just up from the Centennial Trail, makes it a worthy stop if you’re biking or walking along the path for a short break near the lake just across the street.
Donut Factory, 20815 67th Ave. W., No. 202
This place really cranks out the doughnuts. The robust display cases feature up to 55 kinds. The store bakes upwards of 1,500 doughnuts per day — all handcrafted.
Donut Factory, which opened a second location in Seattle’s University District two years ago, has the basics, but also dabbles in new flavors.
That boldness was a hit for friends who chose Donut Factory’s banana fritter. They likened it to banana bread and were pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t based on banana cream or pudding.
Zuri’s Donutz, 7600 196th St. SW, No. 850
Davis Vincent knew he wanted to have a sweets shop.
It was fortuitous that he found a doughnut shop for sale not far from where he lives. The former owner taught him how to make the pastries, but from there it has been Vincent’s imagination and ambition that forged flavors such as the coconut-forward Island Vibez and the strawberry-laden Ace of Spades.
“I love the fact that there’s so many things to experiment with,” Vincent said. “I want to be the outcast and do the things people won’t do or don’t know how to do.”
Named for his daughter, the shop has at least 27 kinds of doughnuts. Top-sellers include torched buttercream and ube iced with a mango filling. One of Vincent’s recent creations sported hibiscus blossom and edible gold glitter.
“Quality, then happiness, and then results,” Vincent said. “I plan on getting better, so please let me know.”
Countryside Donut House, 21919 66th Ave. W., Suite I
Located just off busy 220th Street SW, this place hits the classics well. Chocolate bars, maple bars, jelly-filled and old fashioned are all top-sellers for good reason.
A sign atop the display case lists more than a dozen of the store’s most popular goods, and all the hits are there.
My friend appreciated the apple fritter’s taste and texture, calling it “crisp without being overdone.” I enjoyed my blueberry-glazed raised and strawberry bar. I could really taste the berries.
I stopped here because it’s been touted as the best doughnut shop in Mountlake Terrace. The next time I’m in town, I’ll grab one of Countryside Donut’s signature maple bars.
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