The Donut Whole » Top 15 Best Donut Shops in Charlotte, NC

Top 15 Best Donut Shops in Charlotte, NC

Picture the scene: you’ve just finished your tour of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, when hunger strikes. And not just any old hunger – you’ve got a craving. A serious craving. And only donuts will do.

The good news is, we’ve prepared for just that eventuality! We’ve tracked down the best donuts in Charlotte. And we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about what’s out there, and where to find it.

Ready? Let’s start our tour!

Best Donuts in Charlotte

1. Reigning Donuts

Reigning Donuts

Find Reigning Donuts at the back of 3120 North Davidson Street. It’s a simple window facing 35th Street. But don’t be misled by its humble appearance. This is the home of some seriously good donuts.

There’s a great range of flavors, including a daily special. At the time of writing, the specials for the week included apple pie, cream cheese and berry, lemon poppy, s’mores, maple bacon, and peanut butter banana.

You can pre-order and pick up at the window, but note that they don’t accept cash. An online ordering facility is under development, and walk-up orders are welcome too. The opening hours are 7am to 4pm, seven days a week.

 

2. Duck Donuts

Duck Donuts

If you’re in the market for fresh donuts, they don’t come much fresher than the ones at Duck Donuts. The process starts the moment you place your order, with a fresh vanilla cake donut that’s fried on the spot.

You then customize your donut with your choice of coating, topping and drizzle. There’s lots to choose from, giving you endless combinations to keep things interesting.

And if all that choice sends you into a spin, don’t worry. There are lots of pre-set combinations, known as “fan favorites”, to choose from. Options include blueberry lemonade, chocolate covered strawberry and chocolate caramel crunch.

The shop is open seven days a week, and you can dine in, get takeout or order for delivery to your door. The opening hours are 6.30am to 3pm Monday to Wednesday, 6.30am to 7pm on Thursdays and Fridays, 7am to 7pm on Saturdays, and 7am to 3pm on Sundays.

 

3. Pepperbox Doughnuts

Pepperbox Doughnuts

At Pepperbox, they’ve been perfecting the recipe for their yeast-raised donuts for years. And you can tell they’ve got it right when you bite into the light, fluffy pastry.

All but two of the donuts on the menu are vegan, the exceptions being the dulce de leche and the Boston cream. And the flavors here are creative as well as delicious. Choose from options like the strawberry Romanoff filled donut, a blueberry matcha swirl, and mango passion fruit habanero.

Everything is made by hand and from scratch every day, a process that begins at 2am. The shop, located at the Design Center of the Carolinas, is open from 7am to 4pm Monday to Thursday, and from 7am to 9pm Friday to Sunday. Beware though – they close early if they sell out.

 

4. Sugar Donuts

Sugar Donuts

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If you’re in the mood for a delicious donut that’s a little bigger than average, Sugar Donuts is just the ticket. These generously sized pastries are lightly crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy inside. And they taste delicious.

The flavors include strawberry jelly, cinnamon rolls, Nutella glazed, cookies and cream, and caramel espresso. There are gluten-free and vegan options too, including strawberry, chocolate and vanilla donuts that tick both boxes.

Other options include a donut in a jar, specially designed for showing mom you care. And there are mini and giant cinnamon rolls, giant Oreo rolls, and a giant apple fritter.

The shop offers takeout and delivery. It’s open every day except Monday, from 7.30am to 7.30pm in the week, and 8am to 7.30pm at weekends.

 

5. OMG Donuts & Bakery

OMG Donuts & Bakery

OMG Donuts & Bakery offers a great range of donuts made fresh every day. And you’ll get friendly and helpful service too.

There’s a huge selection of exciting flavors on offer here. Customer favorites include the strawberry shortcake, chocolate frosted coconut, cookies and cream and brownie crumble.

You can dine in the bright and airy shop, or get your donuts to go. They’re open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 6.30am to 4.30pm.

 

6. Suárez Bakery

Suárez Bakery

If you don’t live in Charlotte already, Suárez Bakery is one of the best reasons to visit. The pastries here are top notch.

They include soft yeast-raised iced donuts decorated with sprinkles and cut in the shape of the letters of the alphabet. They’re a great way to send a message for a special occasion.

And for something truly extraordinary, check out the donut cakes. These are formed from three enormous Texas donuts, layered with vanilla cream, and stacked one on top of the other. The stack is topped with a donut hole.

You can choose donuts dipped in chocolate, white chocolate or pink or blue candy. And there’s a choice of rainbow, or white sprinkles, or pastel confetti for the finishing touch.

Pre-orders can be placed by telephone, email or a form on the website. Note, though, that they require at least two days’ notice of a cancellation. The shop is open daily, from 10am to 4pm on Sundays, and 9am to 5pm the rest of the week

 

7. OMG Donuts & Coffee

OMG Donuts & Coffee

OMG Donuts & Coffee is located on Old Post Road. It carries a similar range to the sister store, OMG Donuts & Bakery in Concord.

Here you’ll find flavors like maple and pecan, salted caramel and sour dough, as well as classics like glazed. The donuts are made by hand, and you can customize yours with your own choice of filling.

The drinks here are just as creative as the donuts. Take the iced caramel latte, for example, with caramel drizzle and whipped cream. Yum!

The shop is open every day except Monday. Opening hours are from 6.30am to 4pm on weekdays, 7am to 4pm on Saturdays, and 7am to 3pm on Sundays.

 

8. Donut I Love U

Donut I Love U

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Donut I Love U specializes in truly delicious mini donuts, served up hot and fresh alongside excellent coffee. They’re made with fresh fruit and Ghiardelli sauces, and they taste every bit as good as they sound.

All the donuts can be enjoyed as donut sundaes with the addition of a scoop of vanilla ice cream. And there’s a regularly changing list of specials. At the time of writing, these included the Coconut Caramelo, three mini donuts topped with coconut flakes, chocolate sauce and caramel drizzle.

Donut I Love U is a food truck, and it pops up at locations around Charlotte. Take a look at the website for information on forthcoming appearances and opening hours.

 

9. Burney’s Sweets & More

Burney’s Sweets & More

The donuts at Burney’s aren’t the cheapest out there – but they just might be some of the tastiest.

The options include cronuts that are filled to order. The Bavarian cream and apple fillings get particularly high praise from customers. Check out the glazed, cinnamon and lemon bars too.

There’s no space to dine in, but you can get takeout or have your donuts delivered. The shop is open from 8am to 6pm Tuesday to Saturday, and from 9am to 3pm on Sundays.

 

10. Dunkin’

Dunkin’

Any donut afficionado knows what they’ll be getting when they visit Dunkin’. And this branch in South Boulevard has all the attributes that have made this chain one of the most successful in the USA.

There’s a great range of fresh donuts, including an outstanding sour cream donut. And you can order on the go via their mobile app. There’s also a loyalty scheme that allows you to save points for free beverages.

And alongside the 50-plus varieties of donut, there’s a good range of breakfast sandwiches, cold drinks, coffee and espresso beverages.

It’s open seven days a week, from 5am to 7pm.

 

11. Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme

The donut-loving world is divided in two. If you don’t love Dunkin’, you almost certainly love Krispy Kreme!

The Charlotte branch offers the usual vast range of donut flavors and shapes, plus coffee and frozen drinks. And you can dine in, drive-through, or get delivery to your door. They’ll also cater to your special event.

The shop is open from 6am to 10pm, and delivery is available from 6.30am every morning. The last delivery is at 9.30pm Sunday through Thursday, and 10.30pm Friday through Sunday.

There’s a “hotlight” that tells you when the donuts are warm. Hotlight hours are 6am to 10am and 5pm to 9pm daily.

 

12. Manolo’s Bakery

Manolo’s Bakery

Manolo’s is a family-run Latin American bakery with a great range of pastries, including some delicious donuts.

But in this case, the donuts take second place to the other pastries. The real stars of the show are the tres leches cakes. They come in a range of different flavors, and numerous customers have said they’re the best they’ve ever tasted.

The bakery is open daily from 6am to 9pm, and offers both takeout and delivery.

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13. The Donut House

The Donut House

The Donut House offers a wide range of donuts in all styles and flavors. And there’s always something special for the holidays.

The filled donuts are particularly good – they’re filled to order, so they never get soggy. Other top picks include the apple fritter, glazed donut, and pretty much anything covered in candy!

The staff are friendly and efficient. But this place is popular, so don’t be surprised if there’s a line, especially early in the morning. The shop is open for takeout only from 6.30am to 4pm Tuesday to Saturday, and from 7am to 1pm on Sundays.

 

14. The Doughnut Peddler

The Doughnut Peddler

The Doughnut Peddler is a wholesaler that sells to the trade. Head to Montana Drive and you’ll find the donuts being baked. The question of whether you can buy them direct gets different answers from different people. Head to the front entrance with cash, and you may get lucky.

If all that sounds a bit too uncertain, the donuts are also on offer at a range of outlets around North Carolina. Circle K gas stations, for one, carry them. But it’s not quite the same as getting them hot and fresh from the fryer.

An alternative option is to try to get yourself a tour of the facility. It’s a fascinating opportunity to see the donuts being made and meet some of the friendly staff. And you’ll be able to get your hands on a sample of the goods.

 

15. Sunflour Baking Company

Sunflour Baking Company

Sunflour Bakery has four locations in and around Charlotte and Elizabeth, including this one on East 7th Street. Donuts are just one part of an extensive menu of pastries, pies and breads. But while the range isn’t as wide as you’ll get in a dedicated donut shop, the quality is top drawer.

The menu includes gluten free options, so anyone with a gluten allergy can still get their donut fix. The mini cake donut is a particular hit with customers. Wash it all down with a cup of gourmet coffee from coffee makers extraordinaire, Intentions.

You can dine in, pick up your order curbside, or have it delivered. The bakery is open seven days a week until 4pm.

 

Ready For Your Next Donut?

We hope you’ve enjoyed our tour of the best donuts in Charlotte. There are lots of great options here to satisfy your sweet tooth.

And with both independent stores and larger chains here, why not spread your wings and try somewhere new? Lots of these shops are pushing the boundaries with exciting new flavors and super-fresh pastries.

Enjoy your next donut!

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