Good doughnuts are a pleasure on your tongue and a pain on your waistline. Especially because most of us don’t have the discipline to eat just one or two! But if you can ramp up your workouts and ignore guilty pangs, you can order by the dozen. Also, both spellings are fine, though most Americans skip the silent letters. So where are the best donuts in CT?
Best Donuts in CT
1. Donut Crazy
First, let’s talk a bit about CT. Connecticut is counted as part of the New England region, and also makes up the Tri-State Area with New York and New Jersey. Its capital is Hartford, but way more citizens live in Bridgeport. Americans call it the Nutmeg State, and though some people refer to residents as Nutmeggers, it’s not always a good idea – you might offend them.
- Name: Donut Crazy
- Address: New Haven 290 York Street, New Haven, CT
- Website: https://donutcrazy.com
- Phone: 203.745.4149
- Hours: 7 am to 8 pm
Donut Crazy offers some of the best donuts in CT. The Food Network even declared their cannoli donuts as the best in the state. They’re an in-house bakery that makes everything from scratch and makes 45 variants every day. They have multiple outlets around the state and have both daily and seasonal sweets. Try blueberry cornflake, it’s exactly how it sounds!
2. Neil’s Donuts
Connecticut is also known as the Constitution State because historians say the 1638/1639 Fundamental Orders were written there. Some call it the Land of Steady Habits because they seem like solid, grounded folk. Others call it the Provisions State because of its large role during the Revolutionary War. At the time, they were a key source of both food and weapons.
- Name: Neil’s Donuts
- Address: 83 North Turnpike Road Wallingford, CT 06492
- Website: https://www.neilsdonuts.com
- Phone: 203-269-4255
- Hours: Tue to Fri – 6 am to 3 pm; Sat – 6 am to 2 pm; Sun – 6 am to 1 pm
While Connecticut can seem conservative, it does have a taste for the nearby high-life of New York. And Neil’s Donuts delivers NY-style treats started as a sort of midlife crisis when he quit a sales job at age 40 to open a doughnut shop. He’s been at it for two decades, and so far, no complaints. Quite the opposite actually – one of his shops won Best CT Donut 2020.
3. Flanders Donut & Bake Shop
This month, many US residents celebrated National Doughnut Day. It’s on the first Friday of June every year, and as we seek out the best donuts in CT, we’ll tell you more about this fete. It comes from an unexpected place – The Salvation Army! So we’re going to dig a little into the background of the organization and why they got so involved with – of all things – fried cake!
- Name: Flanders Donut & Bake Shop
- Address: 327 Flanders Rd, East Lyme, CT, United States, Connecticut
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/Flandersbakeshop
- Phone: +1 860-739-6320
- Hours: Monday to Saturday – 4 am to 4 pm
You’ve heard of cake doughnuts, but if you’re a fan of crumb cake, you will love the crumb cake doughnut at Flanders. You should also consider their sinfully good s’mores doughnuts. And yes, it’s a fitting name. Think – Ned Flanders, Homer’s doughnuts, Salvation Army … sometimes the puns write themselves! Flanders has no website, but they’re on Facebook.
4. Beach Donut Shop
You may have heard some Christians refer to themselves as The Army of the Lord. And there’s a section in the bible that talks about the Armour of God. (Ephesians 6: 10 to 18). It’s in the New Testament, and it’s largely metaphorical, but many believers see their faith as a constant battle against the devil. Charity is a big weapon in the war, hence the Lord’s Army.
- Name: Beach Donut Shop
- Address: 344 E Main St Ste 2 Clinton, CT, US 06413
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/beachdonutshop/
- Phone: +1 860-664-5058
- Hours: 5.30 am to 3 pm
Armies need supplies, and boy does Beach Donut Shop provide! Two CT doughnut shops won 1st place in 2020. One was Neil’s and here’s the second winner. We’re talking about the one on Clinton, not Wallingford. Their website is currently down, but you can find them on Facebook. Their posts are spotty though, last updated in February. But the doughnuts rock.
5. Dottie’s Diner
The Salvation Army was started in 1865 by William Booth. He was a former preacher and made a sermon at the Blind Beggar, an old bar in East London. (FYI, they mostly call them pubs over there.) The charity runs shops and community projects, and its members have titles that mimic military ranks. Booth made himself the first General of the Salvation Army.
- Name: Dottie’s Diner
- Address: 787 Main St S, Woodbury, CT 06798
- Website: http://www.dottiesdiner.com
- Phone: 203-263-2516
- Hours: 7 am to 3 pm
Back in Connecticut, Wallingford Beach Donuts serves unadorned doughnuts at low prices. But if you want artistic delicacies, try Clinton Beach Donuts instead. Or better yet, go to Dottie’s Diner. Just like its name, this donut shop has comforting 50s couture. And they won Best CT Donut for 5 years running! Plus, they serve beer and wine! What more d’you need?
6. Dixie Cream Donuts
America’s role in World War I is often downplayed because at first, we were a neutral nation that offered logistical support. As a country built on immigrants – first from the UK and Europe then the rest of the world – it was tough to pick sides. We did join the fighting in 1917 by sending our boys to France. That’s part of the reason the Salvation Army got involved in it.
- Name: Dixie Cream Donuts
- Address: 275 W Town St Norwich, CT, US 06389
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/Dixie-Donuts-LLC-207925767852/
- Phone: +1 860-889-8992
- Hours: 5.30 am to Noon
You don’t have to sing the French Dixie to enjoy Dixie Cream Donuts. (Yes, that’s an actual thing!) This global franchise has been around since 1929 and they have a branch in CT. Find them on Facebook since they’re not listed on the main website. They do have the right skills and capacity. During their Father’s Day Cars & Coffee event, they made (and sold) 133 dozen!
7. Tastease Mini Donuts
When we sent our troops to France, the Salvation Army sent some people over there to see what role they could play. Most soldiers were drafted, and some were quite young. Many had never traveled overseas, and the stress of war didn’t leave much room for tourism. So the Salvation Army realized they could help the war effort by offering them a few home comforts.
- Name: Tastease Mini Donuts
- Address: 70 New Park Ave, Hartford, CT 06106, United States
- Website: https://www.instagram.com/tasteaseminidonut/
- Phone: +1 860-233-2235
- Hours: Tuesday to Saturday – 7 am to 2 pm
The boys probably met some flirty French girls over there, but if you prefer local tasties, you can find some at Tastease. And yes, their mini doughnuts do offer a little taste tease, so you’ll want more than one. Probably more than a dozen! These colorful confections have cutely designed frosting that has a playful hand-crafted look. Have an eyeful on IG then go order!
8. Whitney Donut and Sandwich Shop
According to the Salvation Army surveyors, if they could offer the boys writing supplies, these soldiers could communicate with loved ones back home and feel less isolated. The Salvation Army also mended the soldier’s clothes and offered baked goods, since military rations aren’t exactly comfort food. The boys could access these goodies at the canteen.
- Name: Whitney Donut and Sandwich Shop
- Address: 2574 Whitney Ave Hamden, CT, US 06518
- Website: https://www.whitneydonut.com
- Phone: +1 203-248-9095
- Hours: Mon to Fri – 6 am to 4 pm; Sat to Sun – 6 am to 2 pm
Speaking of comfort food, Whitney offers it by the bucket load. Grab a lunch wrap, a lox bagel (it’s salty salmon), or – naturally – a wide selection of doughnuts. This donut & deli opened in 1980 and makes fresh sweets and pastries every day. The founding couple is Sharon and Peter Demetropoulos. Their daughter Julie and her husband Saki now run it.
9. Coffee An Donut Shop
Salvation Army canteens were described as huts, and they were based in damaged buildings and abandoned structures at the front lines. Every hut had two male and four female staffers, all volunteers from the Salvation Army. To start off the mission, 250 Salvationists went to France. Two of these ladies suggested the huts should serve doughnuts, and the boys loved it!
- Name: Coffee An Donut Shop
- Address: 343 Main St Westport, CT, US 06880
- Website: https://coffeean.business.site
- Phone: +1 203-227-3808
- Hours: Mon to Sat – 7 am to 3 pm; Sun – 7.30 am to 1 pm
While the ladies didn’t offer cinnamon rolls (too tricky to make on the battlefield), the boys would have loved the ones at Coffee An. The shop describes itself as old school and easygoing. They serve cinnamon rolls and cinnamon twirl doughnuts. Some of their other offerings, pun intended, include cake doughnuts like marble, apple turnover, or muffin.
10. Doughnut Inn
The Salvationist servers earned the nickname Donut Dollies, or sometimes Doughnut Girls. The first two were Helen Purviance, an adjutant, and Margaret Sheldon, an ensign. Some people say this doughnut service is why young soldiers are nicknamed doughboys, but that’s a coincidence. Either way, the doughnut project expanded and became a popular provision.
- Name: Doughnut Inn
- Address: 2480 Black Rock Tpke Ste 7 (11,520.31 km) 06825 Fairfield, CT, US
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Coffee-shop/Doughnut-Inn-114518158572187/
- Phone: +1 203-296-2662
- Hours: 5 am to 6 pm
By now, you know names can be misleading. Case in point, the Salvation Army isn’t an army, and the Doughnut Inn isn’t a tavern! The establishment has three branches in Connecticut, and some are doughnut drive-throughs! This is one where the spelling matters because the one with extra letters is in CT while the American-spelled Donut Inn is from NC. No relation!
11. Tony’s Square Donuts
Incidentally, the huts worked so well that the Red Cross later used the same doughnut idea. By 1938, doughnuts and the Salvation Army had an intuitive link. So when they needed funds for the Salvation Army in Chicago, they suggested National Doughnut Day. It achieved two goals – they could raise money for the locals and honor their original Doughnut Dollies.
- Name: Tony’s Square Donuts
- Address: 268 Quinnipiac Ave North Haven, CT 06473
- Website: https://www.instagram.com/tonyssquaredonuts/
- Phone: (203) 215-4452
- Hours: Mon to Fri – 7.30 am to 5.30 pm; Sat – 8 am to 3 pm
The Doughnut Dollies probably served regular no-fuss doughnuts. After all, they were in the middle of a war zone! But in some places, you can find square doughnuts, like the beignets of New Orleans, or Tony’s Square Donuts in North Haven. The spot was once called Orangeside Donuts but they rebranded. Their donuts pack about 200 calories and they have a food truck.
12. R(e)dneck Gourmet Donuts & Sweets
Today, the Salvation Army still uses National Doughnut Day as a funding drive. And though they’re not always affiliated with Salvationists, lots of doughnut shops give their customers free doughnuts to mark the holiday. It’s celebrated in Australia too. But in Australia, the meaning of the phrase has changed because of its reference to events during the Covid years.
- Name: R(e)dneck Gourmet Donuts & Sweets
- Address: 43 Broadway Street Colchester, CT, US 06415
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/redneckgourmetdonutsandsweets/
- Phone: +1 860-949-3388
- Hours: Friday – 6 am to 9 am; Saturday to Sunday – 7 am to 10 am
Leaving Covid aside for a moment, let’s talk rednecks. And no, this isn’t an anti-vaxxer pun. It’s about how (marginalized) communities sometimes reclaim words intended as insults. This food truck takes pride in its Andalusian heritage, and the gourmet in their name rings true. Their Facebook page, assuming it’s not a parody, leans into this. But the doughnuts are good!
13. Dude’s Donuts
In December 2019, a disturbing virus started to spread, and it left most of the world locked down for two years or more. And Covid had us acting in all sorts of weird ways – we were storming grocery stores and fighting over tissue rolls! In Australia, one Melbourne store ran out of doughnuts on 26th October 2020 and the absence of fried dough became symbolic.
- Name: Dude’s Donuts
- Address: 245 Dekoven Dr, Middletown, CT 06457-3460, United States
- Website: https://linktr.ee/dudesdonuts
- Phone: +1 860-249-1618
- Hours: Depend on the Venue (It’s a Snack Van)
Australians started to see the ring shape of a doughnut as a sign representing zero. But they put a positive spin on it, longing for Doughnut Day when we would have zero new infections. But there’s no zero in the Dude’s Donuts story. Just don’t mistake their food truck for a vegan donut shop in Portland that has a remarkably similar name … keep your eyes peeled!
Do you know any good doughnut spots in Connecticut? Tell us your faves in the comments!