NYC Best Doughnuts: A Pilgrimage To Doughnut Plant

Date January 4, 2010

If you like doughnuts at all, then you haven’t lived until you’ve made the pilgrimage to Doughnut Plant, the holy land of sugar-coated fried dough in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.  And like any cultish New York City institution, the lines can be long and the hours can be short but if you manage to secure the goods, all is forgiven thanks to the melt-in-your-mouth caress of doughnut bliss.  Read on for a taste of each doughnut below plus a surprise treat …

Doughnut Plant NYC Food

Blueberry Glazed $2.25

Doughnut plant breaks its desserts into two categories: Yeast doughnuts and cake doughnuts.  The yeast doughnuts are significantly larger and lighter than the smaller, dense cake doughnuts.  The Blueberry glazed is not as delicious as it is eye-catching but it certainly embodies an authentic, albeit sweet, blueberry flavor.  On other occasions I’ve tried the Peanut Butter Glazed Jelly-filled, the Banana Nut, and the Coconut Glazed Coconut Cream-filled. All are worth trying but the novelty and deliciousness of a coconut cream filled doughnut makes it my favorite yeast doughnut.

Doughnut Plant NYC Food

Tres Leches $2.00

I’ll take the Doughnut Plant version of this traditional Latin American dessert over the original any day.  The sugary glaze surrounds a ring of vanilla cake and creamy vanilla custard.  As you bite into the doughnut, the glaze melts into the porous cake as the custard overtakes your taste buds.  If your motto is “the sweeter, the better,” than this doughnut is for you.

Tres Leches NYC Food

Blackout $2.25

A chocolate lover’s delight, the Blackout cake doughnut features a chocolate fudge infused chocolate frosted chocolate cake topped with fudgey chocolate crumbs.  Wrap your mind around that.  Fortunately, the decadent inner fudge ring finds a balance with the just-sweet-enough frosting and crumbs satisfying chocolate cravings without overwhelming.

Blackout NYC Food

Creme Brulee $3.00

The sparkling (literally) crown jewel of the doughnut tower in my lead photo, the Creme Brulee doughnut is the perfect example of the innovative, gourmet approach Doughnut Plant takes with its desserts.  True to form, a crunchy, torched sugar surface crowns a light, mini yeast doughnut housing a well of sweet, thick custard.

Creme Brulee NYC Food

Carrot Cake $2.50

Here’s a glimpse into the world of NYC Food Guy just to give you a taste of what it’s like to be a guerilla food blogger.  I’m photographing a doughnut tower atop a newspaper stand on the corner outside Doughnut Plant.  A man wearing a black t-shirt with “Doughnut Plant” written across it in white walks by and does a double take.  He inquires as to exactly what I’m doing and asks me if I’ve tried the carrot cake doughnut.  Since I hadn’t, just a few minutes later, the man returns with the treat itself.  Sometimes it’s good to be the Food Guy.

Carrot Cake NYC Food

Bits of sweet carrot and crunchy walnut are studded in the outer glaze (similar to that of the Tres Leches) and the buttery inner cake.  And like the Tres Leches and Blackout doughnuts, the Carrot Cake is lined with an inner ring of sweet cream cheese frosting, cementing this doughnut’s status as the reinvention of a true classic.

Carrot Cake NYC Food

Doughnut Plant

379 Grand St. nr. Essex St. (Google Map)
New York, NY 10002
Closed Monday
Tues. – Sun. 6:30AM until doughnuts are sold out

12 Responses to “NYC Best Doughnuts: A Pilgrimage To Doughnut Plant”

  1. FN said:

    Good report Food Guy, I am partial to the Tres Leches myself.

    From the other side of the donut world, check this out:

  2. Food For Thought said:

    Happy New Year Food Guy!!!
    Fantastic and mouth watering photos of the donuts!!
    They look like sculptures…interesting perspectives.
    Keep the honest and tasty food reviews arriving.
    I think I’ll have to try one of each donut. How are the jelly donuts?

  3. wriskit said:

    Thanks Food guy, these doughnuts are just what I need to transition back to a normal existence from the New Years weekend excesses. Thanks again and my best wishes for you to have many rewarding and tasteful New Year discoveries in 2010 to pass on to your devoted followers.

  4. dawn said:

    oh man. seriously. to die for.

  5. taylor said:

    love the pictures! You always have such beautiful photos and you can really tell you took the time to arrange the doughnuts and place them perfectly. You are also an excellent writer! Keep up the good work!

  6. BrooklynQ said:

    Over $2 for a freaking doughnut? Fuggetaboutit. Ya freakin killin me here.

  7. koshersalami said:

    carrot cake is the best hands down

  8. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Tres Leches kicks ass. Thanks for the shout from the other side of the world. Looks insane! Let’s open one of those here!

    Food For Thought,

    Happy New Year to you as well. Jelly Donuts are pretty tasty here but they’re definitely a departure from the classics we know and love. That being said, there’s always room for the new when it comes to dessert.

    Thanks wriskit! Appreciate the kind words. Happy to push your arteries one step closer to failure. Welcome to our world!

    My sentiments exactly.

    Thanks for the appreciation of the food styling. You’ve got some good eyes too. This was a fun one. Any ideas for the future?

    How long have you been living in NYC? You know what it costs for deliciousness. These are well worth the pay increase over Dunkin Donuts!

    Which other varieties have you had?

  9. bbqmackster said:

    man I used to work around the corner from this place, you got it right, the Creme Brulee is the best, the one I can have most often, over and over. Tres leches is right behind, and the PBJ should be in the mix, though more for a change of pace vs a consistent selection. I like the chocolate too, though I never experienced the carrot cake, it looks really good. great pics! As sweet rich and hefty as these can be, their prices warrant the return without a doubt!

  10. organicgal said:

    Rightonrightonrighton! Doughnut Plant is it. I’m a fan of the Coconut Glazed Coconut Cream filled myself (but will try all and love many). My significant other is a Tres Leches kinda guy. I bet BrooklynQ pays at least $2 for some indulgence (quality or crap) like a caffeine beverage, cigarettes, alcoholic beverage, oxycontin, etc. If not, dude (or dudette)…live a little! To get the best of something for under $4? Plus, no preservatives, additives, some organic ingredients and locally sourced stuff when possible, and you have a doughnut that’s good for you (as far as doughnuts go) and better for the planet. Their Chai rocks as well and the Churros…fresh! Hope they still have the Carrot Cake when I get there again.

  11. Noemi C said:

    These donuts are delicious and worth every penny!!!!!!! mmmmmm

  12. Diana said:

    this is food porn at it’s best! love the doughnut tower food guy! we love doughnut plant too. doughnuts are my husbands number one weakness. before doughnut plant, i could take or leave them. that was of course before i sank my teeth into creme brulee and the peanut butter glazed jelly filled. i also love the blackout and the carrot cake doughnut. these doughnuts are EPIC. prior to this experience, my top was a warm krispy kreme which is sinful, but doughnut plant leaves them all behind.

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