Fluffy and golden-fried, or cakey and crumbly. Kissed with glaze or draped in icing. Speckled with sprinkles or dusted with sugar. Oozing with cream or hole in the middle. It’s hard to go wrong with donuts – or doughnuts – because no matter how you top ’em, cook ’em, fill ’em, or spell ’em, let’s face it: they are awesome.
While a trip to Timmies can put a sweet note of donut goodness in your day, or a trek to Delta for a piping hot Krispy Kreme moment can cure the donut blues, in Metro Vancouver we are spoiled with several homegrown makers of delectable donuts. We even have sushi donuts and IG-bait donuts stuffed with mochi, for something a little left of centre.
These are the nine essential places for delicious donuts in Metro Vancouver.
Lucky’s Doughnuts are tasty as they are tasteful, offering gourmet flavours like lemon curd with torched meringue and earl grey with lavender. They serve all the traditional flavours like French crullers, old fashioned glazed, salted caramel and plenty of seasonal and rotating flavours. Keep an eye out for their wildly inventive specials, too.
Address: 2902 Main Street and 2198 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver
The perfect end to a day of hiking or paddling in North Vancouver’s outdoorsy Deep Cove. Honey’s sticks with classics, serving up honey, maple or chocolate doughnuts alongside plenty of other freshly made baked goods. They’re dense, cake-like and massive. Don’t be surprised to encounter a long doughnut-craving line depending on when you stop by. Oh, and maybe a celeb or two, too.
Address: 4373 Gallant Avenue, North Vancouver (Deep Cove)
Cartems offers so many awesome flavours it’s a borderline challenge to pick one when you walk into one of their shops. From the crave-worthy Cookies and cream to one of their adventurous rotating savoury options (like honey parmesan), not to mention their decadent filled “Stuffies” there’s something for everyone here. Vegans take note: there are plenty of donuts for you at Cartems, too.
Address: Locations in downtown, Mount Pleasant, and Kitsilano; see website for details
Lee’s Donuts have been a Granville Island staple for almost 30 years. Their donuts are made fresh daily and have fans in us regular folk, and some famous faces, too. There’s nothing like sinking your teeth into a giant donut from Lee’s and doing some serious people watching in and around the Public Market. They’re known for their maple bacon (with big pieces of bacon on top) and look for their vibrant fruit flavours like mango and strawberry.
Address: 1689 Johnston Street, Vancouver (Granville Island Public Market)
To get your hands on the gems from New Westminster’s Royal City Donuts, you’ll have to find where this indie vendor is selling on any given day. They’re often at area markets (like Burnaby and New West farmers’ markets) and sold in select spots in New West. But the great news is, Royal City is opening a brick-and-mortar location in Burnaby, so soon you’ll be able to find them there. Look for vegan donuts, maple bacon apple fritters, and fun flavours like bubble gum.
Harmony Donuts is so cute and so kitschy that we can’t really imagine a better setting to eat donuts in. Like their shop, their cake-like donuts are brightly coloured, come in multiple flavours and are that perfect mix of classic and fun.
Address: 2945 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver
Our readers turned us on to the awesomeness that are Breka’s freshly made doughnuts. With Boston Cream and Apple Fritters available 24-hours a day, it should definitely be on you go-to list.
Address: Four Vancouver locations (Fraser, Bute, Davie, and 4th Ave); check website for details
3 a.m. and you need a donut? Head to Duffins! Their 30-year run of fresh baked and prepared in-house donuts has made them a Vancouver staple. They offer 50 varieties and also serve fried chicken, Chinese food, and torta subs and are open 24 hours a day. What more could you ask of donut shop?
Address: 1391 East 41st Avenue, Vancouver
Did you know you can get fresh artisanal 100% vegan donuts delivered to you in Vancouver? Yep! Dipped Doughnut Co. is making your donut dreams come true, with flavours like Cherry Bomb (Yeast fried doughnut dipped in cherry glaze topped with a cherry candy), The Dirty (Yeast fried doughnut dipped in vanilla glaze topped with cookie crumbles and Oreo pieces), and the Nutty Professor (Gluten free baked chocolate doughnut dipped in peanut butter glaze and topped with salted peanuts and a chocolate drizzle) along with “dough balls,” mini donuts, and special birthday donuts.
Address: By order/delivery only
With files from Adam Nanji