Americans have had a love affair with doughnuts since the early 19th century. The first written celebration of these “balls of sweetened dough … called doughnuts” came from Washington Irving in his History of New York, back in 1809. And not much has changed. Now, there are not one but two “holidays” called National Doughnut Day.
Well, some things have changed. You can find a doughnut in pretty much any flavor that suits your fancy, and shops have started creating confections for those of us in the cruelty-free set, too. Here are some of the best vegan doughnuts in these United States, all thoroughly taste-tested by PETA employees (whose arms had to be twisted to get help in the research, of course).
In New York, head to Dun-Well Doughnuts. With more than 200 flavors on rotation, every trip to Dun-Well will be different. Try the Cadbury Cream Egg, Downton Abbey, Sugared Plum (Fairy), and Sweet Potato Pie, and discover why this all-vegan bakery’s creations were voted “Best Doughnuts” by readers of the New York Daily News.
In Seattle, check out the mighty selection at Mighty-O Donuts. And save room for the bestseller, the French toast doughnut, which features warm spice cake with maple glaze, cinnamon, and powdered sugar. Feeling hungry?
Pennsylvanians love Vegan Treats in Bethlehem. This bakery won a PETA Proggy Award for Best Bakery (“Proggy” stands for “progress”), and it’s easy to see why. In addition to a doughnut spread that includes flavors such as cookies and cream, French silk, and vanilla soy Chai, dozens of other desserts are available to patrons, including vegan ice cream, cookies, “chipwiches,” brownies, cheesecake, mousse, and petits four.
You’ll want to tell everyone what happened in Las Vegas after a visit to Ronald’s Donuts. Ever heard of an apple burrito? Rumor has it that after you visit Ronald’s, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one.
With locations in San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley, California, Pepples Organic Donuts is making the entire Bay Area sweeter. Not only are the treats cruelty-free, they are also 100 percent organic. If you’re having trouble deciding which to choose from the huge selection, regulars recommend the double blueberry, the salted caramel, and the whiskey tangerine fig.
In SoCal, stop by Los Angeles eatery Donut Friend. Here, doughnuts are made to order, so patrons can choose their own perfect combinations of dough type and toppings. Donut Friend says that it has “literally thousands” of unique vegan creations. Our reviewers fell for the Jets to Basil, a classic doughnut filled with strawberry jam and vegan cream cheese and topped with fresh basil and balsamic vinaigrette (just be sure to ask for a cheese-free version).
If strawberry basil, lemon lavender, and cinnamon doughnuts strike a chord, Missoula, Montana’s Tandem Doughnuts has your order ready. And you can get these yummy treats all over town: Tandem delivers fresh doughnuts to numerous cafés and shops, so everyone has a chance to grab one during the morning (or evening) commute.
For something a little more on the funky side, stop by one of the Voodoo Doughnuts locations in Portland and Eugene, Oregon, and Denver, Colorado. In addition to its ready-made vegan doughnuts, Voodoo will make any doughnut on the menu vegan for you as well. Patrons love the Voodoo Doll doughnut, a raised-yeast doughnut filled with raspberry jelly, topped with chocolate icing, and shaped and decorated to look like a voodoo doll.
The folks at Le Cave’s Bakery in Tucson, Arizona, should know good vegan doughnuts — they’ve only been making them since 1935. Taste these pros’ mango-filled doughnuts or the classic maple.
Not within driving distance of any of these sweet shops? Not to worry: Try out this vegan doughnut recipe and customize it to suit your own sweet tooth.
Michelle Kretzer learned about factory farming while pursuing a degree in Journalism at the University of Kentucky. She immediately stopped eating meat and dedicated herself to the cause of animal rights. When she is not writing for PETA, Michelle enjoys doting on her German shepherd mix, Hannah, traveling, collecting Beatles memorabilia, and finding great cruelty-free shoes and bags.