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Ten Best Doughnuts in Broward and Palm Beach

Ten Best Doughnuts in Broward and Palm Beach

On any given day, the shops that peddle coffee and doughnuts -- that All-American, blue-collar breakfast -- have lines so long you'd swear they were giving their goods away. And, well, they are. For less than $2 apiece, a good doughnut is worth its weight in gold, especially when layered under a veil of decadent toppings or filled with creamy goodness. We're suckers for them.

And there you have it: the doughnut. Or is it donut? Quick etymology lesson for you: While both are acceptable, according to the Oxford Dictionary, the word "doughnut" is used globally, while "donut" refers to the all-American version, harking back to the early '20s, when it was first seen in the Los Angeles Times.

Today, it's the spelling that's most recognizable, quite possibly thanks to the nationwide spread of Dunkin' Donuts, the first pastry and coffee retailer to use the alternate spelling.

Although doughnuts aren't American, the donut is, and these days there's no denying the sharp line drawn between the fast-food variety and the artisan-crafted. But with so many variations, from candy-coated to fruit-filled, the degustation of what is essentially nothing more than fried dough is no easy task. Especially in South Florida, which doesn't have the brioche doughnuts from the likes of Bouchon Bakery in San Francisco, the Old Dirty Bastard (seriously; Google it) at Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland, or the drool-inducing, lemon-glazed cake at Glazed and Infused in Chicago.

Luckily, we aren't totally doughnut-poor. In the past year, Broward and Palm Beach have accumulated a few specialty shops, including Mojo Donuts in Pembroke Pines and the Jupiter Donut Factory in Jupiter, both of which opened their doors in February. Of course, a few old-timers have been making their own doughnuts for years, familiar outposts like Dandee Donuts in Pompano. And then there are the restaurants that have put their own stamp on the doughnut, frying them up fresh for brunch or dessert.

Here, Clean Plate Charlie presents its list of the best -- and as far as we can tell, only -- homemade doughnuts in South Florida:

Ten Best Doughnuts in Broward and Palm Beach

10. The Wine Dive

Sometimes, doughnuts aren't just a morning treat. Let's face it: They're basically dessert disguised as a blue-collar breakfast option. So why not actually have them for dessert? While there are several Broward and Palm Beach county establishments that serve their own house-made doughnut, including the Office in Delray Beach and the Foxy Brown in Fort Lauderdale, our favorite is from the Wine Dive in West Palm Beach. There, chef Naya Manali delivers his personal recipe for "hot damn doughnuts." Made fresh-to-order, they arrive piping hot from the fryer, a total of eight Louisiana-style doughnuts, otherwise known as beignets. A New Orleans specialty (they were declared the official state doughnut in 1986), they are made with a French pastry batter that is more fritter-like when deep-fried, then sprinkled with sugar and coated with a variety of icings. At the Wine Dive, you'll get them served with homemade cinnamon schnapps ice cream and a secret housemade doughnut syrup and topped with candied bacon. Swoon.

Ten Best Doughnuts in Broward and Palm Beach

9. Grampa's Bakery and Restaurant

Family-owned and -operated since 1957, Grampa's Bakery and Restaurant in Dania Beach has been serving homemade American food for more than 50 years. That includes a near-endless dessert and pastry case, where you can find almost any type of cookie, cake, pie, bread -- and, yes, doughnuts. All baking is done fresh, on the premises daily using old-fashioned equipment and from-scratch mix, just as it's been done since the place opened. To make its doughnuts light and flavorful, Grampa's uses a vegetable-shortening-based oil that gives each -- the yeast raised, especially -- that perfect light-and-fluffy feel.

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Ten Best Doughnuts in Broward and Palm Beach

8. Max's Harvest

OK, so it's not a bakery or coffee shop, but Max's Harvest in Delray Beach does serve one hell of a homemade doughnut. Just like the Wine Dive, it's a special served for brunch and comes paired with a few icing-inspired dipping sauces to make the taste-trip complete. You get the doughnut and the hole that used to reside in the center. Plus, Max's is known for its locally sourced, organic ingredients, so that makes this doughnuts practically healthy. Right? Yeah, we're going to choose to believe that's how it works.

Ten Best Doughnuts in Broward and Palm Beach

7. Master Cake Bakery

By now, we're sure you've heard enough of us extolling the many virtues of the Pembroke Pines Master Cake Bakery owned by European-trained, Israeli-born pastry chef Mickey Grunberger, who opened the kosher bakery about a month ago. The "cronut-like" doughnuts here have been dubbed "doissants," and Grunberger, a second-generation kosher baker, makes just 50 of them from scratch daily using traditional French and Hungarian baking techniques. Although you won't find any other type of traditional American fried dough here, you can browse the bakery's display cases filled with fresh pastries, custom cakes, challah bread, danishes, rugelach -- and, yes, croissants.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

 

Ten Best Doughnuts in Broward and Palm Beach

6. Cider Doughnuts

This time of year is the perfect time to find chef John Carlino's authentic New England apple cider doughnuts. A Connecticut transplant, Carlino began making his favorite style of cake doughnut, reminiscent of those found across the tristate area come autumn, when he started working the local greenmarkets more than ten years ago. His recipe calls for real apple cider in the mix, and the results are best enjoyed fresh from the fryer at the stand he sets up annually come green-market time in the fall. Today, it remains the only place you can pick up an order piping-hot. After baking, each tiny cake is rolled in a special sugar-cinnamon-spice coating and served with a cup of Carlino's own caramel apple compote. Of course, if you can't wait for the Palm Beach Gardens or Wellington greenmarkets to open, Carlino offers an alternative: His Cider Doughnut company prepares boxes with 65 frozen doughnuts that can be ordered online and picked up at his North Palm Beach kitchen. However, the final baking -- and finishing -- are up to you.

Ten Best Doughnuts in Broward and Palm Beach

5. DOugh DOugh's Donuts

Donut lover Redd Johnson began a love affair with fresh-baked doughnuts when he was younger, looking forward to regular visits he and his grandfather would take to the Fort Lauderdale flea market. After years spent working a career in marketing, he decided to give it up to make his own doughnuts, creating the same excitement he had as a child for everyone that sees his truck, DOugh DOugh Donuts. Johnson -- with much thanks to the help and support of his wife, Saneria -- is serving fresh-fried doughnuts that taste unlike any you'll have in the area thanks to a few "secret ingredients" that make their dough extra-special. Those secret ingredients are really a mystery; Johnson wouldn't tell us much aside from where they come from -- places as far as Canada, where his stellar coffee is sourced. What truly sets these doughnuts apart, however, is the oil they're fried in. Dough is hand-formed and prepared daily, then fried to order in high-saturated vegetable oil (no fear: Johnson tells us a dozen of his doughnuts have less than 300 calories) mixed with a bit of "grit" to help the doughnuts keep their form. You can order them with powdered sugar and cinnamon or one of several icings, including vanilla and chocolate. Of course, the real treat is his recent concoction: the loaded potato doughnut. Expect everything you'd get on a fully loaded baked potato but on a fresh-baked doughnut instead. To find DOugh DOugh, look for the truck at the next roundup or at the corner of the State Road 7/441 extension and Orange Grove Boulevard in West Palm Beach.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

 

Ten Best Doughnuts in Broward and Palm Beach

4. Relish

Relish, best-known for its gourmet burgers and shakes, is about to be known for its doughnuts too. Although it's been making its own fried dough since opening its doors in the Northwood Village business district in 2010, it hasn't been on the map -- until now. Made-to-order, you'll get six doughnuts fried in a flavorful soy oil and delivered steaming hot on a metal rack, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. The real treat, however, is a new menu item. Owners Daniel and Desiree Tobin have just announced their new series of specialty flavored doughnuts, inspired by their own best-selling milk shakes. Look for out-of-this-world flavor combos including salted caramel, espresso, cookies n' cream, and chocolate truffle.

Ten Best Doughnuts in Broward and Palm Beach

3. The Jupiter Donut Factory

Owner Chris Stokes took over operations at the Jupiter Donut Factory just a few months ago but had begun working with the original owners long before that. When that family decided to relocate to Oregon, Stokes said he would be happy to buy the shop -- and that's just what he did. Every day, he arrives at the shop around 1 a.m. to begin making the 40 or so flavors served at his Jupiter shop -- what equals about 200 dozen doughnuts on weekends. Local favorites include his own version of the maple bacon bar, a s'mores-inspired creation, and a red velvet "devil" that is more whoopie pie than doughnut. Stokes also recently began making his own fried and glazed croissant, which can be ordered plain or drizzled with chocolate or vanilla icing for an extra-sweet treat.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

 

Ten Best Doughnuts in Broward and Palm Beach

2. Dandee Donut Factory

If you want to talk old-fashioned -- and that goes for the shop and not just the type of doughnut -- look no further than Dandee Donut Factory in Pembroke Pines. Frank Pucine and Peter Spyredes have been in the doughnut business since the mid-'90s, but the place has the look and feel that would suggest they've been around much longer. The shop offers nearly 50 varieties -- provided you get there early -- but there's also coffee, breakfast sandwiches, and omelets, or lunch items to give the place that all-day appeal. And no worries about running out of goods and closing up shop: The Pompano Beach location is open 24 hours, while Hollywood and Deerfield are open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Ten Best Doughnuts in Broward and Palm Beach

1. Mojo Donuts

Mojo Donuts opened in Pembroke Pines last February by husband-and-wife team Shelly and chef Shawn Neifeld. Extensive travelers, the Neifelds missed the doughnuts they'd devoured across the country, including in cities like Chicago and New York. It was a call to action: They decided what South Florida needed was a gourmet doughnut shop, so they opened one. Like many specialty shops, most of Mojo's baked goods -- all 20-plus flavors -- tend to sell out rather quickly, making it less doughnut shop and more coffeehouse come noon. Mojo is open daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. (at least, they try to stay open that late but don't often make it past 2 p.m.). The hype around this place is thanks to the Neifelds' wild creations, like the 420-munchie doughnut, topped with everything from chocolate glaze to potato sticks and said to be made in honor of National Marijuana Day. Like any specialty shop, they have their own take on the standard gourmet riffs, including a decadent bacon and Nutella combo and a rich red velvet cake. The real wild side comes from picks like the Fruity Pebbles or sour-gummy-worm-topped yeast doughnut. There's even a Cuban-style, pastelito-like doughnut, the likes of which you'd see only in South Florida, filled with cream cheese and guava.

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Want access to our Best Of picks from your smartphone? Download our free Best Of app for the iPhone or Android phone from the App Store or Google Play. Don't forget to check out the full Best of Broward-Palm Beach® online at bestof.voiceplaces.com.

Follow Nicole Danna on Twitter, @SoFloNicole.




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