7. Krispy Kreme
2401 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-565-5599, or visit krispykreme.com.
Few things inspire a greater reaction in South Florida's sugar fiends than a lit-up "hot now" sign glowing outside Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. Founded in 1937 when Vernon Rudolph purchased a top-secret yeast-raised doughnut recipe from a New Orleans chef, the doughnut company set its sites on world domination in the 1990s and embarked upon a mass expansion. The company now boasts more than 700 locations in 21 countries, including Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand. It's best-known for the "original glazed" doughnut, an ethereally light creation that seems to dissolve into sticky sweet thin air on the tongue. Most locations offer a drive-through, making it all too easy to roll through for a hot dozen and then make a quick getaway. Come National Doughnut Day, it's one of the best spots to indulge. It may be a chain, but the national doughnut peddler is offering a free doughnut in honor of the holiday to all patrons, including the Tamarac and Fort Lauderdale locations. That includes any variety, whether it's powdered, filled, or the original glazed.
6. Palm Beach Bakery & Cafe
206 E. Ocean Ave., Lantana. Call 561-585-0222.
This tiny café serving sweet and savory breads, crepes, and pastries isn't actually in Palm Beach but rather just a few steps off the main drag of downtown Lantana's Ocean Avenue, tucked away on a quiet side street. The place is small, and the kitchen even smaller, with just one stove. But that one stove produces some of the most decadent baked goods in all South Florida. There's not really any counter space inside, and seating is limited to a pair of two-seat tables. The only fresh (gluten-free) air you'll find is outdoors, where a few more patio-style seats can be found under the shade of a few umbrellas — often filled when the weather is nice. Of course, none of this matters: Everyone is here for a taste of the goodies from baker Jouko Vaskivuo, a Finnish immigrant who began working in a Swedish bakery when he relocated in the 1970's. After several years in New England, he made his way to Florida via the Finnish-rich community of Lake Worth, where he began baking at the Breakers Hotel. When Vaskivuo opened his own shop a few years later, the idea was to keep on baking. Aside from his specialty breads and pastries, specialty doughnuts are a must-try. Soft and moist, they're the simple raised yeast kind tossed in sugar. A real treat comes every February, however, in recognition of the Finnish holiday known as Laskiainen, when he'll make his famous pulla (pictured here), a doughnut-like dessert filled with a hearty dollop of heavenly, marzipan-like almond cream and fresh whipped cream.
5. Rhino Doughnuts & Coffee
107 Commercial Blvd., Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. Call 855-744-6674, or visit RhinoDoughnuts.com.
Maple bacon. S'Mores. Nestle Crunch. Salted caramel. Cookies and cream. Guava cream. Key lime margarita. Warning: This is not your daddy's doughnut shop. Chunks of crisp caramelized applewood bacon crown a glazed round of dense yet fluffy dough. Hidden from the eye is a filling of handmade maple custard boiled down nightly from fresh vanilla beans and real maple syrup. Rainbow-colored M&M's and smooth chocolate are layered atop the ring-shaped candy-bar doughnut. It's offered in a variety of kid-approved flavors like Snickers, Milky Way, and Nestle Crunch. And it's all thanks to Rhino Doughnuts & Coffee, with locations in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Boca Raton, and Sunrise. The South Florida-based artisan doughnut and coffee shop makes its gourmet creations fresh daily, all prepared at an off-premises commissary kitchen located in Sunrise. The central hub allows Rhino to bake upward of 3,000 doughnuts per day, which are delivered to all three shops fresh each morning, as well as several local wholesale accounts. Just be sure to get to one of the Rhino outposts before 3 p.m., when the best flavors have already been snatched up by hungry patrons.
4. Dandee Donuts
1900 E. Atlantic Blvd., Pompano Beach. Visit dandeedontus.com.
In the mid 1980s, two young entrepreneurs crossed paths in South Florida. One was from Utica, New York, and the other from Ontario, Canada. They worked together for a while under the formal framework of a franchise doughnut company. They longed for the day when they could branch out on their own and create a concept they would be in complete control of. After ten years of working under a franchise banner and being restricted to selling just coffee and doughnuts, the opportunity to create a new type of shop was realized, and the Dandee Donut Factory was founded in 1995. Today, 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 Pompano Beach, where Frank Pucine and Peter Spyredes first opened. 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 is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. PS: If you like free food, you can get a free doughnut with the purchase of any large hot or iced cappuccino.
3. Jupiter Donut Factory
141 Center St., Jupiter. Call 561-741-5290.
A family-run and -operated establishment, Jupiter Donut Factory has been a crowd favorite for years, selling out of doughnuts hours before the morning rush lulls to a halt. Owner Chris Stokes took over operations in 2013, but was working with the original owners long before that. When the family decided to relocate to Oregon, Stokes was happy to buy the shop — and that's just what he did. Every day, he arrives at the store around 1 a.m. to begin making the 40 or so flavors served each day, 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. Recently Stokes opened The Donut Factory, a second outpost, a few weeks ago in the Village Royale Shopping Plaza off Okeechobee Boulevard in Royal Palm Beach, making the drive for delicious sweet treats that much easier for much of Palm Beach County.
2. Mojo Donuts
7906 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines. Call 954-983-6631.
Husband-and-wife team Shelly and chef Shawn Neifeld opened Mojo Donuts in 2013 because, as extensive travelers, they missed the many doughnuts they'd devoured across the country, including in cities like Chicago and New York. The dearth of doughnuts on the South Florida scene was a call to action: They decided what Broward County needed was a gourmet shop, so they created one to fill the void. Like many specialty shops, most of Mojo's baked goods — all 30-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 baklacropolis, a cross between the Greek dessert and a doughnut-croissant hybrid, created on the Cooking Channel's Donut Showdown last year. The Pembroke Pines bakery is known to serve this specialty — as well as a rotating list of limited-edition doughnuts — every Saturday and Sunday, one of the many treats the team delivers on weekends and as rotating weekly specials. Of course, the most amazing is the gigantic birthday doughnut, a huge cake and icing monstrosity that can be special ordered for that special occasion.
1. YoNutz Gourmet Donuts & Soft Serve
121 NW 136th Ave., Sunrise. Call 954-846-1115, or visit yonutzfl.com.
A newcomer to the South Florida doughnut scene, YoNutz opened last year in Sunrise, a family-run establishment specializing in two sweet treats. The "yo" stands for the 14 flavors of frozen yogurt and soft-serve ice cream, the "nutz" for the rows of fresh-baked gourmet doughnuts. The menu features everything from muffins and cinnamon buns made fresh daily to doughnuts stuffed with homemade jams, custards, and from-scratch icings. Like most spots, flavors rotate and specials pop up weekly. But most standard flavors include maple bacon, guava and cheese, sea salt caramel, white chocolate toasted coconut, strawberry cheesecake, peanut butter and jelly, Key lime pie, and cookies and cream. Drunken doughnuts are weekend specials: adult-only doughnuts featuring a touch of liquor, like the margarita speciality that made an appearance on Cinco de Mayo. Or go for a doughnut ice cream sandwich like the blackberry and tarragon yeast doughnut with vanilla custard. There's even doughnut shakes, soft serve with toppings blended along with any doughnut you desire.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.