Whether you call it a doughnut, a fritter, a churro, a zeppola, a fasnacht, or a beignet, fried sugary dough crosses cultural lines. Philadelphia is lucky enough to have destinations for doughnuts from around the world, plus plenty of the traditional American kind. From upscale takes on doughnuts served at the hottest restaurants in town to old-school classics at neighborhood spots in South Philly and the Northeast, along with a selection of vegan and gluten-free options, here’s where to get doughnuts (and churros and zeppoli) in Philly.Read More
15 Doughnuts to Seek Out in Philadelphia
Where to find fried sugary dough in all its delicious forms
1. Duck Donuts
A longtime Outer Banks favorite for its fresh, glazed-to-order offerings, Duck Donuts was an instant hit when it opened in the Philly area. Its King of Prussia outpost regularly has lines out the door with families eagerly deciding which toppings to order.
2. Haegele's Bakery
Approaching is 90th year, this German bakery on a Mayfair corner is famous for its fastnacht doughnuts sold on Mardi Gras in February, the day of feasting and celebration before Lent begins. The bakers here hand-roll butter-sponge doughnuts and top them with powdered or cinnamon sugar. Go early and eat them early; better yet, get enough to share.
3. Hello Donuts
Philadelphia, PA 19125
Hello Donuts, the collab between ReAnimator Coffee and a group of musicians, used to sell its traditional and vegan treats at local markets and restaurants, but now these doughnuts are available at a permanent shop in East Kensington. Along with specialties like a vegan maple bourbon, look for seasonal flavors and fritters on Fridays.
The rose and pistachio cruller at Suraya looks like it would be dense and filling, but just like the whole vibe at this critically acclaimed Lebanese spot, it’s light, airy, and photogenic. Suraya is a cafe during the day and a full-service restaurant at dinnertime.
5. Federal Donuts (multiple locations)
Philly’s hometown doughnut hero, Federal Donuts, put the city on the fried dough map in 2011 and now has eight locations to satisfy sweet teeth. Hot fresh doughnuts in three flavors — cookies and cream, strawberry lavender, and cinnamon brown sugar — are available all day. “Fancy” ones like apple crisp and caramel key lime get eaten up quickly each morning.
6. Frangelli's Bakery
A South Philly staple for the last 70-plus years, Frangelli’s hand-cuts its doughnuts, makes them fresh each morning, and hand-pumps them with fillings to order. Try the famous cannoli cream–stuffed “frannoli.”
Sure, it’s nationally known for the pasta, antipasto, and other Italian specialties, but the place is called Zeppoli. Save room for the namesake sugary doughnut balls after a meal at chef Joey Baldino’s first restaurant (it’s BYOB).
8. Slice (multiple locations)
Slice's four locations serve a sweet treat alongside their pizza: sugar doughnuts with dipping sauces like chocolate and cookie butter speculoos.
9. Beiler's Doughnuts (multiple locations)
This Reading Terminal Market staple (and its University City outpost) sells thousands of doughnuts in up to 40 varieties daily. Seasonal offerings can include flavors like s’mores and harvest apple. Blueberry fritters, old fashioneds, and Oreo creme are classics.
Buddakan’s punny Dip Sum doughnuts are coated in five-spice sugar and served in a typical Chinese food takeout box with seasonal fruit jam, chocolate sauce, and gingered cream cheese for dipping.
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11. El Merkury
Churros aren’t too far a stretch from doughnuts, right? This quick-serve Rittenhouse spot for Central American fare has a whole menu of them. Head here for made-to-order churros served over vanilla soft serve with a choice of toppings.
With an unexpectedly light and crispy exterior (thanks to a pate a choux batter), Oloroso’s warm churros are tossed in smoked cinnamon sugar and served alongside a chocolate sauce boosted by a touch of Espelette pepper.
13. Undrgrnd Donuts
Seek out the Undrgrnd Donuts truck at pop-up events to try outrageous doughnut concoctions. Perfect for fall, the Camping Out is dunked in chocolate and topped with graham cracker and marshmallow fluff. The Monkey Chunk is dunked in banana icing and covered in chocolate chips and walnuts.
14. Okie Dokie Donuts
Gluten-free eaters can get their fried dough fix from Carol Ha of Okie Dokie who perfected her recipe a few years ago and now takes orders online for her creatively flavored doughnuts.
15. Dottie's Donuts (multiple locations)
Dottie’s, Philly’s first vegan doughnut shop, kicks up the creativity with colorful, unique doughnuts in dairy- and egg-free varieties like Thai tea, matcha chocolate, and cherry pistachio. There are locations in West Philly and Society Hill.