Fresh, perfectly fried donuts are a morsel of ephemeral beauty—and they’re not easy to make at home. At least not without a lot of time, oil and a good hood.
That’s why it’s best to leave it to the experts. Places like Mojo Monkey have perfected their proper dough to impress incredible flavor, and the expanding cardigan is embracing pure nostalgia for the perfect cruller.
We’ve compiled a list of dozens of baker’s favorite donut spots from around the metro area, from neighborhood bakeries you’ll visit while you’re still grumpy to destinations worth the drive. We have barely scratched the sweet surface. Just know that when cravings hit, you’re in good hands.
Angel Food Bakery
Soon after chef/owner Katie Gerdes launched Angel Food Bakery in downtown Minneapolis, this has become a huge draw for early morning workers craving classic cake and coffee. Since then, demand has grown and the store is now open inside the elegant, atomic-era mall of the Texa Tonka strip mall, and there’s a cool shop inside Terminal 1 in Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, where travelers gather like moths on glazed flames at all hours of the day. Cakes from Angel Food are so popular that they can even be sent across the country via Goldbelly. Order a Happy Birthday message written in Sweet Fried Dough ($39).
8100 Minnetonka Blvd., St. Louis Park, angelfoodmn.com
Bogart Donut Company
Ann Rucker fired up endless cravings when she started selling donuts at her local farmers market. Now there are groups of sick fans waiting outside her white brick store in southern Minneapolis every open day. The brownie glazed with butter is irresistible, covered with a warm glaze, sweet enough that they are so popular that they are now sold in jars. Rest assured that lovers of sprinkles, chocolate and more can find their tried-and-true breakfast favorite here, too. Pre-order online to get a glimpse of the daily menu.
904 W. 36th Street, Mpls. , 612-886-1670, bogartsdoughnutco.com
Downtown Minneapolis is about to get even tastier with the imminent opening of the second Cardigan Donuts, at the IDS Center. The original drew long lines to its downtown location when it first opened. Throughout the pandemic, cake making has never stopped—delivered throughout the metro area as well—and now this shop has been ingrained in the minds and hearts of fans.
40 S. 7th Street, Mpls., 612-259-7804, cardigandonuts.com
Whether you’re shopping for a roast or a purposefully early morning stop, the local grocery chain has some of the freshest, most delicious, and most reliable classic cakes available. While there aren’t any breakfast cereal doodles on top, there are tempting, raised, glazed, moist, crumbly pancake cakes prepared with an encouraging texture. It might not be where the snobs go, but we know a few who just can’t resist the cub cake.
many metro sites, cub.com
Denny’s Fifth Avenue Bakery
A bakery that is over 50 years old must be doing something right. Or a lot of things right. Now in the third generation of Hirman family owners, Denny’s makes a solid offering that checks out all their donut boxes – old fashioned, donuts, French, stuffed, fried and pierced – all in a variety of flavors and all really good. The efficient staff ensures that lines move quickly, but if you’re not in a hurry, the sunny interior is a welcome place to enjoy your breakfast (or snack). And you’ll also want to have a bag of fried bread to go; French bread will never be the same.
7840 v v v. S., Bloomington, 952-881-4445, dennysbakery.com
Nothing says the good times like an airy square of fried dough topped with crushed Oreos. Place weekend orders for these puffy squares of bliss online, track the truck down on social media or stop by the area’s only freshest donut machine in the lobby between Blackstack Brewing and Can Can Wonderland in St. Paul (755 N.). In addition to the traditional cakes, they also stock some vegetarian varieties.
Take a special plastic container to hold the Texas Donut, legend of Hans Bakery. The $5.25 donut that’s been raised with yeast, glazed and sprayed, is equivalent to five regular rings and can completely cover kids’ faces who make it an after-school tradition.
1423 Fifth Street, Anoka, 763-421-4200, hans-bakery.com
The Heights Bakery is a tribute to the old neighborhood bakery – the kind where the bell rings upon entry and greets the day with a wall of sweet flour and the smell of crunchy sugar. Heights Central Avenue Bakery has been serving since 1953 and as always, Danish cheese and glazed buns deliver what those sweet scents promise. The raised cake has a gentle chew and the glaze is sweet enough to crack and dislodge teeth. This family-owned bakery is in its fourth generation and opens at 5 a.m. Tuesday through Friday.
4925 Central Street NE., Columbia Heights, 763-572-0624, facebook.com/HeightsBakeryInc
La Boulangerie Marguerite
There is an early morning queue that walks out the door of the St. Paul neighborhood bakery almost every day. La Boulangerie Marguerite combines the best of French pastries with American nostalgia, as a box of puffed and glazed muffins share the space with world-class bread and flaky dough. This address has been a neighborhood bakery since 1921, and in 2017, West African-born French pastry chef and owner François Kemde and his wife/business partner in the Midwest Melissa Burgmann Kemde purchased what was then known as PJ Murphy’s Bakery and continued the tradition. Along with many neighborhood favorites, Marguerite continues to sell (and often sells) fresh donuts every morning. Indulge in chocolate ganache-covered cupcakes for a simple, bright, and early dessert.
1279 Randolph Av., St. Paul, 651-699-9292, la-marg.com
Mill or Glaze bakery
Mel-O-Glaze Bakery’s white cardboard boxes have the “Box of Bribes” logo imprinted on them, an excellent example of the truth in packaging. This classic from southern Minneapolis, who has nearly 60 years of experience in the fried arts, features dozens of springy cakes dipped in a bowl of sticky glaze. Bonus: There’s a gluten-free option, too.
4800 28. S. Street, Mpls., 612-729-9316, meloglazebakery.com
Donut Mojo Monkey
This Friday and Sunday cake shop from chef/owner Lisa Clark somehow manages to fry cakes and raised cakes—whether traditional or creatively flavored—all with equal care. Follow them on social media for the flavors of the week and place orders early to make sure you don’t miss out on any favourite. Cakes are available in store or can be delivered. This year, on National Donut Day only, an enviable customer will receive free donuts for a year And the The first 150 customers get a free lemon donut drop.
1169 West 7th Street, Saint Paul, 651-224-0142, mojomonkey.biz
Al Wadi Pastries
Sure, it’s called Valley Pastries, but this place’s reputation since 1987 is built entirely on donuts, cupcakes, and more cakes. Huge donut holes, too. If you’re looking to branch out, there are the Danish fruit-stuffed and fried cookies and cinnamon buns. But we love the raised ring the size of a baseball glove, which is swiped in a smooth, cracked glaze.
2570 N. Hillsborough Street, Golden Valley, 763-541-1535, valleypastries.com
Located inside Minnetonka Shopping Centre, YoYo Donuts always strikes a balance between classic sweets and modern whims. Beat the crowds and order a selection of classic flavors ahead of time – the old-fashioned sour cream cake is one of the most popular. Cakes are made fresh by hand daily on site, and a bonus for allergy sufferers: the shop is completely nut-free.
5757 Sanibel Drive, Minnetonka, 952-960-1800, yoyodonuts.com