1. Bonomini BakeryDon’t let the unassuming storefront fool you. Family-owned and -operated for three generations, this small neighborhood gem is a treasury of sugary goods including cupcakes, coffee cakes, and crullers. But there are two local standouts that make it well worth the visit: They make a freakishly delicious confection called a “clunker,” a deep-fried cake donut sealed in glaze that’s surprisingly unclunky. Splurge on the Schnecken as well, a buttery mixture of sweet rolls, raisins, and lots more butter. 1677 Blue Rock St., Northside, (513) 541-7501
2. Holtman’s Donut ShopWhether you prefer the fluffy light texture of yeast donuts or enjoy munching on sweetly dense cake donuts, Holtman’s Donut Shop has had something for everyone since 1960. Didn’t know a doughnut could be fancy? Bite into an airy doughssant (the love child of a doughnut and croissant) and be proven pleasantly wrong. Locations in Loveland, Williamsburg, and Over-the-Rhine, holtmansdonutshop.com
3. Silverton Donut ShopA minimalistic mom-and-pop shop, Silverton Donut Shop’s no-frills approach allows them to concentrate solely on doughnuts. It’s worth it. You can always stop by for a freshly glazed one dunked in hot coffee, but the real star here is the Honeymoon Donut, a pastry so good it’s developed a cult following. A yeast doughnut is fried, glazed, and then filled with custard (choose lemon meringue or Bavarian Crème). Bonus: the shop was recently certified Kosher. 7414 Montgomery Rd., Silverton, (513) 793-0567, facebook.com/SilvertonDonutShop
4. Stan the Donut ManSometimes you have to make sacrifices. Like getting to Stan the Donut Man early, because he sells out by 9 a.m. But you won’t be sorry. Come for the basics like apple fritters, chocolate glazed, and cream-filled, but try the more unique ones too like pineapple fritters, Davy Crocketts, bow ties. and tiger tails. The doughnuts are both cheap and delicious. So go ahead and order a dozen to go (damage: under $10). Your co-workers will thank you. 7967 Cincinnati-Dayton Rd., West Chester, (513) 759-0016, stanthedonutman.com
5. Pink in a Blanket Donuts A bit new to the bakery scene, Pink in a Blanket Donuts are already going strong. The husband and wife duo bake the doughnuts every morning and serve up a variety of quirky flavors, such as pink iced fruity pebble. If you’re looking for something more savory, order the store’s namesake—a grown-up version of pigs-in-a-blanket: smoked sausage with aged cheddar cheese baked inside homemade dough. The store doubles as a gourmet coffee shop as well, so dunk your chocolate glazed into a mocha and hold steady for the sugar rush. 7220 Burlington Pike, Suite A, Florence, KY, (859) 869-4973, facebook.com/pinkinablanketdoughnuts
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