Philadelphia's Best Doughnuts
Philadelphia's Best Doughnuts
Many of Philly’s best doughnuts will surprise you. Some of the best doughnuts in the city are actually… gluten free? Do-nut forget (so sorry) that we’re a city with a long history of Italian immigration so we will proudly point you in the direction of a cannoli-doughnut hybrid called the 'Franolli' that was born in this city. Find the rest of our doughnuts paired with excellent locally-brewed coffee and of course, accompanying fried chicken.
Okie Dokie Donuts
Photo: Ellen Mary Cronin
Carol Ha and Bill Kelly’s South Philly-based Okie Dokie Donuts often come to mind when anyone asks where to get the best doughnuts in the city. They’re always freshly made in unique flavours (think chilli lime chocolate, honey corn and caffe latte) in small batches – so small that you have to keep track of where to pick up your doughnuts. There are pick-up locations all around the city with specific schedules one-to-four-day schedules. Okie Dokie Donuts also happen to be gluten-free (though they definitely do not taste gluten-free), as the dough is made from Okie Dokie’s special blend of rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch.
Surely you’ve heard of Federal Donuts, frequently and charmingly abbreviated to ‘FedNuts’, the result of founders Steve Cook and Mike Solomonov of CookNSolo Restaurants joining forces with managing partner Tom Henneman, Felicia D’Ambrosio and Bob Logue. Federal Donuts made chicken and doughnuts a thing in Philly (and don’t sleep on their fried chicken sandwiches) and they’ve grown to a whopping ten locations in the Philadelphia area. They also ship their cake doughnuts nationwide. I personally go to FedNuts for their crispy, twice-fried chicken dusted in seasonings like buttermilk ranch and za’atar, paired with a sugar-sprinkled doughnut. Their glazed doughnuts or ‘fancy’ doughnuts come in mouthwatering flavours like cannoli, marshmallow peach and chocolate toffee.
Beiler’s is an Amish family business and has been serving doughnuts (donuts or doughnuts, they’re delicious no matter what) from Reading Terminal Market for over thirty years. They’re a Philadelphia institution at this point, with another location out in Lancaster, Amish country. $1.45 will fetch you a classic doughnut like chocolate glazed, key lime or peanut butter and jelly and their menu boasts a vast array of crème-filled doughnuts from ‘Nutella Crème’ to ‘Oreo Crème’. But Beiler’s is also known for some slightly bonkers doughnuts, such as their ‘Elvis Delight’, a fried confection that is filled with peanut butter crème, topped with banana and sprinkled with bacon and no small number of doughnuts crusted with Fruity Pebbles cereal.
Frangelli’s, which was started by Joseph Frangelli in South Philly back in 1947, has your expected chocolate doughnuts, buttercream doughnuts, glazed doughnuts and jelly doughnuts, which are great, but you come to Frangelli’s for the ‘Franolli'. This hybrid concoction is a yeast doughnut, sliced in half and filled with cannoli cream and microscopic chocolate chips. Frangelli’s also specialised in ice cream doughnuts, which honestly, more doughnut joints should also specialise in.
Hello Donuts + Coffee
This Kensington operation by Ben Walsh, Joseph Marro and Zack Zarrillo, came to be over conversation at a ReAnimator Coffee shop (which eventually came to incorporate ReAnimator coffee) and now serves a straightforward menu of well, doughnuts and coffee drinks. They offer six flavours such as strawberry shortcake, banana cake and pretzel brittle, that rotate weekly, many of which are also vegan. One of the greatest things about the city of Philadelphia are the constant collaborations between small business and brands and Hello Donuts + Coffee exemplifies this notion, borne from collaboration and also serving up limited-time specialties like ice cream donut sandwiches filled with local maker Weckerly’s incredible ice cream and then dipped in a ReAnimator espresso glaze.