Remember a couple of years ago, when everyone in the city was going crazy for cupcakes? Lately, another trendy treat has been satisfying our sweet tooth: doughnuts. Upscale gourmet doughnut shops are popping up all over the city, tempting us with their delicious, deep-fried dough. Here's a look at our favourite places to hit up when we're craving doughnuts in Toronto.
Von Doughnuts (713 Danforth Ave., www.vondoughnuts.com)
Von's opened just eight weeks ago, and already it's amassed a legion of dedicated fans. The selection varies depending on the day and is divided into cake or raised varieties. Our favourites are the Creme Brulee, which is filled with custard and topped with carmalized sugar, and the Greek Town, which is a nod to the neighbourhood and tastes like the doughnut version of baklava. If you're the adventurous type, you can always try one of their savoury options, like the cheekily named Dill-Dough (a dill cake doughnut topped with a dill glaze and a fried pickle) or the One Night Stand (a raised doughnut flavoured with tequila, lime triple sec icing and flaked salt). The only downside: these bliss-filled bites aren't cheap. A dozen doughnuts costs about $30.
Glory Hole Doughnuts (1596 Queen St. W., www.gloryholedoughnuts.com)
The name may be hilarious, but one bite of their freshly baked doughnuts will convince you this place is no joke. No wonder this Parkdale bakery is often packed with people, especially on the weekends: their doughnuts are hand-made every day using natural ingredients. Though they discontinued our favourite flavour (the labour-intensive Lemon Meringue), there are plenty of others on the rotating menu that make us drool. Our current obsessions are the PB&J when we're craving something sweet, and the Bread & Butter when we're looking for subtlety and texture. Much like Von's, a dozen will run you around $30.
Little Nicky's Coffee (375 Queen St. W.)
Sometimes, you crave adventurous doughnut flavours like Maple Bacon Glazed or Curried Coconut, and sometimes you just want a comforting classic. When it's the latter, head to Little Nicky's, where you can grab a bag of made-to-order mini doughnuts to go with your coffee. As you're waiting for your drink order, you can watch as the doughnuts roll off the conveyor belt and are coated with regular or cinnamon sugar. A dozen warm mini doughnuts made fresh before your eyes costs less than $5 and will make you question why you ever ate Timbits.
The Harbord Room (89 Harbord St., www.theharbordroom.com)
The Harbord Room is mostly known for its impressive cocktail list, $17 burger, and celebrity clientele, but the thing that keeps us coming back here whenever we're looking for a fancy night out is the dessert menu, specifically their fresh ricotta doughnuts. They're served as a trio alongside a cup of pot de crème with toppings that change regularly (on a recent visit the pot de crème came with cocoa nib wafers and candied orange, before that it was tapioca pearls and meringue), but the Sicilian-style doughnuts remain consistent and delicious. If you're willing to spend nearly $10 on dessert, you can't go wrong with these fluffy fritters.
SanRemo Bakery (374 Royal York Road, www.sanremobakery.com)
This Italian cafe in Etobicoke offers a huge selection of everything from cheese to deli meats to homemade frozen dinners, but it's their pastries that keep us coming back for more. They cost much less than most of the others on this list and they're always experimenting with new doughnut flavours (they recently introduced Nutella, Lemon Meringue and Blueberry Crumble versions). Our favourite treat, however, remains their legendary apple fritters. If you don't want to travel all the way to Etobicoke, the restaurant This End Up on Dundas also carries a selection.
Honourable Mentions: Jelly Modern Doughnuts, Dough by Rachelle, Through Being Cool, Tori's Bakeshop, Danish Pastry Shop