That's right. We said "doughnuts," not "donuts." We could argue about this all morning, but by then all the doughnuts would be sold out. We're not taking that risk. Admittedly, this list is completely unnecessary — ALL doughnuts are the "best," by their very nature. Would we let that stand in the way of our hunt for the freshest, puffiest, most creative fried dough Dallas has to offer? Of course not, you donut hole.
1. Jaram's Donuts
From the outside, it looks like an average doughnut shop. Hiding inside, though, is a stunning showcase of creative designer doughnuts. Regulars rave over the croissant doughnuts, which require a 2-day kneading and maturing process. Adult kids will love specialty doughnuts such as the gorgeous fresh strawberry/cream cheese. Kid kids will fall in love with specialty doughnuts, such as the M & M doughnut adorned with a Twinkie-turned minion stuffed into the center.
Can They Kolache Me? Yes, they can. True to form, they offer artfully crafted, fan-like kolaches in addition to the standard variety. You can also kick it up a notch with their spicy-sauced jalapeñno kolaches.
Creativity Factor: Broke the scale.
Yeah, But How's the Glazed? Just as amazing as their specialty doughnuts. It has a light, crispy texture reminiscent of funnel cake.
Jaram's Donuts, 17459 Preston Road, www.jarams.com
2. Hypnotic Donuts
This is Dallas' "original craft donut shop." "Hyppies," as fans may or may not wish to be called, love the laid-back atmosphere here as much as the food. Settling onto a velvety couch, propped against a doughnut-shaped pillow, you can luxuriate in your purchase from a comfy seat rather than the secret shame of your car. The doughnut names (including the peanut butter/bacon/banana/honeyed "Evil Elvis") will make you giggle, but the taste is what really puts a smile on your face.
Though the folks at Hypnotic tend to approach everything with a sense of humor, there's also some serious business going on here. In January, they're hosting their annual 5K "Donut Dash" benefiting Carry the Load, an organization dedicated to honoring military and rescue personnel. Not to worry — a chubby bunny contest and donut hole refueling stations will keep things light.
Can They Kolache Me? Yup. But why would you care when they have five varieties of amazing chicken biscuits, including one (the "Jim") that's served on a glazed doughnut and squirted with Sriracha upon request?
Creativity Factor: Damn it, we just got that scale fixed.
Yeah, But How's the Glazed? Solid!
Hypnotic Donuts, 9007 Garland Road, www.hypnoticdonuts.com
3. Glazed Donut Works
Back in your grandma's day, doughnut shops were a mornings-only proposition: You snooze, you lose. Not so these days. Glazed Donut Works caters to Deep Ellum's night owls by reopening for a late shift 10:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights. Serving up craft doughnuts in small batches, Glazed's enticing flavors include Saigon cinnamon, Deep Ellum peppermint, pumpkin and Earl Grey pomegranate. They don't stop there; they wave a wand to make food obsession wishes like the doughnut ice cream sandwich and the doughnut grilled cheese with bacon come true.
Can They Kolache Me? Sort of! One of their unique creations includes the "DO-lache," a maple-blueberry smoked sausage baked in doughnut dough and topped with a homemade maple glaze.
Creativity Factor: Big, honkin' points.
Yeah, But How's the Glazed? It sells out first for a reason.
4. Jerry's Donuts
There's a "Help Wanted" sign slapped outside the door at Jerry's, and a quick glance at the long line of customers on an average morning probably explains why. In business for over four decades, the folks at Jerry's have perfected the traditional doughnut. However, they do offer a few 95-cent "fancy donuts" as well, including the much sought-after red velvet. Indisputable perfection, its glazed, dark crimson exterior breaks open in a puff of steam to reveal a Rudolph's-nose red. Subtle notes of browned butter and caramel take you all the way to doughnut heaven. Apple fritter aficionados will also revel in the light strata of dough and apple filling offered up here.
It's a no-nonsense kind of place, where you better have your order on your lips and your payment in hand when your turn is up. Have a doughnut emergency? Ordering four dozen doughnuts or more? No problem. Just call Jerry's 24-hour hotline, 972-24-DONUT.
P.S. The guy at the counter does not think it's cute when you ask if he is Jerry (he's not).
Can They Kolache Me? Sure can — traditional stuff, no funny business.
Creativity Factor: Not a big emphasis on creativity here, but what they do, they do well.
Yeah, But How's the Glazed? Oh boy. If glazed is your thing, you won't be disappointed.
Jerry's Doughnuts, 12895 Josey Lane, Ste. 200
5. Sunrise Donuts
Sunrise offers a mostly traditional spread, but the light, fluffy texture of their always-fresh doughnuts lures many regulars out of bed early. A friendly, efficient staff slings flavors such as strawberry, chocolate frosted, coconut, and a popular cinnamon glazed twist. Bonus: big ol' cinnamon rolls.
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Can They Kolache Me? Yup! Plain, cheese or cheesy jalapeno. These are some of the best kolaches in town, if you believe anything those guys at the Observer say.
Creativity Factor: Eh, not so much, except for some seasonal shapes and colors.
Yeah, But How's the Glazed? They do it, and they do it right.
Sunrise Donuts, 2615 Oak Lawn Ave., Ste. 107