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Canada's 10 best doughnut shops

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If you sat down and tucked into a piece of chocolate cake for breakfast, your friends may secretly judge you (while admiring your gumption). However, if you sat down at your desk with a chocolate doughnut, the only thing your friends might wonder is why you didn’t buy them one as well.

Doughnuts: the cake-for-breakfast loophole.

The artisanal doughnut trend is alive and well, and deep-fried dough has been upgraded. As proof of its trendiness, some people are choosing doughnuts in lieu of wedding cake. (We salute you.) Canadians have as much respect for doughnuts as Americans have for donuts, making it an excellent example of good cross-border relations.

If you find yourself in Canada at any point in time, these ten doughnut shops are worth a special journey. They may even be worth the trip to Canada all on their own (and you might be won over to spelling “donut” differently, too!).

Jelly Modern Doughnuts | Calgary

Jelly Modern Doughnuts, Calgary — Photo courtesy of Jelly Modern Doughnuts

Said to be the first gourmet doughnut shop in Canada, this store also has a branch in Toronto. The fancy doughnuts use locally sourced, preservative-free and mostly organic ingredients. It’s possible to order online for pickup, to minimize the wait for such scrumptious varieties like Madagascar bourbon vanilla, maple bacon, and Skor bar. 

Oh Doughnuts | Winnipeg

Oh Doughnuts, Winnipeg — Photo courtesy of Oh Doughnuts

This popular Winnipeg shop uses mostly local, organic and Fair Trade ingredients, taking about four hours from start to finish to make their doughnuts. They have classic flavors like Boston cream and chocolate dip, but like to think outside of the box with unique offerings like salted caramel popcorn and lemon meringue, which tops a lemon curd-filled doughnut with a cloud of meringue.

Lucky’s Doughnuts | Vancouver, B.C.

Lucky’s Doughnuts, Vancouver — Photo courtesy of Lucky’s Doughnuts

Lucky’s Doughnuts was a labor of love to open, with the dream of making doughnuts the old-fashioned way – no shortcuts, no frozen preparation. When it debuted in Vancouver in 2012, it was to great acclaim with creative flavors such as Earl Grey/lavender, cold brew cruller and the naturally leavened Sourdoughnut, only available in the afternoons.

Doughnut Party | Edmonton, Alta.

Doughnut Party, Edmonton — Photo courtesy of Doughnut Party

Coffee and artisanal doughnuts are the party that we inarguably all want to attend, and Doughnuts Party’s goods are sold “until they sell out” which can happen rather quickly, so be prepared. Vegan and non-vegan doughnuts come in flavors such as cookie crumble, hibiscus, birthday cake and winterberry prosecco.  

Glory Hole Doughnuts | Toronto

Glory Hole Doughnuts, Toronto — Photo courtesy of Glory Hole Doughnuts

Open in 2012, Glory Hole changes up its menu seasonally, making its creations from scratch with love. There are yeast doughnuts like the toast and butter, topped with brown butter frosting, sweet breadcrumbs and cinnamon; and cake doughnuts like the olive oil-glazed lemon ricotta. Vegan doughnuts have rotating flavors but are always available.

Maverick’s Donut Company | Ottawa

Maverick’s Donut Company, Ottawa — Photo courtesy of Maverick’s Donut Company

The open kitchen behind Maverick’s has no secrets. Customizable doughnuts allow you to find your perfect bite, with your choice of a yeast or a cake doughnut and a huge variety of glazes and toppings. If that is too much freedom, signature doughnuts include cherry cheese cake (with cream cheese filling), PB&J and a Donut Dip with fruit cereal.

DoughNats | Montreal

DoughNats, Montreal — Photo courtesy of DoughNats

DoughNats are smaller than the traditional doughnut, making it a habit you can justify on a more regular basis. Flavors include Dough-Re-Mi, with chocolate glaze, vanilla drizzle and eggless raw cookie dough, and Feeling Salty which has a soft caramel glaze and is topped with a pretzel and Maldon salt.

Queen B Doughnuts | Moncton, N.B.

Flavors change every week when Breanna Richard brings her doughnuts to two farmer’s markets in Moncton, N.B. Doughnuts are freshly filled and have included flavors such as cookies and cream, coffee chocolate and strawberry rhubarb.

Ol School Donuts | Halifax, N.S.

Ol School Donuts, Halifax — Photo courtesy of Ol School Donuts

The doughnuts that come out of this school bus are so laden with toppings, they almost don’t resemble doughnuts at all. This tricked-out bus serves warm doughnuts “just like granny used to make,” but we don’t know if granny was this creative, with flavors like maple bacon and salted caramel brownie – which sell out early. Follow them on Twitter for their exact location.

Von Doughnuts | Toronto

Von Doughnuts, Toronto — Photo courtesy of Von Doughnuts

Everything is made from scratch everyday at Von Doughnuts and they have daily doughnuts that rotate through unique flavors like malt vinegar, with salt and vinegar chips strewn on top of a glazed doughnut. There’s even the Homer Simpson, which is a vanilla bean cake doughnut dipped in pink vanilla bean icing and decorated with the most colorful rainbow sprinkles.  It’s a dead ringer for the doughtnuts Homer loves so dearly.

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