Doughnuts — they’re sweet, they’re soft, and some of the best in the state can be found right in your Essex County backyard. The doughnut can be tracked to the very early 1800s, so it’s fair to say that it’s been around for a long time – and for very good reason. Pastry chefs have gotten super creative with flavors, toppings, and even shapes. They’re the perfect quick snack that never disappoints. We rounded up a list of places in Essex County with must-try doughnuts.
Applegate Farm | 616 Grove Street, Montclair
This spot started as a dairy farm in the 1800s and Applegate Farm has been a part of Montclair history for generations. Known for its ice cream, Applegate also sells apple cider doughnuts in the fall. For the ultimate sugar rush, grab a sundae and a package of doughnuts to enjoy the next morning.
Blue Hippo Coffee Company | 662 Bloomfield Avenue, Verona
Blue Hippo is a cozy café located on Bloomfield Avenue in Verona. It offers an ever-rotating menu of inventive doughnuts in flavors like French toast and dirt cup Oreo. Blue Hippo’s mini doughnuts are just the right size for a satisfying midday snack.
Read More: The Ultimate Guide to Desserts in Montclair
Boardwalk Pizza Fairfield | 333 Passaic Avenue, Fairfield
Boardwalk’s Pizza is delicious but don’t pass up the chance to try its Italian doughnuts, more commonly referred to as zeppoles. Boardwalk’s zeppoles mash up two great desserts into one. Unlike the zeppoles at your local Italian festival, Boardwalk’s are filled with cannoli cream and topped with powdered sugar and chocolate syrup.
DaVinci Bakery | 100 Centre Street, Nutley
DaVinci serves up a multitude of doughnut varieties 6 days a week, just not on Mondays. These treats are the creation of head baker/owner, Salvatore Dimaiolo, who baked in Naples, Italy for many years prior to opening his shop in Nutley. It’s a classic bakery and its doughnut offerings are too—chocolate or vanilla iced with sprinkles, cinnamon sugar, and Boston cream, to name a few.
Gencarelli’s | 446 Broad Street, Bloomfield
A Bloomfield landmark since 1975, Gencarelli’s is a large bakery with sweet treats from wall to wall. Its flavors include all the standards and also a wide variety of cake doughnuts for anyone who prefers the denser, heartier version of this breakfast treat. Grab a doughnut and visit the bakery’s coffee station for a great start to your morning.
Glaze | 554 Passaic Avenue, West Caldwell
(Photo credit: @glazedonuts)
Glaze is a doughnut-only establishment and was the 2021 winner of Food & Wine’s “Best Donut in New Jersey” award. With dozens of flavors of doughnuts to choose from, Glaze has the largest selection in the area. Make sure to visit on the weekend for its famous Italian rainbow doughnut, served Saturdays and Sundays.
Local Coffee | 107 Watchung Avenue, Montclair
Local Coffee brings a taste of New York City to Essex County, offering doughnuts from famous Dough Donuts. For a unique experience, try the hibiscus doughnut next time it’s available at Local Coffee. While there, make sure to check out the great art displayed as part of the shop’s art residency program. The program offers high-traffic exposure, commission-free sales, and event space to local artists.
Montclair Bread Company | 16 Label Street, Montclair
Don’t sleep on Montclair Bread Company’s doughnuts! No, really. These doughnuts are so popular that they frequently sell out on weekends. Try the everything-bagel or maple doughnut for a uniquely savory doughnut experience.
Palmer’s Bakehouse | 1 Highland Place, Maplewood
The bakery is run by a mother-daughter team and opened in 2016. Palmer’s offers creative doughnut flavors like key lime pie and maple bacon. Unfortunately, this bakery is temporarily closed due to damage from Hurricane Ida but we look forward to visiting when it reopens.
Plum Bakery | 179 Glenridge Avenue, Montclair
Plum Bakery is the only 100% gluten-free bakery in Montclair. Its goal is to provide its customers with their favorite treats, without gluten. Visit the bakery on Glenridge Avenue in Montclair for a gluten-free doughnut.
See More: A Guide to New Jersey’s Best Desserts
Suissa Bakery | 57 Pacific Street, Newark
Located in the North Ironbound neighborhood of Newark, Suissa specializes in Portuguese delights. Go to Suissa to try its sonhos—Portuguese doughnuts. It is a light, airy doughnut hole rolled in cinnamon sugar, and it’s a must-try.
Turtle + Wolf | 622 Valley Road, Montclair
While not a bakery, Turtle + Wolf offers doughnuts on its dessert menu. After enjoying a delicious dinner, order the brioche doughnuts. Topped with orange caramel sauce, it’s the perfect way to top off a great meal.
(Photo credit: @stuffed_grassfedburgers)
Looking for a different kind of doughnut experience? Why not make it a burger bun! For a sweet and savory experience, visit Stuffed Grass-Fed Burgers in Montclair for its take on the “burgernut.”