Donuts have seen a rise not only in popularity in recent years, but also in variety. Much like the cupcake which has seen a “boutique boom” over the last decade, donuts have gone from being a sweet breakfast or office break room treat available in a handful of flavors and styles, to becoming a somewhat more artisanal option for even the foodiest of foodies. Of course, the donut is nothing new as it has long been a mainstay of the sweet treats world. But today, donut shops are becoming destinations in and of themselves, thanks to an ever increasing array of creative options.
Today just so happens to be National Donut Day, so naturally, we’re turning our attention to the once humble donut and looking for the best donut shops in Richmond. As with all of our Best of Richmond hot spots, we have a few parameters that we applied to our search. For the best donuts in Richmond, we looked for shops that offered the following features:
- Donuts made fresh, in-house daily
- Distinct flavors
- Creative menus that ensure an option for everyone
As you might imagine, the hardest part of our job was not finding places to meet our standards, but narrowing down the choices. However, the following five donut shops in Richmond gave us just what we were looking for – and then some.
But the best part of all is that, as we mentioned, it’s National Donut Day and a number of these spots are giving away free donuts today! Be sure to read on to see where you can score free donuts, as well as a list of other area shops that are offering National Donut Day giveaways.
And as always, if you have a favorite spot for donuts that didn’t make our list, let us know! You can reach us anytime at email@example.com.
Mrs. Yoder’s Kitchen is actually a food truck that started in a Mennonite community south of Richmond nearly 10 years ago. Judy Yoder began making her handcrafted sourdough donuts from scratch and selling them at farmer’s markets throughout the Richmond area. Word quickly spread about these large, mishapen donuts that were almost too good to be true and soon they were selling like hotcakes (so to speak). Today, Mrs. Yoder’s donuts are a much sought after treat for families in Richmond and beyond. And just so you know, if for some reasons donuts aren’t your thing, the Yoders also sell fresh, homemade fudge in a wide variety of flavors!
Why we love them: The only thing keeping Mrs. Yoder’s Kitchen from topping our list today is not their flavor or quality. In fact, a Mrs. Yoder’s donut may be one of the best things you’ll ever eat in your life. In an ironic twist, because we were looking for a wide array of offerings, Mrs. Yoder’s doesn’t quite hit the mark considering they really only focus on their signature item – glazed sourdough donuts. But, by focusing on one thing, they’ve done something special – they’ve perfected it and we would be remiss if they didn’t make our list. To find Mrs. Yoder’s donuts, be sure to check their Facebook page often to find out where the truck will be next.
Mrs. Yoder’s Kitchen / Facebook
No one has ever said that carnival food was “good” for you necessarily, but no one has ever walked down the midway at a state fair or carnival and not been tempted by the wafting aromas of fried dough and other guilty pleasures. The fact is, there are some things that are simply meant to be a treat – and that’s exactly why The Treat Shop exists. In 2014, Richmond natives Shawn and Essie Davis started The Treat Shop because of their love of midway fare and their desire to make these delicious treats available year round and not just when the fair comes to town. Today, they offer an ever-increasing array of handmade cake and yeast donuts, as well as cinnamon buns, apple fritters, funnel cakes, fried Oreo’s, fried Snickers, candy apples, cotton candy and 24 flavors of Hershey’s old-fashioned Ice Cream.
Why we love them: If you’ve ever wondered what comfort food heaven might look like, one visit to The Treat Shop should set you straight. Not only do they offer a donut selection that is too long to list here and constantly adds new varieties, but they also offer a full breakfast menu, as well as burgers, hot dogs, corn dogs, fried fish, and fresh North Carolina pulled chicken and pork barbecue. And before you ask, you better believe that you can have your burgers or breakfast sandwiches served on a donut “bun”!
The Treat Shop
6114 Jahnke Rd, Richmond, VA 23225
Since 1968, County Style Donuts has been serving up some of Richmond’s favorite donuts. Now, more than 50 years later Country Style is still a go-to for donut lovers throughout the Greater Richmond area. The original East End location may look humble on the outside and remains virtually unchanged since it first opened it’s doors – but their success lies in the fact that their donuts have remained consistently amazing. The original Country Style establishment was sold to the Nassereddine family in 1984, and since that time, not only has the menu expanded, but a second location in the West End was opened in 2014. Visit either location to find dozens of donut flavors and varieties, all made fresh, in-house daily.
Why we love them: The food world is fickle and food fads come and go. It’s hard to remain current, no matter what you’re serving up. But some things defy fads, and Country Style donuts are certainly in that category. Their consistent quality, flavor, and creativity has helped them build one of the most loyal fan bases of any shop on our list – and from the looks of it, that’s not about to change anytime soon.
*FOR NATIONAL DONUT DAY, FRIDAY, JUNE 7: Free doughnut or small coffee with any purchase.
Country Style Donuts
East End: 4300 Williamsburg Rd, Richmond, VA
West End: 8900 W Broad St, Richmond, VA (Gold’s Gym Plaza at West Tower)
As you probably know, when we create our Best of Richmond lists, we like to focus on Richmond-based establishments. So, we’re veering off course just a bit for Duck Donuts. However, this shop got its start in Duck, North Carolina in the Outer Banks. And for many Richmonders, the Outer Banks is like a home away from home during the summer months. In fact, most of us were already familiar with this amazing donut hot spot and could not have been happier to hear that they were expanding their sweet operation to the Richmond area. With locations up and down the east coast, and now, spreading west, Duck Donuts are a favorite everywhere they set up shop. The secret of their success begins with their signature donut base – a fresh, housemade vanilla cake donut that can be topped with almost anything you can imagine, making every donut a custom creation.
Why we love them: You only have to taste Duck Donuts to know why we love them. But it’s more than that. What really makes Duck Donuts special for us is the personalized options they offer. You can, of course, always choose from their pre-made donut creations, available in countless varieties. But, should you have a penchant for personalization, then Duck Donuts has you covered. Their made-to-order option starts you off with a fresh vanilla cake donut, made the moment you order, then allows you to add a coating, a topping, and a drizzle to create a one-of-a-kind taste. Check out all of the options (or even order online!) here.
*FOR NATIONAL DONUT DAY, FRIDAY, JUNE 7: Free bare, cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar doughnut, no purchase necessary
The Shops at Willow Lawn, 1601 Willow Lawn Dr #130, Richmond, VA
What began in 2013 as a way for former fine dining chef Ian Kelley to settle back in his hometown of Richmond has now grown to be nothing short of a donut sensation. Sugar Shack Donuts first opened it’s doors on Lombardy Street in Richmond. Soon, Sugar Shack’s one-of-a-kind donuts were getting noticed by everyone. Since that time, Sugar Shack has opened shops throughout the Greater Richmond area, in Northern Virginia, Charlottesville, and Virginia Beach. Part of their success is due to the fact that they hand roll and hand cut each donut in small batches throughout the day, ensuring freshness every time. Another key factor is that they only use the freshest ingredients, including fruits and berries. But at the end of the day, it’s flavor that seals the deal. And in that department, Sugar Shack takes the cake…or donut.
Why we love them: Creativity is the name of the game at Sugar Shack. Their donuts range from your standard glazed to exotic flavors like pineapple serrano with everything else in between. Basically if you can imagine it, Sugar Shack can create it with amazing results time and again. But best of all, it’s the attention to detail that we love. Despite their growth and success, Sugar Shack has remained committed to their product, using local operators at each location so that the donuts you buy aren’t just from a company, but from a member of the community. Needless to say, we’re not suprised that in only six short years, Sugar Shack Donuts have been named among the Top 10 Tastiest Donuts in America by USA Today and one of the Best Donut Shops in America by the NY Post – and that’s just to name a couple. You can see the full list here!
*FOR NATIONAL DONUT DAY, JUNE 7: Free donut for nurses andD those with Military ID. Note that Sugar Shack actually runs ongoing free donut specials so check their Facebook page daily to see the latest specials!
Sugar Shack Donuts
Richmond Area Locations:
1001 N Lombardy St, Richmond, VA 23220
1931 Huguenot Rd, North Chesterfield, VA 23235
1501 N. Parham Rd, Richmond, VA 23229
5512 Mechanicsville Turnpike, Mechanicsville, VA 23111
Where Else to Find Free Donuts and Specials for National Donut Day in Richmond:
Dunkin’ Donuts (all locations): Free classic doughnut of your choice with a purchase of any beverage.
Krispy Kreme (all locations): Free doughnut of any variety — no purchase necessary.
Rise (11561 W. Broad St., (804) 599-1092): 100 percent of sales of the chocolate icing doughnut will be donated to FeedMore
Sweet Shop Donuts Café (1800 A South Creek One, Powhatan, (804) 379-6800): Free glazed doughnut with any purchase.
Williams Bakery (8084 Mechanicsville Turnpike, 9502 Chamberlayne Road, 309 E. Nine Mile Road): $1 off a dozen doughnuts.