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Best of Toronto

The Best Donuts in Toronto

Posted by Erinn Beth Langille / February 7, 2014

Donuts TorontoThe best donuts in Toronto buck every health impulse in favour of deep fried, sugary deliciousness. Gluten-laden and calorie packed, the donut (or, doughnut) has it all, but do we heed the warnings? No. And while you can't call us pioneers exactly, as the Dutch invented the original donut and Americans made them fashionable, you could say our love of the donut has been a consuming passion.

A version of the sweet, fried dough exists in almost all cultures; so of course the most multicultural city in the world would raise the bar on the humble donut. Canada per capita consumes more donuts and has more donut shops than anywhere else on earth. Yeast, cake, ring, filled, holes, bits, twists, crullers, beignets, fritters, Dutchies, sprinkled, sugared, glazed and powdered - we eat them all.

Here is where to find the best donuts in Toronto.

See also:

The best cookies in Toronto
The best cupcakes in Toronto
The best macarons in Toronto
Where to find whoopie pies in Toronto

Glory Hole Doughnuts

Glory Hole Doughnuts

Opened in 2012, Glory Hole in Parkdale is the creme de la creme of donuts in Toronto. Owner Ashley Jabot De Boinod whips up gorgeous yeast and cake donuts. Pb&j, bread and butter, coffee crisp, and fluffer nutter are fan favourites and sell out fast. More »

Von Doughnuts

Von Doughnuts

Danforth's Von Doughnuts is new on the scene, but it's already got a big following. Unique offerings include savoury cake donuts like dill pickle and jalapeno cheese, and sweet yeast concoctions like Cap N' Jack (Captain Crunch and Jack Daniels) and The Sappy Pig (maple dipped with bacon, chocolate and peanut butter). More »

Emma's Country Kitchen

Emma's Country Kitchen

Rachel Pellet and Heather Mee of Emma's Country Kitchen won the $10,000 in a Donut Showdown, setting themselves apart from the competition. Emma's Country Kitchen only has donuts Saturday and Sundays until they run out, but they are so darn good you'll get up early for a bite. More »

Dough by Rachelle

Dough by Rachelle

It used to feel a little illicit getting donuts from Rachelle Cadwell, baker and purveyor of Dough by Rachelle. Now you don't go to the backdoor of Beast - you can buy them there at brunch. Hit Sanagan's Meat Locker and Sam James locations, or follow her on Twitter for the up-to-the-minute flavours (margarita, brown butter bourbon, cherry coconut) and distributors. More »

Jelly Modern Doughnuts

Jelly Modern Doughnuts

Dubbed Canada's original gourmet donut shop, Calgary-based Jelly Modern Doughnuts opened in Hogtown in 2013 to great acclaim. They have cake donuts like red velvet, carrot cake and whoopee pie, hand-filled types like s'mores and skor and lemon curd, and they even have a gluten free donut. More »

Paulette's Donuts (Delica Kitchen)

Paulette's Donuts (Delica Kitchen)

Paulette's Donuts used to have their own shop in Leslieville, complete with fried chicken, but now you'll have to head to a Delica Kitchen to find the delectable variety. Otherwise where will you ever find flavours like rootbeer float, mango lassi, banana walnut dulce de leche and raspberry rose? More »

SanRemo Bakery

SanRemo Bakery

South Etobicoke institution SanRemo Bakery has been making pastry confections since 1969, but perhaps the most fantastic are their donuts. They focus on the classics - honey glazed, apple fritters, and chocolate dip. Luckily, for those who can't always make the trip to Etobicoke, these donuts can be found in several downtown cafes. More »

Through Being Cool Vegan Baking Co.

Through Being Cool Vegan Baking Co.

Through Being Cool has been tantalizing their Bloordale neighbourhood with decadent vegan treats, but the donuts really hit it out of the park. What's best? TCB helps send a message of love with donut-grams - come into the shop and for $25 bucks you can send a half-dozen dunkers by courier to your favourite sweetheart. More »

Tori's Bakeshop

Tori's Bakeshop

Tori's Bakeshop treats Beachers to organic vegan baked goods, including great donuts. Pink glazes, sprinkles, chocolate dipped, all-vegan! They have a gluten-free option made with brown rice and garbanzo bean flour and arrowroot that is also way tasty. More »

Discussion

50 Comments

MrsPotato / February 7, 2014 at 11:20 am
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Von Donuts blew my mind. And i've had a lotta donuts.

They get my #1.
Moomoos / February 7, 2014 at 11:22 am
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I don't want to live in a world where Glory Hole is #1 on a best donuts list. Good bye Toronto.
Jmons replying to a comment from Moomoos / February 7, 2014 at 11:28 am
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Hamilton will welcome you with an authentic smile.
Ben / February 7, 2014 at 11:48 am
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Through Being Cool actually really sucks, but whatever.
Melissa / February 7, 2014 at 11:59 am
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Ummmm Sorry Ben, but I specifically drove from Hamilton out to TBC for my birthday to get vegan donuts and they were totally worth the drive...especially the Boston Creme ones...yummmmm!
2little2late / February 7, 2014 at 12:10 pm
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Von doughnuts are fantastic, although I much prefer their raised doughnuts over their cake doughnuts. Will have to try some of the others on this list.
JM / February 7, 2014 at 12:17 pm
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Not donut related but the points on that map are terribly inaccurate unless you zoom right into them. For example at the default zoom level it shows #1 on Dundas St W, but as you zoom in it slowly makes it way down to Queen St W.
gr1 replying to a comment from JM / February 7, 2014 at 12:26 pm
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You poor soul, did you have to click the + to zoom?!
JM replying to a comment from gr1 / February 7, 2014 at 12:27 pm
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Just pointing out a bug, no need for the snark.
Tim replying to a comment from JM / February 7, 2014 at 01:03 pm
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Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately we have no control over how Mapbox displays the markers. The data we input is correct. Hopefully they get better at rendering it.
Dan / February 7, 2014 at 01:37 pm
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Where can I find SanRemo apple Fritter's downtown?? need to know please!
BillyO / February 7, 2014 at 02:09 pm
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Glory was really good when they were a pop up at Thor (remember the chicken and waffles and coconut cream pie?) but have gone downhill a bit IMO.

Tried Von a few days ago and it was incredible. The creme brûlée doughnut was awesome, brought back memories of the Doughnut Plant in NYC. Paulette's has solid cake doughnuts (though Doughnut Vault in Chicago is the best I've ever had)
Moomoos replying to a comment from Jmons / February 7, 2014 at 02:39 pm
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Moving to the Hammer in a month. Can't wait.
KDOB / February 7, 2014 at 02:54 pm
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SanRemo apple fritters have always been the bees knees. I am happy to see they made the list.
ellietown replying to a comment from Ben / February 7, 2014 at 03:44 pm
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Aw, Ben, your tastebuds actually kinda suck if you can't appreciate the old-school yeasty delights at TBC, but whatever....
Or wait, was this a meta-joke at too cool for school hipster dismissiveness? Ugh its confusing. Need a donut.
Glory Hole Doughnuts Recipe / February 7, 2014 at 04:35 pm
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Step One: Mix 20 kilograms of sugar with 1 teaspoon of flour. Step Two: Bake immediately. Step Three: Take dust/debris from floor and add to top of donuts as 'decoration'. Step Four: Take the two donuts that you made and add 8000% markup. Step Five: Sell to naive Parkdale hipsters.
Ben replying to a comment from Melissa / February 7, 2014 at 05:11 pm
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Through Being Cool is just a standard doughnut. They probably buy them at the Coffee Time next door, then sell them for three times the price.
Friendly Parkdale "john" / February 7, 2014 at 05:29 pm
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Is gloryhole still charging $40 for a dozen? If so hope that includes "full service" or atleast a BJ!
Karen replying to a comment from MrsPotato / February 7, 2014 at 06:35 pm
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Agree wholeheartedly!! Von Doughnuts make the BEST doughnuts in the city!!!
Karen replying to a comment from Ben / February 7, 2014 at 06:36 pm
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I love the doughnuts from TBC!! They were a really nice surprise!!
Karen replying to a comment from Dan / February 7, 2014 at 06:37 pm
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I need to know where to find San Remo's fritters downtown as well!!
Karen / February 7, 2014 at 06:39 pm
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I've tried all of the doughnuts on the list except for Tori's Bakeshop, and I agree with what's on the list (with the exception of the order that they're in), except for Jelly Modern Doughnuts. These doughnuts are horrible!!! Sooooo sweet!! Why do people like them?
nb / February 7, 2014 at 08:19 pm
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While glory hole makes some damn good doughnuts it's pretty crappy seeing this working class food turned into a $4 a piece "snack".

piero / February 8, 2014 at 11:15 am
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Good list and let's stick to the Canadian spelling of Doughnut considering 5 of the shops spell it that way!
MrsPotato / February 8, 2014 at 12:05 pm
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To everyone asking about San Remo ... you can ONLY get them at their bakery.

They're a traditional italian bakery and they don't have distributors!
Mckegs replying to a comment from Ben / February 8, 2014 at 12:26 pm
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Hey idiot they are made fresh every morning from scratch and they are delicious. They aren't standard donuts, they are vegan. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to make a vegan donut taste and have the exact same texture as a "standard" donut?
Karolina Visic / February 8, 2014 at 12:55 pm
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Thanks everyone for the kind words about our donuts! We're so thrilled to be on this list. The only place that also sells our donuts (other than us) is This End Up - however it's more than the $1.00 we charge. So we suggest you come straight to us :)
Karolina Visic replying to a comment from Karolina Visic / February 8, 2014 at 12:56 pm
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***In regards to SanRemo Bakery ***
JBass / February 8, 2014 at 10:59 pm
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This list is all well and good but the doughnuts are all expensive. If I have 2-4 bucks to shell for a pastry there is quite a range to choose from. Doughnuts should be affordable. I nominate Krispy Kreem on Harbord at Bathurst. 1.10$ gets you choice of filled or a classic dip...great value...ya I know it's chain, but I speak for the legions of us on budgets. Cheers.
Jill / February 9, 2014 at 09:34 am
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Jelly Modern has gone way commercial with Pusaterie's selling their donuts. NO THANKS!
Irwin Mimico / February 11, 2014 at 01:08 pm
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Sanremo is #1! I live a couple streets over so I'm here almost everyday. Everything there is great. Any other place that charges $4 for a doughnut is just asking to go out of business! The hipster hype isn't going to last forever.
Mal / February 12, 2014 at 11:06 pm
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Very disappointed by Glory Hole, expensive and bland! I prefer Jelly!
Anon / February 14, 2014 at 11:03 am
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All of the donuts on this list look amazing. I heard that Stockyards Smokehouse used to serve incredible beignets. So sad they no longer serve them (apparently the chef who made them no longer works there)
Ryan / February 14, 2014 at 01:56 pm
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Looks like a decent list.

Having been to Glory Hole a few times, I can agree that their doughnuts are really good. Very different flavours as well. The only downside is the price with a dozen at $36. But let's face it, it's a small specialty business so they need to charge what they charge to stay afloat.

Went to San Remo the other day and picked up a dozen. Was SHOCKED when I was given the total. Pretty sure those crappy Tim Horton's doughnuts cost more. I got $3 back from the $10 I gave, damn!

With value like that, and very tasty doughnuts, I'm a bit surprised to see San Remo at 7th on the list, they should be in the top 3. While most varieties are of the more basic flavours, their doughnuts are sized like doughnuts were when I was growing up and they still have nice touches added to them, so they don't look like a cheap doughnut. Seeing a few different flavours such as Maple Bacon and Nutella made me drool.

I will say that I have never been a fan of apple fritters, but since I've heard so many people rave about them and have people in the household that like apple fritters, I got some of those as well. Now I see what everyone is raving about! The apple fritters at San Remo are hands down the best I've ever had!! I went from disliking apple fritters to actually craving them. It's a good thing I don't live too close to San Remo, or I'd be likely to be there every day.
nb / February 18, 2014 at 06:33 pm
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Donuts are one of the least expensive, least labour intensive foods to make. That's why they are cheap. Glory Hole must make an absurd margin on their doughnuts. That's fine if they don't want to do a huge volume. But I don't think it's a sustainable business model.
Jane / February 23, 2014 at 07:43 pm
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A dozen actually costs $30 at Glory Hole. Half dozens are $18.
Steven / February 25, 2014 at 10:11 pm
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Hands down, I agree with Glory Hole Doughnuts taking the top spot. While I have yet to try a few of these on the list, I cannot understand how anyone with a palate can contest that the doughnuts have incredible flavour. You can really sense the Chefs touch in the flavour profiles. As they always say, haters are going to be haters, and, it is always easiest to hate those that have put in a lot of effort to make it to the top. Keep up the good work Glory Hole Doughnuts. The 1000+ people that we personally know that experienced your doughnuts ALL loved them and keep coming back. For shame haters, for shame!
Cam / February 26, 2014 at 09:07 am
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I found Glory Hole's doughnuts to be very dense. Just not worth the price.
Dogma / March 12, 2014 at 02:14 pm
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Have anyone ever tried J'Adore Cakes Co. Donuts? They are AMAZING!!! And they also won the $10, 000 on Donut Showdown
Alex replying to a comment from Dogma / March 18, 2014 at 05:36 pm
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YESSS!!!! They are amazing! J'Adore also did my wedding cake which people still talk about :) Also, Top 10 Macarons in the city list. Donuts are to die for!
kobe / April 5, 2014 at 09:06 am
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Jelly M D is awful!! Expensive and gross! DO NOT waste your money and calories on this place.
Janelle replying to a comment from Ben / April 5, 2014 at 10:57 pm
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Ben, I think your tastebuds might be broken.
Through being cool is blowing up Lansdowne with the best donuts, anddddd they get a high-ten for being vegan!

Boston cream, is better than any I have ever had! Vegan and non!
Maaureen / April 7, 2014 at 06:20 pm
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There really are no good doughnuts in Victoria, B.C. They all seem to be tough and stale. The old Woodwards department store made great doughnuts in the 1960s. The best doughnut I've had in the past few years was at Charles DeGaulle airport in Paris.
Tony M. / April 21, 2014 at 12:33 pm
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I tried Through Being Cool, ugh, it stunk, and the staff were fairly rude.
SpyderBoi / April 30, 2014 at 01:51 am
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Timmy's has really stepped their donut game up. Haters gon' hate.
Warren / May 28, 2014 at 12:08 pm
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The fresh donut selection at Loblaws Maple Leaf Gardens is the best value I've seen considering the high quality of the product. The selection would be considered 'gourmet' with around 15 varieties plus 2 types of cream Eclair. Additionally, gourmet does not mean miniature, these are large donuts perhaps 30% bigger and heavier and tastier than that of Tim Hortons. If you buy 6 or more the price is only $1.08, regularly $1.29.
I will never pay $3-$4 for a donut from the places listed above so if you're like me then give this Loblaws a go.
Donut replying to a comment from Warren / June 5, 2014 at 04:33 pm
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Thanks for the tip. Tried Loblaws at MLG last night and it was great.
DonutGobbler / June 11, 2014 at 03:23 pm
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i eat donuts like some people breathe air. often.
design blog / July 31, 2014 at 03:21 pm
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I seldom create responses, but I browsed a few remarks here The Best Donuts
in Toronto. I do have a couple of questions for you if you tend not to mind.
Is it only me or does it give the impression like some of these responses come
across as if they are left by brain dead individuals? :-P And,
if you are posting on other sites, I would like to keep up with anything
new you have to post. Could you make a list of all of all your public sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?
Rando / September 11, 2014 at 03:19 am
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Seriously, get SanRemo Bakery off this list. As a lover of all non Tim Hotrons doughnuts I was told about this place and visited recently. The place seemed nice, the staff was very nice but they were without a doubt the worst doughnuts I've ever had. Let me stress that I do NOT think Tim Hortons or the other chains make a good doughnut, that's not what I have in mind when I eat one.

Maybe everything else they do is great but I would give their doughnuts a 0 out of 10.

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