Got a sweet craving? Try a donut in Cincinnati-- it’s not just a breakfast item anymore!
Image courtesy of Pexels.
Sometimes you get a craving for something sweet, but you also want it to be light and fast-- but still satisfying! For some, this happens in the morning-- for others, mid-afternoon or just after dinner. And the only thing that satisfies is the perfect medley of everything-- and that happens with the almighty donut.
The humble donut remains a classic breakfast pastry, but it’s also gotten dressed up for dessert and picked up for an afternoon snack. No matter style of donut you like-- cakey or light and airy-- we’ve got the roundup of the best of the Cincinnati bunch for you.
Want to share the love? Spread a little donut joy to your Cincinnati friends-- and friends everywhere-- with the GiftYa app. It’s the perfect answer to those times when you want to give an electronic gift card, but the shop or restaurant is too small to offer them, or too far away to buy a physical one! Enter GiftYa, the app the lets you send an electronic gift card to anyone anywhere-- they load it to their major credit card, and swipe or tap as usual the next time they visit their favorite place. GiftYa then credits the credit card, and everyone leaves satisfied.
Come to think of it, GiftYa is a lot like a donut-- it’s the perfect medley of convenience and personalization in gifting from anywhere to anyone. Always the right size, and always the right flavor.
This fabulous little bakery has been running strong for three generations.
The Bonomini Bakery has us drooling over the Paczki! Image courtesy of Bonomini Bakery Facebook.
1677 Blue Rock St.
Bonomini Bakery specializes in two things: wedding cakes, and donuts. Sure, they offer other kinds of pastries that are equally as good, but they’re best-known products are cakes and donuts-- and for good reason! The traditional Polish jelly-filled donuts-- called Paczki-- are an annual favorite around Mardi Gras time. Enthusiasts say the start of Mardi Gras is “Paczki Season,” and we’re here for it!
We also hear that the blueberry yeast donut is fantastic and not to be missed! Their motto is “Enjoy the sweet things in life,” and we couldn’t agree more-- perhaps that’s why they specialize in wedding cakes and donuts. Because what’s sweeter than celebrations, big or small? Family owned and operated for 3 generations. Here’s a thought for those of you getting married-- have Bonomini Bakery make your wedding cake a little smaller for just the wedding party, and let your guests chow down on donuts! Or instead of a cookie table, have a donut bar!
“This is the best bakery in Cincinnati… If you want real homemade baked goods like raisin bread then this is the place. I wish I could give them 6 stars. It is that good… Surprised they have not yet received national attention...YUM!!!”-- Yelp Review
Saturday is donut day at Happy Chicks-- “donut” miss it for anything! Image courtesy of Happy Chicks Bakery Facebook.
4035 Hamilton Ave.
Best vegan donuts-- and one of the best vegan bakeries-- you’ll ever enjoy! Their focus and mission is to be that awesome local bakery, and they place a priority on creating great products with sustainable practices, local ingredients, and unique flavors. Now don’t be discouraged if you check their “Sweet Treats” menu (they have different menus for desserts, cakes/cupcakes, and their cafe) and don’t see donuts listed. That’s because Happy Chicks keeps donuts special-- so special that they get their own day at the bakery!
Saturday is “Donut Day,” and Happy Chicks serves up fresh croissant dough donuts (still vegan!) in at least two flavors-- the flavors change every week and depending on what’s fresh and in season locally. Join their Rewards Program and bring your own bag to save some dough!
“My friend turned me on to this place, and I couldn't be more thrilled… because this bakery/cafe will beat your expectations. I've had their croissant-donuts, and their sandwich called The Breakfast. Their donuts are fresh, flaky, and indulgent. -- Yelp Review
Danielle B. says: “Sweet little doughnut didn’t survive after hitting the table.” Save some for us, Danielle! Image courtesy of Yelp.
118 E. 6th St.
Sometimes you don’t know that you want a donut until it’s time for dessert. Enter Sotto’s. They’re a dimly-lit, sexy little Italian place that serves fantastic classic dinners with a sophisticated, hardcore twist-- think Roman Cacio e pepe, tajarin con ragu, and wood-fired branzino. They have a great wine selection regularly available, with new vintages popping all the time-- ask a server for the latest updates, and note whether you want a glass or the whole bottle (you might want to save some for later when you’re safely home).
So why put Sotto’s on the list of great places to get donuts? Dessert, of course! Sotto’s serves up dreamy and creamy ricotta doughnuts with three sauce options-- chocolate, vanilla, or lemon. Sure, they have other classic Italian desserts, but these puppies REALLY hit that sweet spot in a sexy way. This isn’t just a donut-- this is the donut all glammed up for her big moment in the spotlight.
“This is the best restaurant in Cincinnati… Everything is phenomenal each and every time…. my top pick for desserts is the ricotta donuts. I'm really not the biggest donut person but damn these are good. Soft, pillowy, delicious.-- Yelp Review
What started as a family bakery has turned into a sweet empire with multiple locations.
Busken Bakery certainly keeps it festive, but fresh & tasty is the name of their family game! Image courtesy of Alyson L. on Yelp.
2675 Madison Rd.
Busken Bakery began in 1928 with Joe Busken, Sr. and his wife Daisie, and the bakery has been in the family for four generations since-- their expertise on the subject is evidenced by eight Cininnati locations! They keep things pretty classic in terms of donut varieties, but what they do, they do extremely well!
And there are some donuts on the menu that are deliciously intriguing, such as the Maple Persian and Zebra Long John. And you’ll always find the service friendly, no matter how busy they get.
“Definitely, SHOULD NOT BE MISSED if you are visiting Cincinnati. This place surely makes one of the best, if not best, donuts in the area. It is a 24 hour bakery… Their Old Fashioned donut is definitely to be tried. Apart from that… [the] Samoa donut was amazing”-- Yelp Review
Ever grill a donut? You won’t want one any other way after you try these!
Ooey and gooey goodness from Tom & Chee that we just can’t wait to chow down on! Image courtesy of The Business Journals.
125 E. Court St.
7578 Beechmont Ave.
1 Levee Way / Newport, KY
Okay, so Tom & Chee is not a donut shop-- hear us out! They specialize in soups and sandwiches-- they’re famous for their “cheesy melts” or grilled cheese sandwiches in a variety of comfortably familiar and unique flavor combinations. And what goes better with a grilled cheese than soup? Well… how about a donut to round out the meal on a sweet note? How about a GRILLED donut… with cheddar cheese!
You heard us right-- it’s about as American as apple pie, which is also often served with a savory drizzle of cheddar cheese as a balance to the sweetness of the dessert. It’s the same concept here-- the sweetness of the glazed donut is emphasized by both the caramelization of the grill AND balanced by the nutty sharpness of the cheddar cheese. It’s a wonder to us why no one thought of this earlier!
“I wouldn't mind waking up to that EVERY morning!”-- Yelp Review
This family works magic and love into every sweet bite.
Whether you’re a kid or a “big kid,” these donuts are magic in a box-- and your mouth! Photo courtesy of Luis N. on Yelp.
1332 Vine St
Over the Rhine
3356 Madison Rd
The Holstman family has been making donuts fresh and from scratch since 1960-- every day, all day. This family-friendly donut joint shines the spotlight on the sweet treat like nobody else, and best of all-- they’re available ALL day long, not just for the early morning coffee rush!
Kids like to watch the kitchen making the donuts-- it’s visible from the front of the store-- and there is ample seating, so that families can sit together. Give some of the more adventurous and creative donuts a try-- such as maple bacon blueberry, the chocolate bacon, or their cereal-sprinkled varieties. When the strawberries are in season, try their strawberry donut-- it’s stuffed with them! And the peaches and nuts donut with caramel drizzle is sinfully good. They have vegan options, too!
“I was on the hunt for the best donuts in Cincinnati and I'm pretty sure I found it! The pictures on Instagram and yelp don't lie - this place is as delicious as it looks! I… wanted to sample every donut they offered... The staff was super helpful with suggestions and offering their personal favorites. You can watch them make the donuts as well!”-- Yelp Review
So the next time you’re craving a sweet little something, hit up this list and try a donut! And don’t forget to use GiftYa to help give a friend a sweet little something too.