Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

7 Best Pittsburgh-Area Places You Should Try for Doughnuts

When you're craving the real deal, these local spots consistently churn out the very best.




PHOTO COURTESY FREEDOM FARMS
 

Editor's note: This story was originally published in August 2015

Forever associated with its liquid counterpart, coffee, the doughnut's origins date to before World War I. Though it mostly was fried in those times, some of today's top doughnut versions are baked. (We're fans of both kinds.) Minis, doughnut holes, "long Johns" — form doesn't matter as much as quality. And if you believe this treat strictly is for the a.m., think again. We've compiled a list of our go-to spots for this classic, each with a different specialty. We would've included Better-Maid in Crafton Heights if it were open; count us among the 'Burghers who keep dreaming.
 


PHOTO COURTESY OAKMONT BAKERY'S FACEBOOK PAGE
 

Trendy + traditional: Oakmont Bakery

Sometimes culinary trends are irritating; who wants to mess with tradition? In our book, though, Oakmont deftly handled the cronut translation for its crowd: It was nearly impossible to dislike the bakery's doughsant, which looked and tasted like the perfect melding of croissant and doughnut characteristics. The original stuff is worth your time, too: Lines of fans wait patiently for "long Johns" covered in icing and "jimmies," among other standbys.
 


PHOTO COURTESY BELLA CHRISTIE & LIL' Z'S TWITTER ACCOUNT

 

Minis: Bella Christie & Lil' Z's Sweet Boutique

Everything about this company, with locations in Aspinwall and Lawrenceville, is cute. The freshly made doughnuts are no exception. Minis come flecked with blueberries, covered in cinnamon and filled with peanut butter. You're going to have to exercise restraint; after watching staffers polish the little creations — and given their size — you'll want to eat a number of them.
 


PHOTO COURTESY VALENCIA DONUT CO.'S FACEBOOK PAGE
 

DIY: Valencia Donut Co.

Would you associate the following words with a doughnut hotspot: dine in, carryout, custom? After visiting Valencia you will. Walk in to find staffers waiting patiently with warm cake doughnuts and containers of icing, toppings and more — all accessible to you as you tick off what you'd like on your treat. Valencia will offer seasonal flavors on occasion.
 


PHOTO BY KRISTINA MARTIN
 

Late-night: Big Daddy's

Ignore anyone who tells you to consume fast food in the wee hours of the morning. If you're looking to indulge, go with a homemade doughnut. Big Daddy's is nestled in a nondescript building in Crafton, where it feeds hungry patrons starting at 10 p.m. The shop does much of its baking overnight, so if you're craving a hot toasted-coconut doughnut at 3 a.m., your wish may be granted. Other popular choices include the Crafton Angel, filled with a perfectly sweetened cream and dusted with powdered sugar, and the anything-but-mundane glazed.
 


PHOTO COURTESY OF MAC'S FACEBOOK PAGE
 

Options that indulge your inner child: Mac's Donut Shop

This Beaver County stalwart makes its presence known even at night, when sweet scents waft through the air. Straightforward picks are perfect, such as glazed, but we dig newer concoctions. Take the cannoli doughnut (above) filled with cannoli cream and topped with shell pieces. Time it so that you also can snag one of the Fruit Loop-topped or Reese's topped (and peanut-butter-filled) doughnuts, to feel like a kid again. 
 


PHOTO COURTESY FREEDOM FARMS' FACEBOOK PAGE
 

Doughnuts on demand: Freedom Farms 

Who says you can't get what you want? Freedom Farms — run by the Farm Kings, their mom and sister — operates a farm market, sandwich shop and doughnut shop in Butler County. The clan knows how to win people over: They've been crafting from-scratch doughnuts for years; recently, they implemented a weekly doughnut CSA program, allowing members to receive a dozen for 26 weeks at a time. If you're not up for the commitment, swing by Freedom Farms Donut Shop, up the road from the other two spots, and pick up a dozen candy-, nut- and sprinkle-crowned doughnuts for the office crew or your loved ones. That'll cinch your status as the new favorite.
 


PHOTO COURTESY GLUTEN FREE GOAT'S FACEBOOK PAGE
 

Gluten-free delights: Gluten-Free Goat

If you presume gluten-free food is plain, dense and flavorless, check out these doughnuts. Fresh tastes abound: Lemon basil sugar and apple cider are just two fine choices. The baked goods also are vegan, soy-free and corn-free — and you'll want to grab one whenever you're out and about at city establishments including Dobra Tea and Staghorn Home & Garden Cafe. You can thank us later.


 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Can't Miss Concerts in Pittsburgh in July

This month's lineup includes Belle and Sebastian, Kurt Vile and actor-turned-rockstar Billy Bob Thornton and his band The Boxmasters.

Recommended Pittsburgh Eating: 3 Recent Dishes I Loved

PM dining critic Hal B. Klein is eating seasonal salads, sushi and sandwiches.

Transit May Improve Thanks to New Technology

Public transit users may luck out if Port Authority’s wristband ticketing service experiment goes well.

The 400-Word Review: Toy Story 4

Pixar's signature series comes up with an enjoyable fourth chapter. Just don't set your expectations too high.

The Latest Restaurant Openings In Pittsburgh

We say hello to three new Galley Group concepts, plus Con Alma, Over Eden and Inner Groove Brewing.

The Business of Building Cookie Table Bridges

After her cookie table bridges proved to be a hit at her own wedding, a Pittsburgh bride has taken her idea to the next level.

All You Need to Know About Fireworks in Pennsylvania

With new state fireworks laws in place, Pennsylvanians will get a little more freedom to celebrate this Fourth of July.

July 2019: Best of Culture in Pittsburgh

Check out some of the finest plays, dance performances and exhibits taking place this month in Pittsburgh.

What We're Reading in July: The Pioneers

The Pioneers is historian and Point Breeze native David McCullough’s retelling of the settlement of the wilderness northwest of the Ohio River, which contained the future states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Perspectives: On Caring to See

A teacher at the University of Pittsburgh learns a lesson about street medicine.

PPG Paints Singin' the Blues for 2020 Color of the Year

Meant to offer relief from the anxieties of today’s fast-paced lifestyle, Chinese Porcelain is a mix of cobalt and ink blue. Here’s why you can expect to see more of it in the coming year.

Watch: The Best of Three Rivers Arts Festival

The 60th Three Rivers Arts Festival is history, but you can still soak in the memories of the music, art and food.

This Brit Fell in Love with Pittsburgh's Dirt

During the Civil War, a British writer was enchanted by Pittsburgh’s dirt and soot.

Artist Invites Public to Add to Time Capsule at Arts Festival

Toby Fraley’s love for historical photos inspired him to take the next step for Pittsburgh’s future.

New Dimensions: The Comic Book Store's Surprise Move

Comic-book (store) avengers. How a sprawling comic-book shop moved out of its longtime home — and reopened for business mere hours later.