Now that summer is a distant memory and it’s just about sweater weather, comfort food is making a comeback. We all have our splurges, and doughnuts are mine. I remember back to my childhood when my dad would bring home a dozen doughnuts on a Sunday morning, most likely from Dunks (were there even other choices back then?). Over the last few decades, my taste in Boston doughnuts has evolved, and I have been sharing that passion with my son.

Unfortunately, I think I have become a doughnut snob. No longer do Munchkins do it for me. 

My son and I have developed an oh-so-sophisticated taste for exquisite doughnuts. And oh, have we been spoiled. It’s not hard to find gourmet “boutique” doughnuts in the greater Boston area. Here are a few of our favorites:

Kane’s :: Saugus and Financial District

As I write this, my mouth waters for one of their maple bacon doughnuts. Bonus: They also deliver and ship if you don’t live close by either location!

Union Square Donuts :: Somerville, Boston, Brookline (and coming soon to Harvard Square)

These are, quite possibly, the best doughnuts in the universe. There is nothing ordinary about their doughnuts, which change seasonally and include drool-worthy flavors like chai apple cider, brown butter hazelnut crunch, and concord grape. They offer a great selection of vegan doughnut as well.

MassHole Donuts :: Somerville

In the mood for a sophisticated take on the Munchkin? Look no further than MassHole. The perfect bite-sized treats — that kids of all ages will love — each have their own Boston-themed name. Flavors change weekly and include options like New-berry Street (rich chocolate-cake doughnut hole topped with vanilla bean glaze, Nutella, and blackberries) and Mama’s Lil Mass Hole (old-fashioned poppy seed cake doughnut topped with vanilla bean butter glaze and rainbow sprinkles). Order ahead for a quick and easy pickup.

Gail-Ann’s Coffee Shop:: Arlington 

If old-school doughnut joints are more your style, I highly recommend Gail Ann’s for classic flavors (their honey dipped is the best!) from a wonderful family business. (As a side note, they have a wonderful Greek lemon soup seasonally.)

Blackbird Donuts :: Boston, Cambridge, Newton

These doughnuts at this woman-owned business are made from scratch each morning to make sure you get the freshest, most delicious treat every single day. Their glazes and fillings are made from scratch, too! Their 10 flavors change each month, along with a new doughnut cake and specials. Favorites include their signature Blackbird (vanilla cake with vanilla glaze), pumpkin cake, maple braid, and berry crumble.

Donuts with a Difference :: Medford

This old-school shop doughnut shop just outside of Boston knows how to perfect classics like honey dipped, Boston cream, and lemon glazed. Everything at this spot is consistently delicious and affordable — they’ve even been awarded a coveted Best of Boston award!

The Blueberry Muffin :: Plymouth, MA

This full-service breakfast and lunch spot has a great doughnut counter! Kids will love the PB & Fluff doughnut, the strawberry frosted, and the Nutella frosted.

No matter where you go, a great doughnut is a wonderful way to enjoy the cooler weather!

Cheryl Mastrogiovanni
Cheryl is a native of Salem, MA, and now resides in Arlington with her husband and son. A graduate of Boston College, she has been a high school counselor for over 20 years and enjoys helping seniors navigate the college application process. A lifelong Boston Bruins fan, Cheryl began attending hockey games with her father in the original Boston Garden at the age of 8, a tradition she is now sharing with her son. Cheryl published a children’s picture book about the Bruins, and is also passionate about soccer, Cape Cod, all things Italian, and spending time with her family. As much as she loves to travel, she equally loves coming home. Loves: playing soccer on the weekends, GOOD pizza, hot summer nights, '80s music, sneakers, and being organized Dislikes: long meetings, loud noises, messiness