Who'd have thought that Dayton would be a prime location for local bakeries and donut shops? Though mass producers like Krispy Kreme and Dunkin' Donuts have rivalries that span the entire country, there's something about stopping by your neighborhood bakery to select from a large variety of still-warm donuts and other baked goods (if you have the fortitude to look past the donuts) and knowing that it came out of the fryer only hours before.
These are the seven Dayton-area donuts that you must try and consume -- you may regret eating them all in one sitting, so space them out:
🍩1. Devil’s foodcake donut at Bill’s Donuts
268 N Main St., Centerville
(937) 433-0002 | billsdonutshop.com
Payment options: Cash, credit cards, checks
Bill’s really needs no introduction. Recognized as one of the top 50 donut shops in the U.S. by Saveur Magazine and one of the top 10 in the country for glazed donuts by USA Today in 2013, Bill’s is a Dayton institution even though it moved to its current Centerville location in 1979. Just recently, its devil's foodcake donut's decadence earned it a spot on the Huffington Post's "Best Donuts in America" list.
Owners Jim Elam and Lisa Tucker strive to keep the same ambiance that they experienced working for their parents since the store opened in 1960, and work to be involved in the local Centerville community. Now, they’re working with a longtime customer to create a book about the history of Bill’s. If you have a fond story about your experience at Bill’s, be sure to mention it next time you stop in — it just might make the book!
🍩2. Peanut butter-filled donut at American Classic Donuts
4214 Linden Ave., Dayton
(937) 252-5426 | Facebook
Payment: Cash and checks
The former “anti-Krispy Kreme” store on Linden Avenue offers a great variety of homemade donuts just off of Highway 35 and Woodman Drive, and is a well-deserved pit stop on any road trip going in and out of the city. Originally a Krispy Kreme franchise, it’s been family-owned since 1988, and offers wholesale products to several community members. You’re missing out if you don’t grab a peanut butter-filled donut or an apple fritter over a half-foot in diameter on your cheat day.
🍩3. Sour cream donut at Donut Palace
5115 Old Troy Pike, Huber Heights
(937)802-5648 | Facebook
Payments: Cash, credit cards, checks
Since 1972, the Donut Palace combines your classic donut shop with a sit-down diner, and though they’ve moved from their Salem Avenue location, you’ll find the same great tasting donuts from longtime baker Joe Rockey at the Dayton shop on James H. McGee Boulevard. And if you grab a jelly-filled donut and omit a scoop of black walnut ice cream on the side, what are you even doing? On Mondays and Wednesdays, grab a dozen glazed donuts or twists for $6 — but for any day, we recommend the sour cream donuts or the classic but oh-so delicious raised glazed donuts.
🍩4. Reese’s Delight donut at Stan the Donut Man
1441 Wilmington Ave., Dayton
Payment: Cash, credit (except for American Express), checks
For over 50 years, Stan the Donut Man has been serving up homemade donuts on Wilmington Ave. Their Reese’s Delight donut — with a Reese’s peanut butter cup in the center — and their maple-bacon doughnuts are particularly worth the time. If you live a little outside of the city, fear not: the family-owned business also runs a storefront in Xenia, though all of their products are made in the Dayton store.
🍩5. Blueberry cake donut at Jim’s Donut Shop
122 E National Rd., Vandalia
(937) 898-4222 | Facebook
Payment: Cash or Checks
Jim’s Donut Shop is a little off the beaten path up in Vandalia, but worth the drive. Open since the 1950s, Jim’s has some of the biggest apple fritters around and their blueberry cake donuts are always huge hits. Grab a large coffee, one of those bad boys and savor it while making new friends around Jim's wrapped counter top.
🍩6. Glazed strawberry creme-filled donut at Evans Bakery
700 Troy St., Dayton
(937) 228-4151 | Facebook
Payment: Cash and credit cards
Co-owner Jennifer Evans’ family has run the neighborhood bakery since 1969, and since 2012 she and partner Matthew Tepper have continued to provide some of the longtime favorites, along with new products created in-house from scratch all the time. They even deliver to businesses in downtown Dayton! Try the butterscotch cake doughnuts or the glazed — not iced! — strawberry creme-filled donuts.
🍩7. The “cronut” at Ashley’s Pastries
21 Park Ave., Oakwood
(937) 293-1719 | ashleyspastries.com
Payment: Cash and checks
For 33 years, Theresa Hammons has been providing the Oakwood community with a full-service bakery at Ashley’s, and she knows the value of a perfectly fresh donut. Every day, donuts are the last product her bakers work on ahead of the work day, so they’re light, fluffy and delicious as soon as the store opens.
If you remember the manic “cronut” phase a few years ago when foodies around the world “discovered” the glorious merge of a donut and croissant, note that Theresa has been making them for over a dozen years in her store. Who’d have thought Dayton would be ahead of the culinary curve? That deep-fried and glazed croissant is a must-try at Ashley’s, along with the bacon-chocolate-caramel donut.
Did we miss your favorite? Let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.