(NEXSTAR) – The people of the Northeast may never see eye-to-eye on sports teams, clam chowders or types of bowling pins, but one thing they can’t deny is their shared love of doughnuts.
There’s plenty of evidence to support the notion that residents from this region are some of the most doughnut-obsessed in the country. In fact, the very first shop selling Dutch olykoeks, the precursors to the modern doughnut, opened in New York City in the 17th century, and the first automated doughnut machine debuted across town a few hundred years later. And, by several historical accounts, a ship captain from New England is credited with forming the doughnut into its now-recognizable ring, likely to keep his fried dough from becoming too oily in the center, according to the New England Historical Society and even the Smithsonian Institute.
Still not convinced? A recent study from BestPlaces.net has also determined that the Northeast is home to eight of the top ten “Doughnut Cities” in the U.S., in terms of doughnut shops per capita.
It would stand to reason, then, that the denizens of the Northeast are doubly discerning when it comes to their doughnuts. But which of their many, many doughnut shops are worth customers’ hard-earned dough?
For the answer, the analysts at Yelp identified every Northeast business in its doughnut category, taking into account each shop’s star rating and total volume of reviews, among other factors. Any business with a health inspection score lower than a “C” was also disqualified, when that information was available.
Behold, the best doughnut shops in the Northeast:
The Brooklyn Baking Company in Waterbury takes the top spot in the state, according to Yelp data. Its classic glazed doughnut, unsurprisingly, is probably the shop’s best seller, the owner says.
Selected Yelp review:
“I’ve tried donuts in a variety of different states and I’m also a relative purist usually opting for a traditional glazed. The donuts at Brooklyn Baking are by far the best donuts I’ve ever had in my entire life.” – Caryn M., elite Yelper
Dixie Donuts, in Norwich, and Speedy Donuts, in Norwalk, ranked second and third, respectively.
Congdon’s Doughnuts Family Restaurant & Bakery, in Wells, is Yelp’s highest-ranking doughnut shop in Maine. The owners also operate Congdon’s After Dark, a seasonal food truck park offering savory dishes, snacks, and yes, Congdon’s doughnuts.
Yelp review highlight:
“We did it again. We were vacationing in VT and saw it was 3½ hours to Congdon’s and drove seven hours round-trip for these donuts.” – A.S.
The Holy Donut and HiFi Donuts, both in Portland, ranked second and third.
The best doughnuts in Massachusetts, as far as Yelp is collectively concerned, can be found at Ruby Donut in Ayer. The shop also specializes in milk teas, bubble teas and kolaches, a sweet or savory pastry of Czech origin that’s usually found in Texas-area doughnut shops.
Selected Yelp review:
“Best donuts in MA. I could go on about the why’s and the what’s and the this’s and the that’s just to try to convince you, but you simply need to go there and experience it for yourself to really ‘get it.’” -G.S.
If you can’t make it to Ruby Donut, try out Donut Shack in Lowell or Donut Express & Cakes in Medfield, the second- and third-best shops in the state, according to Yelp.
Yelpers love Donut Love in North Hampton. The shop is unique in that it specializes in potato doughnuts, made with real mashed potato, rather than the traditional yeast-based variety.
Selected Yelp recommendation:
“Quality is high and chances of a warm donut are high too, so Donut Love is high on my list of places to revisit.” – Gary G., elite Yelper
Muriel’s Donuts in Lebanon ranked second, while Donut Fresh Express in Milford came in third.
For a great doughnut in New Jersey, Yelp recommends you check out Uncle Dood’s Donuts in Tom’s River. This shop also frosts and tops each doughnut to order, but fans don’t seem to mind the wait.
Selected Yelp review:
“Who doesn’t like fresh donuts? Made to order. Create your own. I’m hooked on the maple and bacon donut. Incredible!” – Joshua H.
New Jersey’s other top doughnut shops include Purple Glaze Donuts in Asbury Park, ranked second by Yelp, or Nauti Donuts in Ocean City, ranked third.
Lumber Jack’s Coffee & Snacks in Hoosick Falls only serves up one type of doughnut — apple cider — but it’s so good that Lumber Jack’s is considered the best-rated doughnut stop in all of New York.
Notable Yelp remarks:
“I loved the beaver mascot out front. He was adorable and I totally believe he endorses this coffee now!” – Courtney N., elite Yelper
Glazed Over Donuts and Cider Belly Doughnuts, in Beacon and Albany, ranked second and third in the state.
The Providence-Warwick metro area was found to have the most doughnut shops, per capita, of anywhere in the country, so it’s really saying something that Knead Doughnuts, in Providence, is the state’s best-reviewed shop of all on Yelp.
Concerned Yelp review:
“It is very dangerous that I work less than 5 minutes from this location of Knead Doughnuts.” – Ashley M., elite Yelper
Master Homemade Donuts in West Warwick and Glaze’n Daze Donuts in Johnston, in that order, are the next best doughnut spots in the state, according to Yelp’s data.
Sure, it’s technically not a doughnut shop per se, but the Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury Center says one if its “biggest attractions” is actually the doughnuts. They also sell a “Creemee” doughnut sandwich — filled with vanilla ice cream — between May and October.
Selected Yelp praise:
“My partner and I would have devoured half a dozen donuts in one sitting if we didn’t have other meal plans.”
The Quality Bake Shop in Essex Junction and the Sugar Shack in Arlington, in that order, were the second- and third-best doughnut shops in Vermont, according to Yelp’s data.