Location: 28 Bathurst Street, Toronto
Donut Monster is a really acclaimed doughnut joint from Hamilton that recently opened a location in Toronto’s Stackt Market. I’ve been hearing nothing but good things about their doughnuts for a while now — if they hadn’t opened an outpost in Toronto, taking a long drive to Hamilton might have been in order.
I’m so glad I didn’t drive all the way to Hamilton for this.
I tried the Cherry Cheesecake Bullseye, which features sour cherry pie filling, cream cheese icing, and a graham cracker crumble.
I know a lot of people are more concerned about a doughnut’s fillings/toppings than anything else, and on that level this was pretty decent — the balance between the tart cherries and the sweet frosting was actually quite good.
But the doughnut itself was seriously disappointing; it was dense and dry and boring. It was like Wonder Bread. There’s nothing to it. I’m pretty sure the prepacked doughnuts you can get at the supermarket aren’t much worse.
It certainly wasn’t unpleasant, but from a high-end doughnut place it’s a huge let-down.
Location: 484 Danforth Avenue, Toronto
The Greek doughnuts (a.k.a. loukoumades) they serve at Lukumum are intensely sweet. They’re also extremely delicious.
I tried loukoumades at Loukoumania Cafe in Vaughan last year; the ones at Lukumum are twice as sweet. Three times as sweet? They’re way sweeter.
I tried a couple of varieties. I went with the classic, which is soaked through with syrup and topped with honey and cinnamon, and the hazelnut, which is soaked with syrup and topped with Nutella and hazelnuts.
Both were delicious, though I preferred the classic. Despite being soaked through with syrup, the exterior remains pleasantly crunchy. The inside is completely suffused with syrup, but it’s not mushy. It’s great. The honey adds even more sweetness, and a nice floral note that goes very well with the cinnamon.
The Nutella variety is tasty as well — Nutella makes anything delicious — but the original is more unique.
Location: 161 Baldwin Street, Toronto
I almost didn’t order the apple fritter at Dipped Donuts. Sanremo — an amazing Italian bakery in Etobicoke — sells an apple fritter that’s so delicious, getting one anywhere else feels like a waste of time. How can you top it?
Well, I’m not sure if Dipped Donuts quite tops it, but it’s pretty damn close. Their fritter is absolutely amazing.
It’s got the perfect balance of crispy, chewy, and fluffy. It’s sweet but not too sweet, with the rich glaze balancing perfectly with the cinnamony, apple-infused pastry.
It’s easily the best doughnut I’ve had from Dipped Donuts — and everything I’ve had from that particular shop has been extremely delicious. It’s ridiculously good.
Location: 574 James Street North, Hamilton
Remember the Walnut Crunch from Tim Hortons? Because I certainly do. It was clearly the best doughnut they sold, but then they discontinued it and darkness descended upon the land.
It’s safe to say that since then, we all occasionally google “Walnut Crunch Tim Hortons” to see if there’s any talk of it coming back. I think we can all agree that this is a completely rational thing to do and not crazy at all.
It was during one of these searches that I discovered a place called Grandad’s Donuts in Hamilton — they sell their own version of the Walnut Crunch, just like Tim Hortons used to make. Obviously, I had to check it out.
It was glorious. It was exactly as I remembered at Tim Hortons — maybe a bit puffier, but otherwise pretty much exactly the same thing.
It’s sweet and cakey, with a thick sugary glaze, a mild chocolate flavour, and the occasional nutty crunch from the walnuts. I’ll admit that taken on its own merits — without a fairly liberal dose of Walnut Crunch nostalgia — it’s nothing particularly special. But then we’re all nostalgic for the Walnut Crunch, aren’t we?
Location: 1596 Queen Street West, Toronto
I checked out Glory Hole Doughnuts when it opened and was thoroughly unimpressed. That was a few years ago, and in the meanwhile it’s been piling up accolade after accolade. Another visit was in order.
Yeah, everyone is right about this place: it’s great.
I had the bread and butter doughnut, which is a classic raised doughnut topped with brown butter icing, toasted breadcrumbs, and cinnamon.
The doughnut itself was perfect; just the right amount of fluffiness and chewiness, with a really nice flavour and no oiliness (this was an issue on my first visit, but not even a little bit this time).
The icing was creamy, slightly nutty from the brown butter, and perfectly sweet. The breadcrumbs add some crunch and a mild toasty flavour. The sweet cinnamon-infused flavour, the creamy icing, and the crispy breadcrumbs are an irresistible combo. It’s an amazing doughnut.