Rest of the Best 2013: Houston's Top Ten Doughnut Spots

Can you guess where these doughnuts come from? (Hint: Number 8 on our list.)
Can you guess where these doughnuts come from? (Hint: Number 8 on our list.)
Photo by Troy Fields

Our 2013 Best of Houston® winners have been announced, but in many cases, picking the best item in any category was no easy task. In order to show off all the culinary greatness Houston has to offer we'll be rounding up the "rest of the best" in some of our favorite categories during the next several months. Bon appétit!

Unless you eat 15 raised, glazed doughnuts, all of them fresh and hot, one right after the other, it might be difficult to judge who in town has the best doughnut. Yes, some places make doughnuts that are clearly superior to others, but, you know, fried rings of dough are pretty awesome, generally speaking.

So instead of a roundup naming the single best doughnut from a number of places, we've compiled a list of the best spots in town to get your fix -- regardless of whether you're a raised/glazed fan, an old-fashioned connoisseur or a lover of the jelly-filled variety. We guarantee these are all ideal places to satisfy your cravings. However you spell it -- donut, doughnut, do-nut -- these are some sweet and tasty treats.

Note: Even though they're often sold at doughnut shops, kolaches, croissants, apple fritters and the like will not be addressed in this post. Doughnuts only! That other stuff will come later!

The spooky Halloween doughnuts from River Oaks Donuts were some of the prettiest in Houston.
The spooky Halloween doughnuts from River Oaks Donuts were some of the prettiest in Houston.
Photo from River Oaks Donuts

10. River Oaks Donuts Billionaires Mindy and Jeff Hildebrand opened the little doughnut shop in River Oaks back in July, and they have been mocked from time to time for opening a semi-ritzy shop for a food not usually considered gourmet (unless you're Dominique Ansel), but there's definitely no need to mock their wares, because they're some of the best in town. The Hildebrands worked with store director Scott Niemeyer for months to develop the recipes, and the results are not only delicious, but pretty, too. Raised, glazed doughnuts are iced in every color of the rainbow and dotted with contrasting sprinkles for a treat almost too beautiful to eat. Almost.

9. Fresh & Best Donuts Part of the beauty of Fresh & Best Donuts is the awesome deals the shop offers as an incentive to load up on fried goodies. If you buy a dozen doughnuts, you get six free. If you buy six doughnuts, you get a dozen doughnut holes free. If you're really nice, the servers will probably throw in some extra holes as well, because they're eager to clear out the cases by the end of service each day. I recently called them to ask for their hours, and they said they were technically closed but would be willing to stay open for me because the cases weren't yet empty. What service! The basic glazed doughnuts here are light and airy but still substantial, and they strike the perfect balance between bready and overly sweet. Fresh & Best also sells a giant doughnut about the size of your head for $4. Now that's a meal.

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