Restaurants / Lists

Houston’s Best Donut Shops — the 5 Spots That Do This Food Essential Right

BY // 06.01.18

It’s a momentous day. It’s clear that across the nation, we have no choice but to treat ourselves. Before your eyes glaze over, just trying to get through this Friday, realize this: It’s National Donut Day.

Truly, is there anything better than fried dough? Especially when you can choose yeast or cake. Glazed, iced or covered in sprinkles. Or fruity pebbles, or Oreos, or even bacon. Just about anything.

Go get one, go get a dozen. Go crazy and even get a baker’s dozen. You’ve earned it. And donut you forget it.

Of course, you do not want to get just any donut. On today or any other day. These are the best donut shops in Houston. Use this sweet intel wisely.


Hugs & Donuts

1901 North Shepherd

You ever have one of those days where you just need a hug? Well, a tasty treat from Hugs & Donuts will fix you right up. A Kickstarter campaign back in 2014 helped put these gourmet goodies on the map. This Houston donut shop had community support since the beginning.

Hugs & Donuts lives up to its motto “Hole Lotta Heartisan Love” with donuts and Kolaches made of fresh ingredients and exclusively house-made fillings. The all-star lineup harkens back to your childhood with fruity pebbles and caramel delights.

An all-time favorite? The Smore’s donut with a chocolate pudding center and a scorched marshmallow on top.

You can wash it all down with milk — on tap. There’s always chocolate, strawberry and a rotating option. Not to mention cold-brewed Katz coffee toddies.

Glazed, the Doughnut Cafe

1333 Old Spanish Trail

Outdated spelling aside, this one’s a winner. First things first: you can pick up these handmade donuts any time you want, since Glazed is open 24 hours. You can even watch the donut experts in action through the window into the kitchen. It’s oh-so-sweet magic right before your eyes.

This Houston donut shop is best known for its heavenly, greasy maple bacon “Macon” donut and its glazed breakfast sandwich. Heck, you can even get a glazed croissant breakfast sandwich. Glazed is also big into candy toppings, with all-time favorites such as Reese’s, M&Ms, Butterfinger, Kit Kat, Heath Bar and more available.

What are you waiting for? Head to the Medical Center to get yours. The calories are well worth it.

Lee’s Fried Chicken & Donuts

601 Heights

At first glance, this Houston donut spot may seem like it’s more about the accouterments. But the actual donuts are nothing to sneer at. The donuts are super light and airy with the glaze spread evenly throughout, an excellent combo when it comes with greasy, rich-as-all-get-out fried chicken.

Of course, you can go for a la carte, picking up your donuts separately. The options are limited but stellar, like Mexican chocolate or old school apple fritters.

Lee’s is also a great place to go with that friend on a diet, who can chow down on the pulled chicken chopped kale salad, if they’d rather satisfy their protein goal than their sweet tooth. It’s one-stop chomping. 

River Oaks Donuts

3601 Westheimer

Two words. Or, one word? Either way: drive-thru. That’s right. River Oaks Donut lets you snag delicious non-chain donuts without ever leaving the comfort of your car. But hey, it’s on you if you get sprinkles all over the front seat.

The donut flavors run the gamut, from classics to unexpected favorites like the cherry iced donut and devil’s food, and even maple bacon with jalapeno, which is available only on weekends. The most amazing part? River Oaks donuts has no less than two dozen types of donut holes. Red velvet cream cheese, pineapple fritter. Whatever your heart desires.

On top of their stand-out regulars, River Oaks Donut is the place to go for custom donuts. It’s a convenient and super-easy process, yielding one-of-a-kind delights for any occasion.


Various locations

So, maybe Shipley is a chain. But, it’s still off the chain. An oldie but a goodie, Shipley is the perfect place to round off this list. A Houston classic that has, at one location, literally risen from the ashes.

Get ready for your sugar rush. Shipley’s signature glazed donut is soft, fluffy and light, with flaky glaze all over. When served fresh-out-of-the-oven warm, you can sink your teeth right into them. Definitely the best quality for the lowest price you can find in donut land.

And don’t forget about Shipley’s Kolaches. With the breading and meat just right, you’d almost believe Shipley’s was a Kolache shop, first and foremost.

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