The ultimate guide to the best doughnuts in Charlotte

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Photo via @charlottefoodscene on Instagram


Doughnuts were all the rage in Charlotte a couple of years ago, with super-popular pop-up shops and food trucks leading to brick-and-mortar stores that rose on seemingly every corner.

The craze has been put on the cooling rack recently (only to be replaced by rolled ice cream and cookie dough, apparently) but Charlotte still loves a good doughnut. (Who doesn’t, really?)

If you’re looking to go beyond Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme (which we also love), here’s a list of our favorite local doughnut shops. If we missed your favorite, let us know in the comments.

(1) Your Mom’s Donuts

11025 Monroe Road, Matthews; 217 North Hayne St., Monroe; 4205 Park Road, Charlotte (Park Road Shopping Center); 605-B Jetton St., Davidson (sharing a space with Carolina Craft Butchery)

 

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Price: $3.25-$3.75 each; $16.50 for a half dozen; $27 for a dozen. Mini-doughnuts are $2 each and cinnamon rolls are $3.75.

Need to know: If you want to get your hands on Your Mom’s signature square doughnuts, get there early — once the shop sells out, it closes. Owner Courtney Buckley is passionate about using local ingredients and even bought her own farm. Whatever Buckley is doing is working because Your Mom’s has added two new locations in just the past couple of months. You can find favorites like salted caramel and cinnamon sugar with cream cheese buttercream icing at the storefronts in Matthews, Park Road Shopping Center, Monroe and Davidson, and at the Davidson Farmers’ Market on Saturdays in season.

(2) Reigning Doughnuts

3120 N. Davidson St., Charlotte

 

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Price: $1.20 each; $13 for a dozen (cards only, no cash).

Need to know: This tiny but mighty shop opened late last year as a walk-up window right behind Growlers Pourhouse in NoDa. And it’s owned by Jeff Tonidandel, who knows a thing or two about good food as the owner of Growlers, Crepe Cellar, and Haberdish. Flavors range from cinnnamon sugar and chocolate icing, to lemon icing with poppy seeds and hot sauce with crunchy skins.

(3) Duck Donuts

1710 Kenilworth Ave. Suite 220, Charlotte; 9931 Rose Commons Drive, Huntersville.

 

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Price: $1.40 each; $7.50 for a half-dozen; $13.50 for a dozen.

Need to know: Named after the quaint Outer Banks town where you’ll find its flagship shop, Duck Donuts now has locations all over the country, including two in the Charlotte area. Choose from one of their featured doughnuts or seasonal assortments, or go hog-wild creating your own flavors.

(4) MJ Donuts

325 S Polk St., Pineville

 

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Price: $.95-$2 each, depending on what you get.

Need to know: This old-school, no-frills doughnut shop in Pineville gives you a side of doughnut holes when you order a dozen doughnuts. Do we really need to say more? We already called it the best doughnut shop in town in 2015.

(5) SUGAR Donuts

11914 Elm Lane, Charlotte

 

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Price: $2-$4 each, depending on the flavor; $15 for a half dozen; $28 for a dozen.

Need to know: SUGAR started as a food truck before Kathi Alexander and Cassmer Ward opened the retail location in Ballantyne in 2015. The menu changes weekly so check the website, and SUGAR also offers savory breakfast sandwiches for those missing a sweet tooth.

(6) Suarez Bakery

4245 Park Road, Charlotte

 

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Price: $1.25-$4 each, depending on what you get. Doughnut holes start at $0.49 each.

Need to know: While not doughnut-specific, the Park Road Shopping Center favorite belongs on this list. The bakery offers about 10 doughnuts, ranging from the vegan Classic Glazed to the Cinnamon Twist to the popular message doughnuts — AND they offer doughnut cakes, like the one pictured above. Suarez also offers rotating special flavors on Saturday.

(7) Move That Dough Baking Co.

11212 Providence Road West, Charlotte; 12807 S. Tryon St., Charlotte

 

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Price: $3.50 each; $10 for three; $20 for a half-dozen; $35 for a dozen.

Need to know: Move That Dough doesn’t have a permanent storefront for its vegan, plant-based doughnuts but you can find them in various locations around town (like The People’s Market in Dilworth and Central Coffee in Plaza Midwood) or you can special order a batch by emailing Movethatdoughbakingco@gmail.com. Find details on flavors and locations on Move That Dough’s Instagram page.

(8) Pepperbox Doughnuts

No permanent location yet, but plans to open in South End’s Design Center of the Carolinas

 

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Price: $3-$4 each

Need to know: Until Pepperbox opens its permanent location in South End, you can find these vegan-friendly doughnuts in locations like Tip Top Daily Market, Lenny Boy Brewing and Red Clay Ciderworks. (See the upcoming schedule here.) The menu rotates often, but crowd-pleasers include Rhubarb Vanilla Bean, Blackberry Candied Kiwi and Mexican Hot Chocolate.

(9) Whisk + Wood

In coffee shops and at events around the city

 

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Price: Varies

Need to know: Christina Layden has been delivering her cookies, scones, loaves, doughnuts and muffins to coffee shops around Charlotte since 2014. You’ll want to check Instagram to see where you can get your hands on Whisk + Wood, but common stops include Trade and Lore in NoDa, Hex Coffee, Not Just Coffee in Atherton Mill and Brakeman’s Coffee in Matthews.

Looking for something a little outside the beltline? Don’t miss:

Honorable mention

No doughnut list would be complete without mentioning the One Pound Doughnut at Stoke Charlotte Uptown, though you should probably share that with a friend (or three) and wash it down with a cocktail.

Photos: CharlotteFive file, Sugar, Suarez Bakery, Rise, Stoke

11 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t think the “Ultimate Guide” to doughnuts mentioning vegan in the headline can exclude Move That Dough from the list. You’re going to cause riots.

  2. ☝exactly what VeganCLT said☝ Y’all sleeping on move That Dough is poor form. Get thee to the People’s Market in Dilworth every Saturday & Sunday to redeem yourselves

  3. Additionally, adding chain locations to the list… While Duck Donuts and Rise Biscuit Donuts aren’t country-wide giants, they also aren’t Charlotte local donuts.

  4. And please don’t forget up in Concord OMG donuts where you pick your filling and they add it right there in front of you! It is worth the drive! Near Concord Mills…win win!

  5. The headline doesn’t say anything about this being a local list – it says “IN Charlotte”.

    Duck Donuts are great. Practically all chains started as mom and pop shops.

  6. I’m a bit sad that OMG Donuts didn’t make the cut. While I am a fan of several of these places, keep in mind there are donut shops outside of 485…

  7. When there aren’t that many [independent not chain] doughnut shops around, do the ones that made this *ULTIMATE* list are considered the best?

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