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Praline & Bacon Caramel Donut at Lee's Fried Chicken & Donuts
Praline & Bacon Caramel Donut at Lee's Fried Chicken & Donuts

Houston Doughnut Guide: Where To Eat Fried Dough

We love the dough, more than you know.

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Praline & Bacon Caramel Donut at Lee's Fried Chicken & Donuts

Let's face it doughnuts have an intangible nostalgia that's secretly baked in. We all remember our favorite childhood round of fried dough. Or maybe it's a Homer Simpson skit that we cling on to. — or the Dunkin' Donuts "Time to make the donuts" commercials. Nowadays, the game has come a long way as craft flavor combinations join the tried-and-true classics. The Eater Houston Doughnut Guide should help guide you directly to the doughnut of your dreams — whether it's glazed, filled, cake or something extraordinary. Mmmmm Donuts.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Christy's Donuts & Kolaches

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The Montrose local's favorite doesn't follow trends. There's a decent variety and the doughnuts are inexpensive and fresh. Try the pink frosted, the chocolate cake and don't miss the kolaches.

Doughmaker

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Doughnuts on Wheels — look for the dark-gray food truck with gourmet selection of delicious and beautifully decorated doughnuts, as well as locally produced cold-pressed milks and coffees. Expect concoctions like orange pistachio, peach (with a thick slice of roasted peach atop the donut), Vietnamese coffee, toasted coconut caramel, turbinado sugar cinnamon, blueberry lemon and orange blossom-honey pistachio. Best to find them through twitter @DoughmakerHTX

Glazed The Doughnut Cafe

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This contemporary shop is open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The glass-enclosed open kitchen allows patrons to eye sweet concoctions, while placing orders for favorites like the Samoa (toasted coconut, caramel icing and chocolate ganache) and savory doughnuts, including one inspired by grilled cheese and one in honor of the rodeo.

Home Cut Donuts

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Placing a Galveston spot on a Houston Heatmap might seem a bit of a stretch, but Home Cut Donuts deserves to be on the list. Packed with devoted fans the island shop creates old-school donuts sans frills. Get there early because they sell out of favorites, like their Blueberry Cake Donut fast.

Hugs & Donuts

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This Heights destination from award-winning food truckers, Matt Opaleski and Jason Hill puts out whimsical concoctions like a lemon curd-filled and meringue-topped wonder. As of June 6th, vegan cake doughnuts roll out, this is officially Houston's go-to for the doughnut connoisseur. The hug is optional.

Lee's Fried Chicken & Donuts

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Lee's is one of the new kids on the block but they are frying chicken and donuts like old pros. Housed in an old Church's Fried Chicken they only do two tings but they do them oh so well. Do not skip the blueberry cake donuts - even if you typically pass on cake donuts. And do pair a donut with some chicken - it's 3-day prepped and out of this world.

Pena's Donut Heaven & Grill

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Putting a Brisket Donut on the menu is a bold move by owner Raymond Peña, but that's exactly the type of donut you should expect from this establishment. Peña and his family have been making donuts for over 20 years, and they aren't shy about flavors. Located in Pearland, Peña's donuts are well-worth the drive.

Pondicheri Bake Lab + Shop

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Pondicheri is soon opening in NYC and hopefully the baked goods make their way across. At the Pondicheri Bake Lab, climb the stairs above the hip and modern Indian restaurant Pondicheri to the Pondicheri Bake Lab and Shop for a transcendental doughnut, the Gulan Jamun — spiced with mace, cardamom & cinnamon, soaked in rose cardamom syrup and topped with edible flowers. The somewhat hidden Pondicheri Bake Lab and Shop offers modern takes on classic Indian treats in a chic bohemian space.

River Oaks Donut Shop

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Indulgent and inventive. River Oaks Donuts brings a playfulness to gourmet doughnuts. Expect to find ingredients like bacon, jalapeño, and Fruity Pebbles along with traditional options. The pumpkin spice donut holes and plain cake sans glazed are Eater staff favorites.

Shipley Do-nuts

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Shipley Donuts, Houston's OG classic. It's blasphemous to make a Houston doughnut list without Shipleys. The mammoth chain with over 250 locations began with humble beginnings, serving their very first donut in Houston almost 80 years ago. The doughy and sometimes gummy consistency might not be for everyone, but for most Houstonians, Shipleys is synonymous with the very thought of donuts. Favorite locations vary.

Christy's Donuts & Kolaches

The Montrose local's favorite doesn't follow trends. There's a decent variety and the doughnuts are inexpensive and fresh. Try the pink frosted, the chocolate cake and don't miss the kolaches.

Doughmaker

Doughnuts on Wheels — look for the dark-gray food truck with gourmet selection of delicious and beautifully decorated doughnuts, as well as locally produced cold-pressed milks and coffees. Expect concoctions like orange pistachio, peach (with a thick slice of roasted peach atop the donut), Vietnamese coffee, toasted coconut caramel, turbinado sugar cinnamon, blueberry lemon and orange blossom-honey pistachio. Best to find them through twitter @DoughmakerHTX

Glazed The Doughnut Cafe

This contemporary shop is open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The glass-enclosed open kitchen allows patrons to eye sweet concoctions, while placing orders for favorites like the Samoa (toasted coconut, caramel icing and chocolate ganache) and savory doughnuts, including one inspired by grilled cheese and one in honor of the rodeo.

Home Cut Donuts

Placing a Galveston spot on a Houston Heatmap might seem a bit of a stretch, but Home Cut Donuts deserves to be on the list. Packed with devoted fans the island shop creates old-school donuts sans frills. Get there early because they sell out of favorites, like their Blueberry Cake Donut fast.

Hugs & Donuts

This Heights destination from award-winning food truckers, Matt Opaleski and Jason Hill puts out whimsical concoctions like a lemon curd-filled and meringue-topped wonder. As of June 6th, vegan cake doughnuts roll out, this is officially Houston's go-to for the doughnut connoisseur. The hug is optional.

Lee's Fried Chicken & Donuts

Lee's is one of the new kids on the block but they are frying chicken and donuts like old pros. Housed in an old Church's Fried Chicken they only do two tings but they do them oh so well. Do not skip the blueberry cake donuts - even if you typically pass on cake donuts. And do pair a donut with some chicken - it's 3-day prepped and out of this world.

Pena's Donut Heaven & Grill

Putting a Brisket Donut on the menu is a bold move by owner Raymond Peña, but that's exactly the type of donut you should expect from this establishment. Peña and his family have been making donuts for over 20 years, and they aren't shy about flavors. Located in Pearland, Peña's donuts are well-worth the drive.

Pondicheri Bake Lab + Shop

Pondicheri is soon opening in NYC and hopefully the baked goods make their way across. At the Pondicheri Bake Lab, climb the stairs above the hip and modern Indian restaurant Pondicheri to the Pondicheri Bake Lab and Shop for a transcendental doughnut, the Gulan Jamun — spiced with mace, cardamom & cinnamon, soaked in rose cardamom syrup and topped with edible flowers. The somewhat hidden Pondicheri Bake Lab and Shop offers modern takes on classic Indian treats in a chic bohemian space.

River Oaks Donut Shop

Indulgent and inventive. River Oaks Donuts brings a playfulness to gourmet doughnuts. Expect to find ingredients like bacon, jalapeño, and Fruity Pebbles along with traditional options. The pumpkin spice donut holes and plain cake sans glazed are Eater staff favorites.

Shipley Do-nuts

Shipley Donuts, Houston's OG classic. It's blasphemous to make a Houston doughnut list without Shipleys. The mammoth chain with over 250 locations began with humble beginnings, serving their very first donut in Houston almost 80 years ago. The doughy and sometimes gummy consistency might not be for everyone, but for most Houstonians, Shipleys is synonymous with the very thought of donuts. Favorite locations vary.

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