Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Donuts Plus : Philadelphia

I've always been puzzled by the lack of a donut shop in Center City Phili. When I do a search on Google Maps, there are pages and pages of Dunkin' Donuts, Dunkin' Donuts, Dunkin' Donuts. And while I am from Massachusetts and do hold a special place in my heart for DD, is there no room for the local donut shops?

I ended up stumbling up an older forum post about Donuts Plus in University City and heading out to that area.

I was bemused to find the statement about ordering through bullet-proof glass to still hold true:

And I uhh, got kind of excited with being in a donut shop, springing for a half-dozen. Which is a lot to plow through when you don't want the donuts to go stale and you're busy and don't get as many chances as you would like to exercise. I think that if I met a professional donut reviewer, I would empathize with them and their hardships.


In eating the first two donuts, I was afraid that the trek to get these donuts was not going to be worth it. While the improvements between these and the Dunkin' Donuts' versions were there, the differences were a bit subtle and for that alone, I don't think I could justify the inconvenience. (But of course there's a but...)

French Cruller - Moister and creamier than DDs, but maybe not worth going out of your way for.

Plain Glazed - Tasting fairly similar except denser than the somewhat insubstantial version at DD's.

A blurry but hopefully explanatory photo of Donut Plus's Plain Glazed's denser insides.

Blueberry - It's with the cakier donuts that Donuts Plus gets a chance to shine. This one was somewhat mesmerizing - the moistness of the insides, amplified by the glaze kept on surprising me with every bite. And seriously this engaged my attention the entire donut. I don't really recall the blueberries, which means they were maybe not uber-fresh, but passable. And the donut wasn't oily and had a nice balanced sweetness. But man, that moistness was just arresting.

Old-fashioned Donut I rather liked their old-fashioned donut. It didn't particularly have anything special, but just was well-executed. Strangely, during one of my gf's meetings, her team-member brought donuts from Dunkin' Donuts and she ended up taking home an old-fashioned donut, so that we could do a head-to-head comparison. And the difference was quite apparent - Donuts Plus's version was much lighter, moister and just tasted fresher. It almost had a muffin/cake like consistency.

Powdered Sugar Jelly-donut - I've seriously put up with Dunkin's jelly donuts for too long. The jelly in this was much better quality, lacking the cloying sweetness in DD's and the cake was just lovely: again moist and fairly fresh.

Glazed Old fashion - Like the blueberry donut, this donut seemed full of trickery. All of those nooks and crannies gave it even more surface area for glaze, which added to the moist texture in my mouth.

Overall, I was quite pleased with the donuts. Certainly, they were a lot fresher, moister and less sweet (a good thing) than the Dunkin' Donut counterparts. This is certainly not a destination donut place like Donut Plant in New York, but if you like donuts and are in the area, I'd recommend you to try these out.

PS. A bonus for you kind reader. I found an old Ed Levine article on best donuts in the US. Pennsylvania, unfortunately, does not represent on his list.

Donut Plus
4325 Chestnut St Philadelphia, PA 19104 Map
(215) 222-0811
(Bakery, Donuts0, Philadelphia0)


  1. OMg! I love Donuts, specially the glazed one.. I can even smell the wonderful aroma of donuts now!!

  2. Really helpful information...I have been searching the net for doughnut information in Philly for far too long. I am obsessed with doughnuts. Have you ever had The Fractured Prune in Delaware? Please open a franchise in Philly people!