Doughnuts are always a fun treat, no matter the place and time. It can be your co-worker bringing them into the office one morning or the homemade ones that you learned to make off of YouTube. You’re happy either way because, admit it, they’re a delicacy that’s loved everywhere.
It also makes National Doughnut Day all the more fun! So to kick off this holiday right, we’ve curated a list of doughnut shops you can visit across the U.S. and a book that matches its aesthetic. I mean, what’s better than celebrating the weekend with a donut in one hand and a good book in the other?
The Donut Man in Los Angeles, California with The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Featured on the Netflix show, You, this SoCal spot offers a wide range of classic donuts. From maple bars to cinnamon crumbs, what makes The Donut Man stand out is their extra touch of sweetness added in creative new ways. Take their popular strawberry-glaze doughnut, for example, which is a folded doughnut made with whole strawberries in the middle. It’s a treat that’s only offered during the spring and summer seasons, and its waiting lines are no joke. This sugary shop is complemented best with a feel-good romance novel like Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient. The story follows Stella Lane, a smart and successful woman who, in hopes of getting experience in the world of sex, hires a male escort named Michael Phan. However, things don’t entirely work out as planned, and Stella realizes she also needs practice outside of the bedroom. She and Michael then begin a fake relationship in order to help her gain the practice, but soon enough, Stella finds herself falling in love with her fake boyfriend and no longer knows what to do. The novel is so full of love, just like The Donut Man’s menu choices.
Voodoo Doughnut in Portland, Oregon with The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
Voodoo Doughnut is one of the places I’m sure everyone has seen on their Instagram feeds. Their over-the-top look is far different from the ordinary. With flavors like “Old Dirty Bastard” or “Ring of Fire”, you understand why it’s famous, even if you hesitated to order it because of its unique name. The same goes for Ruth Ware’s popular thriller, The Death of Mrs. Westaway. The story follows a tarot reader named Hal who has received word of an inheritance from her recently deceased grandmother. The problem? Both of Hal’s grandparents are already dead, leaving the mystery of who this inheritance is actually meant for. Yet, in a tight situation with money, Hal decides to go and fake her way into the will. It’s not long after that she uncovers more than she anticipated. A classic who-dun-it story, this novel pairs perfectly with the Oregon shop because you never know what you’re biting into until the very end.
Hypnotic Donuts & Biscuits in Dallas, Texas with The Shining by Stephen King
This Texas business has made a name for itself through its quirky concept of selling fried chicken and biscuits alongside doughnuts. Of course, you can always order them separately if you’re in that type of mood. Either way, their doughnuts are exactly as the name indicates. Whether it be a plain glazed or Jenny’s Evil Elvis (a doughnut with bacon, banana, honey, and peanut butter), you’re bound to be mesmerized by these pastries. The Shining is a perfect match for this doughnut shop, as it tells the thrilling story of the Torrance family. After Jack Torrance is hired as a caretaker for the Overlook Hotel, the ménage begin experiencing strange changes within their family dynamic. The wife, Wendy, begins to have more fallouts with her husband while little Danny suffers abuse from his father. Everything slowly goes downhill as the Overlook Hotel spreads its negative energy onto Jack, making him go insane and splitting the family apart. It’s a story that will have a hold on you, just as Texas’ Hypnotic Donuts & Biscuits does (except you won’t go axing down doors).
Jupiter Donuts in Jupiter, Florida with Dune by Frank Herbert
If the name alone didn’t interest you, their slogan will. This business of 8 years reminds customers that their donuts are “out of this world” and it couldn’t be more spot-on. Jupiter Donuts sells prime classics such as the chocolate iced sprinkles while also expanding the field with desserts such as the Kit-Kat doughnut, for a combination of crunchy and soft. They truly know how to do a good mix of past and futuristic on the classic doughnut. It only seems fitting to couple this with the sci-fi trendsetter that is Frank Herbert’s Dune. Published in 1965, this novel tells the narrative of Paul Atreides, a royal son who is set to someday rule the House of Atreides. However, the moment comes all too soon (and not in its entirety) when chaos tears down his world. Paul must then avoid the attacks of those hunting him down, the evil-driven Harkonnen, with the help of his mother Jessica and her training. The novel went on to become a staple in the sci-fi genre. From its detailed themes and heavy conflict, Dune takes you totally out of this world, and who wouldn’t love a nice doughnut while traveling into space?
Federal Donuts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Located in the corner of an intersection on South Street, this cute doughnut shop is a Philly favorite. Federal Donuts sells anything from your classic to your fancy. You can get a single doughnut or a dozen, all of which are sprinkled with bright colors and shapes that make us wonder if they’re the first to mix graphic design with pastries. Though they only have a handful of locations open, don’t be fooled by the business’ size. They are hard workers and have become commuters’ favorite snack stop on their way to work. Their speedy service and beautiful doughnuts are bound to leave anyone with a delightful start to their day. Without a doubt, Neil Gaiman’s dark fantasy novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane is the greatest match for this local gem. In only 178 pages, Gaiman manages to tell the story of an unnamed protagonist who goes back to his childhood neighborhood in Sussex and suddenly recalls the events that took place forty years ago. It’s a short novel full of magical realism that will make a great quick read, while also being special in its own way. The story is original and proudly Gaiman’s, just as Federal Donuts is Philadelphia’s best-kept secret.
Your local donut shop with Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Most doughnut shops are local businesses and thus heavily rely on business from the public. By becoming a customer and supporter of their establishment, you are ensuring that they can continue their pride and joy with security. It’s the simplest way that we can help them out, especially during a time where shops are in need of financial support. Remember to shop locally as much as possible, whether that be food-related or otherwise. You can check out Yelp for your nearby doughnut shop and buy yourself a delicious treat. And regardless of where you are, Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine will make a fantastic read alongside your dessert. The story focuses on socially awkward Eleanor Oliphant, who lives a solitary life of crossword puzzles, work, and drinking on the weekend. While Eleanor is teased by her co-workers over her isolated life, she doesn’t mind it. It isn’t until she encounters (and believes herself to be in love with) a singer that she goes through a journey of self-discovery. Honeyman’s debut work is a great read for anyone looking to find themselves, no matter their age or point in life. Find a local doughnut shop and yourself at the same time!