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You gotta love donuts. These delightfully doughy, fried treats are the perfect indulgence sometimes. Just ask Homer Simpson; in his immortal words: “Donuts — is there anything they can’t do?”
If you’re into those spheres of scrumptiousness — but would rather opt out of the animal products — this is a good time to be alive. Dunkin’ doesn’t yet offer vegan donut options (ask them here!), but vegan donuts are popping up nationwide and lots of famous shops are now offering dairy and egg-free creations that are just as good (if not better) than their counterparts.
So, here are four vegan-friendly donut shops that are guaranteed to blow your mind — and satisfy your stomach.
The Holy Donut, Portland, Maine
Believe it or not, Portland, Ore. doesn’t have the lockdown on veg-friendly foods. This Portland, ME-based donut shop with two locations uses a not-so-secret ingredient to make its popular treats: fresh Maine potatoes. Mashed taters give the donuts an extra moist, melt-in-your-mouth taste. Every day, the shop offers some special vegan options in rotating flavors. There are lots of options, from cinnamon sugar to fresh berry glaze. And they even make vegan donut pyramid cakes … which just might be the best idea ever.
Voodoo Doughnut, Portland and Eugene, Ore.; Denver, Colo.; and Austin, Texas
This world-famous bakery is known for its eclectic doughnut options, full of funky shapes, bright colors, and totally unexpected flavors. As far as vegan choices go, Voodoo offers a daily shelf of rotating vegan options, and can veganize most of the other 90 items on the menu. Try the McMinnville Cream (with maple frosting and Bavarian cream), the Grape Ape or the The Loop (complete with Fruit Loops). Or ask them to make an extra-special creation; they do custom and themed donuts — perfect for gifts!
Donut Friend, Los Angeles, Calif.
Could there be anything better than an almost-entirely vegan donut shop?! Because seriously, vegan donuts have all of the flavor with none of the heartache. This spot’s raised and cake donuts are all vegan, as are most fillings and toppings. Mouthwatering concoctions include the Bacon 182, topped with maple glaze and coconut bacon; the Coconut of Conformity, coconut cream-stuffed and topped with a vanilla glaze, toasted coconut, and a pinch of lime zest; the Jets to Basil, packed with vegan cream cheese, strawberry jam, and fresh basil, then topped with vanilla glaze and balsamic reduction; and the Srirachosin, stuffed with peanut butter, strawberry jam, coconut bacon, and a bit of sriracha.
Vortex Doughnuts, Asheville, N.C.
Pop into this North Carolina coffee shop and donut depot on any weekend morning, and you’re likely to encounter a line that’s out the door. The people want their donuts, and their coffee, too! Vortex uses locally-sourced ingredients and offers a full shelf of daily vegan options, which vary from salted caramel to apple fritters to the namesake Vortex — cinnamon sugar with a chocolate swirl. Grab a non-dairy latte and eat to your heart’s content.
They all sound terrific! But I live in the Boston area, not Maine, Colorado, North Carolina, Texas, LA, or Oregon (though I once lived in Oregon). Are there any good dairy-free or vegan donuts — or other breakfast treats — around here (Cambridge and Somerville, MA)?
I distinguish between “vegan” and “non-dairy” because while I’m allergic to dairy protein, I am not allergic to eggs an d I am not ethically opposed to eating eggs, so I wish that bakeries and coffee shops — and companies such as yours that rate these places — would make that distinction and label not just “vegan” items but also “dairy-free” items (that are made with eggs but do no contain milk products).
Veggie Galaxy (Cambridge) and Union Square Donuts (Brookline and Somerville) are not vegan donut shops per se, but both have vegan donuts.
Also Blackbird in Fenway has some but they sell out quickly.