Hamilton has deep roots as a doughnut city. The first ever Tim Hortons location opened right here in Hamilton in 1964 and is still operating today. There are now well over a dozen doughnut options in the city to get your fix. I guess you could call Hamilton the doughnut capital of Canada.
With so many options, which doughnut shop should you choose?
We’ve made it easy by curating our picks for the 10 best doughnut spots in Hamilton for 2020; be sure not to ‘glaze’ over any of them. 😉
Democracy is a cafe on Locke Street serving up vegan eats including vegan doughnuts. They typically have 2-3 flavour options on any given day. Democracy doughnuts are baked, not fried, so they have a more cakey texture.
Democracy is a trendy cafe so the price point for their doughnuts are on the high end, approximately $3.50 each. However, if a baked and vegan doughnut interests you, check them out.
Ola Bakery is a Portuguese bakery on James Street that serves sandwiches, drinks, and baked goods. They may be more known for their Portuguese custard tarts (Pasteis de Nata), but they also serve doughnuts.
The doughnuts are a little on the bready side but the toppings and fillings are very well done. Next time you’re along James Street, give one of their doughnuts a shot alongside your ‘Nata’ custard tart.
Darling Donuts is a home based business that makes gourmet mini doughnuts. They are baked, not fried, so they don’t have a crunchy or crispy texture as a fried doughnut would. They taste lighter and more like a cake.
You can select the glaze and toppings from a preset menu. Pickup and delivery options are available. There are vegan and gluten free options available as well. These are a great choice for a party, event, or even a snack!
New to the Hamilton doughnut scene in 2020 is another home-based business, Natalia Bakeria. Currently they are only making yeast ring and filled doughnuts. However, they do have some interesting flavours, including pistachio. They also allow you to customize your order from their menu of glazes and fillings.
Their doughnuts are made to order so you will need to contact them at least a couple days in advance. Pick up and delivery options are available, depending on your location.
Where else but Hamilton would there a be a full service diner that throws “donut” in the name? This diner serves comfort food so it only makes sense to have doughnuts too. The doughnuts at The Donut Diner are relatively plain but are fried, sweet and satisfying.
You can walk in and pick up some doughnuts or stay for breakfast or lunch and finish off your meal right. Who finishes off their ‘farmer’s breakfast’s with a chocolate dipped? Hamilton does! It’s further evidence that Hamilton is the true doughnut capital!
The Donut Stop has been serving fresh doughnuts in the North end industrial area of Hamilton since 1983. By their own admission, they are not fancy as the ‘gourmet’ doughnuts, but they are good old fashioned doughnuts. They serve all the favourites, including a cherry cake doughnut that will remind you of your childhood.
In 1991, a Tim Hortons franchise opened across the street and tried to muscle The Donut Stop out of business. To no avail, Hamiltonians continued to support The Donut Stop and they preservered. The Donut Stop beat Tim’s again, by introducing breakfast and lunch options before they did. Don’t mess with Hamilton’s doughnuts!
There’s no denying that Donut Monster is now a huge player in the Hamilton doughnut scene. From their inception, operating out of the Kitchen Collective, to their own shop on Locke Street they’ve been making creative and fun doughnut flavours.
They primarily serve large yeast ring doughnuts with a few filled doughnuts and fritters on the menu. They rotate flavours periodically keeping it fresh and fun. They are a little more pricey than their counterparts, but Donut Monster provides a gourmet doughnut experience that has become synonymous with the city’s dessert scene.
Did you know that Roma Bakery sells doughnuts? YES, the makers of the famous “bread pizza” you see in the grocery stores makes doughnuts too. I’ll admit that I recently discovered this myself so like you, I will be making up for lost time by eating a bunch.
They make the basic flavours of doughnuts that you may often overlook, but don’t pass on these; they are cooked to perfection with a crispy fried shell on the outside and a soft, airy inside. I highly recommend their Boston cream doughnut as it’s made with a non-dairy custard that’s heavy on vanilla. It’s the best Boston cream doughnut in the city, in our opinion.
Sweet Paradise have been making bread, cakes, and pastries – among their many other offerings – for over 30 years. They may not be known for their doughnuts but do not sleep on these. I can’t walk in without leaving with an apple fritter, which are easily the best in the city.
It basically checks all the boxes on what I look for in a good fritter. It has a slightly crunchy exterior, a strong and sweet apple flavour, soft and melt in your mouth dough and of course real apple chunks.
A Hamilton landmark that has been satisfying doughnut lovers for over three decades. If you find yourself saying, “they don’t make them like they used to” then go to Grandad’s! This where the diehard doughnut lovers go to get their fix.
Be sure to try the “iconic” Ghostbuster doughnut; a chocolate iced doughnut filled with a “whipped dessert topping”. Grandad’s isn’t telling how they make it, but whatever the whip is, it’s delicious!
The walnut crunch is also a must try; a super crunchy shell with a moist cake inside — the best cake doughnut in the city.
If you haven’t been to Grandad’s Donuts before then you owe it yourself to stop by soon.
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What changes would you make to our list? Let us know in the comments!