Sweet spots for gourmet doughnuts in Vancouver

Doughnuts are having a moment. No longer just the realm of truck drivers and cops, they’ve acquired the status and discernment we attribute to the cupcake or croissant. Vancouverites have become particular about their gourmet doughnuts and these bakeries are stepping up to the challenge.

Cartem's Donuterie

534 Pender St W, Vancouver, BC V6B 1V3

It’s become a common sight in Vancouver’s downtown: people toting orange pastry boxes emblazoned with a white speech bubble with only a smile inside. The Cartems logo has quickly become iconic and for good reason. Inside those boxes lie a dozen expertly baked doughnuts, many with inventive flavours, like Earl Grey and Mexican Mole. Also unique: some are gluten-free, vegan or baked instead of deep-fried and all use locally sourced ingredients so you can feel good about your doughnut obsession.

Lee's Donuts Of Granville Island

1689 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9

As one of the original vendors on Granville Island, Lee’s Donuts has decades of doughnut experience. From their hugely popular hot-from-the-fryer honey dipped to their fresh-fruit-jam-filled sugar-dusted cakes, the husband and wife team behind Lee’s are passionate, loyal owners who can’t imagine being anywhere other than their booth at the market. And their equally loyal customers can’t imagine finding their large, cakey treats with the perfect texture and sweetness anywhere else.

Honey Doughnuts & Goodies

4373 Gallant Ave, North Vancouver, BC V7G 1L1

Across the 2nd Narrows Bridge, in the quaint neighbourhood of Deep Cove lies a doughnut lover’s destination. Popular with the post-workout/activity crowd for their hearty breakfasts and lunches, your real mission here is for doughnuts. Three are on offer: maple, chocolate and, of course, honey. The chocolate is always the favourite, but nothing beats the sweet, sticky coating over pillowy soft dough that is their signature honey pastry. Lock up your mountain bike, unlace your hiking boots: you deserve this.

Lucky's Doughnuts

2902 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3G3

Using old-fashioned bases, French choux pastry and yeast-raised dough, Lucky’s brings a sophisticated baker’s touch to their prized doughnuts. Unique flavours like PB&J, apple-bacon and salted caramel are intriguing while classics like double chocolate, Long Johns and sour cream with vanilla glaze make us nostalgic for childhood. Playing on the classic coffee and doughnuts theme, Lucky’s is an extension of famed local roaster 49th Parallel.

Duffin's Donuts

1391 41st Ave E, Vancouver, BC V5W 1R7

The eclectic menu at this south Fraser, food-court style diner is brimming with food offerings: Vietnamese subs, roast beef sandwiches, tortas, fried chicken. But it’s not named Duffin’s Donuts for nothing. With its huge selection of the sweet treat from Boston Cream to crullers to dipped to sprinkles, you won’t be lacking for choice. A dozen goes for a mere $9 and day-olds are as cheap as $3 for 10. Ignore your somewhat shady surroundings and make your office-mates’ day.

Outpost Mini Donut Co

110-12240 2nd Ave, Richmond, BC V7E 3L8

If you haven’t yet tasted the hot, sugary, melt-in-your-mouth mini doughnuts at Vancouver’s PNE, you have not lived. But the window of opportunity here is smaller than the hole in your deep-fried confection. As the fair is open a mere eight days in August, what is one to do the other 51 weeks of the year? Head to Steveston, of course, where Outpost Mini Donut Company will get you sorted. Classic flavours entice alongside seasonal offerings like lemon, coconut and PB&J. Order a half dozen for strolling the boardwalk and count the days till the PNE reopens.

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