Kids’ Favorite Foods and Where to Get ’Em: Donuts

It used to be donuts were reserved for Sundays as an after-church treat. Now, everyone’s favorite holey indulgence is served up a lot more frequently than the weekend as the au courant snack, making it something fun to seek out as a family exploring new cities. Here are a few of the noteworthy.

Portland, Ore.

There’s no shortage of desserts in this funky foodie city, but Voodoo Doughnut really takes the cake as worthy of the wait. While a line that snakes around the block may take some patience, flavors like the M&M-topped Marshall Mathers, Captain Crunch, bubble gum and Fruit Loops helped gain the little shop with the pink boxes a following so strong it branched out to Denver, Austin and Hollywood. What else to do in the hotbed of Pacific Northwest cooldom? Check out a Portland Timbers soccer game at a beautiful stadium right in the center of town, or learn more about trees at the World Forestry Center Discovery Museum.

Voodoo Donut Shop wall menu

© Minacarson | Dreamstime

Austin, Texas

The tagline for this city is Keep Austin weird, so who says all donuts have to be round? Shipley’s celebrates being different by selling hexagonal iced, glazed and sprinkled sweets. A family company started during the Great Depression in 1936, it used to be a nickel would fill you up, but even today a couple of bucks will do the trick with the filled varieties featuring warm apple, cherry or Bavarian cream. On a sugar high and ready to have some fun? Learn more about the Lone Star state at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin, or check out Pioneer Farms, six 19th-century historic farms and villages open for self-guided walking tours.

Portland, Maine

Blueberry, potato and sea salt pay homage to Vacationland’s terroir and produce at the Holy Donut in Portland, a city where good food is easy to come by but where a stop here makes a great trip. Gourmet coffee for the parents enhances the experience so it’s easy to set off for a day of activities like whale watching, kite flying on the Eastern Promenade, swimming at East End Beach or learning about Maine’s iconic lighthouses at Portland Head Light.

New York City

What could be better than everything mini, just right for tiny hands? The opportunity to travel the world through different flavor profiles, of course. New York is a truly international city indeed at the Doughnuttery, where lavender flavors the Paris Time, Green Tea Buzz gets a kick with Japanese matcha and apple’s the homage to the Big Apple with cider and fall spices in the Mulled Cider donut. Chelsea Market’s shops are just as much a feast for the eyes here, where it’s easy to find dozens of dining options when one kid only eats hot dogs and the other is gluten-free.

Mulled Cider Doughnuts

© Eva Ziatkova | Dreamstime


Check out small-batch donuts for your small fry at Do-Rite, where breakfast all day also includes savory sandwiches (or the bacon and egg on a donut) and fried chicken rounds out the menu. Big winner here may be the classic old-fashioned, but the Meyer lemon and pistachio is anything but. The Windy City is as filled with family-friendly activities as you’ll be after visiting Do-Rite, but the sprawling 35-acre Lincoln Park Zoo—with free admission 365 days a year—is an unbeatable experience and value.