Over the past decade, artisanal donut shops have been popping up across the country at lightning speed and there’s certainly no shortage of up market bakeries offering the picture-perfect ooey-gooey delicacy in the capital. From traditional twists to creative collaborations, the following donut shops provide a rich, and carb-filled, experience for foodies craving the latest contemporary creation.
Susan Hamer was the first in Ottawa to tap into the niche market of trendy artisanal donuts, opening her independent shop out of a tiny shack in Hintonburg eight years ago. Since, it’s metamorphosed into a larger and brighter space to accommodate the ever increasing lineups of those seeking a sugar fix, but nearly a decade later the creative creations certainly remain worth the wait.
Using an old family recipe, which her mother harboured through the family’s flight to safety from Finland during the Second World War in 1940, Hamer recreates the traditional finnish Sugar Munkki while simultaneously incorporating modern and unique flavours in crowd pleasers and custom creations like Maple Bacon, Blue Vanilla Froot Loop and Raspberry Cassis. Food allergies? Hamer ensures a constant rotation of vegan, gluten-free and nut-free options. Craving something without a hole in the middle? They also serve various other desserts like cupcakes and cookies along with coffee and tea.
Maverick’s Donut Company
Since opening in the Alta Vista area in 2016, this gourmet donut shop has entered the downtown scene with a second location in the heart of the Byward Market.
Signature house-made flavours, like Chocoholic and Cherry Cheesecake are sure to please the palate and those feeling crafty have the opportunity to customize donuts to their specific liking with a variety of glazes and toppings. A plethora of choices like chocolate, maple, vanilla, and caramel, along with sprinkles, toffee bits, crushed KitKat and Oreo cookie crumbs appeases the wildest of imaginations.
Plus, there is always a selection of vegan donuts and Maverick’s website claims, “we are willing to bet that all of our customers have a soft spot for our vegan donuts. They are simply that good!”
Cafe Dough Co
The newest addition to the trendy dessert scene in the Ottawa-Gatineau area is only a hop skip and jump across the interprovincial border. And it’s so worth the trip. With exposed brick, unique graffiti art and an impressive plant collection, Cafe Dough Co is bringing funky cool to the Plateau with their eclectic aesthetic and cool concoctions.
Here, sweet indulgences abound in the form of the one and only Southern Belle peach cobbler creation, the richly decadent New York Cheesecake and a heavenly spin on the popular Cookies and Cream. Simultaneously prepared for savoury taste buds with the Elvis Canadian featuring banana, peanut butter and bacon crumble, they also serve crunchier creations like biscotti and freshly baked macarons along with drinks by local partners Happy Goat Coffee and David’s Tea.
Although this stylish and contemporary cafe buzzes with brunchers on the weekends and serves up a fine selection of artisanal pizza, they shot to the top of foodie lists with their take on the croissant-donut hybrid culinary sensation.
Invented by New York City chef Dominique Ansel in 2013, and aptly named the cronut, here the irresistible blends are made fresh daily and this “part fine boulangerie in Paris part funky café in Brooklyn” remains the top spot for the trendy treat throughout a city hot on the tails of the newest food obsessions.
Each and every day the classic cinnamon-sugar croissant-like dough is filled with various flavours so expect to find concoctions like Cherry Pistachio, Chai and the ever popular Peanut Butter and Jelly “O-Towner”.
With a second location having opened in the Byward Market Square, Art-Is-In continues to hit the culinary sweet spot and provides an inspiring setting in which to satisfy any craving.