National Donut Day: Donuts Around Houston

Today is National Donut Day!

Can I tell you a secret?

I’ve never really liked donuts. 

Even as a kid, donuts were just not my favorite. I mean, I ate them, because #sugar and because all of my friends ate them. But I thought they were just too sweet, especially the ones with really thick glaze on top. That dislike of overly sweet desserts carried into adulthood, and so, prior to the last couple of weeks, I hadn’t had a donut in a loooong time.

In the last couple of decades, Houston has grown into a culinary Mecca. Foodie giants like the late Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Zimmerman, Guy Fieri, and David Chang have visited and touted the restaurant scene in the Bayou City. So I figured that the donut offerings had likely changed from just the Shipley’s and Krispy Kreme era of my childhood {not that I’m knocking either}.

So, I decided to venture out and try them with my 3 kids. We tried several of the most recommended donut places around Houston and several different offerings at each place {I take my research responsibilities very seriously}. While I probably won’t have another donut for a year due to sugar overload, I did thoroughly enjoy trying the many donuts Houston has to offer. The list below is certainly not comprehensive {there’s really only so much sugar that I can willingly give a 7, 4, and 2 year old}, but they were our favorites. For the sake of not bombarding you with all of my children’s choices {unless you just really enjoy sprinkles!}, I am only listing their collective favorite per shop. If you’re like me, and you think you’re not a fan of sugary confections, I invite you to try one of these Houston gems!

The Grove Donutz and Deli


child eating a big but of kronut
Tom enjoying his own chocolate kronut.

I’m just going to go ahead and place our favorite right at the top. Everything about this little shop was delightful: the donuts, the lunch offerings, the service, and the sweet little play area for kids. When we first walked in, I was a bit overwhelmed by all of the options available. You can build your own donut {type of donut, frosting, toppings}, as well as select from their menu of creative confections. They also offer a variety of regular food {sandwiches, kimchi fries, etc.} or you can combine them and have a sandwich on a donut.

The kids’ choice: chocolate frosted with sprinkles
Mom’s choice: chocolate frosted kronut

The verdict: I’m obviously new to kronuts. I know they’ve existed for quite a while, but I’ve just never been in the situation to have one. For the uninitiated, kronuts are a cross between a donut and a croissant. And Oh. My. Goodness. The chocolate frosted kronut is probably one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. Warm, flaky, just a little bit crispy, and lightly frosted with melty chocolate. I was, in fact, full from the BLT I ordered for lunch, but I ate the entire thing. My stomach regretted it, but my brain did not.

Christy’s Donuts and Kolaches

child on grass eating a donut

At first glance, this little shop appears to be a convenience store. At second glance, well, it looks much the same. But step inside this old school donut shop, and you’ll instantly feel nostalgic for your childhood.

The kids’ choice: classic glazed with vanilla frosting and sprinkles
Mom’s choice: cinnamon sugar cake

The verdict: The glazed was a bit too sweet for me, but my son devoured it, as if he’d never had a donut before. The cake was excellent- light, not too sweet, with a light dusting of cinnamon sugar. Looking for fancy flavor combinations? Keep on driving. If you like simple and classic, Christy’s is where it’s at.

The Sweet Boutique Bakery
Sugar Land

Even though Sugar Land is not a small town, I often think Town Center feels like you’re stepping into a small town. I love strolling along the sidewalk, looking at different shops, and relaxing with my family on the green in the center. The Sweet Boutique, a sweet, family run bakery, fits right into that small town feel. While they’re known for their custom cakes, cupcakes, cake pops, and other baked goods, they’ve recently been featured for their mochi donuts.

The kids’ choice: vanilla butter and chocolate
Mom’s choice: Nutella and Vietnamese coffee

The verdict: These mochi donuts changed my opinion on donuts. Seriously. They have a light, cakey texture, with just the perfect amount of frosting on top. Bonus: they’re gluten free! The Nutella was a favorite for everyone, the perfect amount of chocolate and hazelnut. Run, don’t walk, to grab one of these delights!

Queen Donuts

kids at table at donut shop

This old fashioned donut shop is a blink and you’ll miss it kind of place, right inside the Heights on 18th street. Despite it’s name, this little shop is not fancy. It is a no frills joint that looks and smells exactly like a classic donut shop should.

The kids’ choice: double chocolate
Mom’s choice: sausage and cheese kolache

The verdict: I know this is a post about donuts. And the donuts here were, in fact, amazing. My son’s double chocolate was light and cakey, with the perfect amount of frosting on top. However, the real star here was the kolache. I’ve never had a kolache with such pillowy soft, sweet bread. Like a Hawaiian role, but better. With real sausage and just the right amount of melty cheese, this breakfast delight was absolutely worth the 25 minute drive for us to get there!

River Oaks Donuts
River Oaks

This sweet little shop is a bright spot of sunshine. We pulled up, and an archway of flowers framed the building entrance. Inside, the donuts are featured in a glass display, as well as in a wall of woven baskets. From the traditional glazed to Bavarian cream filled, there is something for everyone here.

The kids’ choice: Old Fashioned
Mom’s choice: cinnamon twist

The verdict: If you like cinnamon twists, check these out. You can see the layers of cinnamon and sugar in the dough. Heavenly. And the Old Fashioned was delightfully soft with a light sugary crust. My son barely let me have a bite to try it.

Voodoo Doughnuts

This Portland, Oregon based donut shop opened its Katy location in late 2022. Voodoo is a quirky little place that offers traditional, as well as unconventional and inventive confections. Fans around the country lobby for Voodoo to open new locations; I remember going to the original one in Portland a decade ago and seeing a line around the building. After trying a few of their innovative donuts, I’m happy they chose the Houston area as one of their homes!

A PSA to moms of young ones, especially those who can read. Voodoo offers a novelty donut in the shape of something you often find at bachelorette parties. I just want to prepare you, lest your 7 year old also asks you what “cock and balls” means!

The kids’ choice: The Homer {a “big as your face” glazed donut with pink frosting and sprinkles}
Moms’ choice: Portland Cream

The verdict: The Portland Cream, a Bavarian cream filled donut with chocolate frosting, was heavenly. The donut was light and sweet, full of a delicious, vanilla-y custard. How did my daughter feel about The Homer?

child eating a big bite of donut
BIG fan.

Now, excuse me while I go sleep off my sugar coma. Oh, and if you’re wondering how my kiddos enjoyed having donuts everyday for breakfast this last week?

three kids in front of wooden door eating donuts


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Rebecca Slocum
Rebecca S. is a born and raised Houstonian; she grew up in Katy, graduated with a BS in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of Houston {go Coogs!}, and made a home in West Houston with her native Houstonian husband. She quickly realized that the chaotic lifestyle of the hospitality industry was not for her and soon found her calling in education. She taught while earning her masters in Library Science from the University of North Texas. Currently, she is staying home with her son, Thomas {2016}, daughter Charlie {2020}, son Zack {2021}. In her free time, she loves to read, write, run, and roam the world. While her roots are firmly planted in H-town, she takes every available opportunity to go on an adventure and explore historic cities, hike and run new trails, and, of course, try beers from every country.


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