There are many fancy doughnut shops in New York, but sometimes you just want a doughnut, no fuss, nothing complicated, just simple and sweet. Those are the kind of doughnuts you’ll find at The Donut Pub, a 24/7 doughnut shop operating on 14th Street since 1964. It’s the kind of doughnuts you imagine cops to eat, and in reality, they do. Two weeks ago, I saw two of New York’s Finest at The Donut Pub on a pick-up. I’m not sure which doughnuts they got, but here’s my top five.
If you’re still not over the red velvet cupcake craze of 2007, try a red velvet donut ($1.15). If anything red velvet annoys you, order it anyway and just close your eyes while you’re eating it. It’s basically a light chocolate cake doughnut with a crackly sugar glaze. Nothing wrong with that. Holes and minis also come in red velvet flavor. I like the holes because they’re a bit fluffier than the regular doughnuts. The holes are 3 for $1.40, but if you catch the older gentleman behind the counter on a good day, he’ll throw in an extra one for free.
I also like the cream-filled yeast doughnuts at The Donut Pub. The outside is squishy and the smooth cream reminds me of the supermarket vanilla pudding I used to eat as a child. Again, nothing fancy at The Donut Pub. It’s all about nostalgia and sugar. The cream is found in several of their doughnuts, but I like the black & white Boston creme ($1.15).
Because sometimes, just one frosting isn’t enough. Also, the vanilla side balances out the intense sweetness of the chocolate.
Speaking of sweet, I love the French cruller ($1.50) at The Donut Pub. The twisted eggy dough is airy, tender but not too chewy, and the exterior is all sweet sugar glaze. It’s just about perfect.
Jelly doughnuts are always my favorite though, and the ones at The Donut Pub are no exception. There’s nothing special about the jelly there. In fact, it’s lumpy and slightly artificial in taste (I’ve been told it’s raspberry jelly, but to me it just tastes red), but it’s sweet and satisfies your inner child. What I do really like is that they have regular sugar-coated jelly doughnuts. Some people like powder sugar, but I like the crunch of regular sugar on doughnuts. If you don’t, they have powder sugar doughnuts as well.
If you like sugar, jelly, and croissants, however, go there Saturday morning for the croissant doughnut ($2.25).
It’s a jelly-filled, sugar-coated doughnut shaped like a croissant with croissant-like layers. Not a million layers like a good croissant, but just enough. I especially like the slightly crisp ends. (Cream-filled is also available.) It’s amazingly good, but alas, they only make a dozen every Saturday. Get there early, or at least early enough to beat me. I’ve been there two Saturdays in a row.
If you want better fruit filling, opt for the blueberry crumb cruller ($2.25), a glazed, streusel-topped, yeast doughnut stick filled with blue filling that actually tastes like blueberries. I’d prefer if the streusel topping was crunchier, but in general, you can’t be too picky at The Donut Pub. It’s not one of those places. It’s a place you go to simply eat and enjoy. Forty-seven years and counting.