Is it donut … or doughnut? Maybe it's not the most pressing question confronting society, but a contemplation nevertheless. Perhaps a meditation to consider while sipping on one’s cup of coffee.
They sound the same, but in the confines of a game of Scrabble, doughnut is much preferred. However, for convenience sake in an era of Twitter-dom, the writing of the word donut is much easier (conserve those characters). But then how much is Scrabble still played? And who would write about donuts on Twitter?
Maybe the spelling of the word isn’t important. What may be more critical is an individual’s battle between the delectability of the tasty bakery treat and the inevitable calorie count that accompanies it. The answer to that ponderance is a private and personal one and shall be left as such.
What is applicable to all is the availability of doughnuts – or donuts – to Lincoln residents. Between bakeries, grocery stores and establishments specifically specializing in the treat, there certainly is no dearth.
In consulting with 10 such businesses (alas, no baker’s dozen), the “donut” spelling seems to be the dominant usage, and thus for the remainder of this article that is the spelling that will be used (except when in a business title).
In looking at the premier donut establishments in Lincoln, two things become apparent – when it comes to the most desired quality of their donuts, it is the pastries’ freshness. And almost two-thirds of these businesses cite the regular glazed donut as their most popular donut variety.
Conroy’s Family Bakery
1600 Normandy Court #102
Open Monday, Tuesday and Saturday, 4:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; Wednesday through Friday, 4:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; closed Sundays. A longstanding locally owned Lincoln bakery, Conroy’s likes to emphasize its family tradition as a bakery offering a wealth of pastry items. Co-owner Nate Conroy said that the glazed raised donut is the customer favorite, followed closely by the chocolate glazed. Frosted raised donuts are available in a variety of flavors including maple, chocolate, butter cream and more. A cake donut option such as pumpkin spice is a seasonal option. Cake and glazed donuts are 90 cents; raised donuts with frosting are $1.
5600 S. 48th St.
Open Monday though Sunday, 6 a.m.-2 p.m.
Another locally owned shop, the Doughnut Hole offers several cake donut flavors from blueberry, cinnamon crumb, maple, powdered sugar and more to glazed, iced and sprinkled raised donuts. The customer favorite is the chocolate iced raised donut, followed by the glazed. General Manager Rebecca Garratt said that the display case is filled with some 665 cake donuts and 1,575 raised donuts daily. The cost is $1.25 each. Garratt also said they deliver donuts to retail clients in Lincoln, Hickman, Ashland, Seward, Nebraska City and sites in Missouri and Iowa. Other pastries are also available.
8355 College Park Drive, 5815 S. 85th St., 2520 Old Cheney Road and UNL Nebraska Union, Monday through Sunday, 5 a.m.-9 p.m. Dunkin Donuts coffee is as critical as its donuts. Shift Leader Armanda Woodman commented that the company’s donuts pair well with its coffee. “It’s easy to sit down with both, coffee and a fresh donut,” Woodman said. Some 28 cake and raised donut options are available daily, ranging from glazed to vanilla or strawberry frosted, powder sugared or cinnamon. Favorites are the chocolate frosted raised donut, followed by the double chocolate raised. Donuts are $1.09, with specialty donuts $1.29.
Hurt’s Donut Co.
129 N. 10th St., #100
Open Monday through Sunday, 24 hours
You want variety! You want options! You want color in your donut! At Hurt’s, you get all of that as some 70 flavors of cake and raised donuts are offered fresh daily. A plain cake or glazed donut would be hard to find amid the gourmet-decorated counter display. Assistant Manager Megan Gocke said that Hurt’s offers more donut varieties than anyone in town. Among the choices are S'mores, Maple Bacon, Cotton Candy, Nutella and cereal-topped varieties like Froot Loops. Donut costs range from $1.50 to $2.50. Most popular is the Homer (pinkish/purple icing with sprinkles, $1.50) and the Cookie Monster (blue icing with googly eyes, $2.50).
Locations: 1601 N. 84th St., 5010 O St., 5020 N. 27th St., 6001 Village Drive, 7151 Stacy Lane, Monday thru Sunday, 24 hours. Assistant Manager of Perishables Marc Zakrzewski explained that a couple years ago, HyVee moved from using frozen dough for its donuts to preparing the dough fresh daily in the store. The change has been remarkable in the product quality, he said.
There are 30-40 raised and cake donut options offered daily ranging in cost from $1 for a basic donut to $1.50 for specialty and $2 for gourmet. “If you can’t find something you like, you are not trying enough,” he said.
Krispy Kreme Donuts
6410 O St.
Monday through Sunday, 5:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday drive-through open until midnight. A good variety of cake and raised donuts are available at Krispy Kreme, supplemented with KK coffee and coffee drinks -- lattes, iced and flavored. Some 20-plus donut options include chocolate iced glazed, chocolate cream filled, and strawberry or maple iced. But the favorite, according to Manager John Hoskinson, is the Hot Original Glazed. The outdoor “Krispy Kreme hot light” is legendary, which when lit signifies that the glazed donuts are hot and fresh, Hoskinson said. Prices are 99 cents for regular donuts and $1.19 for specialty.
1601 Q St. and 4822 Pioneers Blvd.
Open Monday through Thursday, 4 a.m.-2 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 4 a.m.-3 pm; Sunday, 5 a.m.-3 p.m. The original glazed donut is the customer favorite at LaMar’s, followed by the old-fashioned sour cream cake donut, says Regional Nebraska Manager Jodi Vinzant. Everything at LaMar’s is made from scratch, she said, with no preservatives or stabilizers. There are some 45 varieties of cake and raised donuts available for customers to choose from daily, including such flavors as cherry, red velvet or apple spice cake donuts, or cinnamon sugar or chocolate glazed in raised. Regular donuts are $1.09 with specialty donuts costing $1.99.
Randy’s Donut Shop
201 Capitol Beach Blvd. #5
Open Mondays, 5:30-9 a.m.; Tuesday through Saturday, 5:30-11 am; closed Sunday. Another family-owned local establishment, Randy’s lauds freshness, hand-made quality and cost as indicators of its success. Staff member Amanda Ryan said that Randy’s price of 85 cents for a donut is the lowest in town. Options include the ever-popular original glazed raised donut, as well as other raised options and multiple cake donut choices.
Russ’s Market Bakery
Locations: 130 N. 66th St., 1709 Washington St., 6300 Havelock Ave., 1550 S. Coddington St. and 4400 S. 33rd St. Open Monday through Sunday, 6 a.m.-midnight. Marty Jarvis, marketing director for B&R Stores, said that the Russ’s Market Bakeries prepare a mixture of some 40 kinds of raised and cake donuts fresh each morning. The raised donuts range from glazed (the customer favorite) to a variety of icings and toppings. Cake donuts include vanilla, chocolate and assorted flavors and different sugar coatings. They also produce seasonal flavored cake donuts like strawberry in the summer or pumpkin in the fall. Regular raised and cake donuts cost 99 cents, with rotating monthly gourmet donuts available for $1.49.
Super Saver Bakery
233 N. 48th St., 2525 Pine Lake Road, 840 Fallbrook Blvd., 2662 Cornhusker Highway and 5440 S. 56th St. Open Monday through Sunday, 24 hours. Assistant Bakery Manager Jake Roberts commented that the staff of the North 48th Street location has more than 100 years of combined bakery experience, emphasizing quality over quantity.
“There is no pre-frozen dough used and no rushing of the process,” he said.
A wide variety of cake and raised donuts, at 88 cents each, are prepared daily, with the customer favorite being the raised glazed, followed by the chocolate glazed. Roberts explained that each Super Saver bakery may offer slightly different donut options.