New York City locals smile when asked about the Doughnut Plant. A Manhattan Lower East Side institution, the Doughnut Plant began in 1994 in the basement of a tenement building. The original location is now based at 379 Grand Street, with several stores worldwide. The unremarkable store front gives visitors little hint of the hidden treats inside.
Flavors range from carrot cake to creme brulee to apple cinnamon to toasted almond to vanilla bean. Chocaholics will love the blackout doughnut, while jam fans will want to try the blackberry jam doughnut, as all filling is homemade. Flavors and glazes are seasonal such as chestnut or cranberry at Christmas time. Doughnuts also come in various shapes and sizes, including square-shaped.
I have tried both the creme brulee and the toasted almond, which are both fresh and delicious. The pastry is flaky and the taste is wonderful. If pistachio cake is on the menu, my brother (who lives in New York City), says this is not to be missed.
The original location itself is small and a little run-down (the fly zapper near the register is a bit creepy) and seating is limited. One bench is outside and I suggest getting doughnuts to go. Lines will definitely be long (this shop is very popular!) but the friendly staff is quick at juggling orders. Be sure to get there early as the shop only stays open until the day’s batches are gone. I got there early in the afternoon and many choices were out of stock.
While the cost per doughnut is high at roughly $2.00 to $3.00 each, it’s worth it. These doughnuts are without question among the best I’ve tasted.
I will definitely be back the next time I’m in New York City, as I’m now on a mission to try a pistachio doughnut. The Doughnut Plant means great doughnuts with a gourmet taste.
379 Grand Street
New York, NY 10012