by Parks Marketing on Monday, January 23rd, 2023 at 11:00am.
We at Parks believe that the best comfort dessert has to be the donut, and that got us talking: what are the top ten best donut shops in Middle Tennessee? Every shop that made our list is independent and friendly, offers only the best confections, and has proven themselves in the difficult times we’ve recently seen.
The selections we made are each equally deserving, so be sure to read through our descriptions if you’re looking for a specific type of shop or donut to make your day just that much better. No matter where you go, we are glad you’re avoiding the chain offerings and snagging far better products from locally-owned businesses!
Since 1973, Fox’s Donut Den has served Nashville from their classic, no-frills donut and pastries shop. Their crisp, fruit-packed apple fritters have been rated best in the nation, so be sure to pick one up! Along with their classic donut offerings, Fox’s stays abreast of trends—which means they have delicately layered cronuts, too. Their beautiful, handmade donuts are always available in an array of flavors and styles, even toward close of business. If you love light, fluffy, satisfying pastries and donuts served by a staff of kind, hardworking locals, Fox’s would love to see you.
Duck Donuts 101 Creekside Crossing Suite 1000 | Brentwood $
At Duck Donuts, your donut will immediately be made to order. Choose from an array of glaze and topping options; then, you’ll be able to see your creation made. Because every donut is made to order, yours will be served warm, with fresh, perfectly proportioned glaze slowly dripping down its sides.
If you’re craving something savory, Duck Donuts’ breakfast sandwich served on an unglazed donut will hit the spot! Grab a fresh-brewed coffee to go with it, and your morning will be complete.
Five Daughters Bakery is a family-owned bakery famous for its 100-layer donuts and pastries. Its airy, fluffy donuts are hybrids of donuts, croissants, and cream puffs, and are wholly irresistible. Their King Kong, a vanilla, maple-glazed confection topped with chopped bacon, is an elevated take on the maple bacon donuts beloved throughout the region and is a must-try. If the day is warm enough, you can enjoy your order at the picnic tables out front. Bring your kids, and let them play inside the enclosed play area while you relax with your coffee and your pastry, and remember that life is sweet!
Donut Country has been family-owned and operated since 1978, and still hand-makes the same top-notch donuts that first made them famous. Their generously oversized apple fritters and cinnamon rolls are classic favorites, but cake donut connoisseurs swoon for their creations.
Are you in the mood for a sweet and savory breakfast? Their breakfast sandwich, served inside a glazed donut, is the unusual, yet perfect answer. Fresh-brewed hot coffee comes with free refills when you dine in, but you’ve got options. Dine in, carry out, or drive-through, but don’t miss Donut Country when you’re in Murfreesboro.
Voted Best of Nashville in Scene in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, East Park Donuts may just have the most famous pastry and beverage options of any donut shop in Nashville. Choose from brioche, potato, sour cream, fritters, or gluten-free donuts topped with salted brown sugar, bourbon and maple glaze, or chocolate and marshmallow; there’s no way you can go wrong. East Park’s coffee menu is equally varied, starring hand-pulled espresso as the base. The honeybee latte is delectable, and pairs perfectly with both sweet and savory treats.
Gourmet Donuts is a family-owned venture. Here the kind, hard-working family crafts hand-made donuts in their classic shop, complete with both a dining area and a convenient drive-through lane. Their fresh, soft donuts will melt in your mouth, and their crispy apple fritters are famous for their generous apple chunks and tender crumb. We must recommend the red velvet donut as well but watch out: this is often the first one snagged from a variety boxed dozen!
Since its humble beginnings in an adorable food truck, Donut Distillery has graduated to their equally charming brick-and-mortar shop. Unlike other donut shops, the Distillery is for adults only. Stop in for mini donuts, spiked shakes, mimosas, beer, and the option of infusing your mini donut with a shot of booze. If you’re hungry for a pick-me-up after your boozy indulgence, order a delicious latte and soak up the friendly vibes in this social donut shop!
This relaxed, tranquil shop serves up made-to-order mini donuts topped with the glaze of your choice. Crowd favorites include the orange blossom honey, maple, and cinnamon sugar donuts, but every order we’ve seen disappears in minutes. These tiny donuts are beloved for their light, perfectly crisp exterior and melt-in-your-mouth texture, and their coffee creations are known to be equally smooth and rich. Dine in or carry out; either way, listen for music swelling from the shop’s record player.
McGaugh’s Donuts is like stepping back in time to when food prices were reassuringly affordable and donut shops were all about the product. This independent, locally owned craft donut shop offers a wide array of classic flavors, including coconut, maple bacon, cinnamon twist, devil’s food cake, and blueberry cake donuts. These perfected classics are so delicious that they’ve converted even skeptics who thought they didn’t like donuts at all. Dine in, take out, or drive through; either way, order more donuts than you think you need. They’re going to disappear in a flash!
Upon relocating over a year ago, the Mt. Juliet Donut Shop owners were greeted by enthusiastic support by the community. In fact, they sold out on opening day just a handful of hours in! Today, this popular shop’s owners continue to hand-make their incredible donuts and serve customers themselves.
These perfectly fresh, fluffy, light donuts are topped with both unique and classic flavors, and we’ve heard over and over that their apple fritter may be the best you’ve ever tasted! If you’re feeling adventurous, try the chocolate ice cream filled donut. For a comforting classic, you can’t miss with the gleaming plain glazed. Either way, say hi to the owners, and get ready for a truly delectable experience.
No matter where you are in Middle Tennessee, there’s an independent donut shop cooking up perfection not too far from you. Skip the chains in 2023 and support local families and workers who bring joy and delight to the communities surrounding them.
Did we mention your favorite donut shop on our Top Ten List? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to drop a recommendation for another shop if it isn’t here. Bon appétit!