Who doesn't love a good doughnut? Sweet, doughy, and still crisp when straight from the fryer, it's hard to pass one up when the sugary aroma floats by. Some prefer a basic glazed or cake doughnut, while others go for crazy toppings and more complicated flavors. Whether for breakfast or dessert, as a daily routine or occasional indulgence, they just have a way of speaking to your inner sweet tooth.
No state has a closer relationship with doughnuts than Rhode Island. The state has just over a million people, but houses more than 200 doughnut shops. And the doughnut capital, Providence, has over 25 doughnut shops per 100,000 people.
Sure, Dunkin' Donuts is responsible for much of the state's pastry offerings—I'd guesstimate that they make up well over half—the market also supports a large number of small, local chains, such as Honey Dew, Sip 'n Dip, and Bess Eaton. Chain loyalty is strong, and as with most topics, Rhode Islanders are not afraid to voice their opinions on their favorites.
As a Rhode Island resident myself, I just had to weigh in on this quotidian but crucial debate. This roundup doesn't include every doughnut shop, and the mission wasn't necessarily to seek out the best doughnut shop. It was more to bask in the humor of a state overrun by yeasted sweets.
At each stop I, along with my fearless gang of fellow donut-loving Rhode Islanders tried three, along with some fellow doughnut-loving Rhode Island residents: a plain glazed, a cake doughnut, and a wild card (basically whatever tempted us from behind the glass case).
Warning: Your teeth might hurt reading this.
About the Author: A student in Providence, Rhode Island, Leah Douglas loves consuming and learning about as much food as possible. She blogs at Feasting on Providence.
This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Serious Eats. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.