The crunching of snow under your boots. The fresh crisp air against your face. There’s nothing like a beautiful winter’s morning or a cool summer’s dawn in the mountains. There’s a sense of excitement and hope. A day filled with fun and adventure. Instead of rushing to the slopes or to the trailhead, why not get up a bit earlier and savor the moment? Celebrate the day by checking out one of these specialty donut shops as voted by our readers.
Whistler, British Columbia
Located in the lower lobby of the Fairmont Chateau Whistler resort hotel, at the base of Blackcomb Mountain, all you need to do is follow your nose to this delectable treat. While they might be known for their sandwiches, this spot also fries up some of the best donuts in a ski town anywhere. Pick from their popular maple bacon cream donut, Cronut or even an Oreo flavored concoction.
Even though this bakery is thirty-five minutes past Snoqualmie, it’s a must try for any food-loving skier/snowboarder. Four years after the town was founded, this bakery opened its doors in 1906. Still using the same brick oven from a century ago and serving up over 1,000 customers in a single busy day, they must be doing something right. All their treats are tasty, but the classic West Coast staple is a MUST for all… the maple bar. Similar in dimensions to what East Coasters call a Long John, these heavenly rectangular donuts are topped with a maple-glaze and can be filled with custard, cream or left unfilled. A great treat after a long day shredding the slopes of Snoqualmie.
South Lake Tahoe, California
What started out as donut delivery service in 2017, dropping off donuts all across the South Shore of Lake Tahoe, has now transformed into one of the most unique specialty donut shops in a ski town in North America. Besides being delicious, even the names of their donuts are catchy. Take for instance the Pink Floyd. This hot-pink doughnut has its own life! From going golfing to visiting Emerald Bay and even ice fishing in Minnesota, he’s living the ultimate dream. You can find him at #adventuresoffloydthedoughnut. With over 50 donuts in their rotation and only about half or less available on a given day, it means you’ll have to swing by more often.
Park City, Utah
Long before becoming a world class mountain resort, Park City was known as a silver mining town. The discovery of silver ore helped George Hearst, the father of William Randolph Hearst, produce over $50 million from the purchase of the Ontario mine during its lifetime. Now mining of the snow kind happens here on the ski slopes of Park City. The Hungry Miner, right off the Town lift, offers you two choices: hot dogs or donuts. Either choice, you get to choose what goes on it. Starting with a base vanilla cake donut, you can pick over 100 different combinations to put on your own specialty donut.
Smuggler’s Notch, Vermont
At The Cupboard Deli, everything is made fresh daily. They take pride in creating wholesome, tasty treats like grinder rolls, breads, bars, pastries, and of course homemade donuts. The crowd favorite is their maple glaze version. You can really taste the sweet maple on this donut, holding true to the Vermont maple syrup made in the state. The apple cider is also one that can’t be beat. It’s encrusted in a hard shell that gives a crunch similar to a churro. If you do want to try their fried concoctions, be sure to get to this hidden gem located inside of a gas station early.
Lafeen’s Family Pride Donuts & Ice Cream
With a French name like Lafeen, images of a fancy pastry shop come to mind. But, like the saying goes “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Lafeen’s is located in a small strip mall in a sleepy part of Bellingham. This is one of the best specialty donut shops in the state. The storefront is very unassuming with a worn yellow sign that just reads “Lafeen’s Family Pride Donuts”. Most people would drive right past it unaware they’ve missed anything. As you step into the shop, the humble atmosphere continues with an 80’s Pepsi letter board providing the price of each of the items. The only hint of this treasure is the smell of freshly cooked donuts. As you order a buttermilk cruller and take the first bite, you realize where their energy goes. It goes into the donuts. The love and pride can be tasted in every bite.
Mrs. Murphy’s Donuts
After more than three decades in business, you know this place has to be the real deal. This old-school style coffee shop focuses less on the glitz and more on making it right. Featuring crispy exterior and soft tender insides. And go ahead – dunk that donut into your second cup of coffee because when you look around you’ll see others doing the same thing. Just like any good donut shop, the most popular flavors sell out fast so be sure to get there early. From what we hear, the Boston cream and maple-frosted doughnuts are to die for but even the plain ones are amazing.
Eighty 8 Donut Cafe
Formerly known as Urban Sugar, it opened its doors within the Narrow Gauge food court mere steps from the Sawduster lift at Sugarloaf Mountain. Why did change the name? Well, at the time of their rebrand, they had just created their 88th flavor of donut and thus Eighty 8 Donut Cafe. Instead of the big donuts you’d expect, they’re bite-sized along with amazing names for signature flavors. For example, the “007” is their version that sports maple glaze, bourbon cream, and candied bacon. The fruity pebble dusted on top of a of a cereal-milk glaze is known as the “Bamm-Bamm.” Is your mouth watering and can’t wait to winter? In the summer, you can head to Portland Maine and pick up a dozen from their donut truck.
This cozy café located just a short jaunt from the gondola is a great option for those looking for a tasty option before heading to the lifts. In fact, they’re famous for their donuts. The sumptuous miniature donuts are made to order and go well with a cup of Coda Coffee. Not into coffee? Try the Kava, a cold beverage that combines kava root, coconut milk and fresh ginger.
Squaw Valley, California
While technically not donuts, we couldn’t have this list without naming one of the most legendary bakery institutions in the ski world. This small shop on the lower level of the Olympic House is part of the legendary tradition that exists at Squaw Valley. Serving up the most scrumptious mouthwatering cookies, it’s a perfect pit stop on your way to the lifts. Be sure to grab a few to put in your pocket as well for a mid-morning chairlift snack.
Note: Wildflour is a winter-season only bakery, so be sure to check it out when the lifts are spinning.