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Search No More…For A Great Rhode Island Donut!

Apr 4, 2023 | RI Favorites Food

One of the many great things about living in Rhode Island is that you are never actually more than 20 or so minutes from a great donut.  As a busy Realtor, I spend many hours traversing this great state and most days I can resist the temptation to visit my favorite donut spots but some days, I will admit, it is just not possible.

In Rhode Island, we are lucky to have donut makers with more than 50+ years of donut making experience with family recipes and also newer donut makers who are on a mission to make donuts with their own creative spin. I have put together a quick guide to a few of my favorites.

333 Main St, East Greenwich; 55 Cromwell St, Providence; 139 Elmgrove Ave, Providence; 16 Broad St, Westerly

One of my personal favorite donut makers is Knead. Fortunately, they now have four locations so tripping over a location can happen quite by accident. There are now two locations in Providence (one on the East Side and one in the West End of the city), East Greenwich and a location in Westerly.  Knead has a variety of classic flavors with specials that change seasonally. They feature cake, brioche, vegan and flourless options.  

The staff at Knead is super-helpful and always willing to assist you in selecting the donut that is right for you.  When you enter the shop do not pass up the chance to help yourself to the free samples always on display on the counter. Very often I have made up my mind walking into the shop and change my mind after taking advantage of the donut samples. 

3661 Quaker Lane, North Kingstown

When heading to the South County area of Rhode Island (usually on my way to one of our fabulous beaches) it is an easy detour to stop at the famous Allie’s Donuts. The small and unassuming building might be easy to miss if not for the line that you will see meandering out of the building and into the parking lot. It is a great stop on the way to the beach but…get there early. 

They have been making hand cut donuts at Allie’s since 1968 and carry all the donut favorites that we grew up with. When I was a child we would visit our local donut shop, Baker’s Donuts, after church on Sunday. Baker’s is no longer in existence but to me Allie’s is the closest that I have found to my childhood favorite.  

In addition to their regular selection of donuts, Allie’s is famous for their donut cakes. A great idea for a special occasion and can be custom made to order in various designs and decorations. Be certain to get there early to avoid the crowds and grab some cash before you visit as they are cash-only.

78 West Main Road, Middletown

Ma’s is more like a full-service coffee shop offering a wide variety of home made donuts as well as breakfast sandwiches and coffee. They also pride themselves on seasonal specials. Spring time in Rhode Island means zeppole time. A zeppole is a light and fluffy Italian donut filled with cream. They are available for a limited time.

The staff at Ma’s is always friendly and helpful. They are a great stop for a late night sweet craving as they are open 24/7.

A donut a day will not keep the doctor away but a donut every so often may be good for the soul.  

995 Main Street, Hope Valley

When I am anywhere near Hope Valley my car finds it’s way to West’s Bakery for one donut – the bismarck.  This classic donut shell is stuffed with raspberry filling, topped with homemade whipped cream and dusted with powdered sugar.  The bismarck has been a part of West’s offerings for years (they have been in business since 1950) and it is always a crowd favorite.  I would suggest placing an online order before heading to West’s so that there will be no disappointment.  There is a minimum of 6 for an online order but, trust me, they will not go to waste and if you want to be a hit at your next get together, be the guest who brings a party platter of West’s Bismarks!

1 Ocean Ave, New Shoreham

When you are lucky enough to find yourself on Block Island on a summer morning and see a line forming on Ocean Ave be certain to join it. Do not be concerned, the line will move quickly and in no time you will be enjoying the simple warm pleasure of a Payne’s donut. Their donuts are made to order and are available in three flavors – plain, sugar or cinnamon.  

Payne’s has been serving homemade warm donuts to lucky Block Islanders and visitors every summer since 1963. So, how many days until summer??

79 Ives St, Providence

PVD has been making hand-crafted specialty donuts in the Fox Point area of Providence since about 2016. During that time, they have been creating new and exciting combinations of flavor. They serve all of the classic styles of donut including cake, brioche, old fashioned, crullers, flourless, vegan, coffee rolls and fritters and their monthly menu is made up of 25 or more rotating varieties. To give you an idea of the creative flavors that you will find at PVD, here are a few examples:

  • Keebler Cookie
  • Hershey’s Chocolate Milk
  • Wild Berry Pop Tart
  • White Chocolate Nutter Butter
  • Maple Bacon

It may be easy to get overwhelmed by the menu options but don’t hesitate to dive in and choose. You will not be disappointed.

There are a handful of other donut makers in Rhode Island that I have heard good things about and plan to try to visit in the future. Hard Pressed Cider Company – Jamestown (Seasonal-fall), DeLuise Bakery – Providence and Master’s Donuts – West Warwick are a few of them.

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