Cheap, cheerful and champion of the student diet – Dublin’s donut scene is of a remarkably high calibre. I started this week with very little knowledge about the circular snack and ended with an insatiable need for daily donuts. I took to the streets to investigate the good, the bad and the doughy of Dublin’s donuts.
The Rolling Donut
Despite being a city native, this was my first venture to the cornerstone of Dublin’s donut industry. Would it live up to the hype? 5 euro got me a raspberry and white chocolate donut and a small hot chocolate with marshmallows. Not a bad deal, but they aren’t joking around with the “small” part.
While The Rolling Donut might take the award for hot chocolate size that most resembles an espresso, that’s the only acclaim I’d be giving it. Even though I arrived around lunchtime, the donut already tasted old and dried out and the chocolate topping was hard, ready to crack off. I’d be willing to come again and try a different donut – the bacon and maple syrup variety looked tempting as a future breakfast snack – but I’d skip on the hot chocolate which left me feeling vaguely sick and, by my own fault, burnt my tongue.
Offbeat Donut Co.
With Pearse Station only a few minutes’ walk from the Hamilton, Offbeat’s proximity to campus already marks it as a winner. A box of three donuts is only 6 euro, a deal I took enthusiastic advantage of. I indulged in a nutella ring, creme brulee and caramel apple, all of which were delicious. The staff were friendly and smiley, despite the cramped conditions.
That is, in fact, the one caveat of Offbeat – its small space and popularity coupled together leads to an uncomfortable queuing process and limited seating options. I’d forgive this quickly though for the quality of the donuts and since it is, after all, tucked into the train station with commuters in mind.
Cronuts, cronuts, cronuts – Krust certainly wins points for branching out from the typical basic donut. In the spirit of election season, Krust sported donuts topped with the USA flag and others with prints of Hillary’s face. I steered away from the political options and opted for both a cinnamon cronut and nutella cronut. Unfortunately, the cinnamon was somewhat bland and boring, but I would gladly buy the nutella again.
Of everywhere I visited, Krust is definitely the easiest for meeting up with a group since it has far more seating than most donut places – also a saviour on a biting winter morning if, like me, you’re prone to forgetting to bring a warm coat.
Stylistic & scrumptious – I dived into to a beautiful Banoffee Autopsy. The sugar rush nearly killed me; the oozing banoffee filling was spectacular and the blend of flavours complimented each other perfectly. The new George’s Street location is a convenient walk, especially if you’re popping over from College Green. Choosing between the options in Aungier Danger was a bigger challenge than getting out of bed for an 8am bus – everything looked incredible.
The lack of seating is regrettable, but I wouldn’t have any complaints about the donuts themselves.
There’s something delightfully inviting about Boston Donuts’ pink storefront and airy interior. With possibly the most unusual range of donuts out of all my visits, the options range from Cookie Monster to S’more to a peanut butter and jelly combo by the name of “It Is What It Is”. Both the King of Music, Elvis, and King of Ireland, McGregor, have donuts named in their honour.
I settled on ‘Forrest Gump’, which was deliciously indistinguishable between a donut and black forest gateau. This one actually had to spend a day in my fridge before I dug into it, and even still it tasted out of this world. Definitely gets my stamp of approval.
Sometimes, simplicity is best. If you’re like me and all your money seems to disappear from your purse in the name of food, it never hurts to try out a budget option or two. Spar’s donuts might lack the aesthetic of their grander counterparts, but they get the job done and at around 2 euro, they get it done with change to spare to pay your library fines (my own regrettable situation this week).
Although it’s a bit of a trek from Trinity, my favourite spot was probably Boston Donuts, with Offbeat coming in a close second. I’d give Rolling Donut a miss next time, and save Spar for a rainy day. Overall, this week has definitely converted me to the #donutlife.