In a city known for keeping it weird, there’s no shortage of quirky doughnuts in Austin, Texas. Nestled in the heart of the Texas hill country, there’s a long history of bakeries turning out something unique.
Spots like Czech Stop in West, Texas, carry on European baking traditions like the kolache. But in Austin, doughnuts are king.
Today we’ll explore the capital city while we look for the best fried dough in town.
About Austin, Texas
Austin is the fourth largest city in the state and home to the University of Texas. It’s also the state capital. Named after Stephen F. Austin, it has just under a million residents. While it’s famous for music, it has recently become a tech hub. Elon Musk moved his Tesla factory here in 2021.
Every year more and more folks discover what makes the Texas capital unique. Austin City Limits music and technology festivals, conference centers, and quirky food trucks bring tourists in droves. The strange mix of people here love their motto, “Keep Austin Weird.”
Austin is the perfect mix of college students, businesspeople, government officials, and tourists. With all these visitors, food is big business. Breakfast tacos, fancy brunch spots, and unique doughnuts define breakfast in the area. If you’re in the city and looking for the best sweet breakfast it offers, look no further.
A Brief History of Doughnuts
When it comes to breakfast, doughnuts have a long history stretching back to the 15th century. Dutch settlers brought olykoek to modern-day New York in the 18th century. These cakes usually came out of the oil with a doughy center, and one sailor had enough.
Hanson Gregory grew tired of the undercooked pastries at sea. He used a tin pepper box to poke a hole in the dough. When Gregory returned from the sea, he shared his discovery with his mother, Elizabeth. Mrs. Gregory supposedly coined the term “doughnut” after experimenting with the technique. She spiced the first real ones with nutmeg, cinnamon, and lemon rind.
In the 1930s, a businessman bought a recipe from a chef in New Orleans and opened Krispy Kreme. Then, in the 1950s, a doughnut cafe changed its name from Open Kettle to Dunkin’ Donuts. In 1964, Tim Hortons opened in Canada and became a culinary powerhouse. All of these brands are still making these delicious treats today.
There’s some controversy over whether it’s spelled “doughnuts” or “donuts.” It turns out either’s considered correct. Donuts is the more common spelling in the United States. Either way, you spell it, you still know what to expect. Warm, sweet, and usually served robed in icing.
We can’t imagine a better way to start the day.
Pro Tip: Looking to eat something a little more savory? Head to these Best BBQ Spots in Texas for Your Next RV Road Trip.
7 Best Doughnuts in Austin, Texas
In Austin, Texas, people like things weird. It’s in the city’s motto, “Keep Austin Weird.” It’s no surprise this extends to food. People wait hours for barbecue and spend crazy money on ramen. But they also love quirky, off-the-wall doughnuts.
But these seven shops in Austin deserve some special attention.
This west coast staple made its way to Austin in 2015. Known for being the hangout of UT students, 6th street is also lined with dive bars and music venues. Voodoo Doughnut, with its anarchist aesthetic, fits right in.
Once they moved from their original location in Portland, Oregon, Ken Pogson and Tres Shannon threw out the rulebook. They have treats named after rappers, inappropriate jokes, famous characters, and traditional offerings in their pastry case.
Devotees come back for their favorites and look forward to new experiments. Our favorites include the VooDoo Doll, Bacon Maple Bar, and Diablos Rex.
Voodoo Doughnut is open seven days a week from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Gourdough’s Big. Fat. Donuts.
When Paula Samford and Ryan Palmer opened their food truck in 2009, the future was bright. Based on the success of their over-the-top concoctions, they expanded quickly. If you want a classic Austin experience, then Gourdough’s is the food truck for you.
They used to have two brick-and-mortar locations. But things slowed down for Gourdough’s, and in 2017, they closed the second location. 2020 brought even more changes as they declared bankruptcy and moved back into the food truck.
You’ll be happy to know you can still visit the original food truck on 1st Street. They’re open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. during the week and 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. on the weekend.
The menu on the truck has all the top hits: Funky Monkey (grilled bananas and cream cheese), Blackout (fudge brownie with sprinkles), and Son of a Peach (peach filled with cinnamon sugar and cake mix).
Moving on to traditional fried dough, Master Donuts on E. Riverside is one of the best. With a wide range of Texas classics, they’ll have all your favorites available. They’ve got a little of everything from blueberry cake to yeasted glazed.
In Texas, the kolache is king. These bread-wrapped sausages, small and large, are also popular items at Master Donuts. They even have a boudain kolache alongside their jalapeno and cheese ones. You can also get breakfast tacos in several varieties at the shop, something every Austinite loves.
Open from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Pro Tip: Make sure to check out these 10 Unusual Things To Do in Texas while down south.
Angel Donuts and Treats
One of the side effects of Austin’s tech culture is high-end marketing for even the humble doughnut shop. Angel Donuts and Treats, located in the bougie northwest of Austin, boasts handcrafted fried dough and pastries. Most of their offerings are vegan and plant-based, but they also offer savory options that aren’t.
Everything on their website looks incredible. Unlike some commodity shops, their glazes and toppings are rich in flavor. One of their specialty items, doughnut ice cream sandwiches, sounds divine. And if you’re dealing with nut allergies or gluten intolerance, the halo that’s perfect for you.
Open Thursday through Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Angel Donuts and Treats has something for everyone. Beyond their food offerings, their coffee and tea menu is ridiculous. Plan to sit at this spot for a while to enjoy a bubble tea and the atmosphere.
N’Star Donuts opened in 2014 on Austin’s north side, serving traditional Texas-style treats. With a menu that checks all the right boxes, customers are usually locals coming in for a quick bite. Their no-frills approach keeps the focus on what matters most, the food.
Like any self-respecting Austin doughnut shop, they also serve a variety of breakfast tacos and sandwiches. It’s a good option if you’re looking for something traditional. But you’ll probably be disappointed if you want something with a little more of the Austin spirit.
N’Star Donuts is open from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the weekend.
The Salty isn’t a doughnut shop. It’s a whole experience. Situated on the trendy South Congress strip, the restaurant opened in 2014. Self-proclaimed “really freaking good donuts” bring in hipsters and conference-goers alike. Unbelievably delicious treats and elegantly crafted coffee helped the brand expand to several cities around the United States.
Doughnuts at The Salty get the star treatment. Even a simple glazed looks like a king. Regional flavors like horchata and churros make appearances in their regular lineup. But whatever you choose, you’re in for a treat. Pair with a cortado or cold brew, and you’re all set.
Drop in from n 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and as late as 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Lola’s is hard to miss. Their colorful brick-and-mortar location is only a few blocks from UT, and it’s covered in flowers. Dedicated to heritage recipes like French brioche and pâte à choux, their doughnuts and crullers are to die for. Lola’s has a mix of traditional flavors and more adventurous offerings.
With flavors like Mexican Hot Chocolate and Maple Bacon, Lola’s fancy picks ing special. They’ve even got a few vegan and gluten-free options. But unfortunately, they’re only open Friday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., for pre-orders and walk-ups.
For foodies in Austin, waiting in line for something special is a badge of honor. So don’t worry if you can’t get in right away. But they also take online orders if you want to do some sightseeing while you wait.
Grab a Doughnut in Austin, Texas
From the traditional to the bizarre, Austin doughnut shops keep it as weird as possible. Whether you’re passing through or visiting for a conference or festival, you’ve got to check these spots out. Long-time residents appreciate the variety and depth of the pastry scene in the city, and you will too.
Grab and go, or sit and enjoy everything this unique place offers. You can’t go wrong with doughnuts.
Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA
To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).
You should give it a try!
As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.
Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers who love to score the best site!
We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below: