TOLEDO, Ohio — Who doesn't love a good doughnut?
Toledoans went wild after Krispy Kreme made its way back to town last year. And who could blame us? A hot, glazed doughnut handed to us in a drive-thru window? Yes, please!
But, one of the best things about northwest Ohio, is the wealth of local, family-owned shops whose baked goods give the national chains a major run for their money.
While there are so many amazing bakeries to choose from, here are our top six picks from around the 419.
Cafe Donuts has sat on Monroe Street for nearly 30 years.
While the nearly perfect recipe for its delicious cake donuts is what brings the customers in, it's the sense of community that keeps them coming back.
Customers are greeted by name and it's almost impossible not to strike up a conversation with co-owner Jennifer Reams.
"You get to meet your customers, you get to know your customers, you get to live life with your customers; are they sick, how are they doing? Just because it becomes one big family," Reams said.
And the shop isn't afraid to get creative in order to make their customers feel at home. Cafe Donuts has an entire vegan line of sweet treats, making sure no one is left out.
The cafe isn't just inventive with its dough, it's visually innovative as well. Folks in the 419 can hire the bakery to create Instagram-worthy doughnut walls for weddings, graduation parties, or really any event, because is there ever an occasion that doesn't call for doughnuts?
Looking for something sweet on a budget? Cafe Donuts has a happy hour!
- Monday - Wednesday from 3 - 5 p.m: Grab a dozen for $7.99
- Thursday and Sunday 6 - 8 p.m: Grab a dozen for $7.99
The store is located at 5330 Monroe St. in Toledo.
Don's Donuts — previously "Dawn Donuts" — has been around since 1963. Not much has changed since then, but that's a big part of its charm.
Walking through those doors is like taking a step back in time. The shop has maintained the same decor, down to the stools. Even the recipes have remained unchanged because they are just that good. It has the familiar feeling of walking into your grandmother's house — cozy and welcome.
"The place has been around since God created the doughnut," Don's customer Tim Stecker said. "And their doughnuts have been fantastic over the decades. I've never had a bad doughnut here and I've had to been coming here for the last 30 years. So, that's what makes it special.
Everyone has their favorites (if you're wondering, I think they have the best chocolate glazed doughnut in town). But, their best seller is by far the apple fritter.
While the shop exudes a feeling of yesteryear, owner Mohamed Orra isn't afraid to take on some newer trends. Don's Donuts recently added an entire menu of fruity bubble teas, and they do not disappoint.
Don's is located at 2911 Woodville Rd. in Northwood.
Talk about a staple! Haas Bakery has been around since the late '80s, but its recipes are anything but dated.
Right away, it's clear that the store's owner, Andy Haas, has a true passion for the art of baking.
The shop brings with it a wealth of knowledge and creativity, giving customers old-school skill with new-age flair. Haas isn't afraid to take risks with flavors and his team of expert decorators take on custom orders, bringing its customers' visions to life.
"I developed most of my own recipes," Haas said. "I believe in creating a footprint in the marketplace that's not the same as everybody else."
While the Haas name is synonymous with paczki, the shop has made and perfected just about every baked good imaginable. From homemade bread to quirky cookies and, of course, a variety of doughnuts, it truly is a one-stop shop of everything delicious.
Haas is located at 2306 Starr Ave. in Oregon.
Down the street and around the corner from Cafe Donuts, you'll find one of two Bakery Unlimited locations on Secor Road. The store has also been in west Toledo for 30 years.
Folks at Bakery Unlimited will find over 24 doughnuts to choose from including a variety of vegan options.
The bakery has a full line of pastries that may make guests indecisive between fresh donuts, delicious cookies and beautifully decorated cakes that are all made from scratch with recipes that have been passed down through generations.
That includes the classic Hinkle Bearclaw, which has been in Toledo for over 50 years.
The ingredients on the Bakery Unlimited menu may seem limitless with their countless options, but there is one common ingredient shared between them all.
"Time. Timing and knowing what you're doing. Prepping yourself. If you're not prepped for a day, you're not going to have a successful day. I've been doing it so long its like second nature to me," Ray Watson, the Head of Production Baker at Bakery Unlimited said.
The second store can be found on Bancroft Street.
Over at Holey Toledough, guests will find a new-age twist on the classic pastry.
Not only is the bakery decorated with graffiti from local artist Tony Touch and different fan art, but it has an open concept kitchen.
Co-owner Chris Ritter wants guests to be able to see the ever-changing menu items get baked.
"We always have a rotating menu. It's not like you come in here one week and then the next week we have the same doughnuts. What's available, what's seasonal is what inspires us to create different flavors," Ritter said.
Not to mention, they have vegan options available too.
Ritter is an experienced chef who studied the culinary arts and applied his skills to the bakery, which began as a food truck. It gained extreme popularity in the city, and the rest is history.
But don't be surprised when you seen another location popping up in the near future.
And finally, Wixey's Bakery. The longest-standing bakery on this list has been in the 419 for almost 100 years.
Not only is the taste of its full line of baked goods something that make this bakery unforgettable, but its full line of merchandise does, too.
You can find t-shirts, mugs and even candles at the shop that have connected and made Toledoans who have moved out of town recognizable — because we all know there can only be one Wixey's Bakery.
And there's a reason why the bakery is been able to be stand alone for nearly a century.
"The main ingredient from 1930s, for coming on 90 years is love," said co-owner Brian Wixey. "You can't make anything good without love right?"
You can find a Wixey's Bakery Donut in south Toledo on Glendale Avenue.
Did we miss your favorite bakery this time around? Let us know! Send us a message on the Go 419 Facebook page.