I’m a big fan of donuts, something you may already know if you’ve read my previous posts. But if you missed it, I’ll say it again. Cake donuts and yeast donuts. Jelly, sugar, glazed, and powdered donuts. Bear claws, fritters, twists, chocolate, Bavarian creme, Cruller, French Cruller, Long Johns, old-fashioned, fancy, and donut holes. I love them all. And hands down, I found the best donuts I’ve tasted to date thanks to a place called Donnie’s Donuts.
When the old Ford truck isn’t parked out front along East Granada Boulevard it’s possible to miss this little bakery. I actually drove by it twice during my first full day in Ormond Beach before my wife finally saw their sign and mentioned we should stop in to “see what the donuts look like.” I’d been on a no sugar kick for a month so it was a test knowing full well that I can’t just walk into a bakery and window shop. I’m a donut enthusiast, a true connoisseur if you will, so there was no way I’d come out empty handed or hungry.
Although the outside isn’t much to talk about, the inside has an open and trendy, urban industrial vibe to it; a remarkable makeover being that the shop sits on the west side of a building that used to be a bank complete with drive-thru lanes. The owners, Donnie and Patti Summerlin, relocated here after their first shop was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew on October 7, 2017 (The same day they were rated Best Donut Shop in Florida on Yelp). And placed in neat rows at the counter, well that’s just pure goodness staring right back at you.
The owners’ son rattled off the list of choices – “Death by Chocolate, Death by Blueberry, Strawberry Cheesecake, Strawberry Short Cake, Pina Colada, French Toast, Boston Creme, Maple Bacon…” his voice soon becoming lost in the background as I tried not to drool on the glass. Making the choice even more difficult is the fact that each of these beauties – based on cake donut recipes from the 1930s -are handmade every morning with the freshest of ingredients.
Our choices on this day? I went with Death by Chocolate, Death by Blueberry, and Key Lime while my wife went with Strawberry Shortcake. To wash it down, the only option was the Chocolate Hammer; an organic cold brew coffee with you guessed it, chocolate for a little extra tasty kick. This drink is pure magic and needless to say, it like its donut counterparts, had no chance.
So yes, I’m a huge fan of donuts but also a critic if they’re not up to par and will say it again, these are the best I’ve ever tasted. They are not just your normal treats with some fancy flavoring to hide what might be your typical cake donut. Nope, these are the perfect, fluffy yet not airy, not overly sweet yet tasty, uniquely flavored morsels of goodness that you find sometimes too often but without such mastery. Prices are spot on being handmade and fresh and to top it all off with the Hammer, it makes this place one of the best overall spots to visit in Ormond Beach and definitely worthy of the best in Florida title.
So if you’re reading this, gas up the car and go. There’s a reason I went back a day later.