• Food for Thought Friday: National Donut Day

  • by Lauren Russell

Donuts may taste a little sweeter today. In honor of National Donut Day, participating donut shops across the US are giving away free donuts. Two popular chains, Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme, are among those participating in the festivities. Of course, the offer is subject to availability, so you may want to visit them soon.

National Donut Day is always the first Friday in June. The day was first introduced in 1938 to pay homage to the Salvation Army workers who delivered free donuts to soldiers fighting in the war. Along with eating as many donuts as we can, we’re celebrating National Donut Day by listing some of our favorite donut shops in the U.S. Here are our top five.

Donut Vault: Chicago, IL

At Donut Vault, it’s true what they say; the early bird gets the worm. Open at 8:30 a.m. during the week and at 9:30 a.m. on weekends, Donut Vault only stays open until the last donut is sold – and usually, it doesn’t take long. In fact, there is usually a line out the door for the old fashioned donuts in such daily-changing flavors as chocolate birthday cake, salted caramel, and root beer.

Sweetwater’s Donut Mill: Kalamazoo, MI

In Michigan, there aren’t too many donuts that can compete with the traditional cider mill donut, but Sweetwater’s Donut Mill comes close. Since 1983, the donut shop has been serving donuts to tourists and residents of western Michigan. It’s even been recognized as MSN City Guide’s “Best Donuts in America.” Sweetwater gets extra points for its business hours. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the shop is there no matter what time your donut craving hits.

Psycho Donuts: San Jose, CA

The donuts at Psycho Donuts are so crazy, they need their own asylum, which is why you’ll find a padded cell at the donut shop along with a staff dressed as ward nurses. They may also offer you a free piece of bubble wrap to help keep you calm as you choose from a variety of flavors including donuts topped with cereal, bacon, rice krispie treats, or cheesecake icing.

The Donut Stop: St. Louis, MO

With more than 100 donut varieties, The Donut Stop doesn’t mess around when it comes to morning fare. The shop has cake donuts, yeast donuts, and unique options including crème horns, fritters, and cinnamon globs. The Donut Stop also celebrates birthdays in the sweetest way possible with a giant number made from donuts to represent the birthday girl or boy’s age.

Federal Donuts: Philadelphia, PA

You may have heard of chicken and waffles, but have you heard of chicken and donuts? At Federal Donuts, that’s exactly what you’ll get. In fact, the shop only serves chicken, donuts, and coffee. With every order of chicken, you’ll get a honey donut. If you’re just looking for the sweet stuff, you can order a “hot fresh” donut or a “fancy” donut in such flavors as strawberry lavender, lemon ricotta, or grapefruit brulee.