Columbus, Ohio – Known as a top culinary capital, Columbus visitors list the city's gastronomic offerings are among its main attractions. One sweet way travelers can immerse themselves in the scene is by taking a self-guided tour of Columbus' many doughnut destinations. In fact, so many incredible takes on the circular confection dot the city that the inventory warrants “donut trail” status.
Just a few local favorites include:
Buckeye Donuts: Some of the best doughnuts in the Buckeye State are found in the little doughnut shop that carries Ohio's nutty moniker. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Buckeye Donuts' OSU campus location has cultivated an enormous following, especially among college students. The store also is known to draw big-name celebrities. For nearly 50 years, this shop has been serving up old-school favorites like pillowy Bismarcks and Boston cream doughnuts smothered with Buckeye's signature dark, fudgy icing. Buckeye is also famous for its nouveau chocolate and peanut butter buckeye offering and its maple bacon Bismarck. Also a favorite stop for gyros, falafel and breakfast sandwiches, Buckeye does a brisk late-night business that draws everyone from students pulling all-nighters to revelers heading home after last call. AlwaysOpen.Buckeye-Donuts.com
Amy’s Donuts: If they gave an award for the sheer number of offerings, Amy would win an Oscar. Think of a favorite snack or treat, and Amy has probably made a doughnut out of it. Cotton candy? Got that. Lemon Air Heads? Got that, too. Captain Crunchberry? Yup. Girl Scout Samoa? Mmm hmmm. She's even made an Elvis doughnut with peanut butter and fresh bananas, as well as a chocolate-covered doughnut with fresh-sliced strawberries. With the vast variety of flavors, the creativity of each doughnut is what makes this place so special. AmysDonuts.com
Destination Donuts: Heather Morris' aptly named doughnut shop's unusual flavor combos and 100 percent preservative- and additive-free recipes result in a long list of wildly creative concoctions. Flavors change daily, so regulars come to this North Market-based shop prepared to try something new on every visit. Her caramel apple rendition drizzles caramel glaze over a pastry packed with nuts and fresh-sliced apples. From the bright flavors of raspberry hibiscus and apricot pistachio, to autumnal pumpkin cream or a kicked-up Thai peanut, the choices are seemingly endless. And while doughnuts are rarely described as refreshing, Destination's grapefruit mint recipe might just earn that designation. destinationdonuts.com
DK Diner: Long before becoming a luminary on Columbus' stellar breakfast horizon with breakfast burritos, skillets and its Big Man Breakfast, DK (which stands for Donut Kitchen), sold only doughnuts. Folks have long lined up early for DK's carefully curated list of perfectly prepared classics, which include sour cream, raised glazed, fritters and a few cake offerings. When they're gone, they're gone, so doughnut lovers in the know arrive when the doors open (6 a.m. weekdays; 7 a.m. on weekends) to ensure they get their fill. Thedkdiner.com
Little Donut Shop: There is nothing little about the quality of the Little Donut Shop's offerings. Traditional cake doughnuts with fiercely innovative flavors are prepared in smaller batches all day long, for just-made freshness that's key to this doughnut shop's draw. Chocolate pretzel, maple bacon, cookie dough, Samoa, dirty worm and raspberry lemonade are among the 16 unique varieties that lure folks to Little Donut Shop's campus location. littledonut.com
Resch’s Bakery: The oldest doughnut shop in the city, Resch's bakery has been family owned and operated since Wilhelm Resch opened his own doughnut shop in 1913. Now run by the 6th generation of the Resch family, these doughnuts have been made using the same technique for more than 100 years. Although the flavors are standards, the fluffy texture and purely delicious flavor is what has kept customers craving Resch's handmade original recipe for decades. ReschBakery.com
Auddino's Bakery: Another Columbus institution, Auddino's, has been a fixture on the CBus food scene since it opened in 1968, providing pizza crust, breads and rolls for some of the city's top restaurants. Little Italian cookies, cannoli and biscotti draw foodies and culinary pros alike. But it's Auddino's doughnuts that illicit the most local love. Most of the offerings are classics done really well. But back in 1991 -- long before New Yorkers' cronut fad -- Roy Auddino started frying croissant dough and dunking it in traditional doughnut glaze. Auddino's "doughssant" was born, and it has been a top seller for more than 15 years. Facebook.com/Auddinos-Italian-Bakery
Columbus is a city unlike any other. Vibrant and alive, Ohio’s capital is known for its open attitude, smart style and entrepreneurial spirit. Columbus' uncommon blend of neighborhoods, arts and culinary experiences, events, attractions and accommodations are made unforgettable by its diversity of outgoing locals who warmly welcome visitors. Free travel guides, maps, online booking and detailed information are available at www.ExperienceColumbus.com or 866.397.2657 (866.EXP.COLS). Visitor information is also available on Facebook: facebook.com/ExperienceColumbus and facebook.com/ColumbusFoodScene, Twitter: @ExpCols and Pinterest.