Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Maybe it’s the not-so-secret ingredient of potato flour that makes the Tato-Nut Donut Shop so special. Maybe it’s small-town charm. Maybe it’s being a survivor against the odds. (Not only has the Tato-Nut weathered the economic downturn of late, but it was also one of the first area businesses to bounce back after Hurricane Katrina.) Maybe it’s just the combination that makes the magic happen here. Whatever it is, the doughnuts are light, airy, and sweet with a local following that means there will be lines at rush hour on weekday mornings. For the best selection, plan ahead to beat the rush, but the folks at Tato-Nut won’t let you down if you show up later. You may not have as many choices at 10:30 a.m., but you’ll still have some amazing doughnuts to share.
RoundRock Donuts at the Lone StarBakery
Round Rock, Texas
One of the first things you might notice about a doughnut from Round Rock Donuts is the color. They’re more yellow than most other doughnuts. They don’t achieve this with food coloring, though. It’s just the effect of using really fresh eggs in their handmade yeast dough. While the shop offers cake doughnuts and more, it’s those yeast doughnuts that made the shop famous, and they’re what keep people coming back for more. Lone Star Bakery opened in 1926, but the Round Rock doughnut didn’t become a star until the 1940s when Texas servicemen shared doughnuts from care packages from home with their friends. While ownership has changed hands, the recipes are the same as always. And even though you absolutely have to have a doughnut, don’t miss out on the other baked goods here that are still made in the secondhand open-flame oven bought in 1929. It has no thermostat, which means the bakers using it cook magnificent loaves of bread and delicious cinnamon rolls by know-how and intuition.