Back in the day, before fat grams and “carbophobia” took over, doughnuts were a regular taste treat for many Americans. The neighborhood doughnut shop churned out dozens of exotic delicacies daily, and you’d be hard-pressed to find doughnuts anywhere else. Bakeries were for cakes, cookies or bread, but doughnut shops served up something really special.
St. Louis is home to a number of family-run shops that still specialize in creating the holey pastry. Here you can watch doughnuts being made the old-fashioned way—no machinery here. Whatever the flavor they eventually become, all doughnuts start out as a pile of dough worked over with an industrial-strength rolling pin, hand-cut and deep-fried. Depending on what’s selling best that day, customers can see the evolution of everything from the traditional yeasty glazed version to hearty cake-style or jelly-filled varieties being created.
In 2010, one local holey roller made the national honor roll. The Donut Stop in nearby Lemay was named one of the Top 10 Best Places for Donuts in the U.S. by Bon Appétit magazine. (Hmmm – who knew Bon Appétit-ers even ate doughnuts?)
Local Donut Shops
6525 Chippewa Street (on historic Route 66)
The Donut House
8500 Morganford Road
5120 Southwest Avenue
St. Louis Hills Donut Shop
6917 Hampton Avenue
World’s Fair Doughnuts
1904 South Vandeventer at Southwest Avenue
The Donut Stop
1101 Lemay Ferry Road