You Need to Try These Charlotte Donut Shops

Sugar's classic frosted-with-sprinkles
Photos by Jamey Price and Gabrielle Ferrovecchio

Whether you’re into traditional glazed or some weird strawberry-lemonade flavor with powdered sugar and sprinkles, one thing will forever be true. Everyone loves a good donut. While Carolina-founded favorite Krispy Kreme and American giant Dunkin Donuts tend to control the donut industry, local shops are giving these little doughy circles of heaven unheard-of potential. Luckily for us, our Queen City is home to some of the tastiest donuts shops around, here are five of our favorites! 

Suarez Bakery

Suarez embraces the traditional style of donut. The bakery sticks to the roots of the treat, and they’ve kind of mastered it with their signature donuts. Their classic glazed, chocolate dipped, and old fashioned cake options are worth every penny. If you haven’t been yet, Suarez should be your number-one priority. There’s a whole lot more at the bakery to keep you coming back. 

Sugar's Southern Banana Pudding Donut
Sugar’s Southern Banana Pudding Donut

Sugar Donuts

Sugar’s gourmet donuts have something for just about everyone. How does a Southern banana pudding donut sound? Maybe the chocolate salted caramel or caramel cinnamon sugar donut are more your speed. You can’t really make a wrong choice—there probably isn’t a donut on this menu that won’t appeal to your taste buds. 

Duck Donuts
Duck Donuts

Duck Donuts

Charlotte is home to the fastest growing donut shop in the country in Duck Donuts. The fresh donuts were originated at the Outer Banks in Duck, North Carolina and has since spread. Duck starts with a cakey base and tops that with some of the most unique flavor combinations you’ll find. Maple icing with bacon on top, peanut butter icing with raspberry drizzle, cinnamon sugar with vanilla drizzle. You’ll leave satisfied. 

Assorted dozen at Duck Donuts
Assorted dozen at Duck Donuts

Joe’s Doughs

Serving the Charlotte community since 2014, the owners of Joe’s Doughs initially just wanted to share a nice treat with their friends. Since then, their following has steadily risen and now they are known as one of the best local donut shops in town. Their menu switches up just about every day to keep you trying something new—and they pair their treats with Pure Intentions coffee. Supply is limited so get there early to get your hands on these delicious treats. 

Stoke Charlotte

Even though this is a restaurant and not a donut shop, Stoke found its way onto this list with their signature one-pound donut, simply named “The Doughnut.” If regular-sized donuts have started to bore you, this mammoth snack is the donut for you. The Doughnut is topped with an extreme amount of rich pastry cream, Heath bar crumbs, and a large dosing of powdered sugar. It’s meant to be shared among friends and family, but there’s no shame in tackling the behemoth on your own. 

The Doughnut at Stoke Charlotte
The Doughnut at Stoke Charlotte