The first Friday of June is declared National Doughnut Day, a “holiday” with roots dating back to World War I. This year, taking place on June 4, the day is devoted to the soft, sweet and sometimes sticky allure of the delicious doughnut. Home to a handful of doughnut destinations, Rochester is the perfect place to celebrate this scrumptious holiday.
Use this guide to try one – or all – of the mouthwatering options available. You donut want to miss out!
Inspired by big, bold desserts, Boxcar features a weekly rotation of handcrafted, attention-grabbing doughnuts with fun flavors like maple-bacon, Pizza Fritter and Fruity Pebbles. The selection usually speaks to upcoming holidays (Earth Day included), events (like their Vanilla Lilac honoring the Rochester Lilac Festival) and pop culture references (such as their popular Leslie Knope – whipped cream, maple and waffles, oh my!). A visit to their bright and airy bakery that sits just outside the Rochester Public Market is complemented with their gourmet coffee selection and cocktail menu.
The first 50 customers on National Doughnut Day get a free donut (one per customer). More details available on their Facebook event.
RoCoCo Coffee Co.
Located inside the Mercantile on Main, Rochester’s first food hall and one of the largest in Upstate New York, RoCoCo serves gourmet coffee and pastries – including tasty Cronuts. This flakey, doughy, sugar dusted doughnut is sourced from another local small business, Amazing Grains, and the perfect way to start your day. Stop in on Sundays and you’ll see a small selection available from Scratch Bakeshop. Grab a treat and a seat inside the urban eatery, which was once Sibley’s Department Store, the largest department store between New York and Chicago when it opened in 1939.
This mom-and-pop eatery serves breakfast all day – as well as its delicious pastries: doughnuts (of course), breads, brownies, cookies and more. Ridge Donut has not only perfected traditional flavors, but they also like to put a twist on them. Try the Peanut Butter Jelly filled doughnut or their rotating lineup of flavorful rolls, like their Chocolate Raspberry Oreo Roll. Check in regularly to see what they have cooking for any upcoming holiday or celebration.
Visit on National Doughnut Day for the unveiling of an additional doughnut flavor to their lineup!
Serving doughnuts from recipes dating back to 1958, Donuts Delite is known for the original Cannoli Doughnut filled with fresh cannoli cream and chocolate chips, their large “lobster-sized” apple fritters, and logo doughnuts – such as the famous Doc Donut with a picture of Dr. Fauci that became popular in 2020 and was even mentioned on Jimmy Kimmel!
On National Doughnut Day, take home an Apple Fritter A Lá Mode (their famous apple fritter, filled with ice cream!) with any purchase, while supplies last.
We also recommend a stop at 1872 Café during your doughnut-eating excursion. Not only can you purchase treats supplied by Donuts Delite, but this historic-themed café was also the location of the polling place where Susan B. Anthony illegally voted in the 1872 presidential election. Note the bronze ballot box outside, where she placed her famous vote.
Misfit Doughnuts and Treats
Their totally vegan menu comes with a weekly variety of ah-glaz-ing choices (including unique options chai glazed and Hibiscus glazed), chocolatey creations such as The Hostess and The Twix, and fruity flavors like Blood Orange Sour Cream and Big Bird – a yeast-raised doughnut with citrus sugar cookie dough filling, lemon glaze and yellow cake sprinkled on top. But the creativity doesn’t stop there! Combining two favorite breakfast foods, The Everything Bagel Doughnut is a sweet cream cheese filled doughnut topped with Everything Bagel Seasoning.
This mobile donut shop is parked at the Rochester Public Market on Saturdays. Although their menu is modest with just two options, it can be difficult to make up your mind! Their Apple Cider Cinnamon Donut is created from scratch on site, covered in hard sugar and served warm. Step aside glazed donut, The Raised Donut is known as “fluffy & flaky” and “melt in your mouth good.” You can’t go wrong by ordering either option, made fresh in front of you!
Golden Harvest Bakery & Café
Off the beaten path in the suburb of Scottsville, NY, this quaint country bakery is family-run using family recipes and American Sign Language-friendly. In addition to a full breakfast menu, their bakery case is filled with from-scratch baked goods and donuts made fresh every morning. Flavors range from Maple Bacon and Cannoli to Blueberry Apple Fritters and traditional Cinnamon Rolls. A separate vegan selection is available in a variety flavors, appealing to those with food allergies.
Along with the changing colors of fall comes another tasty take on the fry cake: cider doughnuts. You can sink your teeth into this seasonal delicacy at the fall farms around the area, including: