Here in Kentucky, we love our doughnuts. We love them so much that, a few years back, the New York Times even ran a piece tracing Kentucky's Doughnut Trail.
Doughnuts are the absolute best -- they're sweet, inexpensive little pieces of nostalgia. They make you remember the morning you got to play hooky and pick up a sugary breakfast after a doctor's appointment, or the times your grandma fried up a fresh batch, or that little bakery in your hometown that made THE BEST doughnuts.
Last year's HerKentucky National Doughnut Day post stirred up a lot of feelings from y'all -- apparently, I missed out on a lot of local gems in my hunt for the five best doughnuts in Kentucky. So, I've spent a lot of time over the past year really mulling over what makes a GREAT doughnut. Here are the five Bluegrass State bakeries that made the cut.
5. Red's Donut Shop, Paducah. A local institution that sells only doughnuts. Locals will tell you that a Red's doughnut is like a fresh Krispy Kreme, only better. (Legend has it that Paducah is the birthplace of the Krispy Kreme, so these folks know what they're talking about!)
4. Doughdaddy's, Versailles. Fluffy doughnuts in more varieties than you can possibly imagine.
3. Nord's Bakery, Louisville. You can't mention Kentucky doughnuts without discussing the magic doughnut at Nord's. Of course, you know the one I mean: the maple-bacon. It's possibly the world's most perfect food. Worth the drive over to campus/ Schnitzelberg. Go ahead and buy extras; somebody will want one.
2. Spalding's Bakery, Lexington. With a family tradition of fried doughnuts dating back to 1929, Spalding's makes Lexington's very favorite doughnuts. Remember to take cash, as Spalding's doesn't accept credit cards or checks. When you're that good, you don't have to.
1. Hi-Five Doughnuts, Louisville. I love Annie and Leslie, who run this amazing food truck, and I can't wait for their storefront to open! Their high-end, gourmet take on doughnuts is simply amazing, and their Maker's Mark caramel glaze is one of my favorite treats ever. Hands down, my favorite doughnuts ever.
Happy Doughnut Day, y'all! Who makes your favorite doughnut?