With Chanukah only a few weeks before the New Year, now’s time to indulge in the holiday’s sweet treats before you have to tackle your New Year’s resolutions. Most Jewish holidays revolve around great food, and Chanukah is no exception. With latkes taking center stage for the meal, it’s hard to save room for dessert, but be sure you do because we tracked down the best sufganiyot in the District for you to enjoy this year.
While Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts are always solid, we’re lucky to have many locally fried treats available in all sorts of flavors. From sweet to savory, and even vegan or served with fried chicken, you don’t even have to break out the deep fryer to enjoy a Chanukah treat.
With two locations in DC (not to mention that you can get them delivered or at Nationals Park), District Doughnut is sweetening up the city with specialty doughnuts handmade daily in their stores. Established in 2012 in Union Kitchen, a local incubator for food startups, they began their doughnut dreams with their signature Brown Butter and Salted Dulce de Leche, and have expanded their menu with exciting flavors like Apple Streusel and even a savory Everything Cream Cheese! Each component of the doughnut is carefully made from scratch, from the dough that rises overnight to the jams that ooze out of the freshly fried treats. Be sure to head in early or order in advance since they tend to sell out of popular flavors.
Sugar Shack Donuts
This famed Virginia doughnut shop recently opened up their first location in DC, making it that much easier to get your doughnut fix during the eight days of Chanukah. Each doughnut is hand rolled and cut, made in small batches throughout the day to ensure you’re getting the freshest doughnut you can find. Go for a classic Cinnamon Sugar or try out some of their less familiar flavors like Red Velvet Cake, Blackberry Basil Glazed or even Fruit Loop! Be sure to check out their Facebook page for frequent offers for free doughnuts and holiday specials.
Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken
Doughnuts and chicken? This strange combination comes from native Washingtonians and Washington Capitals hockey players Elliot Spaisman and Jeff Halpern. Friends on and off the rink, these two merged their two comfort-food favorites for one delicious shop (and food truck) to make their childhood dreams come true. You can get doughnuts or fried chicken…or both, in a savory doughnut fried chicken sandwich. (You may need to hold off on the latkes after enjoying this fried creation!) Both Halpern and Spaisman are Jewish, so expect some Chanukah specials on their menu like their “Hanukkah Mini Box” of twelve jelly-filled sufganiyot, Crème Brûlée topped with Gelt and Hanukkah-Cookie-flavored doughnuts ($25, available for pre-order and limited walk-in availability on December 15 and 16)! You can also get full-sized sufganiyot in stores from December 12 to 20.
Bringing Hawaii to DC through doughnuts instead of poke, this shop (operating out of a pop-up in Union Market and several locations in Virginia) serves Hawaiian malasadas for a different take on the classic doughnut. Originally from Portugal, malasadas have more egg in the dough than American doughnuts, making them extra fluffy and slightly less sweet. Filled with pastry cream or fresh jam, these doughnuts will have you dreaming of Hawaiian beaches during this cold December. You can get classic flavors like Vanilla Bean and Gingerbread for their holiday special, or go savory with their Everything Bagel Doughnuts filled with cream cheese and topped with lox.
Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats
Vegans, have no fear—there are some delicious doughnuts for you to enjoy this year, too! Sticky Fingers is a fully vegan bakery known for their Food Network Cupcakes Wars-winning cupcakes. The bakery offers much more than cupcakes however, with doughnuts available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. The flavors vary each day depending on what the baker’s craving, but past flavors have included classic Vanilla, Blueberry Maple and Boston Cream. Make sure to stop by early, since these sell out fast.
District Doughnut, Sugar Shack Donuts, Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, B Doughnut and Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats are not kosher establishments.
Top photo: Doughnuts from Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken (Photo credit: Scott Suchman)