A hidden gem in the city's Lower East Side is The Doughnut Plant, which recently opened a second location in Chelsea.
From the moment you walk in, you can see this shop takes donuts very seriously. There are black and white pictures on the wall from the 1950's, of huge ovens and hard working men. There is a picture of Marilyn Monroe enjoying a cup of tea and a doughnut. This makes you wonder: has this place been around for so long? The answer is yes and no. The recipes date back to 1910, but the Doughnut Plant opened in 1994 by Mark Isreal who used his grandfather's doughnut recipe. 10 years later, the Doughnut Plant opened in Japan, followed by Korea. Also, square donuts are introduced and they are big hit.
The appeal of The Doughnut Plant is in their promise to use the finest organic ingredients. The crazy and fun flavors of the doughnuts make The Doughnut Plant, a place like no other. There is pistachio, tres leches, coconut cream, vanilla bean, crème brulee, oatmeal, and many others. There are yeast and cake donuts, as well as churros and cinnamon buns.
While there is no such thing as a healthy doughnut, at least you are rest assured that these donuts use a recipe from the early 1900's, where trans fats, preservatives and artificial flavorings were not the basis of most baked goods. Also, these doughnuts do not have eggs. If you are a skeptic like me, then I urge you to try them and see for yourself that indeed they taste delicious.
For all the hipsters in New York who need a sugar fix, The Doughnut Plant delivers. The line outside the store usually goes for at least half a block, so you know there must be something to it. For a long time, cupcakes were the kings and queens of New York City, with Magnolia Bakery being the most famous. But I am afraid to say that The Doughnut Plant might become the next big hit in the following years. Maybe it's a way of people saying they are tired of sugary and fat filled cupcakes and they want something more substantial but also cool.
The Doughnut Plant has ammunition that squashes any competition: a tried and true doughnut recipe, creative and unusual flavors, no eggs, and no fake ingredients. Who could ask for more.