It’s important to sample Toronto’s donut scene to get a better understand of the local flavor. Even if you have to go out of your way and forgo your morning maple syrup routine, it will enhance your visit.
My first visit was to Glory Hole Donuts on West Queen Street, waaaaaaay west. You hop on the popular 501 trolley which will take you past the neighborhoods of Chinatown, Bellwoods and Little Portugal into Parkdale. It’s a mostly quiet residential area of houses with a spattering of quirky stores.
Greeting you when you walk inside is a colorful array of tasty delights. The toughest part of donuts is deciding what two to eat right there. If you do three or more it will ruin your whole day with the sugar letdown. That’s why you go with a friend to split four donuts in half.
As you can see above, the Toast n’ Butter is their signature donut. It’s brown butter frosting, sweet breadcrumbs and cinnamon and it not too sweet and has a subtle butter flavor.
The maple bacon donuts seems to be ubiquitous at these high-end donut shops thanks to the pioneering work of Voodoo Donuts in Portland. Glory Hole’s has small strips of bacon on top of their maple glaze.
My favorite was their apple pie filling stuffed donut because it wasn’t too messy and filling has a good crunch from the apple. Finally, the pumpkin donut was nice and simple. Also available was vegan donuts, sour cream, creme brulee, lemon poppy seed and Boston cream.
It’s a cute little store, even if the bathroom doesn’t have a glory hole. COME ON! Somebody has to check. There’s a donut selfie wall if you want to represent your donut love.
Another out of the way place for donuts is The Rolling Pin in the Lawrence neighborhood. From downtown, you take 1 train north and walk a few blocks. You’ll need that walk to empty out some calories.
The shop is located on Yonge Street, which in some circles is considered the longest street in the world at 1,178 miles. Down the street takes a whole new meaning in Canada.
The Rolling Pin has a more expansive selection of pastries and cookies, but donuts is it’s calling card. When you have flavor injectors and a rotating schedule of donuts, you know they mean business. The store is also much large with the seating inside.
For this tasting, I was on my own so I can choose wisely. First was the Cookies n’ Cream donut with a chocolate injection. The dough part of the donut was sponge and strong with a mess of sugary goodness on top.
The other is a chocolate glazed with pumpkin filling. That was my favorite of the two because of the slightly savory nature of the pumpkin.
While I hate to judge donuts, I would have to give the edge to Glory Hole, even if they were a bit more pricey for a dozen. There’s more of a flavor unique variety. Rolling Pin seemed to just throw a bunch of crap onto of their donut based.
Make no mistake, you’re a winner if you go to either of them.