CMH Gourmand – Culinary Columbus & Central Ohio

Eat, Drink, Repeat: Food Blogging since 2006

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Donalds Donuts: Best in Ohio

Posted by cmh gourmand on June 20, 2010

Any drive on I 70 could be described as mission oriented. The interstate from one side of the state to the other was designed to get people from point A to point B without distractions or delay. This is how I treat that long stretch of road, it is flat, featureless and has nothing to draw my attention. There is one exception. I will set aside fifteen minutes to veer from my course at exit 153 (OH 60 N, OH 146 W). This is not for the thrill of seeing the sign for OH 666, my designated destination in Zanesville is Donald’s Donuts. These are the best damn donuts in Ohio (DK Diner being a very close second).

I discovered Donald’s Donuts by accident. I had ten minutes to kill before a business meeting and spied the shop near my turn off. Donald’s is an old school donutery (I made up that word, I may put it on Wikipedia). It is a classic donut shop with a lime green awning and mid 20th century mass produced structural nothingness. There is a counter inside that seats ten. The original shop opened in 1960. The current location is spot number two but the building looks like it was fabricated in the 1960’s or earlier.

The staff know all of their regulars by name as well as by donut ordering preference. There is a Donald that works there but I am not sure if he is the original. Doing a dash of Donald’s internet sleuthing I found this reference: Don Warne is The Donut GOD. I can not disagree with this pronouncement. After a careful and deliberate study of Donald’s donuts, I have yet to be disappointed by any selection.

Donald’s offers an assortment of thirty or so donut styles. The shop excels in the cake donut category. These are dense, flavorful, fresh and serve as an excellent foundation for the maple cream frosting that Donald’s uses on a few items. It is fitting that Donald’s is on Maple Avenue because their icing is so good that the street would have been named so by decades of appreciative fans.

The cinnamon honeybuns are made in small batches and sell out before 10am. There is also an item that is just refered to as sticks. These long, twisty, donuts have a hint of cinnamon and are coated in the maple cream frosting. These are so good that @CMHTobias, a dog that has never shown any interest in donuts during our six year relationship, ate two while I was filling the car with gas. (The devestating heartbreak I felt when he closed the donut box with his nose and licked the maple frosting from his snout cannot be described, but it was a very, very low moment for me). An under the radar award winner are the slower selling buttermilk donuts. A woman donut docent behind the counter said these were mostly unappreciated by the Donald’s loyalists.

I did have a Paczki (a filled Polish donut) here during Lent that was one of the finest doughed delicacies I have ever consumed. I have had a few Paczki’s over the years. I had high hopes for this donut variant and was very disappointed by each of them. The Donald’s Paczki wiped the slate of shame clean and allowed me to appreciate this Polish pleasuremaker.

When I stop at Donald’s I usually get two cake donuts with maple frosting and peanuts and whatever looks fresh from the fryer. Their damn good donuts rarely survive more than two exits after I get back on I 70.

Donald’s Donuts
2622 Maple Ave (OH 60 N)
Zanesville
740.453.4749

Hours:
5am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday
6am to Noon on Sunday

(If one was focused and traffic cooperates the drive from downtown Columbus to Donald’s could be completed in under one hour. I am just saying.)

This is an article from 2015 -> HERE

And there is another great donut shop in Zanesville with a family connection – Darrels.

Donald's Donuts on Urbanspoon

6 Responses to “Donalds Donuts: Best in Ohio”

  1. True Dat Jane said

    Hi Jim! There is another amazing donut place in Parkersburg, WV – 40 miles from Athens for your next journey to mecca – you can take a side trip🙂

    And the place is……JR’s Donut Castle.

  2. Megan Proehl said

    I would like to humbly argue your claim. Crispie Creme (notice, with a “c”; it’s the original and no relation to the krap with a “k”) in Chillicothe have the best donuts around the state🙂


    CMH G. Reply:
    This allegation has been noted for additional, on-site research. Thank you for your comment.

  3. Lyndsey said

    Donalds has long been my favorite as I grew up right outside of Zanesville. Now that I have moved a few (10) hours away I no longer eat doughnuts as nothing compares. My fave is cake doughnut with pink frosting. It is a must each time I visit!

  4. Neil said

    The Donut Devil” adventures in donut evangelism??? What’s that mean? Sounds fun. More donut shop visits? Or you thinking of opening a joint? Who, what, when, where…Pray.tell.

    • To address these donut issues:

      Donut Devil: Yes. This is true. I am not a donut fanatic, but when I donut is awesome I become obsessed. So yes, in the case of Donald’s Donuts and DK Diner donuts I will act as the devil by convincing you to eat a good donut when your conscience/angel is telling you not to.

      Donut Evangelism:
      Yes. But just for a few places. I am apathetic about Krispy Cremes, Tim Hortons, etc. I am also an evangelist for Pattycake Bakery.

      More Donut shop visits: Yes. I have an obligation to go to places mentioned in this comment thread.

      Me opening a donut shop: No. Me opening a mobile hot dog truck or gourmet ice creamery in Athens….someday.

  5. Tombo said

    Hello CMH Gourmand,

    I’m Tom, current Co-owner and son of Donald, aka the original “The Donald”. Along with my cousin/partner Jon run the shop just as my Dad taught us. Thank you for the glowing review! How you got all that info I’ll never know. It’s great to hear that all our hard work is appreciated. Thanks again!

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