Searching for the Best Donuts in St Louis

March 5, 2019

The outside of World's Fair Donuts in St Louis

In 1904, St Louis hosted the World’s Fair. Who would have thought the donut would still be paying homage to that event now? But that’s exactly what World’s Fair Donuts, located at 1904 (see what they did there?) South Vandeventer Ave is doing all these years later. No they weren’t selling donuts then but they have been baking up glazed buttermilk cake donuts, long john’s and blueberry chip cake conuts, their specialty, for around forty years. The majority of those years at this location.

On a recent trip to St Louis, the Gateway to the West, I had the pleasure of stopping in and meeting Peggy Clanton, half of the couple that has made World Fair Donuts some of the most famous and some of the best donuts in the St Louis. While I was in the city, I had taken it upon myself to check out as many old school donuts shops I could find on a search for the best donuts in St Louis.

To even the playing field and keep it more or less the same kind of donuts from each place, I selected a plain glazed or sugared donut, a chocolate covered or glazed donut and one donut that was somewhat unique from each shop. Thank goodness I managed to keep myself from going into a sugar coma!

Are the Best Donuts in St Louis at World’s Fair?

At World’s Fair as I sampled a sugared donut and a long john, I could easily see why they’ve been around so long. Flavorful and more cake like in texture than others I tried, World’s Fair Donuts should be a stop on your St Louis itinerary. They are definitely a contender for the best donuts in St. Louis.

The case full of donuts at Worlds Fair Donuts in St. Louis
World’s Fair- making donuts since 1904

Are the Best Donuts in St Louis at Old Town Donuts?

Next up was Old Town Donuts located in the Florissant area. Could they have the best donuts in St Louis? This area is a second ring suburb to the north of St Louis. It’s also one of the oldest settlements in the state so it’s no wonder Old Town has been making donuts for over 30 years, seven days a week, 24 hours a day! Impressive! According to their website, Old Town runs three shifts to ensure the freshest donuts. The chocolate covered cream filled was my favorite. I really liked the yeastiness and crispy texture of the glaze of these donuts. Just as promised, they were extremely fresh!

All the donuts in the case at Old Town Donuts Florissant Missouri
Everything here is made fresh everyday
The donuts from Old Town Donuts in St Louis Missouri
Chocolate glazed is my favorite

Are the Best Donuts in St Louis at Drive In Donuts?

Another St Louis establishment that I visited was Drive In Donuts. They’ve been around since the 50’s and still use the same family recipes they did back then to make their donuts today. Featured on Food Network, they were voted best donuts on Route 66. I purchased a plain glazed and a chocolate covered donut. The texture and consistency were near perfect and everything I want from a donut. However, the customer service was not good. Just because you’ve been around a long time doesn’t mean you can forget to be nice.

best donuts in St. Louis
Donuts may be good but don’t forget customer service

Searching in Illinois for the The Best Donuts in St Louis

Last but not least I ventured over to the other side of the Mississippi to try Duke Bakery in Granite City, Illinois. Even though “Granite”, as the locals call it, is in Illinois, it’s considered the Greater St Louis metropolitan area. Could the best donuts in St. Louis be across the state line?

They didn’t have a huge selection because I got there late in the day but they still had my favorite- chocolate covered. Up until the moment I tasted the Duke donut, Krispy Kreme chocolate covered had always been my favorite. But since I tasted the Duke donut, I cannot stop thinking about it. It was perfect! From the texture, to the yeastiness, to the chocolate. I don’t know what kind of chocolate they use but it’s what chocolate dreams are made of.

A chocolate covered donut at Duke Donuts in Granite City, IL
Perfect chocolate covered from Duke Donut

The Best Donuts in St Louis

So there you have it. Which one was my favorite? It’s too close to call! I’m going to need a repeat visit to figure it out. If you plan on visiting St. Louis check out some of the most unique things to do in the city and one of the other things I enjoy eating…BBQ!

There are also plenty of other donuts shops in town and I’d love to do some more searching for the best donuts in St Louis. Do you have a favorite in St Louis that I don’t know about? If so, leave me a comment and tell me what it is.

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