“Do-nut” underestimate the power of a donut! The trend of anything-but-glazed donuts has taken off across the country, and Louisville’s donut scene is no exception. As one of the largest foodie cities in the United States, we take pride in our sweets and savories!
We’ve rounded up the top places to grab the most creative donuts in the Louisville area. From iconic classics to the new, hip joints, these donut shops mean business!
The Most Creative Donuts of Louisville
1011 E. Main St., Louisville, KY 40206 • (502) 409-5584
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to noon; Friday through Sunday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Unique and local, Hi-Five Doughnuts is Louisville’s first female-owned-and-operated donut food truck and storefront. Located in Butchertown, this eccentric and somewhat cheeky gathering place serves up sweet and savory donuts that will knock your taste buds into the next universe. Not only is each ingredient handmade from scratch everyday, Hi-Five Doughnuts offers its customers the ability to customize each donut.
“Let the people choose!” exclaimed Annie Harlow, co-owner and partner, as she tossed the next batch of doughy goodness into the fryer. “It’s gotta be all about what the people want, so we let them decide.” And there is never a wrong answer for a donut.
From the glazes to the toppings, customers have the ability to customize their very own donut, as well as choose one from the ever-changing menu.
So, what’s the most interesting donut in this place? Hands-down, it’s the Kentucky Fried Buttermilk Chicken Doughnut sandwich! “It was obvious that this donut sandwich had to be a part of our menu,” explains Annie of the next-level sandwich, which all began when she and owner Leslie Wilson traveled around the country trying different donut shops and determined that if chicken & waffles were possible, then why not a fried chicken donut? And so, the Kentucky Fried Buttermilk Chicken Doughnut sandwich was born.
A perfectly textured glazed donut is split through the middle and stuffed with piping hot fried chicken and laced with their secret “Smackdown” sauce. It’s savory, crispy, gooey, spicy and sweet goodness all in a single bite.
Hi-Five Doughnuts has so many incredible creations on their ever-changing and customizable menu, and they promise to only repeat customer favorites. Donut lovers, rejoice, and head to Hi-Five!
3940 Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40207 • (502) 896-4438
Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
There’s just something about a classic! Plehn’s Bakery is a family-owned, St. Matthews staple and an iconic Louisville eatery that’s been in business since 1924.
Almost 100 years later, Plehn’s Bakery is still serving up some of Louisville’s most beloved soups, salads, sandwiches and spreads, as well as dessert and bakery items. The nostalgic, old-school vibe is as comforting as the delectable aromas of cakes and cookies wafting throughout the bakery. Believe it or not, the very same donut recipe they used in 1924 is still used today.
Katie McCune, store manager, attributes the success of Plehn’s Bakery to Louisville and St. Matthews’ close-knit community. “We have customers come into the bakery and tell us they remember coming in to have a slice of pie at just 5 years old,” says Katie.
The bakery serves up a number of sweets to choose from including pies, cakes, cookies and the like. The Kuchen (pronounced KOO-ken) is the original staple of Plehn’s Bakery. Made with sweet dough, then filled with apple, cherry, cinnamon or even butter filling (yes, butter!), the Kuchen is the most requested item on the menu.
While Plehn’s Bakery is a time-honored institution of Louisville, it’s not without creativity. The most creative donut Plehn’s serves up to customers is their original take on the cronut, a croissant prepared like a donut. The croissant is made in-house, then dropped into piping hot oil for a crispy-edged donut texture, then slathered in original glaze — yum!
Plehn’s also features a special donut each month. Be sure and stop by to taste the blueberry cake donut this month!
North Lime Coffee & Donuts
1228 S. 7th St., Louisville, KY 40203 • (502) 398-5739
Hours: Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
North Lime Coffee & Donuts has opened its third location right in the heart of Old Louisville. After opening two locations in Lexington in 2012, store manager Tricia Trimble saw a need for affordable donuts in the Louisville area.
“We wanted to bridge the gap and make coffee and donuts affordable with easy access,” explains Tricia. With the revitalization of areas like Old Louisville and NuLu, Tricia knew Old Louisville was the next home for North Lime Coffee & Donuts.
North Lime provides an affordable, sustainable approach to your classic coffee and donuts. They work with local coffee roasters to support the local economy, and 10% of all profits go toward a local charity or fundraiser. And North Lime baristas go through an intense training process to make the best espresso beverages around.
During the month of May, pop into North Lime and get a taste of the coffee cake donut, a twist on a classic! It’s made up of a plain cake, with cold brew buttercream frosting topped with brown sugar and cinnamon crumble. It’s like coffee and cake all in one bite.
We also recommend grabbing a lavender chai when you stop in. It’s creamy, comforting and uplifting goodness in a cup.
2118 S. Preston St., Louisville, KY 40217 • (502) 634-0931
Hours: Wednesday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday through Tuesday, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Word has it that you just aren’t a Louisvillian until you’ve been to Nord’s Bakery. And with the most inventive donut yet, we have to agree!
In 2017, Nord’s was ranked the best bakery in Kentucky, according to Yelp. We can’t help but believe that their maple bacon glazed donut had something to do with that. It’s deep-fried dough glazed, then glazed again with maple-flavoring, then topped with a slice of bacon. If eating Nord’s maple bacon glazed donut is wrong, then we don’t wanna be right. It is delicious, ooey-gooey, salty and sweet all in one chewy bite!
Nord’s Bakery is well-known around the area for having some of the best donuts in town. Located on Preston Street near Schnitzelburg, you can find this place packed to the rafters on a weekend morning. The bakery has been open for more than 80 years and is a cherished part of the neighborhood. Offering more than just the iconic maple bacon glazed donut, Nord’s Bakery also offers an array of sweet treats such as cookies, eclairs, donuts and even custom wedding cakes.
Sugar & Spice Donuts
5613 Bardstown Road, Louisville, Kentucky 40291 • (502) 231-1411
Hours: Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to noon; Saturday through Sunday, 5 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sugar & Spice Donut Shop was founded more than 30 years ago. Located in the Fern Creek area, Sugar & Spice all began when they believed a good donut at a good price would naturally be a thing people would love — and they were right! Thirty years later, Sugar & Spice still has some of the same customers they’ve had since the beginning.
Today, they are rocking the donut scene with their very own “designer” donuts. And with more than 30 donut varieties to choose from, we knew we were getting our sticky fingers onto something delicious!
Touting a classic plain glazed donut as the benchmark of a well-made donut, Sugar & Spice also serves up several creative donut options, such as cookies and cream, banana split, apple streusel and chocolate Oreo cheesecake.
Cookies and cream definitely takes the cake for Sugar & Spice’s most creative concoction. Starting with a glazed donut, the long-john is drizzled with a sweet icing and topped with crushed chocolate cookies.
608 Lyndon Lane, Louisville, KY 40222 • (502) 890-5293
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Dollar donuts?! It’s clearly a sign that we should enjoy more donuts, right? King Donuts is located in the Lyndon area and has been dubbed “The Sweetest Spot in Town.” This donut shop offers a wide variety of inexpensive donuts, beginning at only 75 cents.
King Donuts has a large selection of interesting donut combinations, including the apple fritter donut. It’s a twist on a classic American dessert and the shop’s #1 seller! And donuts aren’t all that’s available — extended shop hours offer customers the opportunity to grab a savory breakfast sandwich and even lunch options.
Now get out there and enjoy our city’s über-creative donuts!
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