Friday, 24 February 2017

Top 3 Donut Shops in Dublin

Alright, I don't know what's gotten into me but lately I became a little obsessed with donuts in Dublin.

Ever since we stopped in at The Rolling Donut, Tammy and I decided that we wanted to see what all the fuss is about with all these different donut shops around us. So, on Valentine's Day I surprised her with Off Beat Donuts. Then, a few days later we decided to drop into Boston Donuts and have a couple of their offerings.

This list ranks the donut shops, with the best appearing at #1.

Let's get to the donuts, shall we?

#3. The Rolling Donut

3 for €8 Box from The Rolling Donut
Photo: Brewji

You may have seen me post about this place before. Why? They're the first 'fancy' donuts I've had. I don't think I've ever paid more than $2.50 CAD for a donut, because they don't cost that much in Canada—even at Starbucks.

Well, Tammy and I had a sh!t experience at McKenzie's in Stephen's Green, so we decided to go on a redemption mission for our day. How? We wandered into The Rolling Donut. We got a box of three to go.

Donuts are €3 each, or 3 for €8.

In short, these bad boys will dent your wallet (especially if you're going for just one). Three Euros translates to roughly $4.50 CAD for one donut, or the price of three donuts and a small coffee at Tim Hortons.

Let's see how The Rolling Donut stands up to the test:

a) Peanut Butter and Chocolate
While gorgeous, with its size and crushed peanuts on top, this donut did have its pitfalls. The dough was a bit chewy, and as you can see, this donut was 2/3 filling. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but in this case the filling was really dense.

Imagine the texture of Nutella that's been in the fridge. So you get the chewy dough-y donut with a nice chocolate icing and crushed peanuts on top, then you get to the centre where you gotta put in a little effort to bite through it.

All in all, the taste was great, but texture-wise next time I'd pass.

Me: 6.0 / 10
Tammy: 7.0 / 10

b) Coffee Lovers
We saw the name contained the word "Coffee" and we had to go for it. We're sort of like children that way. Plus, you see pecans on the top of a donut labelled with coffee...and, you get it.

Again, this donut is gorgeous on the outside. It's got a white, vanilla frosting with some pecans on top. The donut dough is the same as the previous, and inside there's a much thinner filling than the last donut.
However, the taste is incredible. Flavours of coffee and sugar erupt through the filling, with notes of coffee liqueur and caramel.

If you love coffee (who doesn't?) and donuts, make this your first if you pay a visit to The Rolling Donut.

Me: 9.0 / 10
Tammy: 9.0 / 10

c) Banoffee
Now, initially we'd really liked this donut, a lot. But, you know the feeling when you find something better and you just can't go back to what you once liked putting in your mouth?

I'll say that before I had this donut, I'd never tasted Banoffee in my life. I was essentially asking "WTF is Banoffee?" Then, Tammy told me.

As I described to Tammy, the donut had a similar dough to the others, had a chocolate-toffee icing on top, and the middle tasted like a banana bread, banana-icing, and frosting all mixed together.

The only problem? They were really skimpy on the filling. This cross-section photo looks good, but that's essentially all the filling that was in the donut, and there's not much behind there.

The flavours are great, but I wish there was more! All I got was dough and disappointment.

Me: 4.0 / 10
Tammy: 6.0 / 10

The Rolling Donut: ...I guess you'll do.
Food: 6.5
Service: 7
Value($): 4
Would we return? MEH

#2. Boston Donuts

2 for €5 Box from Boston Donuts
Photo: Brewji
You might see these shops scattered about town. In fact, this was probably the first 'fancy' donut place that I saw here in Dublin, and thought "damn, I want a donut".

As you can see, we're already doing better than The Rolling Donut. Let's see how Boston Donuts stacks up. Here's a secret: They're better than the Bruins will ever be.

You can get a pack of 2 donuts for €5. I don't remember how much one costs...and they don't have prices on their website. That's a pet peeve right there.

a) Nutella

You don't have to do much to convince me that I'm going to want anything labelled "Nutella." I've loved the stuff as long as I can remember. I know it's got loads of dairy, but pain and bloating are trade-offs that can be fought through...for the deliciousness.

The first thing I noticed about this donut was that the quality of the dough knocks The Rolling Donut out of the park! Perhaps the ingredients were fresh? Or better? Either way, it's the same as comparing a Guinness that's sat out overnight from one poured fresh from the tap. That's how much better the dough is.

Sadly, there's nothing to this donut. I mean sure, the quality of the dough is there, but it's really just an overpriced plain donut with a bit of chocolate icing that sort of tasted like Nutella on top.

But at least the dough of the donut was good. That's a solid 5 points right there. No extra points from me only got half of what you labelled on the product. Okay fine, half a point for the crushed hazelnuts on top.

Me: 5.5 / 10
Tammy: 5.0 / 10

b) Banoffee

What did I say earlier? That donut from The Rolling Donut called "Banoffee" didn't have enough filling. That's right. Their donut was all dough, no substance.

Well, step aside! In comes the Boston Donuts Banoffee.

With the higher quality dough, the perfect sweetness in the icing and the toffee drizzle, this is a new league of donut when it comes to banoffee.

Tammy was absolutely shocked at how much better this was than The Rolling Donut. The whipped topping in the middle had a lot of banana flavour, and mixed with the sweetness of the frosting and the drizzle make it so delicious. Hands down, a favourite.

If you go into Boston Donuts, and you love anything about bananas, toffee, or this so-called banoffee...this is a definite go-to.

Me: 9.0 / 10

Tammy: 9.5 / 10

Boston Donuts: Better dough, best Banoffee.
Food: 7
Service: 7
Value($): 7
Would we return? PROBS

#1 Off Beat Donuts

On February 13th, I finally got access to my first bank account in Ireland. This meant that I had to act fast to be able to not make a disappointment of myself. We don't really do much on Valentine's anyway, as it *is* a corporate holiday to set unrealistic expectations and make single people feel like crap.

When you're Tammy and me, most days are what people claim "Valentine's Day" should be.

That aside—Off Beat Donuts! I went to Fresh to pick up some specialty grocery items and found they had a donut shop. What I didn't know is that it was Off the Beat.

They have some donuts for €2 and some for €3. They do have a deal of three, six, or twelve which comes out to €2 each. Of course, I had to get three. And then I went back a couple days later and got three more! But out of the six, there were only five different'll see why there was a repeat.

First Up: Apple Crumble

I don't want to give it away, but what you see pictured here is essentially the holy grail of donuts. If you like apple pie, apples, donuts, sweet things or if you've ever been happy at any point in your life—you'll like this donut.

The dough is a perfect density, flavour, and texture. The icing is glazed on top, with the drips of extra sweetness clinging to the sides, topped with a crumble topping you'd see on a real apple crumble.

The filling is exactly what you'd get on the inside of an apple pie. I'm not kidding. You bite into this donut and enter a world where apple crumble, donut, and apple pie mend into one glorious pop of flavour heaven. If I had one last donut I could ever eat, this would be it.

Me: Perfect 10 / 10
Tammy: Perfect 10 / 10

Second: Apple Caramel

While I liked the Apple Crumble donut the best, this one came in as a close second in our initial box of three. Replace the crumble topping with a thick layer of chewy, gooey caramel and a dollop of apple pie filling on top.

Bite into this centre for more apple pie filling and smother it on your taste buds with the decadent, caramel icing. I'm drooling just writing this!

Have we already established the dough quality? Beyond comparison. Winning all around.

Me: 9.0 / 10
Tammy: 9.5 / 10

Third: Cinnamon Sugar

Time to settle down just a little bit. Perhaps something not so ridiculous and over-the-top? Let's see how well they handle a classic.

This is your standard cinnamon sugar donut, enlarged and made with Off Beat's incredible dough. I mean, it's above average, yes...but they have far superior donuts I'd rather go for.

Me: 7.0 / 10
Tammy: 7.5 / 10

Fourth: Jam Donut

This is the one Tammy was looking forward to the most. If there's anything she misses about Vancouver, a precious Breka jam donut cracks her Top 5.

Note: If you're in Vancouver and you've never been to Breka, what are you doing with your life?

Does this stack up? Well, she says it was super tasty and delicious—but there's no beating a Breka jam donut. For me, I thought it was quite delicious too. Alas, I do prefer Breka.

Me: 8.5 / 10
Tammy: 8.0 / 10

Fifth: Ferraro Rocher

This one's mine. All mine.

Tammy's not the biggest fan of Nutella, and she's not super crazy about Ferraro Rocher either. Well, that just means more for me!

This donut has it all. If you want chocolate-Nutella icing, shaped to look like someone with a messy comb-over, you got it. You want some walnut chopped and sprinked on top? You got it.

Does it have the taste of the perfect dough, combined with the icing, and Nutella on the inside?
Sort of.

What's that? A FERRARO ROCHER ON THE INSIDE. How can you not try this donut? Add this one (along with the Apple Crumble) to your must-try list. If you don't like Ferraro Rocher or can still buy one, just hand it to me.

Me: 10 / 10
Tammy: 7.5 / 10

Off Beat Donuts: The Holy Grail of Dublin's Donuts
Food: 9.5
Service: 9
Value($): 9
Would we return? YES
The Link Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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