There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying a plain donut or maybe one that’s glazed, chocolate, or an old-fashioned donut. But why settle for something traditional when you can step up your donut repertoire with some of the Washington-area favorite nontraditional donut concoctions? From the sweet and savory combinations to the decadent outrageous to the classy and elegant, donuts have become a grand way to express creativity and fun. With plenty of tasty treats throughout Washington, donuts have stood the test of time through transformations that are very inviting, so don’t be shy. These donuts sure aren’t.
Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken
1308 G St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 809-5565
www.astrodoughnuts.com

Many places create unique flavors of pastries and donuts, but Astro Doughnuts gives a unique and fresh outlook on what a doughnut can be. One of the most unique donuts on their menu is the Crème Brûlée doughnut. It’s a fluffy and sweet concoction with vanilla custard and is covered with a brûléed vanilla glaze. It’s doubtful that you will find this donut flavor in other bakeries around D.C. Astro does a wonderful job with this distinctive pastry, and it’s even better paired with their crispy, savory and sometimes tangy chicken. The sweet and savory uprising in recent years has given way to lots of food combinations that you would not otherwise have thought of. We have heard a lot about chicken and waffles, but Astro has stepped up its sweet and savory menu with chicken and donuts. Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken offers daily and monthly doughnut flavors, and it’s a great thing that this particular donut is on the daily menu.

District Doughnuts And Coffee
749 8th St., S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
(202) 750-1955
www.districtdoughnut.com

District Doughnuts is not just your run-of-the-mill donut shop but a factory of beautifully creative confections that uses not just sweetness to convey delight but beauty, creative combinations and a sheer love for making unique donuts. The Mocha Crunch donut at District Doughnuts and Coffee is an addictive chocolatey donut-y dream. If you are a coffee lover, this is for you. If you are a donut lover, you have to try it. If you love donuts and coffee, your mind will be blown. District Donuts perfectly matches this donut with an espresso glaze, and if that wasn’t enough, they add a dark chocolate-espresso drizzle. Not satisfied yet? How about we add a final layer of heavenly dark chocolate covered espresso beans. Yep. That’ll do it.

Zombies Donuts And Coffee
3100 14th St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20010
(202) 750-6400
www.zombiecoffeeanddonuts.com

Even the walking dead could love this scrumptious combination of flavors at Zombies Donuts. The donuts at Zombies quirky, fresh and unforgettably unique. Lots of shops have their own variation of donuts, but this shop takes the yummy a step further. You mean they are putting cereal on donuts? Why not, and at Zombies you can have your donut your own special way so you almost feel like a kid again enjoying those crazy concoctions. How about a strawberry glaze donut with Fruity Pebbles cereal sprinkled atop? You can actually get that at Zombies. Maybe a chocolate donut with Cinnamon Toast Crunch will tickle your fancy? Of course, because it’s just plain good fun to enjoy your treats and Zombies Donuts is a good place to be to get your donut party started.

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Sugar Shack Donuts
1014 S Glebe Rd.
Arlington, VA 22204
(703) 577-9636
www.sugarshackdonuts.com

Walking into a place called Sugar Shack, one would not be surprised at the confections offered, but this place has some offerings that are surely worth taking the trip to Arlington. This shop is has a great fun staff and is always pushing the boundaries of creative donut making. Some of the standout flavors are the apple cake and the chocolate and Butterfinger donuts. Not that these donut flavors are unheard of, but they are well made and the chocolate Butterfinger donut is especially great for fans of chocolate, peanut butter and crunchiness. Its textures are complementary and it takes you back to youthful days of enjoying a Butterfinger candy bar with friends. Granted, the donuts are spectacular, fresh and crave-able, but Sugar Shack has what’s called the Rapunzel Braid, an extension of the twist donut. Let’s leave that thought with you as you reach for your morning coffee. The best part about Sugar Shack is it’s planning to open a location in D.C. so you won’t have to go to Virginia, but for now it’s not too far to go to enjoy great donuts.

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Tara L. Aldridge is a native of Washington, DC, a freelance and published writer, blogger, and photographer. She is a DC Healthy Food Examiner at Examiner.com. In 2013, Tara published her first book of poetry and currently works with young artists to help them develop their creative talents. Read more of her work at Examiner.com.