Cincinnati is way more than just chili. Step aside, goetta. There's a new sheriff in town. Cincinnati donuts are a carbalicious force to be reckoned with. So, if you're in the mood for a little pregaming before a Bengal's game or you just need a yummy pastry to soak up your Pumpkin Spice Latte, these are the best donuts in Cincinnati.

Holtman's Donut Shop

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Holtman's OTR

Where: Multiple locations, including OTR, Loveland and Williamsburg

History: Holtman’s was established in 1960 by Charles Holtman. Today the donut shops in Loveland and Williamsburg are run by Charles’ daughter Toni and her husband, Chuck. In turn, Chuck and Toni’s son, Danny continues the family business with his fiancé, Katie, at the OTR store. 

What’s the big deal? Holtman’s donuts are made in the old-fashioned way, from scratch. 

Stuff your face with…  The Maple Bacon Donut.


Bill's Donut Shop

Bills Donut Shop

Where: Centerville.

History: Bill’s was founded in 1960 by Bill and Faye Elam, in downtown Dayton. Talk show host, and human hair follicle, Phil Donahue, was a long-time customer during the ‘70s. During the mid-90’s the business was sold to Bill and Faye’s kids, Lisa and Jim Elam. Today walking into the donut shop is like stepping back into the ‘60s. In the best way possible. 

What’s the big deal? 24 hours. Let me repeat that. 24-freaking-hours of donuts. You can literally eat donuts all…day….long.

Stuff your face with… The Butter Twist.

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Stan The Donut Man


Where: Westchester

History: Stan the Donut Man has been providing doughy-sugary-goodness to the good people of Cincinnati for over 50 years. On average, 2,600 donuts are sold every weekend. Stan’s prides itself in keeping it real, using a 73-year-old mixer to make the delicious dough.

What’s the big deal? The family recipe hasn’t changed in over 5 decades. They’ve basically nailed the perfect donut formula.

Stuff your face with… Devil's Food Cake.

Stan the Donut Man

Bonomini Bakery

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Where: Northside

History: This iconic Northside patisserie was opened in 1956 by Joe and Rose Volz on Virginia Avenue. After the building was sold it was torn down in 1974. Two years later the Virginia (AKA Ginny) Bonomini (Joe and Rose’s daughter) bought the Blue Rock Bakery and it became Bonomini Bakery. Today it’s run by Virginia’s son, John and Ginny works the counter. 

What’s the big deal? One word. Paczki. 

Stuff your face with… Paczki. In her blog on Cincinnati Unwrapped, Laraine Shape professes her love for this succulent sweet: “OMG.  It was a lighter-than-air glazed donut topped with an amazing cream cheese filling, dabs of icing and a perfect, fresh strawberry. I nearly fainted when I took the first bite.”

Laraine Shape

Silverton Donut Shop


Where: Silverton

History: Three years ago the Silverton Donut Shop moved from, Pleasant Ridge to Silverton after 22 years. Today, the Kosher shop is full of pastries and confectionary delights in an unpretentious, traditional bakery.

What’s the big deal? This is a certified Kosher donut shop. They do all their frying in-house.

Stuff your face with… The Honeymoon. It’s a yeasted donut with a hole filled with custard, Bavarian cream or lemon meringue.

Entertaining Views from Cincinnati

Did I miss any of the best donut shops in Cincinnati? Please leave your suggestions and I'll go out and taste test every single one.