Doughs of Passion: Tel Aviv's Best Donuts of the Year

Baked or fried, cheap or expensive, with jam or marzipan – after eating dozens, Haaretz’s editorial staff rank the tastiest Hanukkah sufganiyot.

A selection of donuts from the Piece of Cake chain.
Courtesy

Baked or fried, cheap or expensive, with jam or marzipan – after eating dozens, Haaretz’s editorial staff rank the tastiest Hanukkah sufganiyot.

The Bakery

The motto at The Bakery is “less is more.” They make only two kinds of donuts at its four Tel Aviv branches: a rich, strawberry jam-filled one and a caramel toffee variety.

What did we think? One taster defined these two donuts in a couple of words that encapsulated their charms: “A lifting of the spirit.” Others called them “a bite of delight,” while others just gave them a perfect score of 100.

Price: 6 shekels ($1.55).

Bakery branches in Tel Aviv: 36 Montefiore Street; 13 Yad Harutzim Street; 72 Ibn Gabirol Street; and 67 Weizmann Street.

Lehamim (Breads)

As it does every year, the Lehamim bakery is offering classic donuts filled with marzipan, caramel, chocolate ganache or strawberry jam, as well as tiny, crumbly ones made of dough balls fried on site (with instructions to eat them within the hour), coated with perfumed vanilla sugar.

What did we think? The size is just right, the chocolate classy, the marzipan soft and delicate, the composition airy and soft to just the right amount, without making them too hard. But – and this is a big but – these donuts are very oily.

Prices: Classic – 7 shekels; special fillings – 8 shekels; mini-donuts – 19 shekels per 100 grams.

An assortment of donuts for Hanukkah, including the traditional jam donut (top right) and various filled donuts.
Courtesy

Lehamim branches in Tel Aviv: 11 Hacarmel Street; 103 Hashmonaim Street, Tel Aviv Port market, Sarona market, Azrieli Mall.

Shemo

Baker Micky Shemo is honoring French patisserie this year, devoting his donuts to well-known desserts in Parisian bakeries.

What did we think? The Mont Blanc donut (filled with chestnut crème) and the nougat-crème donut were simply perfect. The lemon meringue one was also wonderful to taste and look at. The surprising drawback came with the other styles, where the donuts contained less filling and the dough was disappointingly ordinary.

Prices: 8-19 shekels.

Shemo branches at 30 Tagor Street, Ramat Aviv; 8 Haiztdaion Street, Kiryat Haim; 30 Moriah Street, 2 Shalom Aleichem Street, Neve Sha’anan (both in Haifa); 16 Ussishkin Street, Ramat Hasharon; 60 Yehuda Hamaccabi Street, Tel Aviv; 14 Kakal Street, Kiryat Motzkin.

Dallal

This year, the Dallal bakery opted to prepare simple fillings of classic strawberry jam, chocolate crème, vanilla crème, condensed milk and pistachio crème.

What did we think? Dallal’s donuts are simple but captivating, unpretentious and made to perfection. You only need look at the strawberry jam to get the picture. If we had to pick the best jam in the country, it would be from this place.

Prices: Strawberry jam filling – 7 shekels; pistachio and other fillings – 8 shekels.

Dallal, 10 Shabazi Street, Tel Aviv

Boutique Central

The patisserie chain Boutique Central has embraced the recent trend for baked brioche donuts. These come with four fillings: strawberry jam (the classic one); crème vanilla; condensed sweetened milk; and Nutella chocolate.

What did we think? The baked dough is like homemade bread. To its credit, it is delicate and pleasing – sweet to just the right extent, with good jam complementing the taste.

Price: 6.5 shekels.

Boutique Central: 1 Rothschild Boulevard, 120 Jabotinsky Street, 90 Frishman Street, 171 Dizengoff Street, 53 Sheinkin Street, 43 Yirmiyahu Street, 80 Ben Yehuda Street (all Tel Aviv); 33 Abba Ahimeir, Ramat Aviv; Mahane Yehuda market, Jerusalem.

Piece of Cake

This chain is maintaining its recent tradition of producing baked brioches as well as classic donuts made of a dough rich with milk and butter. The highlight is a special donut for vegans. There are others filled or coated with rich Belgian chocolate.

What did we think? Piece of Cake gets the highest marks in the baked brioche category.

Prices: 11 mini-doughnuts – 79 shekels; classic – 5 shekels; classic with coating – 6 shekels.

Piece of Cake branches: 17 Yehuda Hayamit, Jaffa; 46 King George Street, 30 Levontin Street, 54 Ibn Gabirol Street (all Tel Aviv); 20 Yosef Lishansky, Rishon Letzion.