By Sophie Vinograd

The great Homer Simpson once said, “Donuts: is there anything they can’t do?” We took inspiration from his wise words, and decided to take a bakery tour around Baltimore and the surrounding area to seek out Charm City’s sweetest circular treats. Many factors go into what would make a doughnut “the best,” including toppings, consistency, scent, and how many you are inclined to eat in one sitting. We’ve chewed on a variety of options, and compiled a list of our very favorites.

(credit: Fenwick Bakery)

http://thefenwickbaker.comFenwick is a local favorite that will always have regulars coming back for more, and newcomers scoping out that delightful smell wafting through the front door. It’s pretty inexpensive, and our two favorites are the glazed (because we appreciate a classic done right) and the marshmallow doughnuts. Fenwick definitely has our sweet tooth workin’ the old fashioned way.

(credit: Fractured Prune)

The Fractured Prune is a little bit off the beaten path, but it has locations all around the Mid-Atlantic, so you can find one wherever and whenever your doughnut craving hits. Their quirky name lends plenty of clues to the curious doughnut treasures that lurk inside. Known for their specialty flavors, you will find varieties such as lemonade (a lemon glaze and granulated sugar), peppermint patty (mint glaze with mint chips) or O.C. sand (glaze and cinnamon sugar) named after the beachy roots of the original location in Ocean City, Md. If you want flavor options, this is definitely your spot.

(credit: Hoehn’s Bakery)

This little hole in the wall is the perfect way to close our top doughnut selections: from the Baltimore Hons that work at this kitschy little bakery to the lovely glazed AND simultaneously chocolate frosted doughnuts (or “honeydipped” as they call them inside). They are closed Monday through Wednesday, and they don’t accept credit cards, but this is a long-standing Baltimore bakery that’s definitely worth a taste.

The Baltimore Farmers’ Market is closed for the season, but come back in April for their donuts. Their feature is on produce, freshly prepared foods and the atmosphere of a hippie festival disguised as a Farmers’ Market, but they happen to have some of Baltimore’s most beloved doughnuts on the sly.  Freshly whipped up dough is poured into a giant doughnuts machine, and magical bite size doughnuts come out hot, fresh, doughy and soft. You can then take your newborn doughnut to their topping station, and add sugar, fudge, cinnamon and other delights to your homemade treat.