LAURA REILEY, TIMES FOOD CRITIC
Monday, July 18, 2016 11:27am
Here are Tampa Bay’s top 10 doughnut shops, the goods rigorously selected for tenderness, flavor, crumb, presentation, topping range and sheer audacity. Right up front, no Dunkin’ Donuts and no Krispy Kremes. And here’s why: At this point, most locations of these doughnut giants are not making their own product on site. Dunkin’ franchises here mostly bring in doughnuts frozen or already par-baked and just bake them off and glaze or top. And the Brandon, Lakeland, St. Petersburg and Tampa locations of Krispy Kreme are all serviced by the N Florida Avenue location, meaning they don’t make their doughnuts there.
No. 10: Nicola’s Donut Shop
Rick Scott thought it was a good PR move to serve doughnuts here. Opened in 1982 by Joe and Kathy Nicola, this is a traditional longtimer with more than 50 varieties, roughly 30 cupcake options and a range of other seasonal pastries. Some of the doughnuts can look a little blowsy with sprinkles and squiggles of drizzle. (At Easter this year they even had Peeps-topped options.) For our money, the sour cream old-fashioned is textbook, with the ideal snap and crustiness to the outer edge and moist, tender crumb, and the coconut cream pie doughnut is homely but fabulous. Glazed yeasted is the top seller, a bargain at 90 cents. (902 W Busch Blvd., Tampa; (813) 932-1303)
Contact Laura Reiley at email@example.com or (727) 892-2293. Follow @lreiley on Twitter.