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Top 3: Doughnuts in the DMV

A 202 Donuts employee grabs a doughnut for a customer. 202 Donuts listens to customers as they select pastries paired with freshly brewed coffee. Photo courtesy Abbi Audas

A 202 Donuts employee grabs a doughnut for a customer. 202 Donuts listens to customers as they select pastries paired with freshly brewed coffee. Photo courtesy Abbi Audas

A 202 Donuts employee grabs a doughnut for a customer. 202 Donuts listens to customers as they select pastries paired with freshly brewed coffee. Photo courtesy Abbi Audas

By Abbi Audas

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After sleeping in on a Saturday morning, students often crave something other than their usual smoothie or homemade waffles. A variety of doughnut shops in Maryland and D.C.—both old and new— have become trendy breakfast locations for students, with many stores offering a variety of exotic flavors.  Here are three local donut shops sure to please students.  

202 Donuts and Coffee

For Bold Bite, a restaurant in downtown Bethesda, selling doughnuts alongside hamburgers is the norm. Bold Bite opened 202 Donut Co. next to their Bethesda location in May.   

Unveiling unique flavors every month, 202 Donuts features toppings ranging from chocolate to tiramisu to marshmallow. Freshman Claire Sorkin recently went to the new donut shop and ordered  a glazed donut, she said.

“The doughnuts were really good,” Sorkin said.  “I have only been there once, but I hope to go back.”

Head baker Alonso Roche makes the doughnuts fresh every morning and typically offers six donut flavors such as glazed, carrot cake, Nutella and Dulce de Leche. Along with doughnuts, the store also sells breakfast sandwiches, sticky buns and fresh coffee.


202 Donuts is located at 4901 B Fairmont Ave. in Bethesda, and is  open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.                           

Duck Donuts

Duck Donuts originated in the Outer Banks, and now operates 50 shops along the East Coast. The shop makes all doughnuts from the same cake batter and offers a selection of over 20 toppings and icings, creating endless combinations for personalized doughnuts.     

Jasmine Pinkley, an employee at the Rockville location, enjoys the effect her doughnuts have on customers, she said.

“Some customers may be having a bad day, but it’s my job to help them have a good day,” Pinkley said.  “I want to help make sure people keep coming back.”

Students frequent this classic doughnut shop. Freshmen Sam Solomon and Bryan Knighton both said they enjoy the friendly appearance of the vibrantly colored store and the opportunity to personalize a doughnut.  Currently, the most popular doughnuts are maple bacon and cinnamon sugar.    

“There are dozens of specialty doughnuts, but you can create a doughnut if you choose to,” Solomon said. “My favorite flavor was the blueberry doughnut, and my favorite thing about Duck Doughnuts is how they make the whole thing in front of you.”

The chain is currently participating in a fundraiser through Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program, a non-profit organization that provides stuffed animal ducks to children fighting cancer. The program purchases these ducks for patients using donations that customers make. This fundraiser lasts until the end of September, and all donations will go to Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program charity.  

“It is really fun to work here, especially with [Duck Donuts] donating to cancer patients,” Pinkley said.

Located at 1327 Rockville Pike in Rockville, Duck Donuts is open daily with varying hours that can be viewed here.    

Astro Donuts

Astro Donuts, located on G Street in D.C., has sold classic comfort foods since April 2013. The store has four staple flavors of doughnuts sold every day: vanilla glazed, peanut butter & jelly, maple bacon and creme brulee, as well as seasonal flavors such as lemon poppyseed, cherry blossom and chocolate malt. Co-founders Elliot Spaisman and Jeff Halpern channeled their passion for childhood comfort food into the their store.

Ranked as the best donut shop in Washington D.C. by The Washington Post, Astro Donuts has made a name for itself by means of fluffy doughnuts and fried chicken.

Astro D.C. employee Alex Ateshian has worked at the store for almost three years. Their Instagram account has grown to about 36,000 followers from 8,000 when he first started, Ateshian said.   

Along with their assortment of doughnuts, warm fried chicken with flavors like Sriracha and Honey Mustard are menu items and crowd favorites at Astro Donuts.

Senior Esmee Najafi has eaten at Astro Donuts several times.

“The employees there were nice and the doughnuts were really good,” Najafi said. “The most unique thing about the shop is the fact that they also serve fried chicken, which is kind of an unusual pairing.”

Astro’s glass storefront typically houses a line of eager customers. The store itself is small, hiding the kitchen in the basement with a dumbwaiter carrying food up to the counter.

Astro Donuts is located in Washington, D.C. at 1308 G Street NW.  The shop is open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.,  9:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Sunday.  To learn more about specific availability for doughnuts and chicken, visit their website.

About the Writer
Abbi Audas, Senior Columnist
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