A bounty at Bill's Donuts, one of the best shops in the United States

A bounty at Bill’s Donuts, one of the best doughut shops in the United States

Lately, I’ve been driving to doughnuts for a story I’m working on for a publication. As a person who’s generally a plain cake kind of gal—no filling, no frosting, no dusting of sugar, I’ve tried a few that could be my new love.

At Buckeye Donuts in Columbus ( 1998 N High St. 614)/291-3923), an establishment that started in the 1960s, and has become a landmark of Ohio State University, I tried the maple bar with bacon and have to say that the sweet mixed with salty is mighty good. Of course, the Buckeye, a chocolate iced doughnut with peanut butter on top is another heart throb.

Inside Buckeye Donuts across from Ohio State University

Inside Buckeye Donuts across from Ohio State University

This doughnut trail of mine also took me to Bill’s Donuts in Centerville, Ohio (268 N. Main St. 937/433-0002) a shop that has received national attention as one of the best doughnut shops in the United States. Both Saveur Magazine,  Thrillist and USA Today has given Bill’s Donuts a nod to its status of greatness. By the time I left, I had eight different doughnuts in a to-go box. The sour cream cake was a standout, but the others gave it stiff competition. My husband and son helped inhale the bounty, including the red velvet cake doughnut, the butter twist and the frosted with the colored sprinkles.

The maple bar with bacon, a buckeye doughnut and coffee. Bliss

The maple bar with bacon, a buckeye doughnut and coffee. Bliss

While visiting these doughnut shops across Ohio, like Donald’s and Darrell’s Donut shops in Zanesville, where regular customers often come in daily for conversation with their coffee– and raised glaze is still a universal favorite, I was reminded about simple pleasures found in food that’s cooked up the way it’s always been cooked up– where people start work early in the wee hours of the morning, hand cutting and rolling out goodness the way their parents did.

Donald's Donuts in Zanesville is a town landmark

Donald’s Donuts in Zanesville is a town landmark

Both Donald and Darrell’s offspring are now running the family businesses. Buckeye Donuts is now run by a 3rd generation family member who is keeping with tradition. There is nothing fussy about a doughnut, and it’s timeless—something to appreciate this time of year.

Darrell's Donut Shop's S'more Donut

Darrell’s Donut Shop’s S’more Donut

For an inexpensive treat, head to your local doughnut shop and buy your favorite fresh one. Hopefully, it will be one that reminds you of your childhood.

Post and photos courtesy of Jamie Rhein