Philly – Federal Donuts — the Best Doughnuts Ever

23 May

I had read some Grey Lady hype about this doughnut and chicken place in Philadelphia, so I had to check it out when I happened to be in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, no chance for chicken this time. But I’m ready to declare the doughnuts are good. Real good.


Before I get to the goods, I just want to point out a small thing that made me love them before I even took a bite. Their menu has an FAQ with this answer to the question, “why don’t you make more fried chicken?”:

“why don’t YOU make more fried chicken!”

We ate a 6 pack of “fancy” doughnuts to eat at home. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to try the “fresh” ones, which are made to order for eating there. But even having sat in the car for an hour and not being warm, these were really great treats.


First, the obvious: these doughnuts have crazy creative flavors. Pomegranate glaze with chopped pistachios, another with fresh coffee grounds dusted on top, and one with coconut custard filling with orange blossom glaze. These are not ridiculous Saturday morning cartoon cereal doughnuts [cough cough]. They are flavors made for fooddouches like you and me.

But the real killer app is that they are not overly sweet. This is the downfall of just about every other supposedly great doughnut place. I like Randy’s Doughnuts in Inglewood, but they are so sweet that it’s hard to finish a whole doughnut. Stan’s in Westwood, besides being gross and having doughnuts that sit around all day, is also so sweet your mouth is left feeling like all your teeth hurt.

The only other doughnut that comes to mind in terms of matching the controlled sweetness of Federal is the Mister Donut chain in Japan. I love Mister Donut and wish they would come to the States, and it is almost entirely because the doughnuts are an Asian level of sweetness. Federal Donuts has a similar level of sweetness, which makes me want to eat six all in one sitting.

One big difference is that Federal only makes cake doughnuts. Yeast doughnuts are what I always thought I loved (Krispy Kreme). But Federal chose to go with the more substantial cake type. Whatever. They’re awesome.

Anyways, I may post a few more joints from an East Coast swing, so sorry for the tangent from the usual LA coverage.

One Response to “Philly – Federal Donuts — the Best Doughnuts Ever”

  1. VivianaAyre May 23, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    If I’m ever in Philly I’ll definitely check this place out.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: