RE: Is there a real bakery near you?
See, I don't think of doughnut shops as being bakeries: doughnut shops make doughnuts, and bakeries make breads and rolls and cookies and things like that. They're two different things.
That said, there's no shortage of either in my immediate neighborhood. I live just a few blocks from Clear Flour Bakery in Brookline, which is just a tiny little place but has developed a reputation as possibly the best bakery in the entire Boston metro area. They specialize in breads of the giant crusty loaf style, although they also do both a mean baugette and an absolutely exquisite pullman loaf, not to mention excellent dinner rolls. But mostly I go there for the pastries: croissants, brioche, pain au chocolat, the best oatmeal raisin cookies on earth, raspberry almond bars, fruit tarts, miniature pound cakes, monkey bread, sticky buns, and this utterly magical thing called a bostok, which is a thick slice of brioche topped with frangipane and sliced almonds and toasted. They've also been developing a line of savory pastries: the gruyere croissants and the ham and cheese pinwheels are amazing.
Also in the neighborhood, there's Twin Doughnuts, which some people rate highly and I think is absolutely nothing special, and a pair of Asian bakeries, one of which specializes in buns and those rice-flour crullers (my father-in-law is utterly mad for those) and another of which that does those too but also specializes in those big sponge cakes with the fresh fruit and mousse fillings.
All of these places are less than a five-minute walk away. Slightly further out -- not quite a ten-minute walk -- is Kupel's, on Harvard Ave at Fuller Street in Brookline, which turns out spectacular bagels and bialys. (They also have an excellent line of store-made schmears, my favorite being the Miami Lox, which involves copious amounts of chives.) Unfortunately, I don't get to Kupel's as much as I'd like, because the urge for a lazy late morning bagel breakfast almost always hits on Saturday, when of course Kupel's is closed.