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Top Pot Doughnuts

2124 5th Ave., Seattle, WA - (206) 728-1966
Posted By Michael Stern on 6/15/2015 9:54:00 AM
First and foremost, there's the crunch of the doughnut's skin. It is crisp enough to feel like your teeth are breaking something, after which they sink into the creamy cake interior just below the golden crust. Even a plain old fashioned doughnut at Top Pot is a sensuous experience. Encase the top half with silky dark chocolate or a glistening thick sugar glaze and this modest-sized circular pastry becomes sheer ecstasy.

They call them "gourmet doughnuts" at Top Pot, which has earned national renown since we first reviewed it well over ten years ago; and if gourmet means better than average, the term is apt. There's nothing frou-frou or pretentious about them. They are good ol' doughnuts, the kind you want to have with morning coffee, but by any meaningful standard – taste, texture, heft, even good looks – they are in a league by themselves, far beyond any of the better-known national chains and just about as good as any served by our favorite doughnut shops in the Northeast, where we once believed all the really good donuts are.

The original downtown Top Pot is a beautiful, airy space with book-lined walls and retro décor that includes a vintage TV and an handsome old espresso machine.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Chocolate Peanut Doughnut
Maple Bar
Old Fashioned Doughnut
Blueberry Fritter
Apple Fritter
Maple Cake Donut
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

An Old Fashioned Chocolate Doughnut is one of a couple of dozen varieties that are available (not counting fritters, bismarks and bars). We think the silky chocolate frosting is sweet harmony for the savory crunch of the doughnut's skin.
"An Old Fashioned Chocolate Doughnut is one of a couple of dozen varieties that are available (not counting fritters, bismarks and bars). We think the silky chocolate frosting is sweet harmony for the savory crunch of the doughnut's skin."
Michael Stern





Crisp, hefty, and full of fruit, the apple fritter is a breakfast unto itself.
"Crisp, hefty, and full of fruit, the apple fritter is a breakfast unto itself."
Michael Stern


Beyond doughnut excellence, the allure of the original Top Pot has a lot to do with its ambiance. Walls lined with books -- some really interesting books, by the way -- and a clean, airy space make it a great place to sit and contemplate just how good a doughnut can be. Contemplation can be abetted by coffee, espresso, and lattes streaked on top in artistic ways.
"Beyond doughnut excellence, the allure of the original Top Pot has a lot to do with its ambiance. Walls lined with books -- some really interesting books, by the way -- and a clean, airy space make it a great place to sit and contemplate just how good a doughnut can be. Contemplation can be abetted by coffee, espresso, and lattes streaked on top in artistic ways. "
Michael Stern


Here's the sign on the Top Pot on 5th Avenue. According to a post card given out inside, the recipe used to make doughnuts comes from the 1920s.
"Here's the sign on the Top Pot on 5th Avenue. According to a post card given out inside, the recipe used to make doughnuts comes from the 1920s."
Michael Stern


We love the gnarled, knobby surface of the old-fashioned doughnuts, this one coated in a sweet sugar glaze. Other old-fashioneds are available with maple, raspberry, cinnamon/sugar and chocolate. And of course you can have one plain.
"We love the gnarled, knobby surface of the old-fashioned doughnuts, this one coated in a sweet sugar glaze. Other old-fashioneds are available with maple, raspberry, cinnamon/sugar and chocolate. And of course you can have one plain."
Michael Stern


The maple glaze is glorious, but the bar it halos is a little too squishy for me. I miss the crisp edges of Top Pot's circular doughnuts and fritters.
"The maple glaze is glorious, but the bar it halos is a little too squishy for me. I miss the crisp edges of Top Pot's circular doughnuts and fritters."
Michael Stern


Glazed old-fashioned doughnuts are sweet, crisp-edged, and moist within.
"Glazed old-fashioned doughnuts are sweet, crisp-edged, and moist within."
Michael Stern


Maple icing is popular all along the northwest coast. Here it crowns an old-fashioned cake donut.
"Maple icing is popular all along the northwest coast. Here it crowns an old-fashioned cake donut."
Michael Stern


I was thrilled when Top Pot introduced a blueberry fritter, but as good as it is, it doesn't have quite the unctuous luxe of the more traditional apple fritter.
"I was thrilled when Top Pot introduced a blueberry fritter, but as good as it is, it doesn't have quite the unctuous luxe of the more traditional apple fritter."
Michael Stern



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