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Top Pot Doughnuts

2124 5th Ave., Seattle, WA - (206) 728-1966
Posted By Michael Stern on 11/12/2014 4:21:00 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 some 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' cake 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

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
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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





Beyond doughnut excellence, Top Pot's allure has a lot to do with its ambience. 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, Top Pot's allure has a lot to do with its ambience. 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 donut case
"The donut case"
Elise



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