Finding the Best Donuts for UW Tacoma-Nuts


You wake to total dark. Good, you think, rolling over. I have more time to sleep before class. Which has never happened to you before. Ever.

Before you drift, you thumb your phone to check the time:

8:45 a.m.

You launch out of bed. Cursing, you hop around on a tangle of blankets, jeans shackled to one foot. Someone changed your alarm. It’s the only explanation. Someone must’ve snuck into your room while you were asleep and changed 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

You sprint to your car while shooting a text to your significant other.

Why did you change my alarm last night? Is this about me not working? Education is really hard work. Why do you think I get all C’s?

You delete the frowny face—too morose.

Halfway to school, your Toyota makes a sound like it’s about to barf up its engine guts. You pull over. It’s too late anyway. You can’t walk into the middle of a European History lecture. You still haven’t finished the chapter on WWII and, hello!, spoilers.

No longer in panic mode, your stomach reminds you that you skipped breakfast. “A couple of donuts might salvage our day yet,” says stomach.

Agreeing, you type into your phone. You heard an article posted recently lists the best donut shops within five miles of campus.

The title sucks, but the author clearly put their research in. Every review is of a classic glazed and owner’s choice.

Le Donut — Hilltop

Specialty: French Cruller

Atmosphere: Convenience-Store chic.

Comment: Le Donut sounds French. Their recommended donut is French. Those are the only two French things about Le Donut. I chalk the name and specialty up to the latent effects of 100 years of French colonialism. Hooray for history?

Glazed: Melted in mouth. Seriously. Any fans of that moist Krispy Kreme texture should be drooling. Careful dipping into coffee though, starts falling apart when encountering other liquids.

Specialty: Cruller tasted like equal parts air and egg added to a bowl of Frosted Flakes. Flavor is sweet, eggy with a hint of yeast. Texture is glazed cornmeal puffed light as a student checking account.

Dockside Donuts — Puyallup Ave

Dockside Donuts on Puyallup Avenue Photo Courtesy of Nicholas Stillman

Dockside Donuts on Puyallup Avenue
Photo Courtesy of Nicholas Stillman

Specialty: Coconut Crème

Atmosphere: You want atmosphere? Time-travel back to 1894 when we still had ozone. They sell donuts, man!

Comment: Wide selection and 24-hour drive through. Closest to campus.

Glazed: Flavor was buttery and sweet with undertones of vanilla. One of the few that I actually couldn’t keep myself from finishing. Texture was exactly the combination of airiness and moisticity (not a word) I crave in a glazed.

Specialty: Honestly was a little skeptical of the Coconut Crème. It looks like a Subway Sandwich as constructed by a six-year-old: glazed bar bursting with whipped crème, coconut shavings on top.

But it tasted angelic. In fact, it tasted precisely like angel wings. If you are a fan of coconut and eating the wings of angels, I recommend.

Legendary Doughnuts — 6th Ave

Specialty: “The Coastie”—Cheese and bacon filled glazed donut. Yes, really.

Atmosphere: Hip?

Comment: Points taken off for spelling out “dough” correctly. This is a donut shop, not a letters…thing.

Visually stunning line-up. It looks like the silly Trix rabbit vomited all over the display case…in a good way. Wins “best atmosphere” award along with the “Voodoo-esque creativity” award. Both of which I just made up.

Glazed: That said, do(ugh)nuts might be more pleasurable to look at than to eat. Glazed was dense and cake-y. Flavor a bit bland and Safeway-y.

Specialty: “The Coastie” was an interesting idea, inexpertly executed. The cheese flavor just did not mesh well. Tasted like plastic. Bacon couldn’t compensate and the whole ordeal was much too salty for my taste.

Best Glazed: Le Donut

Best Specialty: Dockside’s Coconut Crème

Best Atmosphere: 1894


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