8 Best Doughnuts in London You’ll Want to Sink Your Teeth Into

London cuisine is well-known for hard hitting classics like: fish and chips, chicken tikka masala, and roast dinner to name a few. And once you’ve eaten the tried and true classics, you’ll want to save room for dessert or a tasty snack, like doughnuts. From cigar shaped to even Mars bar flavored doughnuts, London has it all.

Indulge in your sweet tooth as we walk you through the best doughnut shops the city has to offer. Feel free to eat your way through London, one or two doughnuts at a time. No judgment here.

These are the best doughnuts in London.

Woman with red nails holding a sugar doughnut.
From humble beginnings, this sugary treat has become a staple in London. Photo credit: Ashlyn Ciara

A quick history about doughnuts in London

The humble doughnut is older than you think. We have to go back to New Amsterdam, known today as New York City, when Dutch immigrants in the 17th century began making something called olie koeken or olykoeks. Translation: oil cakes.

  • In 1809, Washington Irving mentioned these fried dough specimens in his book, “A History of New York, from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty,” referring to them as “doughnuts.” Which food historians now claim was the first mention of the word “doughnuts.”
  • Eventually, doughnuts became a favorite snack of Americans, particularly in the 20th century, as doughnut shops became ubiquitous and Homer Simpson could be seen inhaling them on nearly every episode of “The Simpsons.”
  • About 15 years ago, the rise of the artisanal doughnut brought renewed interest in these fried treats. Soon enough doughnuts began appearing in major cities outside of the United States, such as London. Today in London, there are dozens of places to find delicious doughnuts throughout the city.
A vintage style doughnut sign that says "it's always a good time for doughnuts".
The best part about doughnuts is that you can eat them at any hour. Photo credit: Liza Pooor

St. John Bakery

With three locations sprinkled around central London, St. John’s Bakery trafficks in doughnuts that you want to dedicate part of your day to figuring out how to get your hands—and your taste buds—on one. Or even three.

The bakery is brought to you by Fergus Henderson, the pioneering English chef who opened St. John in 1994 and basically made snout-to-tail, farm-to-table dining en vogue again. The doughnuts at his bakery are as top-notch as you’d expect from such a chef.

Rows of cream filled doughnuts at St. John Bakery in London.
So many doughnuts, so little time. Photo credit: Catherine Sharman


Started by pastry chefs Heather Kaniuk and Graham Hornigold in 2019, Longboys is unique in that they mostly make one style of doughnut. And that style is the name of the shop.

Thick and cigar shaped, the longboy doughnuts here have various scrumptious flavors: pandan, triple-chocolate brownie, peanut butter fudge, sticky toffee and date, and…well, you get the idea.

A person holding up a chocolate doughnut from Longboys in London.
Longboys doughnuts change monthly, so there’s always something new and interesting to try. Photo credit: Bex Walton

Bread Ahead

Ask a London-based doughnut connoisseur for the best doughnuts in the city and you’re likely to hear “Bread Ahead” uttered. There are six locations around London (and, oddly enough, if you just happen to be in Saudi Arabia, there are locations in Jeddah and Riyadh too). The Borough Market location, though, seems to be the most popular.

The bakery has a whole line-up of superlative bread products. When it comes to doughnuts, don’t sleep on the sea salted caramel and honeycomb. Or the decadent velvet chocolate.

A person holding a salted honeycomb doughnut at Bread Ahead in London.
Can you resist the salted honeycomb doughnut at Bread Ahead? Photo credit: Bex Walton


Can doughnuts be precious? If you’re inside the diminutive Donutelier, the answer is yes.

Located a couple of blocks from Leicester Square in central London, Donutelier instills some French patisserie technique into their tasty fried morsels, elevating them into a royal treat.

This translates to decadent and pricey fried dough but maybe the best doughnuts you’ve ever had.

A crowded doughnut store in London.
Don’t let the long lines at Donutelier steer you away. The wait is well worth it! Photo credit: Cityswift

Doughnut Time

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s Doughnut Time. With nine different shops scattered around central London, you need not go far to get one of the best doughnuts in London. Doughnut Time gets creative.

They have doughnuts flavored with Mars bars, freeze-dried raspberries, Ferrero Rocher, Snickers, and caramel cream, among many other creative flavors.

Most of the doughnuts are named after celebrities. Case in point: Doughnutella Versace, Gordon Jamsay, Piggy Azalea, Elvis Pretzel, Jam-eron Diaz, Nut-alie Portman, Robert Brownie Jr., and Notorious P.I.G.

People waiting in a line outside of Doughnut Time in London.
Stop by Doughnut Time after checking out the book selection next door, you’ll be happy you did. Photo credit: Noralí Nayla


This very inspired bakery whips up some serious doughnuts, using exotic, artisanal ingredients. Crosstown takes great pride in their doughnuts. And they should.

One bite into a morsel of black cocoa dough topped with caramelized pecans and vanilla crumble or a doughnut topped with pear and ginger glaze and stuffed with blackberry compote, you’ll be an instant believer too.

A Crosstown doughnut truck parked at a square in London.
Enjoy carefully crafted doughnuts in London from Crosstown. Photo credit: Rejoice Denhere

Dum Dum Donutterie

With outlets in Shoreditch and Croydon, Dum Dum Donutterie wins the prize for the best name. And oh, they also happen to make some damn delicious doughnuts too.

The Boston cream is the go-to doughnut for first timers. Dum Dum also makes enormous doughnut cakes, as well as a British version of the cro-nut, the croissant-doughnut hybrid invented by Dominique Ansel at his bakery in SoHo, New York City.

close-up of glazed cronut.
Which city makes the best cro-nut, New York or London? Photo credit: LittleDaan

Uncle John’s Bakery

South Tottenham is home to one of the best doughnut shops in London. It’s not all doughnuts, all the time here. Uncle John’s Bakery is of the Ghanaian variety and they make excellent loaves of bread, coconut cakes, and savory pies.

They also make the bofrot Ghanaian doughnut, a round ball of fried yeasted dough that has hints of nutmeg.

Two slices of marbled cake slices on top on parchment paper.
Cocoa sponge cake is light, airy, and chocolatey goodness you have to try. Photo credit: Srujan Shetty