Welcome to MinneDonuts, a blog dedicated to finding the best donuts in Minnesota. My name is Tyler Mason and I’m a donut aficionado (I’ve even included that in my Twitter bio). I’ve had a sweet tooth for about as long as I can remember, and in recent years my biggest craving to satisfy that sweet tooth is donuts.
I’m certainly not unique in my love of donuts, but my friends, family and coworkers have come to know me as the donut guy. I mean, I even have a donut shirt, so I guess you could say I’m a bit obsessed.
If I had to trace the origins of my donut love, it might stem from the early 2000s when Krispy Kreme made its debut in Minnesota. The first location opened in Maple Grove, which wasn’t exactly a convenient drive from my home in Eden Prairie. But when my town finally got its own Krispy Kreme, it was the beginning of a donut love affair.
There was something so perfect about a fresh glazed donut hot off the conveyor belt at Krispy Kreme. Those warm donuts just melted in your mouth, requiring barely and chewing to enjoy that sweet glazed goodness. Once a week in high school, we’d have what we called “Connections” that could also be referred to as homeroom. Most weeks, someone would bring donuts. I’d always cross my fingers that I’d walk into the room to see that familiar white box of Krispy Kremes sitting on a desk. Disappointment would take over if it was a collection of donuts from the grocery store (though I’d still eat one, of course).
Fast forward nearly 20 years later, and my love of donuts is stronger than ever. While it never really went away, I blame (or thank?) the opening of Cardigan Donuts downtown Minneapolis for helping rekindle the flame. At the time, I was working downtown Minneapolis and remembered seeing the signage that a donut shop was opening soon, just a short walk from my office. Once Cardigan opened and I tried it for the first time, I was hooked. I ended up visiting the skyway location far more times than I’d care to admit. So I felt it was only fitting that Cardigan be the first entry on this blog, coming up in my next post.
If you ask people in Minnesota what the Twin Cities’ style of food is, I’m not sure people would have a great answer. There aren’t a ton of foods that scream “Minneapolis” or “St. Paul.” Sure, we have a good burger scene here, thanks in part to the iconic Juicy Lucys from Matt’s, the 5-8 Club and others. But I’m not really sure that Minnesota can lay claim to other foods that truly originated here the way Chicago can claim deep dish pizza, St. Louis can claim fried ravioli, Cincinnati can brag about its weird chili, etc.
I started this blog to prove that the donut game here in Minnesota — not just Minneapolis and St. Paul — is strong. As someone who has been eating donuts for the better part of my life, I’d like to think of myself as a bit of an expert on the matter. I will, however, preface this entire blog by saying that I much prefer cake donuts to raised donuts. I’m sure that will come up in future entries, as some locations specialize in one kind or the other. But a donut’s a donut, and I’m not one to turn down a donut of any kind.
So come along on this journey filled with fried dough, sugary toppings, frosted creations and more. I hope to share some insights on the state’s popular donut destinations while also unearth some hidden gems along the way. If you’ve got a favorite donut place you think I need to check out, I’m all ears (and stomach). Leave a comment to let me know where you’d recommend I get my next donut fix.
To me, the ultimate donut is the glazed old fashioned. I’ve yet to find a style of donut I enjoy more. So on my journey across the Land of 10,000 Donuts, I plan to sample as many old fashioneds from as many different bakeries as I can. But in order to give a better glimpse into what each of these donut shops offers, I’ll be tasting more than just that. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it. I’ll be the one to do it, if I have to…