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Top 10 Doughnut Shops in the Natural State


Over the past several years, I have traveled far and wide across The Natural State in search of the best doughnuts. And my “research” has yielded a dynamite list of doughnuts that would make any state proud. Please keep in mind, these are the 10 best shops I have come across, but I fully admit there are still many out there to be discovered. In no particular order, here are my Top 10 Doughnut Shops.

The Donut Palace (Sheridan)

The Donut Palace (pictured above) has a few locations around Arkansas, and I imagine they are all under the same ownership. I have only been to the one in Sheridan and can tell you the chocolate iced old fashioned was worth the 45-minute drive from Little Rock.

Dales Donuts (Benton)

Dales is an old-school shop with fantastic doughnuts at reasonable prices, and while they are tasty, especially the blueberry cake doughnut, the apple fritter is without question the pride and joy of their collection. It is the circumference of your face, filled with bits of apples, and absolutely worth the drive from any corner of Arkansas.

Mark’s Do-Nut Shop (North Little Rock)

Just make sure to arrive before 8:30 a.m. at Mark’s or run the risk of them running out of your favorites like the chocolate bowtie, glazed, coconut, and chocolate iced. Mark’s doughnuts are big and doughy, but also amazingly light.

Howard’s Do-Nuts (West Memphis)

If you are on the way to Memphis and hankering for a doughnut, Howard’s is just a stone’s throw off Interstate 40. And they even open at 4 a.m. These are excellent doughnuts across the board, and Howard’s has a fantastic blueberry cake, but this is another case where the apple fritter is the star. Howard’s version is a little crunchier on the edges than a typical fritter and is divine with a cup of coffee.

Spudnut Shoppe (El Dorado)

There is nothing like waking up early and devouring 2-3 glazed doughnuts at Spudnuts in El Dorado. The potato flour-based doughnuts are a little thicker in texture, but still light enough to keep you coming back time and time again.

Cinnamon Crème (Little Rock)

No, Cinnamon Crème is not your standard doughnut shop. They do plenty of amazing baked goods like breads, pies, and cinnamon rolls. But they also excel at rustic-shaped, chocolate iced doughnuts, and it is darn near impossible to visit the storefront and not leave with at least one.


Spa City Doughnuts (Hot Springs)

If you are looking for a cute doughnut shop with playful takes on the classics, Spa City Doughnuts on the edge of Hot Springs is the place for you. And they get bonus points for having kolaches.

Lybrand’s Bakery & Deli (Pine Bluff)

Lybrand’s serves up a plethora of doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, cookies, and, of course, apple fritters. Their fritter is a little thicker and doughier than most, but it is just as satisfying.

Country Village Oven & Bakery (Star City)

Country Village is another great bakery that also happens to do an excellent job with doughnuts. And if doughnut holes are your thing, this is your place.

Fresh Donuts (Conway)

Fresh Donuts is an absolute gem of a doughnut shop. If you live in Conway, I truly hope you know about the place. For the rest of Arkansas, if there is a better cinnamon twist out there, please let me know. The one at Fresh Donuts is so light, sweet, and filled with cinnamon in every nook and cranny. And true to the storefront’s name, the twist is as fresh as can be.

For more great breakfast pastries, check out my list of 8 Great Cinnamon Rolls in Arkansas.

*Header photo courtesy of Country Village via Facebook


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Kevin Shalin is a food writer living in Little Rock with his wife, Sara, and one daughter, Sydney. His oldest daughter, Natalie, is a freshman at Loyola University in Chicago. He started his own blog, The Mighty Rib, twelve years ago while living in Houston. Six months later, he began writing for Eating Our Words, a Houston Press food blog. After a year in Boston, he moved to Little Rock, where he’s been for ten years. During that time, he’s written for publications like Little Rock Soiree, Arkansas Times, AY Magazine, and The Local Palate.

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  1. […] on The Water 5 Great Steaks from Around Arkansas The Mighty Rib’s 10 Favorite Restaurants 2020 Top 10 Donut Shops in the Natural State 10 Must-Try Food Trucks in Central Arkansas 20 Arkansas Restaurants for Quick Day Trips Top 10 […]

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