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Readers weigh in: What's the best doughnut in Western New York?

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Since June 7 is National Donut Day, we asked our readers for their nominees for best doughnut in Western New York. 

The answer should be no surprise: Out of dozens of submissions, Paula's Donuts dominated.

"I’d say Paula’s, but they don’t serve donuts," wrote Chuck Chucklahoma Kelly. "They serve three-course meals disguised as donuts!"

But which Paula's doughnut was suggested most frequently? And what other doughnut establishments should you try to celebrate National Donut Day? See what readers had to say.


Paula's Donuts

2319 Sheridan Drive, Tonawanda, 862-4246, and two other locations

When former Buffalonians think of Western New York and what they miss, they think of Paula's Donuts.

"I will drive 1,800 miles for one," wrote Judy Baker.

"Paula's donuts: my favs are cheese, peanut butter, and their seasonal cherry and pumpkin spice donuts. I loved their cannoli donut for the fundraiser they had — they need to have it as a regular item!" writes @lovemecca on Instagram.

The most popular flavor, though? By far, the peanut stick.

"It’s so big it’s a two for one deal!" writes Christine Black Walsh.

"So cake-y and rich," @eriecountycari writes on Instagram.

Pro tip from @johnson4410 on Instagram: "Paula’s peanut sticks are killer with coffee."

The praise for Paula's went on and on.

Nicole Becker on Twitter described Texas Donut cakes as "basically a religious experience." 

@catalinare8008 on Instagram, Sandy O'Donnell-McNamara and Kelly Flowers like Paula's key lime, which Flowers says "oozes green stuffing, and the frosting on top is what dreams are made of."

Mandi Pie Atkinson, Karen Telecky and @timeforacloseup on Instagram nominated Paula's peanut butter cream.

"Paula's is the best — love the peanut cream filled, but only an occasional treat," writes Telecky.

Not everyone was willing to choose a single favorite Paula's doughnut.

"All of them," wrote Sheila Marie.

"No such thing as a favorite," wrote Gail Potter. "I love the cheese, coconut or peanut with custard, strawberry shortcake, red velvet and their carrot cake is amazing!"

[RELATED: 100 Things Every WNYer Should Do: Go to Paula's Donuts]


Public Espresso

391 Washington St.

Public Espresso has some passionate fans, too.

"Clearly none of these people have had a doughnut from Public Espresso in the Lafayette Building," wrote Francesca Mai Rieman in response to other doughnut nominees.

"She only really makes two varieties. A raised vegan and a French cruller, but she makes them in a variety of flavors that change day to day," wrote Rieman. "My favorite is the cruller. It’s crisp on the outside and soft and rich with egg in the inside my fave flavor so far is the Earl Gray. Close second is orange pistachio vegan."

"@PublicEspresso is The ONLY option," @beckiandchris tweeted. "Passionfruit ALL THE WAY!"

@jbleising on Instagram suggests the plain glazed. @ponz422 on Instagram likes the lavender honey.

[RELATED: Our review of what to order at Public Espresso]


Donut Kraze

406 Dingens St., 824-4527, and 365 Somerville Ave., Tonawanda, 836-2160.

Michael Anthony Prus and Barbara Trimm Milan argue that Donut Kraze is better than Paula's and other competitors.

"Donut Kraze, perfect filling to dough ratio, and much better tasting fillings than the overrated, overstuffed Paula's Donut," Prus wrote. "Paula's does make the best peanut doughnut in the business, though."

"Paula's puts too much filling in theirs. Tim Hortons doughnuts are frozen crap. Donut Kraze are just right and always very fresh," wrote Milan.

[REVIEW: Donut Kraze is more than just doughnuts]


Fry Baby

336 S. Elmwood Ave.

Fans of Buffalo's first vegan doughnut shop had a tough time choosing a favorite.

"All of them," Tonia Hart responded when pressed.

@schmicoleo on Instagram likes the heavenly hash, sprinkle and apple fritters.

"Amazing every time," @kschwaaaa on Instagram writes regarding apple fritters. "Real apple chunks, flaky, melts in your mouth. I could eat one everyday."

"My little one with food allergies can finally have fun, delicious donuts!" @mandaglick writes about Fry Baby's dairy-free selection.

[RELATED: Fry Baby's vegan doughnuts are worth a try]


Eileen's Centerview Bakery

465 Center Road, West Seneca

This family-run bakery has been open for more than 50 years, largely due to its loyal customer base.

"Donuts from Eileen’s in West Seneca. Absolutely the best!" writes Lois Eberhardt Kinner, whose favorites include chocolate frosted custard or the lemon.

Jennifer Bossman likes Eileen’s peanut stick. @mommcnerney on Instagram likes Eileen's powder white cream.

[RELATED: Read about the history of Eileen's, a family bakery]


Famous Doughnuts

3043 Main St.

This doughnut shop, founded by Edward V. "Ted" Roehm, has been around since 1941. If you go to Famous Doughnuts, Gina Maria Littlebird recommends the glazed.


Frankie's Donuts and Pizza

717 Portage Road, Niagara Falls

JR Friedman recommends the Boston Cream.

"Always fresh. Filling's not to sweet. Made on site," he wrote. "More importantly though, I think there are certain intangibles that can affect the taste of a doughnut: The welcoming neighborhood atmosphere; friendly staff; and Frankie himself is always around playing the perfect host. Moreover, the fact that you can sit at the counter and enjoy a cup of coffee while yukking it up with the regulars. It's a type of experience that seems left over from another time, sadly too hard to come by in this era."

Brandi Billiot likes the cherry doughnut, which she describes as "by far the best doughnuts I've ever had!"

Meanwhile, @bmckean712 on Instagram recommends Frankie's peanut cream doughnut. "He taught Paula how to make donuts I believe," wrote @bmckean712.


Mazurek's Bakery

543 South Park Ave.

This Old First Ward bakery, which usually makes our Fat Tuesday roundups of where to get Polish paczkis, has its fans, but some readers said it's hard to nominate just one favorite.

"Mazurek's makes the best all kinds," wrote Pat Hardesty.

"They are all amazing!" wrote Renee L. Crowden. "Can't ever pick just one!"

Maryann McElroy recommends Mazurek's cream with powered sugar.

Robert J. Mahaney is a fan of Mazurek's raised doughnuts with sprinkles and fry cake doughnuts.

[RELATED: Learn more about Tyrel Reynolds and Nick Smith, who own one of the oldest bakeries in Western New York]


DiCamillo Bakery

Multiple locations including 5329 Main St., Williamsville; 1700 Pine Ave., Niagara Falls; 7927 Niagara Falls Blvd., Niagara Falls; and 535 Center St., Lewiston 

DiCamillo's, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year, is known for its bread, pizza, biscotti and doughnuts.

@bmckean712 writes that DiCamillo's peanut sticks are "hands-down the best donut" in Western New York.

@ms.tanya.b.c on Instagram recommends DiCamillo's maple frosted doughnut with apple filling. @mrs_lefrinski on Instagram is a fan of DiCamillo's white cream with chocolate frosting.

@mim.anne on Instagram likes DiCamillo's Boston cream: "The frosting is thick and the cream is abundant!"

[RELATED: Holiday desserts from family-run bakeries]


Mayer Brothers

1540 Seneca Creek Road, West Seneca

Mayer Bros. Cider Mill, which made our list of 100 things every Western New York should do at least once, may be known for their cider and apple cider slushies, but their doughnuts earned some rave reviews, too.

"Personally live for Mayer Bros. Apple Products Inc. Cider donuts," wrote Katharine Phillips. "The one with the chocolate frosting and sprinkles are my favorite!"

Luckily for fans of their doughnuts, Mayer Bros. Cider Mill isn't just a fall destination anymore. The cider mill, whose season typically runs from August until November, opened for spring for the first time this year.

[RELATED: Your guide to the full cider experience in WNY]


Honorable mention: Freddies Donuts

Freddies Doughnuts on Main and Michigan in Buffalo has been closed for three decades since owner Fred Maier retired in 1989, but that hasn't erased readers' fondness for it.

Freddies was among the names that came up when we asked for your favorite doughnuts.

"If Freddie’s Donuts was still open, they would be the best donuts hands down," writes @min_bhoward on Instagram.

"Nothing will ever beat Freddies," Pamela Taylor Kneis wrote.

"Long live, Freddies Doughnuts," wrote Jeffrey B. Dunbar. "Never forget."

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Digital engagement editor

Qina Liu is a Western New York native who joined The Buffalo News as the digital engagement editor in 2015. She graduated from Ithaca College with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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