Whether you call them donuts or doughnuts, there’s no question that we are living in the golden era of donuts in Champaign-Urbana.
Now that school is over and summer has reached Champaign-Urbana, perhaps it’s time to take a donut tour of East Central Illinois. It’s pretty easy since most of these locations are pretty close to one another.
So get ready to treat yourself and your taste buds this summer on the Champaign-Urbana Area Donut Trail. How many can you check off your bucket list? (If donut freebies are your jam, be sure to check out the offerings for National Donut Day, Friday, June 7.)
(Note: we do not include chains or big box stores on our “trails”. We prefer to only include locally owned joints. You know, the good stuff that you can’t get anywhere else.)
Pandamonium Doughnuts, Champaign (1105 Windsor Road): A pioneer of the gourmet donut, it used to be that you could only get Pandamonium Doughnuts at the Market at the Square in Urbana. Then, they started a food truck – and ultimately, grew into a storefront featuring popular donuts such as the Cereal Killer (think Fruity Pebbles meets a glazed donut), a favorite of children and grown-ups alike. We particularly like the seasonal Girl Scout collection featuring thin mint cookie creation as well as a chocolate coconut concoction. Probably one of the best kept secrets is Pandamonium’s strawberry slider doughnut, which features a glazed donut, homemade whipping cream, and fresh sliced strawberries. We’ve been told that it is easier to serve this at the storefront, so be on the lookout for this tasty treasure. Tip: As for this writing not open on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Curtis Orchard, Champaign (3902 S. Duncan Rd.): Our friends at Curtis Orchard make LEGENDARY cider donuts. Not surprisingly, since they grow legendary apples. Get them hot, or buy a bunch to freeze – they are absolutely delicious either way. The only problem? Curtis Orchard is only open five months a year – from July 20 through Dec. 20 (generally). Tip: Customers can call 217-359-5565 ext 0, M-F from 9-5, to request donuts in the off season (they are frozen but thaw easily).
Industrial Donut, Savoy: (501 Commerce Dr.) Our friends at Industrial Donut in Savoy are magical donut makers who brought to Central Illinois a new donut concept: made-to-order, customizable donuts created in small batches and served hot. (And yes, adults and kids alike can create a customized donut delight, so don’t be shy. Choose the icing and topping for each donut. Donuts are made fresh while you wait, they are the perfect size for you to indulge yourself. Getting hungry just thinking about it … Seriously, hot donuts are a game changer! TIP: As of this writing, not open on Sundays.
Carmella’s Creme, Champaign (1611 W Springfield Ave.): You might drive right past Carmella’s and not know what you are missing. Carmella’s brings back childhood memories with classic donuts such as the cinnamon twist, white/chocolate Long Johns with sprinkles, and jelly-filled donuts. While Carmella’s may not be the fanciest shop around, the donuts are always tasty (plus they have a drive thru!).
Ye Olde Donut Shoppe, Champaign (new Neil Street location): Ye Olde Donut Shoppe has a long history in Champaign and Urbana, with multiple different storefronts over many years (we last remember the one at Green and First, where Maize is now). For several years, Ye Olde Donuts has been supplying others with its wares (such as Art Mart) and is a regular at Urbana’s Market at the Square. On Memorial Day 2019, the latest edition of Ye Olde Donut Shoppe opened on Neil Street, boasting a wide variety of donuts, from classic glazed to filled to “artisan” editions. Great for the donut traditionalist as well as the donut connoisseur. TIP: discounts available for larger orders (dozen and two dozen).
Royal Donut, Danville (911 N. Vermilion St.) Established in 1973, Royal Donut has been a home for donut enthusiasts for years. A trip to Danville is not complete without an angel bite – think tiny Long John donuts with a delicious creme filling and icing. A “bite” is just what they are, too. The smaller size makes them more difficult to resist. Kiddos on our trips love the smiley face iced sugar cookies. Another favorite are the Bismarck donuts available in a variety of delicious flavors. (Tip: this place has the longest hours of any of these stores, so if you want nighttime donuts – this is your best bet!)
What local donuts did we miss?
OTHER TRAILS IN OUR SERIES: