Mar 2010

Top Pot Doughnuts – Seattle


I’ve always liked doughnuts quite a bit, especially the ones made by Glendora’s Donut Man and New York City’s Doughnut Plant. However, it wasn’t until I explored Seattle’s boutique doughnut scene last week that my affections shifted from like to love. Love is an awfully strong word, and I mean it one-hundred percent when it comes to expertly fried dough.


There’s an artisanal doughnut movement brewing in Seattle, and Top Pot Doughnuts is leading the way. The first shop opened in 2002 and four more were established thereafter. The Astronomer and I visited the downtown location on our first morning in the city.

Whereas Los Angeles’ neighborhood doughnut shops are usually housed in cramped and dingy quarters, the ones we visited in Seattle were bright (weather permitting), well-appointed, and spacious. At Top Pot, huge shelves containing encyclopedia volumes lined the walls, while a glorious window spanned the entire entrance. As is the norm in these here parts, the shop offered free wi-fi and plenty of comfy seating.


Top Pot makes more than forty varieties of “hand-forged” doughnuts. Each one is made from scratch and trans-fat free.ย  After purchasing our goods on the first floor, we hoofed it upstairs to enjoy them. The Astronomer’s blueberry cake doughnut with cinnamon sugar ($1.49) had lovely hints of both spice and fruit. Its texture was pleasantly dense and infinitely superior to regular cake, according to The Astronomer.


Stretching nearly a foot long, my maple bar ($1.49) was a delicious bomb of fried dough slathered in crackly frosting. The doughnut’s texture wasn’t particularly light, but it had a pleasing chew that I found very satisfying. The real-deal maple glaze was just the thing to smooth out the bar’s oily undertones.

It’s been fun cupcakes, but gourmet doughnuts have officially edged you out as my favoriteย  sweet indulgence.

Top Pot Doughnuts
2124 5th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121
Phone: 206-728-1966

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38 thoughts on “Top Pot Doughnuts – Seattle

  1. oooooo…. that blueberry cake donut looks REALLY good!! I’ll have to check this out next time I’m in Seattle!!!!

  2. Oh, Top Pot! They almost make up for our weather ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Which, incidentally, most Seattlites will tell you is not that bad…if you like having only 150 sunny – that is, not drizzly – days a year).

  3. wow, this is my home town and i had no idea there was any such “movement” going on. they must be trying to compete with portland and voodoo.

  4. can’t wait for your post, and now i am getting even more excited for my trip back home in may! it may turn out to be a doughnut vacation since we are driving up the coast and of course will stop in portland too.

  5. Heath – We tried to hit up while chillin’ at Green Lake but couldn’t make it there before it closed. A bummer! Wish they had a downtown location!

  6. I think I could be okay with donuts over cupcakes. I do like my dough! Is there Donut Man in your future? If so, I may be inclined to make it part of my future too!

  7. I don’t even like donuts and those look delicious. I might be converted with one of those blueberry caked donuts though.

  8. NNB – As much as I love our neighborhood shops, their products and atmosphere are inferior to Seattle’s boutique doughnut scene. Can’t wait for this trend to come south!

  9. my stomach is growling from this! i love doughnuts! i want a maple bar stat! you lucky lucky girl there is nothing better than a really good doughnut

  10. I LOVE top pot doughnuts! As a Seattle native out here at Bryn Mawr College, I always get excited when I see them at the local starbucks–though they are not nearly as fresh.

  11. Those doughnuts look delicious! And I’m tickled by the palindrome name. Is that geeky, or what?

  12. I was just visiting Seattle and stopped by that Top Pot. I loved the chocolate doughnut bar, the glazed ring, and the raspberry bavarian. Wasn’t so keen on the old-fashioned glaze or the feather boa.

    Now that I am back in Canada…I find out that I can get Top Pot doughnuts at the Starbucks here! Unfortunately, they have only 3 types. I’ll definitely be trying the apple fritter!

  13. I love doughnuts! There’s not really any special doughnut shops in SD. I have all these places I want to vacation to, and at each of them there is a doughnut shop I want to try.

  14. I love this place – go there every time I’m up in Seattle. Their mape bars are the BEST. (how crazy to see the blue skies in the background!)

  15. They sell them at Starbucks and even though, they’re not that fresh they’re still superior to any donut shop donut.

  16. oooh i love a good donut. i hope the donut movement doesn’t come down to l.a. cuz i’d be dead with sugar glaze all over my lips… ๐Ÿ™

  17. Looks like it is high time I search through Philly for some doughnuts, but I have a feeling I might be disappointed.
    So jealous.

  18. KFP – Doughnut Plant is fantastic, but the ambiance isn’t very warm. Top Pot offers great doughnuts and a nice seat to enjoy it on. Still, I like Doughnut Plant more because the creations are very creative.

  19. Pingback: Golden Tate loves him some maple bars « What would Joe Namath do?
  20. If you haven’t tried Harvey’s Gourmet Donuts you’re really missing what a donut should be. Made right in front of your eyes and always served hot. Yummmmm! Chocolate glaze with powdered sugar. The bomb!!!!

  21. Now, this place did do it for me. My favorite was the lemon filled. The dough was so soft. Raspberry filled was a close second.

    And Anna, we went to Voodoo also. They were not only the worst meal of the trip, they were the worst food we have ever eaten. We skipped the line and went at 7AM. Not sure if that impacted it, but most of the doughnuts tasted like shit.

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