I’ve heard intriguing things about the Doughnut Project, a doughnut shop in New York City’s West Village neighborhood, and decided it was time to check it out. Unfortunately, my first attempt ended in failure. I’d decided to go on National Doughnut Day, and by the time I arrived at the shop they had sold out of doughnuts and closed for the day! I should have known that such a national holiday would result in a rush on doughnuts! Not to be deterred, I ventured out again on Friday, determined to not be turned away a second time without my prize. This time, I experienced success.
The Doughnut Project specialized in yeast doughnuts, with flavors inspired by classic food pairings and cocktails. On the day that I visited, they offered a number of tempting doughnuts, including flavors such as salted chocolate with buttered pretzel, lemon with sea salt, olive oil and black pepper, peach pie, beet and ricotta, corn and blueberry, and the maple bacon bar, accessorized with a full strip of bacon on top. They all looked delicious, and I asked which doughnut I would regret if I didn’t try it. Without hesitation, Doughnut Project co-founder Leslie assured me that I must try the everything doughnut.
Now, New Yorkers love their everything bagels, but I wasn’t convinced that this flavor profile made good sense for a doughnut. But I trusted Leslie’s advice and ordered one despite my reservations. And I was glad I did. It might not taste like a traditional doughnut, but it was delicious! The yeast doughnut was covered in a cream cheese glaze, creating the first reference to a bagel traditionally spread with cream cheese (known by New Yorkers as a “schmear”). The baker then liberally sprinkled the doughnut with poppy seeds, pepitas, black and white sesame seeds, a very small amount of garlic, and sea salt. Thankfully the dehydrated onion, so prevalent in everything bagels, is missing here! The glaze adds a light sweetness, which is balanced by the nutty, slightly salty crunch of the seeds. It’s a delicious bite.
Like most doughnut shops in New York City, the Doughnut Project is small – but the store is airy and inviting, with bar stools lined up along a wooden ledge by large windows. The walls are decorated with spray painted graffiti/street art, like this colorful stenciled and spray painted wall by Buenos Aires-born and Brooklyn-based street artist BNS (Instagram: @bnswhat).
So how do you get to the Doughnut Project? It’s located at 10 Morton Street in the West Village. The West 4th Street subway station, accessible by the A, B, C, D, E, F, and M trains, is only a few short blocks away. Don’t wait too late in the day to visit this shop though. The Doughnut Project opens at 8 am Monday through Friday and 9 am on the weekends, but it’s only open until the doughnuts sell out.