A Blind Taste Test of 5 Doughnuts Including Strange, World's Fair and, Yes, Schnucks

doughnutgraphic.jpg
The competitors. | Kelsey Meyer

Doughnuts are having a moment in St. Louis. From the crazy collaborations at Strange Donuts to the old-fashioned breakfast pastries at World's Fair, they've come along way from cops in coffee shops. Everyone has a favorite, but we decided to put some of the city's best doughnuts to the test -- a taste test, that is.

See also: First Look: Pharaoh's Donut's Traditional Doughnuts Downtown

It had to be blind, of course, so we rounded up plain, glazed doughnuts from Strange Donuts (2709 Sutton Boulevard; 314-932-5851), World's Fair Donuts (1940 South Vandeventer Avenue; 314-776-9975), Pharaoh's Donuts (200 North Seventh Street), a control doughnut from Schnucks and Donut Drive-In (6525 Chippewa Street; 314-645-7714).

A few caveats. It should be noted that these were not 5 a.m., straight-from-the-fryer doughnuts, which does make a difference. We usually say "no thanks" to Krispy Kremes, but how can you resist one hot off the conveyor belt? We should also note that World's Fair was out of its normal, ring glazed doughnuts so we opted for the glazed twist, which was the next closest thing.

RFT staff members tried samples of the five different doughnuts, identified only by number and ranked them. Votes were then tabulated. Tastes were, of course, varied, but there was a clear winner:

1. Pharaoh's Donuts
2. Donut Drive-In
3. Schnucks
4. Strange Donuts
5. World's Fair Donuts

Newly reopened Pharaoh's Donuts ($1.70 for two glazed) came in first place, with 30 out of 35 points. Second place went to Donut Drive-In ($1.57 for two), followed by (surprise!) Schnucks ($1.50 for two). Strange Donuts ($2 for two) and World's Fair ($1.18 for two) rounded out the bottom two.

One taste tester couldn't believe her own picks. "I knew I liked Pharaoh, but I didn't know I liked them that much!" she said. "Also, bummer, I always thought World's Fair were my favorite. Life changing!"

Do you think your favorite could stand up to a blind taste test? Were you surprised by the results? And whose doughnuts should we pit against one another in round 2?

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at nancy.stiles@riverfronttimes.com or follow her on Twitter.




Location Info

Strange Donuts

2709 Sutton Blvd., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

World's Fair Doughnuts

1940 S. Vandeventer Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

Schnucks-Richmond Heights

6600 Clayton Road, Richmond Heights, MO

Category: General

Donut Drive-In

6525 Chippewa St., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant


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165 comments
Courtney Sack
Courtney Sack

Jakob Young--maybe now that you're in south city we can take a trip to the donut drive in that's by me! It beat strange!

Nate Larson
Nate Larson

IMO the true donut quality test is in the plain cake. And in that regard, the unnamed donut shop on southwest in the hill neighborhood takes the..er..cake.

Kaytee Tinker
Kaytee Tinker

Donut Drive-In \U0001f498\U0001f498\U0001f498

satorivalentine
satorivalentine

Well I know for a fact that World's Fair Donuts are actually made by Therodoro and are delivered by 4am, 

Nicole Towns
Nicole Towns

Drive In Doughnuts on Chippewa and Donavan. Mouth watering. The traffic never stops.

Allison Agnew
Allison Agnew

They sell them at Krispi Kreme. That's the only thing I get there. They call them chocolate bars!

Nakedinthesun
Nakedinthesun

How could John Donut not be included in this test?!?!? I've never had Pharaoh's Donuts, but it beats the others by a landslide. I suggest round two!

Kristine Boyer
Kristine Boyer

Donut Stop has the best donuts in the history of donuts. Strange may have the "trendy" factor, but they will never be as good as a real "melt in your mouth" amazing donut from Donut Stop.

Sheila Muhlbaier
Sheila Muhlbaier

QT...the best. You should do the test again with more donuts and different taste testers. lol

Dawn Doty
Dawn Doty

If the doughnuts pictured are the actual doughnuts taste tested, the one from World's Fair is not their plain glazed.

Julie Farr Garland
Julie Farr Garland

My favorite is Krispy Kreme"s chocolate iced long john. They only sell them in the retail stores.

Joshawa Burge
Joshawa Burge

If it's not longs bakery donuts there not donuts. naptowns finest

Sherrie Jo Baris
Sherrie Jo Baris

I want to be a professional doughnut taster! How do I get THAT job? Lol

Jerry Canaday
Jerry Canaday

Throw in Pastaria and Vincent Van Donuts next time

Emily Miller
Emily Miller

Strange Donuts does a cookies and creme and butterfinger. They were both delicious!

Tanya Wilson Johnson
Tanya Wilson Johnson

There's a bakery near us that does a maple bacon donut that is amazing. But I'm a sucker for anything bacon!

Emily Miller
Emily Miller

My fav are long johns and Krispy Kreme doesn't sell those

Tanya Wilson Johnson
Tanya Wilson Johnson

I actually prefer specialty doughnuts at other places, but for a straight up glazed doughnut, Krispy Kreme will always be the best.

Emily Miller
Emily Miller

They are good. We've been going to a local place called Strange Donuts though and they have some pretty interesting and different donuts and are pretty good.

Tanya Wilson Johnson
Tanya Wilson Johnson

They've been #1 in the south since 1937. There will never be a better glazed doughnut. :)

Andrea Beam
Andrea Beam

Even if you don't like donuts...you will like pharaoh's....really good stuff!

Emily Miller
Emily Miller

haha we have those here to Tanya Wilson Johnson! But I think they have lost their appeal a little.

Bobby Baker
Bobby Baker

Tomorrow is donut day :) You better get some!

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