Vacation with Doughnuts and Share a New Age Taste Experience.

Every year for the last seven decades National Doughnut Day has been celebrated on the first Friday in June. This year is no exception. June 5 will be celebrated by doughnut lovers everywhere. Given the dramatic, inventive, creative happenings in the craft doughnut world paying homage on only one day a year doesn’t seem like enough.

You deserve a donut in Tampa.

Nicola’s Donut Shop in Tampa makes decadent donuts for dessert.

Therefore I am suggesting that family vacations include at least one doughnut day along with a bookstore visit of course. Just for the record I am not a habitual donut eater mostly because I ate way too many Krispy Crème Donuts when I was at university. But times have changed and five-star urban eating experiences often include doughnuts or donuts if you prefer.

In the last year I have visited several remarkable establishments and sampled outrageous doughnuts. While cake or raised, powdered or glazed is still the starting point, doughnut makers (many of them chefs) are creating flavorful often decadent options. New age choices include bacon and pineapple, gingerbread and caramel, sea salt and cardamom to some baked with artisan chocolates, and doughnuts topped with Oreos, Peebles, or Gummy Bears. Much like in an ice cream store the choosing may take some time. Add to the mix tasty gluten free and vegan choices and there is really no excuse not to celebrate any time especially on vacation.

Beiler’s Bakery Nutella ‘n Crème Doughnuts

Beiler’s Bakery in Reading Terminal Market serves Nutella ‘n Crème doughnuts. No more explanation is needed.

I am impressed with the amount of creative effort focusing on doughnuts. I am not describing all of my favorite selections but I am providing a nudge by naming a few of the very best doughnut spots in the country and thus reason to add a doughnut experience vacation plans.

Beiler’s Hand Rolled Doughnuts in Philadelphia – Vanilla glazed donuts topped with M&M’s or Gummy Bears.

Firecakes in Chicago – Maple-glazed doughnuts with pineapple & bacon.

Hypnotic Donuts in Dallas – The first “Evil Elvis” yeast donut with peanut butter, bacon, banana and honey.

A Baker’s Wife Pastry Shop in Minneapolis – Delightful classic cake doughnuts and exceptionally good American tea cakes.

Revolution Doughnuts & Coffee in Atlanta – Salted caramel doughnuts topped with bits of charcuterie bacon.

Donut Bar in San Diego – Home of the famous “Big Poppa Tart” donuts and  made-to-order cinnamon French toast donuts with custard.

Nicola’s Donuts in Tampa – Rocky Road, Brownie Brittle or decadent PB&J donuts for dessert.

National Doughnut Day hoices

National Doughnut Day is all about personal choice.

YUM YUM Donuts in Playa del Rey.  Topping off the baker’s half dozen, cinnamon crumb donut holes and freshly squeezed orange juice.

You deserve a doughnut any day but let’s celebrate National Doughnut Day this Friday for the fun of it. Make mine lavender glazed with sea salt.

In the meantime if you have your own favorite doughnut (donut) shop or have discovered an outrageous new age flavor, please let me know.

Nancy Nelson-Duac, Curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel Files.

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Share the Best Tastes of Philly with Kids.

This is not about Philly cheese steaks although the hearty sandwich was first served in the city. It’s about Philadelphia for foodies with kids. During a recent trip to the city I had the opportunity to make my own list of family-friendly spots.

Capofitto Pizzaria & Gelateria in Philadelphia

Capofitto Pizzaria & Gelateria in Philadelphia must for gelato lovers of all ages.

When time is the only place to go is Reading Terminal Market. Located at the heart of the city, it is an awesome food bazar and one of America’s oldest farmers’ markets with more than 80 vendors spanning almost two acres. In spite of its size the atmosphere is festive and the patchwork of aromas defining each aisle most enticing. The vendors love to talk about food and many engage young foodies with samples. It is the place to find giant jar breakers, ginger cookies, petite apple pies, soft baked pretzels, heritage preserves, homemade waffles, oodles of chocolates including  chocolate covered onions (who would have thought?), and beautiful artisan cheeses.

This is the place to sample Pennsylvania Dutch preserves, dine at the counter of the Dutch Eating Place and order Shoofly pie. Bassett’s Ice Cream counter serving ice cream since 1892 is still located at Reading Market. The Market is also the place to watch donuts and fritters being cut and baked plus if you are lucky, cheese being made.

Beyond the Market, Philadelphia is the place to sample authentic Sicilian tomato pie at Marchiano’s Bakery. The best gelato served outside Tuscany is at Capofitto Pizzaria & Gelateria on Chestnut Street and their most filling Neapolitan style pizza cannot be beat.

One uniquely Philadelphia tradition, Shane Confectionary in Old Town. It is the oldest operating chocolate factory in America and any visit will be rewarding if chocolate is your thing because their chocolates are both beautiful and scrumptious.

Philadelphia’s Chinatown is not as expansive as New York or San Francisco but it does offer an array of shopping and eating possibilities. I suggest a low key dim sum eating adventure at I Green Asian. The owners have young children themselves and so they understand about family dining. And their hand-pressed noodles will delight even snarky little eaters.

When do we eat?

Nancy Nelson-Duac, Curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel Files.