Does the World’s Best Donuts in Grand Marais Live Up To Its Name?
I am always a little skeptical of any restaurant that claims they are the “World’s Best”. Anyone can call themselves World’s Best, but then you have to live up to it. Many restaurants fall flat. But I still gotta check see how they hold up. So when we were walking around Grand Marais, we heard a rumor about a donut shop calling themselves the World’s Best Donuts, it was just too tempting not to check it out.
Grand Marais is a Northern Minnesota resort town. It’s known for some of the best foods, mostly because it’s the first town most people visit right after they come off the trail. The term trail refers to camping in the BWCA, backpacking the Superior Hiking Trail, or even just spending a week on the lakes fishing. Grand Marais is the first bit of civilization you see again with freshly made foods. Everything always tastes better. At least that’s what I thought was the reason for the great food.
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World’s Best Donuts Grand Marais
The doughnut shop was easy to find on the main drag. Getting into the store was a different story. Word had gotten out about their doughnuts and the door was already being blocked by customers. Inside freshly made donuts filled their display cases, and they were flying off the shelves as fast as they were being made. I had to make a split-second decision on what to get for the family since they were all waiting outside with the puppies. I opted for a Maple Bacon Glazed raise donut for my husband, and two donut kabobs for the kids. Always best to give the kids the same thing to avoid any arguments. It was colorful so I knew it would be well received. I selected my favorite type of donut, a Bismarck, but instead of it being filled with a traditional custard, it was filled with a banana-flavored custard.
I had a hunch they may not take American Express cards so I made sure I had a Visa on my just in case. My hunch was right. I was so excited to share my find with everyone we all dug right in. My husband loved the bacon and maple donut. It ranked in the top 5 donut experiences he’s had. The kids loved the fact they had a donut on a stick, not just one, but individual ones all lined up and ready to be pulled off and eaten one by one, covered in fun sprinkles and colors.
From Worst to Best
My donut, on the other hand, was disappointing. The texture and donut themselves were good, but the banana flavoring was artificial. It didn’t live up to the title of “Worlds Best”. After discussing my disappointment with my husband, he said well “You should get another one!”. The sign sitting behind him on the walk-up window said, “if you are not a fan of cake donuts, you haven’t tried ours.”
After a little nudge, I was on board. I walked up to the window to avoid the line inside. This time, I asked the question “What the best cake donut you have?”. The cinnamon sugar is their top seller, so I took one to try. I’m so glad I went for it. I went from disappointed, to a believer. It was a lighter cake doughnut, with a crunchier exterior similar to an old-fashioned, bathed in a coating of cinnamon and sugar just like a Tom Thumb mini donut. I’m probably not doing it justice, but when they say World’s Best, they mean it!
Back for more
After our experience, we tooled around Grand Marais for a little longer before going out hiking to Devils Kettle. On the way, I started to question what I did with Visa card I paid with. After hiking, I gave them a quick call and confirmed I left it on the counter. I guess I was so excited to eat donuts I completely forgot to grab my credit card. I think my subconscious just needed an excuse to go back. This time I grabbed a dozen more of those cinnamon sugar cake donuts to last us the rest of the trip. Who can blame me! After all, they are the World’s Best Donuts.
Worlds Best Donuts 2020 Update
After falling in love with the Worlds Best Donuts in the previous year, we decided to stop back on our way up to the BWCA. We figured it would be the perfect breakfast before we hit the trail the next morning. We enjoyed a nice leisurely stroll through the town, got a late lunch, and swung by the Worlds Best Donuts before heading out of town. COVID protocols had everyone using the outdoor window. Unfortunately, they were running out of donuts. If you plan on going, make it a priority. Thankfully we were able to pick some up, but my favorite cinnamon sugar donut was gone.
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