June 1 is National Donut Day. Get ‘em while they’re hot (and free).
When it comes to a sweet treat, it’s hard to beat a donut. Whether it’s classic glazed, custard-filled, or maple topped with bacon, donuts do it all: you'll find them on plenty a breakfast menu, pairing perfectly with a hot, black coffee, but they work just as well as an afternoon snack or an after-dinner delight.
It's true, there's never a bad time for donuts, but if you’re looking for an excuse to indulge, National Donut Day is here to help — and offer up free donuts across the U.S. Every year, the holiday falls on the first Friday in June. As the story goes, during World War I, Salvation Army sent a few hundred volunteers to Europe to support troops. One of their jobs was to bake for the soldiers, but that proved tricky on the frontlines of war. The volunteers wound up frying donuts in the soldiers’ helmets, earning themselves the nickname "Donut Lassies." In 1938, Salvation Army announced a holiday to commemorate the efforts of those volunteers, and voila! — we got National Donut Day.
Of course, anyone who misses out on the first donut-related day of the year can play catch-up later on Jelly-Filled Doughnut Day, on June 8; Cream-Filled Donut Day, on September 14; and then the other National Donut Day, on November 5.
It’s safe to say the donut has worked its way into the fabric of America, but the doughy treats didn’t get their start here. The most popular theory is that Dutch settlers brought the original donuts to the U.S. as olykoeks, or "oily cakes."
WATCH: Where to Get Free Donuts and Sweet Deals on National Donut Day 2018
Today’s donut has evolved since the days of oily cakes and frying pans fastened out of helmets. While the classics like cake donuts and old fashioneds are still popular, one survey found that over 80 percent of Americans would try wilder versions, like breakfast cereal, mango, or alcohol-inspired flavors. Regardless of what kind we’re eating, we’re eating plenty. On average, Americans put away 31 donuts each year.
There’s no shortage of options, either. Some counts put the number of donut shops in the U.S. at over 25,000. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with doing your own homework — especially when that includes taste-testing — Yelp has given you a head start by narrowing down the cream of the donut crop. "We identified businesses in the food category with a large concentration of reviews mentioning 'doughnut' or 'donut,' then ranked those spots using a number of factors including the total volume and ratings of reviews mentioning those words," representatives for Yelp explained.
From a traditional Bismarck at Sweet Coloradough in (you guessed it) Colorado, to the Chocolate Couch Potato (a chocolate-glazed with salted potato chips crumbled on top) at Wake N Bake Donuts in North Carolina, here are the top spots to grab a donut (or a dozen) in every state, according to Yelp.
Alabama: The Donut King, Eufaula
Alaska: Froth & Forage Coffeehouse and Eatery, Anchorage
Arizona: Novel Ice Cream, Phoenix
Arkansas: Mark's DO-Nut Shop, North Little Rock
California: BJ Cinnamon, Folsom
Colorado: Sweet Coloradough, Glenwood Springs
Connecticut: Neil's Donuts and Bake Shop, Wallingford
Delaware: Sandy Pony Donuts, Bethany Beach
Florida: Mojo Donuts, Pembroke Pines
Georgia: Scream'n Nuts, Alpharetta
Hawaii: Donut Dynamite, Wailuku
Idaho: Sweet Sensation Donuts, Meridian
Illinois: Country Donuts, Crystal Lake
Indiana: Long's Bakery, Indianapolis
Iowa: Mahalo's Coffee Co Mini Donuts & Catering, West Des Moines
Kansas: Mr D's Donut Shop, Overland Park
Kentucky: Nord's Bakery, Louisville
Louisiana: District Donuts Sliders Brew, New Orleans
Maine: The Holy Donut, Portland
Maryland: 202 Donuts, Bethesda
Massachusetts: Donut Shack, Lowell
Michigan: Avon Donuts Inc, Pontiac
Minnesota: Cardigan Donuts, Minneapolis
Mississippi: Fantasy Donuts, Biloxi
Missouri: Pharoah's Donuts, Saint Louis
Montana: Granny's Gourmet Donuts, Bozeman
Nebraska: Olsen Bake Shop, Omaha
Nevada: Doughboys Donuts, Reno
New Hampshire: White Mountain Cider, Glen
New Jersey: Purple Glaze Donuts, Asbury Park
New Mexico: Rebel Donut, Albuquerque
New York: Stax Ice Cream, New York City
North Carolina: Wake N Bake Donuts, Carolina Beach
North Dakota: Sandy's Donuts, West Fargo
Ohio: Bill's Donut Shop, Centerville
Oklahoma: Sweet Mini's Donut Company, Oklahoma City
Oregon: Pip's Original Doughnuts & Chai, Portland
Pennsylvania: Beiler's Bakery, Philadelphia
Rhode Island: Knead Doughnuts, Providence
South Carolina: Rainbow Donuts, York
South Dakota: Baker's Bakery & Cafe, Custer
Tennessee: Donut Palace, Murfreesboro
Texas: Round Rock Donuts, Round Rock
Utah: Create Donuts, Sandy
Vermont: Cold Hollow Cider Mill, Waterbury Center
Virginia: Texas Donuts, Centreville
Washington: Daddy's Donuts, Kenmore
Washington, D.C.: District Doughnut and Coffee, Capitol Hill
West Virginia: Peace Love and Donuts, Huntington
Wisconsin: Cranky Al's Bakery and Pizza, Wauwatosa
Wyoming: Delish Donuts & Coffee, Alpine