HP Bagpipe

HP Bagpipe

HP Bagpipe

Review: Park Cities Doughnut Shops Each Present Unique Experience

Reporters rate doughnut shops based on four key criteria.
Graphic by Zoie Carlile

What’s a food you think you could never get sick of? For us here at the Bagpipe, it’s doughnuts. We have them at every bi-weekly pitch meeting.

We thought that we’d never get sick of doughnuts, but after trying fifteen of them from five different doughnut shops, we definitely feel differently. Now we present to you the four key techniques in identifying the best doughnut for you: atmosphere, presentation, taste and cost.


It was a cold, foggy, 40 degree morning when we walked into Urban doughnuts. Our first impressions were not glowing. The peeling, fake brick on the walls combined with the cramped sitting area did not give us an optimistic outlook for the doughnuts we were about to receive.
We ordered three doughnuts – glazed, chocolate glazed, and s’mores. The cashier only gave us the chocolate glazed and the s’mores at first, so we had to go back and re-order the glazed doughnut, only adding to our lackluster first impression of the shop.
Luckily, the doughnuts did not look as bad as our first impressions of the shop. The doughnuts were aesthetically pleasing and had an even spread of glaze. The taste of the glazed doughnut was not as satisfying as its outward appearance. Only the top was glazed, so the doughnut wasn’t quite sweet enough towards the bottom. It was like eating plain bread. The s’mores doughnut was similarly disappointing. The dough’s quality was good, but the key marshmallow and graham cracker flavors were nowhere to be found. The chocolate glazed was by far the standout of the three, with a thick coating of chocolate and high quality dough like freshly baked bread.
Unfortunately, despite the excellent taste of the chocolate doughnut in particular, the price point was far too high for what we received. Our small order came out to $15, which is absolutely ridiculous for three doughnuts, two of which weren’t even very enjoyable.
If you are looking for only a decent chocolate glazed doughnut and don’t mind paying a hefty price for your breakfast, then Urban Donuts is the place for you.


The line out the door and the warm ambience of Mustang was a nice change of pace from the stark interior of Urban Donuts. The walls were covered with Highland Park athletic posters and the room was filled with families picking out their Sunday morning doughnuts. Out of every shop we went to, Mustang Donuts by far had the most inviting atmosphere, especially as it is a staple of the community.
Once again we ordered a glazed, chocolate sprinkle, and specialty doughnut, which for Mustang was the strawberry glazed. To start, their dough had an interesting flavor. It wasn’t necessarily bad, just it was much less sweet than the average doughnut. All the doughnuts were relatively small, and had inconsistent amounts of glaze. The doughnuts had an adequate presentation but the sprinkle-to-doughnut ratio was off. There should never be more sprinkles than glaze, and the glaze surface area should be a little more consistent.
Still, the line moved fast and the quick service was impressive. The man who helped us was extremely nice and assisted us in picking out what specialty doughnut to buy. You could also see the doughnuts getting made in the back, reminding us of Santa’s workshop. They were cranking out those doughnuts like it was Christmas Eve and the toys weren’t finished yet.
Additionally, the price was amazing. We paid $5 for three doughnuts, and got free doughnut holes with our order. After Urban Donuts’s $15 beatdown, we were pleasantly surprised.
If you want an adequate, cheap doughnut then go to Mustang. Their location is convenient and their atmosphere is always welcoming. Their doughnuts are perfect for a morning treat, especially for people who really like sprinkles and don’t care too much about the actual dough in their doughnuts.


After Mustang, we drove down to Yummy Donuts, which is right by the high school. From the outside, the shop looked cute and homey, much like Mustang did. The inside, however, was vastly different. The interior of the shop was quasi-futuristic, with a minimalist white and orange design. The doughnut selection was similar to Mustang, but there weren’t nearly as many people in the shop.
Here, we ordered the glazed and chocolate glazed doughnuts as usual. Our specialty doughnut of choice here was an eclair, which is technically a pastry but can qualify as a fancy doughnut. The presentation of the doughnuts was unassuming. The glazed and chocolate glazed were on the smaller side, like Mustang. On the other hand, the eclair was larger and looked tasty, but the creme had been injected from the top and not from the sides, making the doughnut look messy and unappealing.
Despite the presentation, we thought that Yummy had the best glazed doughnut out of all the shops we visited that day. The glaze was even, it was pleasantly sweet, and was priced at just 90 cents. The chocolate glazed was also very good. The even coat of sprinkles gave the doughnut a nice crunch without overpowering the glaze, which was thick and decadent.
The eclair was probably one of the best specialty doughnuts we had that day. The taste completely canceled out the less than stellar presentation. There was just enough cream to complement the doughnut’s flavor, without being too sweet or falling out of the doughnut as you eat it. The frosting on top was delicious and the dough was consistently tasty.
Despite the fact that Yummy Donuts lives in the perpetual shadow of Mustang, their doughnuts’ overall taste, presentation, and their modern shop atmosphere provide a formidable rival to the community favorite. Our total for three satisfying doughnuts and free doughnut holes came out to only $7. If you’re looking for a well priced, tasty doughnut and are running late to school, Yummy is the place for you.

Graphic by Ellie Levy


Located just across the street from Yummy is Wow! Donuts. The outside of the shop looked new and contemporary. However, the price didn’t “wow” us as much as the name, with three doughnuts totaling to $11. Our wallets were feeling lighter by the end of this visit.
The interior was nice enough and very modern, but there was simply nowhere to sit and eat our doughnuts. But, the employees were very friendly and helped us choose what to order. They were also very accommodating when we were indecisive and ended up changing our order. Still Wow! Donuts provided an overall extremely average experience, and we also felt a little bit awkward since we were the only people in the shop.
Once again we ordered a glazed, chocolate sprinkle, and specialty doughnut. The glazed doughnut had the most scrumdiddlyumptious glaze but the dough had a weird flavor that the glaze couldn’t cover up. The dough was not very sweet and had an almost cinnamony taste. The chocolate sprinkle had uniquely delicious sprinkles that paired nicely with the doughnut, giving it a good texture. Sadly, the dough was still overpoweringly odd with an almost bitter taste. For the specialty doughnut, we ordered an Oreo mochi doughnut. It most definitely did not taste like Oreo, even though the doughnut was dipped in Oreo fluff and then sprinkled with Oreo crumbles. All we could taste was the dough, which had a pancake-y flavor and a chewy texture due to the tapioca starch used to make it a mochi doughnut. We enjoyed the texture but if you don’t really like subtle flavors, this might not be for you.
The Wow! doughnuts were presented in a really nice box that had been custom-printed and designed to match their logo. All the doughnuts were aesthetically pleasing, and the glaze was picturesque and shiny.
If you like relatively expensive doughnuts with surprisingly tasty sprinkles, then you should definitely spend a little more and treat yourself at Wow! Donuts.


Walking into Ring Donuts was a refreshing contrast to the sterile modernist box of Wow! Donuts. The display case was full of beautifully decorated Halloween doughnuts, making the shop feel warm and friendly. Some were decorated like mummies, while others had been frosted to look like pumpkins.
The interior looked like it had been recently renovated, and there was orange and pink everywhere. A few little kids and their parents were buying doughnuts while we were there, making the place feel happy and energetic. It had a lot of comfortable places to sit, and they were selling customized shirts and cups with their logo.
Visually, the doughnuts were beautiful, except for the chocolate doughnut we got, which looked a little beat-up. The specialty doughnuts had great attention to detail, like someone had gotten up at 4 a.m. and meticulously handcrafted each one. The one we chose was decorated like a mummy with little white chocolate eyes and buttercream frosting that looked like bandages.
However, the taste wasn’t anything special. This spot was definitely meant for little kids and not for doughnut connoisseurs. Children don’t care about things like dough quality, they only care about sugar and copious amounts of frosting, things that Ring Donuts seem to specialize in.
In order to make the specialty doughnut, they really piled on the frosting. Not glaze, but thick American buttercream, which is what made them so sweet. That being said, the glazed and chocolate doughnuts were pretty delectable. Nothing to write home about, but they were in-line with our expectations. The dough had the same slightly “off” flavor to it as Wow! Donuts did. This can most likely be attributed to the oil they used to fry the doughnuts, as this varies from place to place. The frosting on the chocolate doughnut was a little too thick, but the actual texture of the dough was nice and fluffy.
The cost moved us to tears. Only $7 dollars for three doughnuts, which felt like a divine miracle after paying $5 for a single doughnut at both Wow! and Urban Donuts.
If you have children, you need to put Ring on your bucket list. The shop’s fun flavors and designs are something that any kid would go crazy for. The affordability and convenient Preston Center location also make this place a great pick.


Overall, there were uniquely wonderful aspects of each doughnut shop we visited. Factors that most people don’t individually analyze, such as glaze cover or dough texture, are absolutely essential when picking the right doughnut, and we went through the effort and cost of reporting on those factors for our precious readers. Urban Donuts had average doughnuts that were a little pricey, similar to Wow! Donuts. Mustang had decent doughnuts that were relatively cheap. Yummy had cheap, tasty doughnuts, while Rings had lower priced, run-of-the-mill ones. Whether you need breakfast or just a light snack, all of the doughnut shops in the Park Cities are great picks, depending on what you’re looking for.

About the Contributors
Ellie Levy
Ellie Levy, Editorials editor
What are your favorite TV shows/movies? Community and Back To The Future What are your hobbies? Reading, TV, and French Horn What causes are you passionate about? Climate change and child labor regulation
Augusta McKenzie
Augusta McKenzie, Reporter
What are you looking forward to on the staff this year? Hanging out with the Newspaper staff. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?  A tree house on a small island or in the rainforest with tons of colorful birds. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Pasta