Best Doughnuts -- Chain - 2005
We've all seen the five o'clock news stories on Krispy Kreme franchise openings. The block-long lines, the goofy paper hats, that terrible, hypnotic "Hot Doughnuts Now" sign shining down from the windows. We've all laughed at the people willing to wait hours for their first dozen, fresh out of the oil at a new store, and vowed that we'd never do that ourselves. But there's a reason the appearance of any Krispy Kreme outlet is met with the kind of pomp and boosterism usually reserved for presidential whistle-stops and visits by the pope. These are doughnuts the way doughnuts were meant to be, served hot and fresh, all sugar and ethereal lightness. Glossy, bulging jelly-filleds and too-perfect original glazed share space on the short-and-sweet menu with sugar-dusted apple-filleds and chocolate-glazed doughnuts stuffed with fluffy cream. Yes, Krispy Kreme is as bad as any Starbucks outlet, driving the little mom-and-pop neighborhood shops out of business and whatnot, but you know what? Life is tough. These doughnuts aren't.