Bagels to Beignets to Doughnuts
Hot Jumbo Bagels and Deli307 W. 5th, 477-1137
Hot Jumbo Bagels has staying power. Emerging victorious from the Great Austin Bagel Wars of the mid-Nineties, HJB has been serving the same classic East Coast-style boiled bagels from the same funky 5th Street location since 1979. The 27 flavors of bagels (including such interesting choices as milk chocolate, tomato Florentine, and peanut butter) are kosher-approved. Bagel sandwiches and breakfast tacos are also available.
Einstein Bros BagelsFive locations Monday-Friday, 6am-5pm
Saturday, 7am-5pm; Sunday, 7am-3pm
Those Einstein Bros, Melvyn and Elmo, are busy not only running bagel shops all over Austin, but all over the country, too. These clean, efficient, and service-oriented establishments offer 21 flavors of steamed bagels (softer than the more traditional boiled style), 12 varieties of schmears, a host of sandwiches and egg breakfasts served on bagels, challah, or sourdough baguettes, and salads, soups, and rollups. The NY lox and bagel with cream cheese, chopped onion, capers, and a slice of tomato is very nicely done.
The BagelryFive locations
Monday-Friday, 7am-5pm; Saturday, 7am-2pm; Sunday, 8am-2pm
The Bagelry is a locally owned chain-ette that has supplied steamed bagels from the shopping centers of West Austin since 1993. In addition to the daily bagel specials (including Hawaiian pineapple, pesto, and jalapeño flavors), muffins, cookies, brownies, and breads, they also have a line of bagel deli sandwiches that feature Boar's Head cold cuts. For a hearty portable breakfast, try the Baco (rhymes with taco) -- egg, ham, and cheese baked in a thick tube of bagel dough.
Crescent City Beignets1211 W. 6th, 472-9622
Sunday-Thursday, 7am-11pm; Friday-Saturday, 7am-1am; Lunch, 11am-2pm; Dinner, 6pm-9pm
A bit cheaper and a lot less muggy than a sojourn to New Orleans, a quick jaunt to Crescent City Beignets in West Austin addresses that classic Big Easy culinary craving -- chicory coffee and hot beignets. These are the real deal -- fluffy squares of crisply fried dough, smothered in powdered sugar, meant to be consumed immediately. Don't expect to breeze right in and out -- even on Sunday mornings when the place is packed, a single, busy guy both rolls out the dough and mans the deep-fryer, painstakingly making these babies to order.
Ken's Doughnuts and Pastries2820 Guadalupe, 320-8484
Daily, 24 hours
Fortunately for UT denizens, there is a doughnut fix handily within shouting distance of campus, and it is available when they need it, which is to say all the time. While Ken's physical plant is unassuming to say the least, it houses a wide selection of high-quality doughnut-shop fare, including several flavors of cake and yeast doughnuts, éclairs, those jelly- and cream-filled favorites, bismarcks, and of course, doughnut holes.
Mrs. Johnson's Bakery4909 Airport, 452-4750 Daily, 8pm-noon
An Austin institution since 1948, Mrs. Johnson's must have passed millions of hot fresh doughnuts out the little drive-in window to generations of early morning commuters, after-church crowds, and famished students who, er, need to run out for something sweet in the middle of the night. In addition to the classic glazed doughnuts, there are apple fritters, cinnamon rolls and twists, cookies, brownies, and sausage kolaches. You can also pick up your dunk of choice, cold milk or hot coffee. Note that Mrs. Johnson's is open all night, but not in the afternoons.
Lone Star Bakery106 Liberty, in Round Rock, 255-3629 Tuesday-Saturday, 4am-3:30pm
Lucky for everyone, the Lone Star Bakery quickly recovered from a devastating fire last year. In every Austin high tech establishment I've ever worked (more than a few), there is always some kind soul -- some benevolent Round Rock resident -- who takes pity on the rest of us and regularly schleps in the renowned Round Rock Doughnuts for happy, group consumption. I have visions of these soft, warm, baby-chick-yellow clouds of pastry wafting out over the city each morning.
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts12586 Research, 219-0119
701 E. Stassney, 851-8888
Drive-through open 24 hours
Lobby hours: Monday-Thursday, 5:30am-12pm; Friday-Saturday, 5:30am-1am; Sunday, 5:30am-11pm
To the delight of its many fanatics, Krispy Kreme is the newest player on the Austin doughnut scene, with both north and south locations opening this year. Founded in 1937 in Winston-Salem, N.C., the franchise is famous all over the country for two things: its secret-recipe, yeast-risen doughnuts and the glowing red "Hot Doughnuts Now" signs. Hint: They make hot doughnuts from 5:30am till noon and again from 5:30pm till closing time.