1001 N. Lombardy St. 278-5900; 1501 N. Parham Road, 288-1200
Second Place: Dixie Donuts
Third Place: Krispy Kreme
How to assess Sugar Shack’s popularity? Well, when it announced that it had expanded its Lombardy Street parking lot, fans burst forth in happiness across social media. From owner Ian Kelley’s unwavering promise to bring the Foo Fighters to Richmond to his propensity for giving away doughnuts to “Star Wars” characters or mustache-wearers, real or fake, or whatever the promo of the day, his wide-ranging creativity also produces fat, fluffy, tiramisu-filled doughnuts or a riff on the Girl Scouts’ samoa cookies, topped with chocolate, caramel and coconut, that brings customers back. Second-place winner Dixie Donuts makes flavor bombs with chocolate and chipotle-cinnamon sugar and lavishly decorated, holiday-themed or artist-inspired doughnuts. And Krispy Kreme is a cultural phenomenon, despite its third-place showing. No one has ever been able to match the sweet, melting goodness of its hot glazed doughnuts.