The Providence metro area, epicenter of Little Rhody, has the greatest number of doughnut shops per capita in America. That’s a lot of cruller fans, for sure, but it’s also a lot of competition. And yet Allie’s Donuts–a low-slung red-and-white cottage on the side of Route 2 in North Kingstown–has managed to survive the Dunkin’ era and the Krispy Kreme incursion. Credit the late Frederick “Allie” Briggs Jr., whose simple formula of good coffee (nearly 10 flavors on a recent visit), handmade doughnuts, and friendly service (takeout only) has put his namesake on many a “Best Doughnuts in America” list. The honey-dipped rounds are tender and yeasty, with a crackly crust of glaze; the chocolate cake doughnuts have the perfect balance of crisp outside and moist inside, with rich cocoa flavor; the maple-frosted rings taste like a trip to the sugar shack. And the pièce de résistance: Custom doughnut cakes, made with yeast dough and topped with a thick layer of icing and a Technicolor shower of sprinkles.
In our town, this would be a regular morning stop. The staff, a mix of old-timers and pretty high-school girls on the weekends, would come to know us and put our frequent-buyer card up on the wall with everyone else’s. We’d make our way through the 30-odd doughnut flavors and settle on one, but maybe switch it up every month or so for variety’s sake. And there would be no drive-through mornings for us–just a chance to say hello to some familiar faces and eat something fried, frosted, and fabulous. 3661 Quaker Lane, North Kingstown, RI. 401-295-8036; facebook.com/alliesdonuts