Donuts from Holey Moley

A Guide to Milwaukee’s Donuts

Here are 10 sure-to-satisfy donut spots in Milwaukee.

Cranky Al’s Chocolate Salted Caramel Cake Donut
Cranky Al’s Chocolate Salted Caramel Cake Donut; Photo by Somer Servais

Cranky Al’s

He may be cranky, but Al makes some darn good donuts: racks and racks of ‘em. Prepare to wait in line for one of Wauwatosa’s best morning destinations. Cranky Al’s donut menu offers all the usuals, and a bunch of un-usuals too – mainly in the form of cake donuts. For the kiddos, the “Gummy Yummy” and “Vanilla M&M.” For everyone else, Cranky Al’s seasonal feature is a Chocolate Salted Caramel Cake donut. But talk of a blueberry creation was recently discussed for this summer’s feature.

(Chubby’s) The Drive-Thru

Good donuts in Milwaukee aren’t just reserved for morning people. The Drive-Thru, more popularly referred to as “Chubby’s,” satisfies the late-night soul, frying up fresh, made-to-order mini donuts till 2 a.m., Sunday through Wednesday, and 3 a.m., Thursday through Saturday. Coat your donuts in powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, or both.

Grebe’s Bakery Cruller
Grebe’s Bakery Cruller; Photo by Somer Servais

Honeydip Donuts

Maybe not the fanciest donut joint in town, but Honeydip makes up for it with around-the-clock hours. Dubbing themselves master of the apple fritter, Honeydip has been serving up delicious fried dough for decades. They ask guests to “expect to be treated like family” when stopping into the donut shop. And with four locations in Milwaukee, chances are Honeydip is closer than you think.

Grebe’s Bakery

Live in the city of Milwaukee long enough and you’re sure to hear about the Crullers at Grebe’s Bakery. The baking began back in 1937 inside Great Grandma Irene’s home kitchen. As the donut demand heightened, Grebe’s Bakery opened on Lincoln Avenue. This location still stands today, but Grebe’s baked goods can be found at various locations all around the city. Look for Grandma Irene’s face and stop in to try a best-selling Cruller.

Grebe’s Bakery storefront
Grebe’s Bakery storefront; Photo by Somer Servais


Donuts at a steakhouse? You better believe it! Carnevor understands just as well that donuts can satisfy at any time of the day. Their dessert menu features donuts made on-site and served with chocolate ganache, vanilla anglaise and seasonal jam dipping sauces. Steak dinners at Carnevor may be filling, but let’s be honest: there’s always room for donuts.

Holey Moley Coffee + Doughnuts

The name tells no lie. One bite and you’ll be saying, “Holey Moley! These donuts are heavenly!” But these little cakes have more than just good flavor going for them. Your eyes will thank you as you gaze upon each delicately decorated cake donut, making any flavor look delectable. With a daily rotating menu, there’s literally no end to Holey Moley’s selection. For a walk on the wild donut side, try the Diablo Rojo – a red velvet cake base filled with Nutella and covered in chocolate ganache, dipped in peanut butter chips and drizzled with more chocolate.

Holey Moley Diablo Rojo
Holey Moley Diablo Rojo; Photo courtesy of Holey Moley
Holey Moley box of donuts
Donuts from Holey Moley; Photo by Somer Servais

National Bakery and Deli

Attention, Milwaukeeans: Something called a “cheese pocket” exists, and you can get it here. Another bakery that specializes in dozens of irresistible baked good items beyond just donuts, National offers a long list of donut and pastry varieties. To name a few: the butter twist, the sweet roll and the Persian, in flavors like maple, chocolate iced, coconut… are you drooling yet?

Papa’s Bakery

Not far off from what you’d envision a grandfather’s simple bake shop to look like, Papa’s Bakery serves a smaller population than most Milwaukee bakery businesses. Just minutes from the airport on Howell Avenue, Papa’s serves the basic donut types – cake, filled, frosted, glazed, long-johns. And some less basic varieties as well, specifically the “Alligator Jaw.” This triangular, chocolate-frosted donut is butterflied and slathered with white cream frosting.

Alligator Jaw Donut from Papa's Bakery
Alligator Jaw Donut from Papa’s Bakery; Photo by Somer Servais

Canfora Bakery

This little Bayview bakery serves donuts in one size: large. Good luck eating a whole sweet treat in one sitting. The biggest ones include the white frosted Persian sprinkled with chopped nuts, and the lightly frosted cheese pockets. And don’t even think about asking for a recommendation. Despite their size, you’ll have to try them all to decide upon your favorite for yourself.

Canfora bakery storefront
Canfora bakery; Photo by Somer Servais
Persian with white frosting and nuts; chocolate frosted custard-filled donut, both from Canfora Bakery
Persian with white frosting and nuts; chocolate frosted custard-filled donut, both from Canfora Bakery; Photo by Somer Servais
Coffee + Maple Donut from Colectivo
Coffee + Maple Donut from Colectivo; Photo by Somer Servais

Colectivo Coffee in Bayview

Exclusive to Fridays and Saturdays, Troubadour Bakery (Located in Bayview’s Colectivo location) began frying up homemade glazed donuts just a couple years ago. Unlike its competitors, Colectivo offers only three donut flavors: maple, vanilla and chocolate. Finding a favorite is made easy, unless of course you’re lured into trying additional non-donut baked goods, at your stomach’s expense.