Is there anything better than a fresh donut?
The experience of biting into a circle of sweet, airy fried dough that melts away in your mouth has the ability to make you forget about your problems for 3 minutes of bliss.
Donuts can be basic and cheap, like the classic glazed donut from Krispy Kreme for $.99. But they can also be ultra extravagant with wild flavors combinations, such as the peanut butter and jelly square donut from the Donut Plant for $4.25. (click HERE to find out my thoughts on if it was worth it.)
Donuts were THE trendy dessert item in New York for a hot second, leading to the inception of donut meccas like Dough, The Doughnut Project, and The Doughnut Plant. How would the donut scene stack up in Hobart, Tasmania? You better believe I was going to find out!
Here are the results of our quest for the best donut in Hobart!
Queens Pastry is a boutique patisserie in central Hobart that bakes fresh muffins, croissants, and donuts out of a bright cheery store front with blue accents and a retro feel.
My cinnamon donut was perfectly tasty with an ample coating of cinnamon and a light airy texture. However, it wasn’t particularly memorable or exciting. I imagine that if it had been fresh out of the fryer, my tune would be a bit more enthused. But even then, would I say “Best Donut in Hobart?” I don’t think so. But would I say #4 donut in Hobart? Sure!
In addition to a donut, Jeremy and I got a fresh ham and cheese croissant. And OH BABY was it amazing. The croissant was perfectly flakey, buttery, and warm with a complementary salty flavor from the cheese and ham. I would 10/10 recommend skipping the donut and hitting Queens Pastry at the 7:30am, 8:45am, or 10:30 am croissant bake time.
The Hobart Twilight Market is a summer food event every other Friday of the month (click HERE for details on life during COVID in Tasmania) that features dozens of food trucks and tents, arts and crafts, and live music. At the first one of the season, I spied Panelas Hobart, which was was frying up donuts on the spot. How could I say no?
While we ordered a honeycomb and cinnamon combo, the three donut balls came on top of a lemon blueberry sauce. The flavor combination of cinnamon, honey comb, blueberry, and lemon was odd. The tangy lemon didn’t quite complement the warm cinnamon and honey, but without the acid, the dessert would have been too sweet. Plus, I always love a little lemon zingers.
The donuts themselves were wonderfully light and airy without being too bready, and they had that oh so incredible melt in your mouth sensation that truly fresh donuts deliver, making Panelas #3 on our “Best Donut in Hobart” countdown.
Lady Hester’s humble begins comes from two sisters, Erin and Loren, who had a stall at various Tasmanian markets selling baked treats and sourdough loaves. In 2014, they combined the two passions to come up with something nothing short from genius: sourdough donuts.
These donuts aren’t your typical donuts. While there is a touch of yeast, what makes the dough rise is the sourdough starter. It is then refrigerated overnight, hand shaped, and left to prove before being fried and filled.
Sound delicious? But wait, there’s more!
Erin and Loren grew up loving middle eastern sweets, which is brought to the baking with donut fillings like rhubarb and rose jam alongside other inspired treats like Baklava cinnamon scrolls and carrot and pistachio cake (which is AMAZING by the way).
In the quest to find the best donut in Hobart, we swung by to pick up a couple donuts to go and were blown away. The donuts are beautifully light and fried to perfection with a crispy outer crunch that compliments the melt-in-your-mouth dough. The strawberry and rhubarb filling was crisp, tart, and sweet while the caramel and almond filing was rich and creamy with a pronounced almond flavor. One donut will set you back AUD $6, but it’s worth the splurge.
For these reasons, we give Lady Hester the #2 spot on our best donut in Hobart countdown.
Yeastie Beastie is a pop up donut stall that serves up fresh, made to order sourdough donuts. They are fluffy, sweet, light, and everything you could ever want out of a donut.
Yeastie Beastie donut’s have a perfect texture with a slight gooeyness, making for a delightful mouth feel. The sourdough base prevents them from being overly sweet while adding a little somethin’ somethin’ special.
Thus, it earns the spot of the #1 best donut in Hobart!
Yeastie Beastie is a bit allusive. It doesn’t have a storefront or a strong social media presence, and you have to hunt one down at a farmer’s market or food festival. Follow Yeastie Beastie on facebook or Instagram to find out where and when you can score one of these culinary gems (I’ve had one at Franklin Street Eats as well as the Sunday Farmgate Market!)
The Hobart Donut shop I can’t recommend….
When you search online and through social media for the best donuts in Hobart, you will come across Circle of Life Donut Co., which is why I must include it in this post. I hate giving bad reviews, but alas, I’m nothing if I’m not honest.
The little donut shop in downtown Hobart is colorful and light with a friendly atmosphere. There is a delightful scent of baked treats wafting from the visible kitchen, and I couldn’t help but smile at the cheery ambiance.
There were plenty of options to choose from with both classic and unique flavors, including sugar, glazed, Bavarian cream, and even French Toast. We went with a classic cinnamon sugar as well as a fancy golden gaytime donut. (Golden Gaytime is an toffee and vanilla ice cream bar that’s dunked in chocolate. It’s quite popular in Australia, although I can’t say I’d choose it over Hagan Daaz.)
Despite the social media hype and pleasant presentation, these Hobart donuts fell short. Both flavors were dramatically underwhelming for the total price tag of $9.5 AUD. The classic cinnamon sugar was fluffy in texture, but it was a touch too dry and lacked any sort of flavor. The Golden Gaytime Donut was equally uninspired with a dry chocolate filling inside an even dryer, bready donut. It took a bit of jaw work to chew, and it felt more like eating a roll than a donut.
Maybe it was an off day. Perhaps the head baker was sick!
We tried again, but alas, we were just as disspointed.
While Circle of Life does not serve up the best donuts in Hobart, I guarantee you’ll be lured in by their strong social media game which is why it’s included in this list. Save yourself the $$$ and head to Lady Hester instead!
Wrapping it all up….
The Hobart donut scene is small, but tasty! You’ll be satisfied with any of the 4 Hobart donut shops on this list.
Hobart foodies, if I missed a great donut find, comment below to let me know!