Granny Donuts

A quiet gem of fried cakes in (West) St. Paul

Shawnna Stennes

Shawnna Stennes

In the suburban depths of West St. Paul, in between an abandoned Blockbuster and a battery store, sits a donut shop so humble you may even doubt that it’s a donut shop. With a closer look, you’ll see “Let’s Go Nuts For Donuts” scrawled across the window and then you’ll be certain.

Granny Donuts, despite its dreary location, has remained here for more than 20 years, picking up a few awards and a number of passionate patrons on the way. Open every day of the year, owner Xuan To and his wife Que Bahn run the store themselves with the occasional help of their four children.

Although you won’t see Granny coming out with any quirky combinations the likes of Minneapolis’ beloved Glam Doll Donuts, it has championed the originals: long johns, plain frosted, apple fritters, glazed raised donuts, and essentially anything you would find in a gas station display case.

Granny Donuts, despite its dreary location, has remained here for more than 20 years, picking up a few awards and a number of passionate patrons on the way.

I ordered an apple fritter and a blueberry-glazed donut but To knew the naivety of a first-timer too well. He handed me a free plain glazed raised donut and had me taste it in front of him. We deconstructed the brilliance of the donut together, as he described the light dough and how quickly it melts in your mouth. Satisfied with my reaction, he beamed and said, “That’s Granny’s!”

While the blueberry-glazed donut and the apple fritter were a pleasure to sink my teeth into, the simple glazed raised donut stole my heart. However, two hours post-donuts, I wasn’t feeling too good. I recommend not ordering a blueberry-glazed donut, an apple fritter and a plain glazed raised donut at the same time. Stick to one.

You can find Granny Donuts at 1555 S. Robert St. in West St. Paul open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. Bring cash!