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They Say The Donut Flights Are Bright on Broadway

The Broadway play "Rent", playing in Columbus this weekend, is
celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year.
I don't know about you, but mental tangents offer me some of the best writing inspiration. Take the play "Rent", which is in Columbus this weekend on its 20th Anniversary Tour and is also one of the few Broadway plays I have seen and my spouse (a lover of Broadway musicals in general) has not.

Anyway, the tangent train started with an article e-mailed to me by one of my fellow bloggers regarding cities and fast food (a potential future topic) that sent me on the research path. During the search, I discovered that Dunkin' Donuts (a franchise that has actually struggled in Central Ohio) was listed in the Top 10 on most lists.

With a pizza post also in the works, that got me thinking about a rhetorical and somewhat unanswerable question: can you have more variations on donuts or pizza? It is here when the play "Rent" and its the signature song "Seasons of Love" popped into my head, with slightly altered lyrics:

"Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred donuts
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred rings so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred donuts
How do you measure, measure a year?"

So that got me thinking: how many different donuts could you eat in Columbus if you really tried?

After debating the scope of this, I decided a simple sampling of various local donut shops in the Central Ohio area (or at least ones I could find a posted menu) would suffice in getting a rough idea of this number. As it turned out, I ended up with a group of nine shops that were nicely scattered throughout the Columbus area and surrounding cities.

The list, you ask?  Well, here are the shops (in alphabetical order) and their listed donut offerings:

Buckeye Donuts (University District; 34 Total)
Apple Spice; Blueberry; Bowtie; Buckeye; Buttermilk; Cake (Blueberry); Cake (Coconut); Cake (Crumb); Cake (Peanut); Cake (Strawberry); Chocolate Frosted; Chocolate Custard; Chocolate Cream; Chocolate Raised; Cinnamon Bun; Cinnamon Powdered; Cronut with Chocolate Drizzle; Custard; Devil's Food; German Chocolate; Glazed; Jelly; Lemon; Long John; Long John (Maple Bacon); Old Fashioned; Pumpkin; Pumpkin with Cream Cheese; Red Velvet; Red Velvet with Cream Cheese; Stix; Stix (Cinnamon); Strawberry; Vanilla Cream

Daylight Diner (Hilliard; 34 Total)
Bavarian Cream w/Chocolate Icing; Bavarian Cream w/Powdered Sugar; Bear Claw (Fruit Filled); Cake (Blueberry); Cake (Chocolate); Cake (Coconut); Cake (Devil's Food); Cake (Glazed); Cake (Maple Iced); Cake (Peanut); Cake (Plain); Cake (Powdered Sugar); Cake (Toasted Coconut); Cake (Vanilla Iced); Cinnamon Roll (Chocolate Iced); Cinnamon Roll (Glazed); Cinnamon Roll (Maple Iced); Cinnamon Roll (Vanilla Iced); Cream (Chocolate); Cream (Vanilla); Fritter (Apple); Fritter (Blueberry); Jelly; Jelly w/Powdered Sugar; Long John (Chocolate Iced); Long John (Maple Iced); Long John (Vanilla Iced); Pinecone; Raised (Buckeye); Raised (Chocolate Iced); Raised (Glazed Rings); Raised (Maple Iced); Raised (Vanilla Iced); Twist (Glazed)

Destination Donuts (Arena District; 36 Total)
Apricot Pistachio; Blackout; Blood Orange Dark Chocolate; Buckeye; Butterscotch; Caramel Apple; Chocolate Coconut; Chocolate Ganache Oreo (Nibbler); Cookies & Cream; Ginger Peach; Ginger Peach Wasabi (Nibbler); Grapefruit Mint; Kiwi Strawberry; Lavender (Nibbler); Lemon Blueberry; Lemon Poppyseed; Lemon Triple Berry (Nibbler); Mandarin Orange Coconut (Nibbler); Maple Sausage; Mojito; Orange & Cream; Peanut Butter Bullseye; Pumpkin Cream; Raspberry Bullesye; Raspberry Hibiscus; Red Raspberry Coconut; Rosemary Caramel Pinenut; Salty Caramel & Toasted Pecans; Salty Caramel Toffee; Strawberry Rhubarb; Strawberry Rosewater; Thai Peanut (Nibbler); Triple Berry Cardamom; Triple Chocolate; Turtle; Vanilla Cream

DK Diner (Grandview Heights; 15 Total)
Blueberry; Cake (Chocolate); Cake (Glazed); Cake (Plain); Cinnamon Roll; Cinnamon Sugar; Devil's Food; Dousant; Fritter (Apple); Glazed (Yeast); Holes; Long John (Chocolate); Long John (Vanilla); Sour Cream; Stick

Golden Donuts & Diner (South Columbus; 15 Total)
Bismark (Cinnamon Roll); Bismark (Cream); Bismark (Custard); Bismark (Lemon); Cake (Cinnamon Sugar); Cake (Coconut); Cake (Peanut); Crullers (French); Crullers (Plain); Crullers (Sugar); Devil's Food; Honey Dipped Glazed; Old Fashioned; Raised (Sugar); Raised (Twist)

The Original Goodie Shop (Upper Arlington; 29 Total)
Bismark (White Iced); Bismark (Chocolate Iced); Bismark (Maple Iced); Cake; Cake (Iced); Cinnamon Rolls; Cinnamon Sticks; Cinnamon Swirl (Glazed); Cinnamon Swirl (White Iced w/Peanuts); Cream Filled (White Iced); Cream Filled (Chocolate Iced); Cream Filled (Maple Iced); Custard Filled (Chocolate Iced); Donut Holes; FLIPPO (Iced); FLIPPO (Iced w/Message); FLIPPO (Iced & Decorated); FLIPPO (Plain); FLIPPO (Plain w/Message); Fried Danish; Fritters (Apple); Glazed (Chocolate Iced); Glazed (Plain); Jelly Filled (White Iced); Raised (Sugar); Raised (Cinnamon Sugar); Stick (Traditional); Stick (Dunker); Twist (Glazed)

Resch's Bakery (Eastside; 13 Total)
Donut Holes (Glazed); Bowtie; Cake (Chocolate); Cake (Glazed); Cake (Plain); Cake (Sugar); Cake (White Iced); Fritter (Apple); Glazed (Chocolate Iced); Cinnamon Donut (Roll); Glazed; Stick; Twist

Schneider's Bakery (Westerville; 26 Total)
Apple Fritters; Blueberry Cake with Glaze; Cinnamon-Sugar Cake; Choc Frosted Cake with Peanuts; Choc Frosted Cake with Sprinkles; Davy Crockett (Cinnamon Twist w/Maple Icing); Devil's Food Cake Raised w/Glazed Chocolate Iced Yeast; Glazed Buttermilk Round Cake; Glazed Round; Glazed Twist; Honey Buns (Glazed Cinnamon Bun); Iced Cake (Chocolate); Iced Cake (White); Long John (Raspberry Filled); Long John (Lemon Filled); Long John (Custard Filled); Nut Toppers (Honey Bun w/White Icing & Peanuts); Peanut Butter Creme Filled w/Peanuts; Plain Cake; Powdered Sugar Cake; Twists (Sugared); Vanilla Cream Filled - Powdered Sugar Long John; Vanilla Cream Filled - Round Chocolate Iced; Vanilla Cream Filled - Round Maple Iced; White Frosted Cake with Peanuts; White Frosted Cake with Sprinkles

Tupelo Donuts (Food Truck/Various Locations; 7 Total)
Brown Butter Hazelnut; Chocolate Creameaux; Coconut Cream; Creme Brulee; Orange Cardamom (Holes); Rosewater Almond; Salted Chocolate

Adding it all up, you have 200+ different donuts you can try at these 9 locally-based donut shops.  Interestingly, the Destination Donuts picture above shows two flavors that aren't on their scrollable menu; add in other specials for the holidays, and you realize this is just the minimum number. Add in the offerings at places like Duck Donuts (we calculated 308 possible combinations) and Amy's Donuts (139 variations, by our count), plus other locally-based and chain donut shops, as well as supermarkets with donuts and bakeries with select donut offerings, and your total donut options in this area easily top the four digit level.

If the thought of all those donuts makes your belly full, but you still want to urge to explore, Peace, Love, and Little Donuts gives you a perfect option.  Originating out of Pittsburgh, this franchise with a distinctly (and intentional) hippie vibe came calling to Central Ohio in July 2017, setting up shop in a rather narrow space in the historic downtown area of Worthington.

Specializing in gourmet mini-donuts (the result, as the story goes, of a mis-assembled dough extruding machine), Peace Love and Little Donuts organizes its choices in both in simplicity and price, featuring Groovy (the eight base models from plain to sugared to glazed) to Far-Out (the eight iced varieties) and the 44 Funkadelic fancy choices that range from PB&J to Raspberry Truffle to Salted Chocolate Macchiato and many, many more. First timers to the store who might be hesitant (or not) are given some extra sweet incentive to buy some of their wares with a sample donut.

Donuts are prepared once the order is put in, which means a bit of a delay; however, on our visits, we've never had to wait too long for our creations. These mini-donuts are far more manageable than the usual suspects, offering creative flavor combinations and allowing you to more easily limit your caloric intake than the traditional behemoths.

Peace Love and Little Donuts also offers a small selection of beverages to wash your donuts with, but one of those is not coffee (from what I was able to tell, anyway).  Since I enjoy coffee with my donuts, I'd drop by one of the nearby options like Sassafras (with their new enhanced coffee program via Brioso Roastery), Highline Coffee, or RIDEHome to grab a cup. By the end, you might be happily improvising more "Seasons of Love" lyrics like these:

"In sprinkles that you ate
Or in rings that you fried
Long Johns devoured
Or the fritters you tried
It's time now to dine out
Though the story never ends
Let's celebrate, enjoying donuts
With your favorite friends"

Peace Love and Little Donuts
656 High St (Google Maps)
Worthington, OH 43085
(614) 396-6503
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