Krispy Kreme vs. Dunkin’ Donuts: Which is Best?


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A glazed treat from either of these iconic donut chains is delicious, but how do the biggest players in the donut game stack up when they go head-to-head?

Whether you’re sprinkle savvy or gaga for glaze, Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts have a little something for every sweet tooth and a lot of caffeine for every addict. But when you’re giving into a donut craving, you want to pick the right place to treat yourself. And if indulging in a donut is part of your cheat day, make sure you check out our 16 Cheat Meal Strategies for Weight Loss.

Let’s break it down.

You know you’re in for a treat when you order from either chain, but when it comes to nutrition, Krispy Kreme seems to be the lesser of two evils. Although its famous glaze contains cornstarch, which is linked to weight gain and high blood pressure, there are only 190 calories in one glazed donut compared to the 260 found at Dunkin’. Krispy Kreme’s donuts also contain less sugar, less fat, and 245 milligrams less sodium. As if that isn’t enough, a dozen runs two dollars cheaper here and is made fresh at most locations. Although that used to be the case at Dunkin’, now the supply arrives every morning on a truck.

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But don’t write off Dunkin’ just yet! The chain has twice as many donuts to choose from with over 100 listed on its website — vanilla cake batter, anyone? — and Dunkin’s menu boasts a variety of bagels and sandwiches that won’t be found at Krispy Kreme. In addition to these breakfast options, it shifted its focus to coffee in 2003 and now sells 30 cups a second. In 2006, Dunkin’ even sold more coffee than Starbucks! While some of its flavors and swirls add up to a sugar content that’s through the roof, 24 grams in a 16 ounce iced caramel latte sure sounds better than the 41 in the same Krispy Kreme drink. That’s almost as much as four of its famous glazed donuts!

Our final verdict?

Here’s the bottom line: There may be a Dunkin’ Donuts with a massive menu on every corner, but going out of your way to splurge with a Krispy Kreme donut will always be worth the trip. Sure, there’s less to choose from, but that just means the chain has figured out what it’s good at and has stuck to it. Besides, when you’re looking to treat yourself, which sounds better: A cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich, or a freshly glazed donut?

Yeah, that’s what we thought.