It’s extremely rare that I can eat at a bakery, so when I first heard about The Donut Pub, it seemed too good to be true. A nut-free donut shop? With sandwiches? And bagels?! No way.
Q. Are you a Nut Free Establishment?
A. WE ARE NUT AWARE. Our on-site bakery does not use nuts, and we have been assured by our suppliers that they deliver nut-free ingredients as specified by their labels. Although we do not allow customers to bring outside food into the Pub, we cannot assure customers a nut-free environment. Thus we call the Donut Pub “Nut Aware.” Note that we supply donuts to the Food Allergy Initiative luncheon.
So no, they don’t call themselves “nut-free.” But by their definitions, “nut-aware” is probably even better. They are, for all intents and purposes, nut-free; they don’t use nuts and they do vet their suppliers. But they’re so careful and so allergy-conscious that they don’t want to make any outright guarantees, which is, to me, a very good sign. No business can guarantee that a nut will never cross the threshold—The Donut Pub’s just decided to be honest about that. So in my eyes, this place is about as safe as it gets.
It’s a cute little place, with one long marble countertop and a bunch of stools. The employees are friendly, and they won’t get annoyed when you, too, inevitably feel the need to ask all the questions they’ve been answering on loop all day: “What’s in that one? Oh, and that one? How about that one over there?”
The donuts are pretty tasty, too. They aren’t absolutely incredible, but if you catch the right donut at the right time of day, The Donut Pub can be really, really good. The stock is pretty inconsistent, but it’s always a good day when I walk in and spot whatever it was I was looking for. My favorites, by a long shot, are the cannoli cream croissant donuts and the French crullers, both pictured in the photos above—although my official recommendation would probably be the (plain) glazed croissant donut.
Unfortunately, their bagels aren’t the ones of my dreams. Still, nut-free bagels are notoriously hard to come by, so I’ll often settle for theirs in a pinch. As long as you don’t have your heart set on a fluffy, chewy New York City bagel, one of theirs will do the trick. Beware, though: Their menu advertises scallion cream cheese, but they’re always, always, always “out” of it.
In any case, The Donut Pub is a lovely place. It’s one of my favorites, and I’d certainly still stop by if I didn’t have a nut allergy. In case you aren’t yet convinced, here’s a bonus photo of a tray of croissant donuts, fresh out of the oven at around midnight on a Saturday night:
See for yourself: 203 West 14th Street, near the corner of 7th Avenue. Worth a try, at the very least.