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Donut D-Light, Dunkin', Harold's Doughnuts and QuickTrip will all get your mouth watering for these sweet treats.

We’ve all been there: looking to satisfy a sweet tooth with no idea where to go. Our guide to Columbia’s best hole-y treats is here to fix your confection conundrum.

Midwestern charm: Donut D-Light

The inside of Donut D-Light feels exactly like you’d imagine a small-town doughnut shop would. It’s narrow with classic Midwestern decor. Employees behind the counter will greet everyone who walks in, and it’s that service that keeps customer Steve Carter coming back almost every day. “The ladies are real friendly, and it’s the people that mean everything,” he says.

While the service and the ambiance are great, the doughnuts don’t disappoint either. The yeast doughnut has a perfectly light flavor and texture. The combination of customer service and quality doughnuts compliment each another to create one of Columbia’s finest pastries.

Locations: 1301 Vandiver Dr. and 3301 Broadway Business Park Court

Phone: 573-814-2304

Hours: Mon.–Fri., 6 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Saturdays, 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Sundays, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Basic glazed doughnut price: $1.75 per doughnut or $13.80 per dozen

Wow factor: Service with a smile

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With most of these shops open past lunchtime, doughnuts are perfect for any time of day.

Sprinkles on top: Dunkin’

With three locations in Columbia, Dunkin’ is convenient for anyone to grab a doughnut or coffee.

The doughnuts at Dunkin’ check all the boxes. Soft? Yes. Cheap? Yes. Tasty? Yes. Because it’s a national chain, you know the atmosphere to expect at Dunkin’. The standout factor for this shop among its Columbia competitors is the variety of toppings adorning the glazed treats, including cookie crumbles or more classic options (read: sprinkles, please). The vibrant options will appeal to any child — including those at heart.

Locations: 3075 Rangeline St. (north), 821 Elm St. (downtown) and 3100 S. Providence Road (south)

Phone: 573-607-3865 (north), 573-476-6341 (downtown) and 573-514-7020 (south)

Hours: Daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. (north) ; Sun.-Thu., 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Fri.-Sat., 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (downtown); and daily, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. (south)

Basic glazed doughnut price: $1.39 per doughnut

Wow factor: Sprinkles

Homemade: Harold’s Doughnuts

January marked Harold’s Doughnuts fifth year as a Columbia staple. The shop uses family recipes from founders Michael and Karli Urban to craft confections from scratch. Looking at the bakery’s selection of doughnuts, it’s obvious the round delicacies are made by hand. None are the same size or shape, but they all taste heavenly.

The pastry chefs frequently create new concoctions, such as a dragon fruit-flavored doughnut. Flavors change seasonally, so it’s worth checking to see what’s new in the shop from time to time.

Locations: 114 S. Ninth St. (downtown) and 204 E. Nifong Blvd. (south)

Phone: 573-397-6322 (downtown) and 573-447-7555 (south)

Hours: Daily, 6 a.m. to noon.

Basic glazed doughnut price: $1.10 each or $10.00 per dozen

Wow Factor: Made from scratch

Quick and easy: Quik-Trip

When hunting for the best doughnuts our city has to offer, gas stations probably don’t come to mind. But QuikTrip’s variety and convenience merits inclusion. Feeling tired at 2 a.m. and need a sugar boost? Grab a cup of coffee and a cake doughnut. Want a different dessert? Snag a long john.

QT’s offerings are big and fluffy, and their glazes are rich and thick. One specialty is a scrumptious clump of doughnut holes fried together in a pull-apart treat.

Location: 3211 Clark Lane

Phone: 573-886-0171

Hours: Open 24/7

Basic glazed doughnut price: 99 cents per doughnut or $3.99 per half dozen

Wow factor: Open 24/7 

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