#44: Have a Charlottesville Exclusive: Spudnuts

spudnuts-309-avon-street
I’m not ashamed to say I consider myself something of a doughnut expert. I grew up in the Deep South, where fried-anything is all the rage, your local doughnut spot is every small town’s news hub, the doughnut’s rowdier cousin the funnel cake is a state fair delicacy, and a proximity to New Orleans means high standards in the form of the doughnut’s other, more fancy cousin the beignet. To be honest, one of the few disappointments I have found in Virginia over the past four years has been the scarcity of good doughnuts–though I’m sure my health thanks me!

Given my expertise, how it took me until my fourth year spring to discover Spudnuts is a mystery. Though acknowledged as something you have to try before leaving UVA, Spudnuts remains relatively unknown to most wahoos. Now that I have finally made it to this spot, however, I can’t stop singing its praises.

Here’s a little background that I gleaned from the Internet and from my fellow diners who seemed to be trustworthy Spudnut regulars. Back in the ’40s, two brothers started the chain Spudnut Shops with locations all over the nation. Today, the national company no longer exists, but a couple of locally owned shops, like Charlottesville’s Spudnuts, can still be found. And trust me, the store by the Belmont Bridge is worth the hunt! A Cville staple since the late ’60s, Spudnuts has outlast several Dunkin locations along with other local spots. The secret to their sucess? Potato-based doughnuts (hence the “Spud”). Yes, these delicacies are actually made with potato flour, and are perhaps the best doughnuts you will ever eat.

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Stepping into Spudnuts is everything you could want in a neighborhood doughnut joint and more. The homey, nostalgic atmosphere and the friendly workers made it clear why everyone in the store seemed so at home. The menu was simple, and I decided to stick with the classic glaze. For less than a dollar (be sure to bring cash!), I was falling in love, and already thinking about the cinnamon apple doughnut I want to try next time (which hopefully will be sooner rather than later!).

UVA is about tradition, and Charlottesville has a proclivity to love the local. Start a tradition of your own, and make Spudnuts a weekend must!

Spudnut Shop, 309 Avon Street, Charlottesville, 434.296.0590

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