Do you like Donuts? I sure do. It’s always exciting to find a new donut shop that’s putting a twist on this classic pastry treat, and the latest to hit the scene is Bear Donut, located in the very fun and trendy neighborhood of Koreatown. I had the pleasure of visiting Bear Donut a few weeks ago and could not have been more impressed. Wait until you see these gorgeous donuts!
With it’s retro-American design, vibrant blue and white color scheme, neon signage, and even a wall display of branded swag for sale, Bear gives the impression of a confident, established brand. I thought perhaps it was a popular South Korean chain making its way to the states, but that is not the case. Bear Donut is a new brand from Suhum Jang, Owner of the Michelin-recognized modern Asian restaurant Hortus NYC, and Marketing Director Honey Kim founder of the poplar of ARTIPS beauty brand. Jang, who I was able to meet and speak with on my visit, says that they chose the name Bear because they wanted something cute and friendly. Great idea!
The new shop bakes fresh donuts twice daily, the first batch arriving at the counter at 10:00 AM and the next at 2:00 PM.
Bear Donut serves three varieties of signature donuts, all developed by Jang. The visual stand-out is definitely their fun bubble ring-shaped donut, dressed with powdered toppings (Powdered Sugar or Cheddar) or glazed with flavors like Lavender or Pink Chocolate. Besides being fun to look at, these donuts have a distinct chewy and crispy texture, because they’re made with sweet rice flour.
Also made with sweet rice flour are their traditional ring-shaped donuts in flavors ranging from Coffee and Toasted Coconut to the citrus-y Poppy Grapefruit (pictured above).
Specialty offerings include their light and airy brioche Cream Puff Donuts (perfectly round and double the height of the other donut varieties). These are filled with cream options like Double Milk Tea and Strawberry, each topped with powdered sugar. Chocolate lovers can choose the Dirty Choco, filled with Nutella and glazed with semi-sweet chocolate. The center-filled Yuzu Cheesecake and PB&J donuts are limited edition flavors.
Of course, you will need something to wash these donuts down with, and Bear Donut has an impressive beverage program starting with La Colombe brewed coffee that you can get piping hot, as cold brew, or a draft latte. If you’re not in the mood for coffee, Jang has developed a selection of specialty drinks including Bear Draft Milk and Draft Oat Milk in signature flavors like Cheddar Cheese, Black Sesame, and Lavender (to go with one of the shop’s most popular donut flavors). Bear also serves house-made soft-serve ice cream (in Milk and Thai Iced Tea flavors), that finds its way into their Bear Donut Coffee — a coffee float made with either iced or hot coffee and Milk soft serve. Indulgent and refreshing!
Speaking of soft serve, check out their irresistable Donut + Soft Serve combination, which you can customize to your taste. The concoction above was actually in the process of being immortalized in a TikTok video when I snapped this photo! Doesn’t it look scrumptious?
Of course, what kind of authentic reviewer would be if I didn’t sample a couple of these beauties for myself. I ordered a coffee plus the PB&J filled and one of the ever-so-slightly-pink glazed Poppy Grapefruit donuts (though it was challenging to pick just two from so many delectable varieties).
Look at all of the homemade strawberry jam stuffed inside this morsel of goodness! The peanut butter frosting is creamy-smooth and not too sweet, and a sprinkling of roasted diced peanuts adds just right amount of contrast in texture to give you the perfect bite. It’s a PB&J-lover’s dream.
Behold the Poppy Grapefruit donut, which I was very excited to try. The most noticeable difference between a Bear Donut and a regular donut is the almost creamy-chewy texture that the sweet rice flour gives these donuts. Coupled with the crispy outside, it creates an amazing mouth feel. A slight citrus tang in the grapefruit glaze makes the flavors really pop, while the addition of poppy seeds adds a very subtle nuttiness. A masterpiece!
Bear Donut is Located at 40 West 31st Street between 5th Avenue and Broadway, in NYC’s Koreatown (for perspective, it’s just a few blocks south of Macy’s). The shop is a strictly grab-and-go-establishment, with no in-store seating, so many customers are taking their tasty purchases back to their apartments, offices or one of the neighborhood hotels to enjoy. If you happen to pop in while you’re just out and about, there’s ample outdoor seating on the pedestrian plaza along Broadway just north of 31st Street, where you can people-watch while enjoying your coffee and a couple of these beautiful, colorful, and delicious donuts (be sure to grab a handful of napkins on your way out).
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