Destination: Danville – where Royal Donut has withstood rise of the mall and the fall of the Main Street.
Open 7 days a week (and 24hrs on weekends!), Royal has been serving up fresh donuts and legit coffee since 1973. Angel creams, smiley face cookies, Frisbee-sized cinnamon rolls, a psychedelic donut van and a drive-thru perfect for a cruisin’ pick-me-up…..I half expected to see Wooderson leaning up against the façade.
Royal Donut keeps it classic and does it right with a few signature twists. 1) The toasted coconut – on top of either a classic fluffy glazed with vanilla icing or a classic fluffy glazed with chocolate icing (basically a donut in a Samoa costume):
2) The bacon on the maple bacon long john. GET OUT. It is smoky and chewy and as loaded as a Friday’s potato skin (they also don’t skimp on sprinkles):
3) The most unique thing I encountered at Royal comes by way of their most basic offering: anything with just a simple glaze. Plain raised, blueberry cake, chocolate cake, etc….. the glaze is only around the perimeter of the donut. At first I was like: oh, they put this donut in the box upside down, or…wait….this donut missed the glaze line…..or….wait, what is going on?!? Here’s the deal: they load all of the donuts intended for glaze onto a long rod – really stack em on there without any gaps in between – and then they’re dipped into a vat of glaze. So only the edges are covered! This is genius for two reasons: 1) not overly glazed so you can really taste the actual donut, 2) you can hold it without your fingers getting all sticky. Why don’t all donut shops do this?? Seriously.
In case you need further proof of Royal’s staying power, let me share this:
Their roadside marquee has a timely Beauty and the Beast shout out.
College kids stop in to fill up boxes of hometown sugar before heading back to school.
Nurses in scrubs stride in to make sure they get a serving from the apex of the food pyramid.
All is well.
(quick poll: what is your topping of choice? angel cream, sprinkles or bacon? comment below to let me know!)