If you are a purveyor of things that land in the “world’s best” category, I have a suggestion. World’s Best Donuts near the waterfront in Grand Marais is a longtime family-operated bakery specializing in a wide variety of classic donuts and pastries.
World Famous, did you say? Why, yes, yes I did! The walls of the small bakery and its adjacent coffee room are filled with pictures of adorning customers holding coffee mugs featuring the bakery’s moniker from around the world.
A North Shore favorite among locals and travelers, you can find your fix in a number of caloric selections including cake donuts, raised donuts, long johns, Bismarck’s, tubby twists, chocolate knots, mini jellies, turnovers, muffins, cinnamon round-ups, breads, pull aparts, maple swirls, roly polies, donut kebabs and their own creation called, skizzle.
It is important to note that all the donuts are fried in lard, so they are not vegan friendly. Nothing too fancy, just good, old-fashioned, nostalgia-inducing doughnuts.
Starting in 1969 by Merieta ‘GrammaRita’ Altrichter, it was originally called the Grand Marais Donut Shop. It was located in a building that is now part of Dockside Fish Market.
The front counter held three bowls of donuts: plain, sugared and cinnamon sugared. Merieta made all the donuts by hand, mixing dough in a plastic bowl. She would make donuts and then a friend would sell the donuts during the day while she went to her job working in a department store. In 1975, she began making donuts full time. The business grew steadily each year and in 1977, moved to its current location at 10 East Wisconsin Street. A name change followed – and rightfully so.
Owned in its fourth generation, and hoped to continue into the fifth – it is hard to argue when you hold that kind of history. And most don’t. They are usually too busy in the line that extends around the block for one of the world famous donuts.