If it weren’t for the large neon “Let’s Eat Donuts” sign greeting you as you enter Donut Crazy’s newest location in New Haven, you might think you stumbled into a Yale library. Walls bathed in a Yale blue lacquered paint, a seating area with cozy leather chairs and a couch, and soaring ceilings make the 1450 square foot space seem more spacious and studious than it is. Just beyond this warm welcome is a hub of retail activity and a dining area of small tables, and a well-lit wall of Donut Crazy doughnuts in all their colorful and sugary glory.
“I wanted to give the space a library meets bar feel, not treat it like a typical commercial space, and the blue is a nod to Yale,” explained Donut Crazy owner Jason Wojnarowski.
For those uninitiated into Donut Crazy’s world of over-the-top sugary doughnut confections, this location feels like a giant step forward both in selection and ambiance. All of their baked goods are made in-house in a Donut Crazy Kitchen by an overnight team of bakers. In New Haven, Donut Crazy will offer its typical selection of “Dailies” and “Crazies.”
The "Dailies" are a selection of about 25 familiar doughnut offerings ranging from the Boston Creme, Powdered Jelly, Chocolate Glazed, and Pumpkin Cake (my daily favorite), to the slightly more trendy, Matcha Frosted anyone? These are $1.95 each.
The “Crazies,” at $3.25 each, are where the overnight crew clearly has some fun in the kitchen, with a core selection of favorites as well as few seasonal rotating flavors of 15 or so inspired doughnuts. At their size and assumed calorie count, they are also ideal for sharing, or a meal replacement. No ingredient seems off-limits when you consider the Salted Caramel Pretzel, the Cannoli, and (my “crazy” favorite) Black Hawk (a chocolate glazed cake donut topped with chocolate icing, crushed cookies and cream drizzled with more chocolate).
The stepped-up beverage offerings should be a draw in and of themselves. Sourcing from local companies such as Arethusa Dairy and organic Shearwater Coffee (a Connecticut favorite), Donut Crazy will offer Nitro Cold Brew and Arethusa Milk on tap (!) as well as a selection of espresso-based hot drinks.
On the first day of its soft opening, students were already lining up for doughnuts as well as setting up with their computers in its various nooks and crannies. Open daily and late into the evening, I anticipate Donut Crazy will be a bustling all day affair from daylight computer cram sessions, to giving into that after-dinner sweet tooth craving.
Donut Crazy is located at 290 York Street.