In the Charlottesville donut ring there are two main contenders. In one corner is the gluttonous heavyweight champ, Spudnuts, a Charlottesville stalwart for over 40 years and one link in a chain stretching back to the original Spudnut shop in Salt Lake City circa 1946.
In the other corner is the flyweight Carpe Donut cart, a recent arrival, aged only two years.
At first glance, there is no question that the heavyweight will make smoosh out of the newcomer. It’s bigger, has a much larger selection, enjoys a loyal clientele, and compels a post-Jeffersonian C-ville mythos rivaled only by Riverside Lunch and Staples Barbershop.
As the fight gets underway, however, it becomes clear that Carpe Donut has an energy and modern sensibility that just might defeat the lumbering giant. In terms of taste, the warm apple cider donut fresh from the cart makes mincemeat out of the glazed, plain, and chocolate-frosted Spudnut donuts, and gives the blueberry Spudnut a run for its money. When it comes to what’s inside, the organic and unprocessed ingredients of the cider donut piledrive the potato and sugar. And in the service department, the friendly banter of Matt the cart man knocks out the surly “Don’t take any pictures in here!” Spudnuts woman.
It may be the case that when it comes to donuts you don’t care what’s inside as long as it tastes good. Or you at least need a variety of flavors. It may also be that you don’t want friendly banter before you’ve had your watered-down coffee, or just want to be part of the Charlottesville mythos. Regardless, Spudnuts is likely to emerge the champ yet again, if only on these technicalities.