Restaurant Review: Emily's Donuts

Image by Abby Russo

Emily’s Donuts and Café is one of the best kept secrets of Williamsburg, at least to William and Mary students. It’s clear from their avid clientele and fan base that plenty of Williamsburg locals are well aware of this somewhat hidden gem. After hearing about their legendary donuts for some time, I finally paid a visit to Emily’s Donuts, and I know for sure that I’ll be back.

The business was opened four years ago this month by the Yates family, Emily and her parents. (There is actually an Emily!) After Emily’s father retired, he took up baking and became aware of the lack of local donut shops in Williamsburg. Eventually he started doing research on donut makers, coffee supplies, and other ingredient suppliers until the family found a storefront and opened Emily’s Donuts and Café.

Emily’s Donuts has a vast selection of yeast, cake, and filled donuts, though if you don’t arrive early in the day, some of the more popular flavors may have already sold out! I went on Super Bowl Sunday, so they were selling themed donuts, decorated for both the Eagles and the Patriots. They also offer other pastries, like apple fritters, cinnamon rolls, and cronuts. They also offer breakfast sandwiches, lunch sandwiches and salads, and a wide variety of coffee drinks. With such a wide selection and so many donuts on display, it’s hard to choose what to order!

When I visited, I couldn’t choose just one donut, and decided to try the Boston Cream and chocolate frosted donut with sprinkles. The Boston Cream donut was shockingly good – the frosting was sweet and thick and the donut itself wasn’t too sweet, making the donut and frosting a perfect combination. The vanilla custard inside the donut was silky and smooth, and easily could have stood alone as another dessert. The chocolate frosted with sprinkles was just as delicious, though much lighter than its cream-filled counterpart.

At Emily’s Donuts, the food is amazing, and the atmosphere stands out just as much. At its core, Emily’s Donuts is very much a family run, local establishment frequented by locals. The interior is small, but the staff keeps things moving quickly and are friendly and helpful. The location is a bit out of the way and would take about thirty minutes by bus from campus, but by car, it’s under ten minutes, which isn’t bad at all, considering the walk across campus can take just as long.

I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to Emily’s Donuts and I’ll definitely be back soon to try a cronut and a coffee!


Thumbnail Image by Abby Russo