Archive for April, 2013

Federal Donuts

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Federal Donuts
1632 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 665-1101

Good Food : 4/5 | Good Service : 4/5

While scouting out food places in downtown Philly, I ran across reviews touting the donuts from Federal Donuts. This review is for their second/smaller location tucked halfway down Sansom Street.

Federal Donuts sells 3 food items – coffee, dense cake donuts and buttermilk fried chicken with your choice of dry or wet seasonings. Since I was stuck in conference classes all day, I didn’t get a chance to taste their chicken but did sample their donut offerings. Donuts fall into 2 categories : fresh donuts and pre-made/fancy donuts. Since this was going to be my only visit, I tried to get at least one of each that was being offered that month. I was able to pre-order my donuts so that I could make sure to get the popular ones and pick them up 2 days later before my flight home.

Federal’s donuts are dense cake donuts and could be considered a little on the small side. Known for unusual flavors, these donuts are a premium at $1.25 – $2 per donut. Considering that the main alternative on the East Coast is Dunkin Donuts, this does give you an optionĀ  for a morning donut fresh from the fryer right before starting your work day.


Fancy donuts
These were dense cake donuts with a slightly soft texture, which could be interpreted as minimally doughy by some. Denser than the fresh donuts since they are made ahead of time.

  • Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter – salty peanut butter strips over a chocolate glaze made for a donut which pleases the adult palate
  • Turkish Coffee – covered in coffee grounds and flavored with a coffee glaze
  • Raspberry Lemonade – raspberry icing stripes with a lemonade glaze
  • French Toast – caramel, brown sugar sprinkles on a white sugar glaze (my favorite!)
  • Blueberry Muffin (special that month) – a strong tart/sweet blueberry glaze spiked with citric acid, sporting brown sugar sprinkles that gave a nice crunch
  • Cookies and Cream (special that month) – traditional cake donut with a white sugar glaze and oreo cookie crumbles

Fresh donuts
Since these are cooked to order, these donuts had a lighter texture than the pre-made/fancy donuts, creating a ‘melt in your mouth’ experience. They were best eaten within 30 minutes of purchase, especially the Cinnamon Sugar one!

  • Cinnamon Sugar – good staple, nothing surprising
  • Strawberry Lavender
  • Vanilla Spice

Overall, these were good donuts. Would I pay this much again if I’m in Philly? probably not, as the flavor and execution was spotty. My blueberry donut I had earlier that week was great, but the ones that I got in my box order were a little on the dry side and were skimpy on the blueberry glaze. I give them kudos for some of the unique flavor combinations.