Foodie trails are all the rage, but did you know the sweetest foodie trail can be found in Butler County, Ohio? Located just north of Cincinnati, the Butler County Donut Trail includes 12 sweet mom and pop shops spanning over 80 miles. During spring break, we had a chance to try out a portion of this sweet trail, but due to time constraints we were only able to visit 3 locations. (We actually visited 4 but since then one donut shop has closed.) But oh, were they so good! Each location is unique and special in their own different way, but everything was as delicious as could be. And honestly, how can you go wrong with donuts, right? Here’s why you should #GettotheBC.
With a passport in hand, we were ready to try out the sweetest trail ever.
Located in a newer shopping development in West Chester, Holtman’s wins hands down for the best atmosphere with black and white tile, plenty of tables and chairs to sit and relax.
They offer a variety of flavors — many of them unique like a fruity pebble one, Lucky Charms, and Toasted ‘Smores. We also couldn’t resist the bacon and maple one.
One thing’s for sure — these donuts from Holtman’s were definitely made for Instagramming.
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Stan the Donut Man
Visiting Stan the Donut Man was an excellent example of what happens if you don’t go early to grab your donuts. It was definitely slim pickings but we still managed to grab a few delicious ones. My son, obsessed with all things lemon, loved his lemon-filled donut.
Once we walked in the smells of the coffee was amazing. They happened to roast their own coffee in-house, and a must try. As far as donuts go, we were impressed with the variety of choices here – danishes, classic, as well as creative donuts options. Everything was delicious! Their donut of the month was a real treat — and quite honestly one of my favorites on the trail — a pistachio donut with strawberry glaze.
Sit and stay awhile, they have a few tables and seats. Even kids have a small cute table to munch on donuts.
Tip: Jungle Jim’s International Grocery Store is located just down the street. A definite must-stop!
Tips to Enjoy the Butler County Donut Trail
1. Plan it out
The Donut Trail spans 80 miles and 11 stops so you’ll definitely want to have a plan before heading out. Head to the Visitors Center to grab a map or download one online. Then map out all the locations. Pay special attention to hours and days they are open (some may be closed Sundays and Mondays.) Make sure to get a stamp at each location. After completing the passport, you’ll get rewarded with a cool Donut Trail t-shirt.
2. Take your time
You don’t need to complete the trail in one day. I would suggest doing 2-3 shops a day. Take your time and enjoy the area — Butler County offers so much for families to do. (Here are 9 things to do in Butler County.) In fact, we brought our donuts to Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park where we saw sculptures (on a golf cart!) while eating our donuts. What a perfect memory!
3. Go early
Set your alarms and plan to head out early to have the most variety. The good ones go fast! Most shops will close early if they’re out of donuts.
At each shop, everyone chose their favorite donut to try. We eventually just split all the donuts so we could try different flavors. We really didn’t want the kids eating one whole donut at each stop.
4. Stop and try the donuts
We were in such a rush to get our donuts and head to the next stop, that when it was time to eat them we forgot which flavors we got. My suggestion — find a seat at each stop and have a bite. Then head to the next stop.
5. Fill your belly with other food
It’s fun to indulge in sweet treats, but if you’re looking for other types of food Butler County has you covered. Fans of sushi? Roll On In lets you create your own sushi burrito, bowl, or salad. The classic drive-in, Jolly’s Drive-In, has been serving food for 80 years. You can eat burgers, hot dogs, and root beer in frosted mugs all from the comfort of your car. (The prices are pretty reasonable too!) Pies & Pints in Liberty Center serves delicious pizzas (try the Thai Chili) as well as a variety of craft beers. Looking for authentic foods from around the world. Try Lebanese food at Aladdin’s or Asian food at Dai Trang Bistro. We feasted on pho, tosino Banh Mis, spam misubos. Whatever you do, save room for Halo Halo, a Filipino treat with shaved ice topped with all sorts of goodness.