Sundays in downtown Minneapolis are frustrating for out-of-towners. Despite the tease of bright, bold signs offering milkshakes, bagels, sandwiches, or falafel, this part of the city shuts down on the weekly day of rest, leaving hungry travelers to choose among local pubs, Starbucks, or Five Guys as dining choices. Not the worst of dilemmas, but this predicament did put me in sour mood after walking the maze-like skyway system of downtown and passing two charming little donut shops that were closed. Two.

[20 minute Skyway walk from my hotel to the Minneapolis Convention Center in 30 secs]

So a mission was set. I’d skip the hotel’s breakfast buffet the next morning in favor of doughnuts and coffee, compliments of one of the two spots I’d passed by on Sunday afternoon. At five days and four nights, my trip, I figured, had room for visits on multiple days. But which place to hit up first?

How about both?, suggested my friend Antoinette, in town for the same reason as I – junior girls volleyball. [Yes, the story of my life.] Antoinette is a smart woman. The mission settled in with plans to pick up goods from Bogart’s Doughnut Co., and then try a couple at Cardigan Doughnuts close to our hotel. From Bogarts, I selected the lavender cake and chocolate cake. And doughnut holes for my volleyballer. And it was the classic glazed, a churro roll (with caramel sauce), and the Blackeye (coffee) cake down at Cardigans. Here’s how the match up went down…

Bogart’s Chocolate Cake vs. Cardigan’s Churro Roll
Winner: Bogart’s
Though bursting with churro flavor, the Churro Roll lacked the moist, chewy inside that makes a churro special. The caramel sauce, however, could be described as nothing but delightful. I could fill up pages on things I’d like to drizzle it over. The chocolate cake proved everything I hoped it would be – rich and luscious and just the right kind of chocolaty. I had no choice but to eat the whole thing immediately, despite my current weight loss goal.

Bogart’s Lavender Cake vs. Cardigan’s Blackeye Cake
Winner: Cardigan
It wasn’t that the Lavender was anything wrong; just that the Blackeye was everything right. Well, okay – perhaps I may have wanted a bit more lavender taste and aroma infused into the cake. Even so, the deft balance of Blackeye Roasting Co. coffee flavor throughout the Cardigan doughnut along with the gently sweet glaze gave me happy shivers. I still have another day-point-five here so I’ll be sure to grab a few for my carry-on bag to keep me company on the way home.

Bogart’s Holes vs. Cardigan’s Glazed
Winner: Cardigan…by a thin sliver of icing
And just by a sliver of icing does Cardigan win. It was a supreme glazed doughnut, and so were the holes.

So it’s been a tasty-sweet trip so far. Thankfully, I’m averaging about 20,000 steps to offset some of the billions of calories I’ve eaten since landing.

I’ll add that, thanks to the awesome customer service I received at Cardigan, I returned the next day to try their oatmeal bar, a build-your-own concept. Usually a plain oatmeal kind of girl, I felt somewhat pressured to add a little somethin’-somethin’. So I did, and glad about it.

Cardigan Donuts
40 South 7th Street #207 (second floor of skyway)
Minneapolis, MN

Bogart’s Doughnuts
Nicollet Mall, 80 S 8th St (and one additional location)