Like most Omaha teens of the '90s, I spent a handful of very, very late nights at the Donut Stop. They all sort of run together now, but I know they often happened after shows at Sokol Underground, after nights of after-hours dancing or after hitting the downtown bars, once I was old enough.

I remember only one night in particular. It was the night I decided it would be a great idea to eat not just one but two strawberry glazed cake doughnuts.

Trust me, it was a bad idea. 

After Donut Stop announced earlier this week that it was closing at the end of October, after 30 years of late, sugary nights, I got lots — and I mean lots — of reader notes asking where they should go once the Omaha classic closes its doors. 

I present you with an alphabetical short list, culled from my doughnut Food Prowl, of my favorite stops and, in one case, a particular pastry item, to be found throughout the metro area. 

Culprit Cafe

1603 Farnam St., opening soon in Midtown Crossing

I've gone on and on before about Culprit's crème brûlée doughnut, a true feat of baking magic. Somehow, it's got a tender crumb, a creamy filling and a crispy brûléed top that cracks just like it does on one of my favorite desserts. I don't really care how it's made, it's so good. The bakery also makes a regular list of super original doughnut flavors. Instagram tells me one of the more recent selections is matcha white chocolate. 

Olsen Bake Shop

1708 S. 10th St.

I love the Olsen Bake Shop. If you like the old-school vibes of Donut Stop, you'll also love it. Though it doesn't have any sweet cat posters, it does have amazingly good, crispy-on-the-outside/tender-on-the-inside doughnuts that are, in my humble opinion, downright swoon-worthy. And also, while you're there, get one of their toffee coconut cookies.

Note: Culprit and Olsen tied for the Food Prowl win. 

Jim And Connie's Blair Bakery

132 S 17th St., Blair 

This tiny spot is a favorite because of its sheer charm alone. Blair Bakery is such a staple in Blair that if you get there by, say, 9 a.m., most of the case is sold out. I really enjoyed trying what we could get our hands on the day we visited, particularly a simple but classic glazed doughnut. 

Sweet Magnolias

813 N. 40th St.

I mean, Sweet Magnolias is just so dang cute. They have some of the most adorably decorated doughnuts anywhere in Omaha (see the photos for proof) and, in another fine detail, they make vegan doughnuts and fun flavors: honey almond donuts with toasted almonds and bee pollen is a recent example. The shop has been on my list more recently not for a doughnut but a newer item they've introduced called a unicorn bar, a layered rainbow treat that includes, of course, lots of funfetti and sprinkles.

Uptown Bakery

2229 Thurston Circle, Bellevue

One of the Food Prowl judges, Sarah Lorsung Tvrdik, clued me in to the existence of the glazed croissant. This seemed like the right time to bring that delicious pastry back into the conversation. Who needs to wait in a huge line in Manhattan for a cronut when you can get an oversized, tender French croissant dipped in a classic doughnut glaze right over in Bellevue? Beats me.

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