Donut Shop Showdown: Dunkin Donuts vs Honey Dew Donuts

I grew up on the south shore of Massachusetts. When I was little, I knew only of one donut shop, Honey Dew Donuts. Then someone new came to town, Dunkin Donuts, and since then they’ve basically taken over the world. Maybe that’s a little dramatic or overstating things, but they are in 32 countries. I’d say that’s pretty widespread anyway.

Both chains are New England based. Honey Dew was founded in Mansfield, Mass. in 1973. Dunkin Donuts was founded not far from there in Quincy, Mass in 1950. Honestly, I was sure Honey Dew was older until I looked up the facts. Call me shocked.

Within the last few years more Honey Dew locations began popping up and being in New Hampshire that was a fun sight. A nice memory from my childhood. At some point, I got it in my head how fun it’d be to compare these two donut shops. Would one come out on top and be a clear winner? That’s what I wanted to find out.

While I love Dunkin Donuts, I need to make a plea for them to train their employees better. I cannot emphasize enough how awful our experiences are. I mean it’s a coffee shop. It can’t be that hard to get an order correct, right? 8 out of 10 times, our local shop doesn’t get our orders right. We pull up and we have to repeat it to them. Honestly, it’s not just that one shop… another local shop can’t make fruit coolattas. They’re typically over frozen and lacking flavor. And while we’re on the topic of customer service, my first experience at our local Honey Dew shop was fantastic. The girls were friendly, got our order right and didn’t have any issues with the machines. We’ll get back to all of that…

The side by side comparison included: a medium hot chocolate, a glazed (or honey dipped) donut, jelly and Boston cream.

Total Price
Dunkin Donuts: $5.19
Honey Dew: $5.02

Glazed/Honey Dipped
Dunkin Donuts: From experience, I know these are typically very sweet and the glaze is nearly always wet and very sticky. The Mr stated it initially had a “chemical taste” to it.
Honey Dew: As you can see, is much larger than it’s competitor. The glaze is completely crusted over and dry.
The winner: Honey Dew. I’d say they’re pretty much known for this particular donut.

Jelly
Dunkin Donuts: 
Extremely squishy and often wet on the outside. We found the jelly to have a nice sweetness.
Honey Dew: Had a fantastic sugar coating that was not moist at all, however the jelly flavor was too mild and blended in with the flavor of the donut.
The winner: Dunkin Donuts. The jelly is the key to these donuts so it has to be just right. I’d love to take Dunkin Donuts jelly and put it inside of a Honey Dew donut.

Boston Cream
Dunkin Donuts: The chocolate was thin and sweet, unlike typical Boston cream desserts. The pudding was creamy and had nice vanilla flavor.
Honey Dew: This one offered a thicker coating of a darker chocolate, which is more traditional. However, the pudding lacked the right flavor and was not at all creamy.
The winner: Dunkin Donuts. While the chocolate is important, the pudding is essential. As with the jelly comparison, if we could blend these two donuts together with Honey Dew’s chocolate and Dunkin Donuts pudding, we’d have a perfect Boston cream donut.

Finally…

Hot Chocolate
Dunkin Donuts: I regularly order hot chocolate in the winter. My biggest complaint is that it is always scorching to the point that I have to let it sit for at least 20 minutes prior to being able to take a single sip so I don’t burn myself. Isn’t there some kind of law against a drink being above a certain temperature? Or hasn’t there been lawsuits over this? Anyway… on this particular visit the girls were having trouble with the machine. This hot chocolate had an extremely watered down taste. Gross. Normally that isn’t the case. I usually love their hot chocolate.
Honey Dew: The Mr hit this one dead on… it tasted like Swiss Miss. Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing but if I wanted packet mix hot chocolate, I’d buy a box and make it myself… not spend $2 to get it from a donut shop.
The winner: This one I decided was a draw because Dunkin Donuts botched this cup and while Honey Dew wasn’t horrible, it wasn’t fantastic either. Such sadness…

I love the Honey Dew shops and customer service SO much more than Dunkin Donuts. I mean how freaking cute are these old time-y display cases. Dunkin Donuts shops are basic and boring, fitting a mold. They’re not inviting. Not that a donut shop has to be inviting, but it’s a nice change of pace.

Conclusion… even though Dunkin Donuts deeply disappoints me 80% of the time by messing up our orders, being out of stock on something and especially no longer carrying cranberry juice… which by the way, is particularly awful considering they’re a New England based company which is land of cranberries!!! This deeply upsets me as cranberry juice is my drink of choice 97% of the time.  Dunkin Donuts won this battle. I had such high hopes for Honey Dew, I really did, but they just didn’t come out on top.

*Note: store image was taken using an iPhone.  All opinions are completely my own and am in no way endorsing either company.

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