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Portland, Oregon: The Do(ugh)nut Capital of the U.S.



These days, special “holidays” fill the calendar, greatly outnumbering official U.S. holidays and religious commemorations. Many of them were dreamed up to promote and sell goods and go mostly ignored, leaving little trace in our vast data on the daily wants and needs of Yelp users. Last year, for instance, June’s annual International Sushi Day made little impact on the share of restaurant and food searches on Yelp that were for sushi.

But on National Doughnut Day, Americans proved they really do love their donuts. U.S. searches for donuts or doughnuts – we’re spelling-agnostic here at Yelp — on that holiday last year, June 3, 2016, represented nearly 3 percent of all food and restaurant searches, more than triple the level on the next highest day in the year that ended April 30. The runner-up? That was June 2, teeming with searches by hunters of doughnuts who like to plan ahead.

What counts for the country as an unusually elevated level of doughnut mania, though, on National Donut Day Eve, would be just a slow day for doughnut makers in Oregon. The nation’s top state for doughnut searches — by share of food and restaurant searches that are seeking the circular sweets – averages a level so high, an average day there would be the second biggest for doughnuts in the country.

Top five:
Oregon
Louisiana
Oklahoma
Texas
California

Bottom five:
Wyoming
Montana
Alaska
District of Columbia
New Mexico

Portland — the Doughnut State’s biggest city and home to Voodoo Doughnut and Pip’s — tops all the other top 100 Yelp cities for restaurant and food searches when it comes to share of searches that are for doughnuts, according to the Yelp Data Lab. The next eight cities on the list are all in Southern California, home of a long and proud doughnut tradition. Following them: New Orleans, where the best doughnuts are beignets.

Top ten:
Portland, OR
Orange, CA
Ontario, CA
Pomona, CA
Santa Ana, CA
Walnut Creek, CA
Riverside, CA
Huntington Beach, CA
Anaheim, CA
New Orleans

If all this is activating your sweet tooth, here are the best U.S. restaurants and food businesses for doughnuts, based on the number of reviews that include either spelling of “doughnut” and their average ratings:

BJ Cinnamon, Folsom, CA

Daddy’s Donuts, Kenmore, WA

Neil’s Donuts and Bake Shop, Wallingford, CT

Donut King, Minneola, FL

Pip’s Original Doughnuts, Portland, OR

Are you a journalist or researcher who’d like to learn more about this data or get your hands on Yelp data of your own? Please contact me at carl@yelp.com.

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