Dublin’s Best Treats? The Underground Donut Tour of Dublin (Review)

Searching for a delectable way to experience Dublin? Dive into my Underground Donut Tour of Dublin Review.

Choosing the perfect food tour in a city famed for its culinary delights can be overwhelming. But for those with a penchant for sugary treats and iconic sights, I’ve got a treat for you.

Armed with a sweet tooth and a curiosity for Dublin’s streets, I embarked on the Underground Donut Tour, Dublin, and what I discovered might just sway your decision.

For my fellow dessert devotees visiting the Emerald Isle, let’s journey together through this sugary escapade, sprinkled with Dublin’s rich history and, of course, a dash of fun.

You’ll soon be booking your spot on this unique food tour in Dublin!

Experience Dublin in a unique way by booking the Downtown Dublin & Temple Bar Doughnut Tour from Underground Donut Tours.

When it comes to Dublin food walking tours, there are a host of options. But choosing the right one for you can be difficult.

If, like me, you want something a bit different then a donut walking tour of Dublin with Underground Donut Tour could be the perfect solution.

They run a Dublin Downtown and Temple Bar Doughnut Tour that combines the sweet treats that are donuts with a guided, informative walking tour of Dublin.

I am sharing with you my review of the Underground Donut Tour of Dublin so you can discover why this tour may be the perfect one for you to take while discovering the Irish capital.

Who is the Underground Donut Tour Company?

The Underground Donut Tour Company was founded by Chicago donut enthusiast, Jeff Woelker.

Jeff has always enjoyed donuts and began the company over 7 years ago as the only tour guide.

Quickly realising that others shared his passion for donuts, he expanded the company and now Underground Donut has tours in cities across the US and beyond with multiple guides in each city, including Chicago, New York, Toronto, Dublin, and London.

My Experience of the Underground Donut Tour of Dublin (Food Tour of Dublin Review)

Here is my experience of the Dublin Downtown and Temple Bar Doughnut Tour by Underground Donut.

Our tour began at the first venue, The Rolling Donut on South King Street. Our guide Karen was waiting for us and the two ladies from Arizona who were part of our tour.

After choosing our donuts, we made our way towards the Gaiety Theatre, one of Ireland’s oldest theatres. Outside, Karen pointed out the bronze handprints in the pavement, Dublin’s own Hollywood Walk of Fame but with past performers to the Gaiety Theatre.

I was taken aback as I never knew about this and was pleasantly surprised to see handprints belonging to Luciano Pavarotti, Brian Friel and even Billy Connolly, to name but a few.

While there, Karen told us about St. Stephen’s Green shopping centre beside us, and about Dublin’s Millennium logo, before taking us to see the statue of Luke Kelly, founding member of the Dubliner band, opposite the 700-year-old hospital.

A short walk from there we learned about how the Hairy Lemon pub got its name before making our way to George’s St Arcade, home to local merchants. Karen told us about the history of the arcade, about it burning down and the rebuilding of it by locals.

We continued towards Dublin Castle where Karen shared her extensive knowledge of the building before seeing an old English post box, left over from the days of British Rule, which is painted green but still bearing the British monarch’s seal.

This brought us to our second stop of the tour, Sweet Churros on Dame Street. We enjoyed churros and my son had a hot chocolate, while the ladies had a coffee. After enjoying churros, we continued our guided tour through Temple Bar.

We walked past the Olympia Theatre and Karen pointed out the Quakers House down a side street while telling us of the work they did during the Famine years in the 1850s.

We walked past the Irish Rock’n’Roll Museum Wall of Fame and saw the flora tributes to Sinead O’Connor who had passed away just a few days earlier.

While in Temple Bar, Karen brought us past the famous Temple Bar pub, and she stopped to share with us a spooky story about one of the nearby buildings. When you take the tour, if Karen is your guide, ask her to share the spooky story with it!

We then crossed the Liffey over the Millennium Bridge and Karen shared with us her knowledge of the famous Ha’Penny Bridge and its history. We continued to the GPO where she pointed out the bullet holes remaining in the columns and façade from the 1916 Easter Rising. I knew about these, but my son was fascinated to see them.

We then arrived at our third venue, The Hot Donut. I picked out my donut (my son was still full from eating delicious churros) and chose to take it with me. Normally, Karen stops here with guests for a coffee but as we’d stopped at our previous venue, she gave us the option to carry on with the tour which we did.

Once we’d all received our choice of donut from The Hot Donut, we made our way down O’Connell Street, passing the original donut kiosk of Dublin (part of The Rolling Donut company), one my sister always stops at for donuts for her husband whenever she is in the city centre.

Karen pointed out the statue of Daniel O’Connell at the bottom of O’Connell Street and shared her knowledge of the man and his place in Irish history. I know a small bit about the man, but Karen was able to tell me much more.

We crossed back over the Liffey over O’Connell Bridge (yes, both it and the main street in Dublin are named after Daniel O’Connell, that is how important he was in our history), before arriving at our last stop of the tour, Offbeat Donut Co.

You can read my thoughts on each venue below but suffice to say that the best was saved till last. Read on to discover more about each stop along the Downtown Dublin and Temple Bar Doughnut Tour.

Map of our Underground Donut Tour of Dublin Route

To see this interactive Google map, click here.

Underground Donut Tour of Dublin Stop 1 – The Rolling Donut

Our guided tour of Dublin began, as mentioned, at The Rolling Donut, Dublin 2.

Karen, our guide, was waiting for us and our other tour members. Karen introduced herself, a lovely lady from the Finglas area of Dublin where my late Mum worked for many years, and she brought us inside to select our first donut of the day.

My son and I chose a simple ring donut each from the huge variety of donuts on offer and took them away in a bag for later as we were not long after breakfast. Having chosen our donuts, our group then began our tour of Dublin (as described above).

The Rolling Donut was founded by a local man in 1978 who began the company which brought donuts to concerts, shows and festivals around Dublin.

In 1988, Dublin’s first donut shop, a kiosk on O’Connell Street, was opened by The Rolling Donut Company and it is still there today, know and loved by Dubliners including my sister who, as mentioned, always gets some donuts for her husband before getting the Luas back to the suburbs whenever she’s in the city centre.

Today, The Rolling Donut has multiple stores including the ones I know at Liffey Valley Shopping Centre and Kildare Village.

You can get classic jam-filled donuts as well as an assortment of filled-donuts and they also do vegan donuts!

The store on South King Street has seating inside for patrons.

Address: 55 South King Street, Dublin 2.

Website: The Rolling Donut

Underground Donut Tour of Dublin Stop 2 – Sweet Churro

Our second stop on our donut walking tour of Dublin was Sweet Churro after our visit to Dublin Castle.

There we were treated to warm plain, cinnamon sugar dusted churros and had a choice of getting chocolate dip as well. As my son was getting hot chocolate, we chose not to get the dip.

However, that did not stop me dipping my churros in his hot chocolate (as recommended by Karen), something I highly recommend you do! It’s a yummy combination.

Sweet Churros was established in 2016 by two Venezuelan ladies who discovered a lack of churros in the Irish market.

Sweet Churros was born, and the Irish market has been able to enjoy fresh, homemade churros ever since.

Sweet Churros not only serve vegan-friendly churros, but they also have ice cream, crepes, mini pancakes, tequeños, empanadas, cachapas, and milkshakes on the menu.

There are limited seats inside and we were lucky with our visit as shortly before we left a group of Spanish students entered the store.

I can highly recommend dropping into Sweet Churros to sample some of the delicious items on the menu.

And, as Karen kindly pointed out, this was the only stop along our donut tour of Dublin that had bathroom facilities, so use them here if you need to.

Address: 4 Dame Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.

Website: Sweet Churro

Underground Donut Tour of Dublin Stop 3 – The Hot Donut

After wandering through Temple Bar, paying our respects to Sinead O’Connor, and crossing to the Northside of the city, we visited The Hot Donut, Dublin, our third stop on our tour.

There we again had a choice of some amazing donuts and I chose a Black Forest donut, Karen’s favourite, and got the kind lady behind the counter to pop it into a bag for me to enjoy later.

It is at this stop that Karen usually gets her tour guests a tea or coffee, but as we’d stopped and sat down at Sweet Churros, we all agreed to carry on with our tour.

The array of donuts at The Hot Donut is incredible and these are considered artisan donuts.

The Hot Donut was started in 1979 and is based in the heart of Dublin, close to The Spire on O’Connell Street. Bakers work through the night to produce the artisan donuts, which Karen let us know can change from day to day.

While there are some staples, there are others that are not available on a daily basis, including her favourite, the Black Forest which I just had to try. The donut menu includes classic donuts, artisan donuts and also vegan donuts.

As well as the incredible donuts on offer, The Hot Donut does savoury donuts, something I want to try next time and pizzas, as well as hot beverages.

There are seats outside if the weather is nice (it wasn’t during our tour) and a few inside.

I had my Black Forest Hot Donut back in the hotel we were staying in and I can safely say it was delicious, I can see why it is Karen’s favourite.

If you are looking for amazing artisan donuts, head to The Hot Donut or even better, book this tour to guarantee a visit!

Address: 6 O’Connell Street Upper, Dublin 1.

Website: The Hot Donut

Underground Donut Tour of Dublin Stop 4 – Offbeat Donut

After crossing back over the Liffey via O’Connell Bridge and learning about the man after which it was named, we arrived at our last stop of the tour, Offbeat Donut Co Dublin.

And in my opinion, the best was saved till last!

This donut shop in Dublin has what I can only describe as the most pretty looking donuts on the tour. They are works of art and look incredible. They are more like desserts than donuts.

I chose an Apple Crumble and ate it there and then. Oh my word, it was simply divine. I’ve never tasted a donut like it.

One of the other ladies had the seasonal Strawberries and Cream which she said lived up to her expectation.

All the donuts are fresh, light and so tasty.

Offbeat Donut Co was set up in 2016 by husband-and-wife duo, Brian and Sandra O’Casey who wanted to bring a bit of ‘magic’ into people’s lives through light, airy, delicious donuts.

Today there are eight company-owned stores and three licensed stores producing fresh, handmade donuts in-store every day. As donuts sell out, the next batch is prepared fresh for the next customers.

Offbeat Donut Co has a variety of donuts on offer that include filled, ring, seasonal, nut-containing and also vegan options. And each one looks incredible.

If you are looking for a light, airy, dessert with amazing fillings, then Offbeat Donut Co is where you will find it. And by joining this donut tour of Dublin, you will be treated to one of their incredible creations at the end, so leave room for it!

Note that there are only a few seats in this store.

Address: 5 Westmoreland Street, Dublin 2.

Website: Offbeat Donut Co

Summarising our tour

This Underground Donut Tour of Dublin visits 4 donut places in Dublin and my word, they are perfect.

Each has unique donuts and plenty of choice. And you can eat your donut while enjoying your guided walking tour of Dublin, or you can bag them up for later as I did with two of our donuts.

The tour is an ideal way to satisfy your sweet tooth while discovering the Irish capital, its history and hearing some great stories from your guide.

Our tour lasted just over two hours and was highly informative an engaging. Our guide Karen was amazing, even taking time to chat and listen to my son.

As a local, she was highly knowledgeable and even introduced me to some new things in Dublin that I never knew before, even as a local. She combined history with some personal stories which made this tour even more interesting.

At the end of the tour we all received a sticker and donut keyring to commemorate our tour.

Our Thanks

Firstly, a huge thanks to Karen for guiding us around Dublin and sharing her extensive knowledge of the city.

Karen was fun, personable, and engaged with my son in a big way which is always a bonus for me as I understand young kids can become bored on guided tours quite quickly.

Karen shared personal stories alongside historical stories and there was even one spooky one as well. I won’t share what it is so as not to spoil the fun when you take this tour yourself.

Thanks also to Jeff, owner of the Underground Donut Tour company, for allowing us to experience the Underground Donut Tour of Dublin on a complimentary basis. Although we were hosted on this tour, all opinions are my own.

Experience Dublin in a unique way by booking the Downtown Dublin & Temple Bar Doughnut Tour from Underground Donut Tours.

What Do I Need to Take on the Underground Donut Tour of Dublin

I advise anyone who takes this tour of Dublin to ensure they are wearing comfortable walking shoes. You will be walking for approximately 2 hours, so comfortable shoes are a must no matter the time of year.

I also recommend you bring an umbrella and wear a raincoat, just in case, especially on overcast days. On the day we joined this donut tour of Dublin in July, it was raining on and off and were glad of our raincoats.

Since Dublin weather can be unpredictable, even in the summer months, going prepared is a must.

If you are lucky enough to be taking this tour on a dry, sunny day, ensure you are wearing, or bring sunscreen.

Our tour guide provided us with a bottle of water, but it would be advisable to bring your own.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Underground Donut Tour of Dublin

Final Thoughts: Underground Donut Tour of Dublin Review

The best way to tour Dublin and satisfy your taste buds at the same time is to take a food walking tour of Dublin. But, if you have a sweet tooth like me, then securing your place on the Underground Donut Tour of Dublin is a must.

You get to enjoy a guided tour of the Irish capital with a knowledgeable local guide while sampling some of the most delicious donuts the city has to offer.

Visiting no less than four establishments across both the north and south side of the city, you will be treated to some of the best sweet treats you’ll have tasted while visiting some of the iconic landmarks and learning about their history.

Taking a donut walking tour of Dublin with Underground Donut Tour Company is also a great way to be introduced to the city on foot to get your bearings.

We thoroughly enjoyed our tour with Karen and the Underground Donut Tour Company and can highly recommend you book your place for your next visit to Dublin.

We were hosted by the Underground Donut Tour Company. However, all opinions are my own.

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by Cath Jordan
Cath is an Irish expat and the founder of Travel Around Ireland. She and her husband both come from Dublin, where the rest of their family remains. They regularly return to the Emerald Isle to explore the country with their son as well as to visit family. Through Travel Around Ireland, Cath shares her local expertise and knowledge with travellers and visitors to Ireland. Find out more about Cath here.

2 thoughts on “Dublin’s Best Treats? The Underground Donut Tour of Dublin (Review)”

  1. Thank you so much Cath for such a lovely review, it was my pleasure to take ypu and your lovely son around Dublin, he was extremely good and I enjoyed chatting about his favourite games. Come back soon for more stories and a belly full of Donuts. Many thanks Karen Gray and The Underground Donut Team


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