Ye Olde Donut Shoppe has a long history in C-U — it’s been making and selling doughnuts since 1956. Most recently, you’ve been able to purchase the doughnuts at select Circle K gas stations, Espresso Royale cafés, Art Mart, and at Urbana’s Market at the Square. Now, you can stop by the storefront on Neil Street in Champaign, which has a drive thru.
Sure, parking at Stadium Plaza is a bit of a pain, but you can easily park on a side street, or at the Hilton Garden Inn and walk. Within the store, there is plenty of seating; it’s bright and clean and would be a nice place to meet a friend for a chat and a sweet treat. It’s the kind of place you expect to see a group of septuagenarian men chatting about golf and their latest medical results. The décor inside is limited, but charmingly doughnut themed.
Ye Olde makes all sorts of doughnuts and doughnut holes ($1.35-$2.75). There are iced long johns and squares, as well as traditional glazed and glazed with icing and sprinkles. There are cream filled ones, and cinnamon twists. I picked up a half dozen yesterday, and my favorite of the bunch was the apple fritter. It was so damn delicious: tender, sweet but not cloying, with pieces of apple inside. I’d like to start every day with that apple fritter. I also really enjoyed the raspberry swirl-y bun thing (yes, that is it’s official name). The raspberry was pronounced but not overwhelming. Like all the doughnuts I sampled, it was super tender and a little chewy — basically the perfect consistency for a yeast doughnut. I’d love to have a jelly doughnut with that raspberry filling. And the cream filled? Chef’s kiss. I love a yeast doughnut, and these ones were among my favorites.
In addition to a wide variety of doughnuts, Ye Olde also sells regular coffee. They will not be selling specialty coffee drinks — you’ll have to go a few doors down to Espresso Royale for those.
I’m excited that Ye Olde is open. I’ve found that doughnuts taste best when you can buy them shortly after they’re made. Buying them from a truck or at a market stall is absolutely fine, but they just seem a little fresher when you buy them in the store. (Read our review here.) The addition of another doughnut shop in C-U makes it even easier to do a doughnut tour.
Ye Olde has been in operation since 1956, and is now on its third owner. They posted a little note on Facebook that I thought was lovely; it’s shared below.
Ye Olde will be open every day from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Ye Olde Donut Shoppe
1401 S Neil St
6 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily
Photos by Jessica Hammie