Brent and my first official date was a donut tasting around Washington, D.C. We had a grid and scored each place as we went. Nerds for life.

You might think every donut tastes the same, but after 6 donuts, you start to notice subtle things. Like how recently a donut was fried, how flavorful the dough is versus the icing, the balance of flavors, and more. It was a wonderful date. We were on a total sugar high for hours.

Some of those places have closed now, but here are our top three places to date and donut in Washington, D.C.

1. District Doughnut

Ok, full disclosure: One our friends is actually behind this gourmet doughnut shop across from the U.S. Marine Corps Barracks in Southeast D.C. but it totally deserves to be on the short list. They use fresh local ingredients to make their doughnuts everyday. They even make their own Oreo-like cookies for the cookies ‘n cream cake doughnuts.

Although they have different specials every week (and we’re talking lime merengue and bacon Nutella kind of specials), their classic Brown Butter is my all-time favorite. It tastes like a warm hug on a crisp Vermont day.

MUST TRY: Brown Butter and the seasonal special.

2. Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

Started by childhood friends and Washington hockey players, the first location is a tiny storefront down the street from The White House. It seems almost unbelievable but the kitchen is just under the store. It’s got a great retro feel.

MUST TRY: Make sure you try the square Crème brûlée donut. It’s got a flame-blazed glaze on the outside and creamy vanilla custard inside. 

3. Krispy Kreme

Ok, this isn’t a D.C. original, but we have sweet memories in the Dupont Circle store, and they still offer free donuts when the light is on in the big window. It’s a great place to pick up a donut and walk around and plenty of benches to get cozy.

Did you have any memorable first date foods? My favorite thing about getting to know each other over donuts was we couldn’t be too serious stuffing your face with sprinkle donuts and fried chicken.