Two weeks before Beiler’s Donuts opened on campus, I walked past their nook in Reading Terminal Market. The line snaked around and around the register, looping twice around the glass display case of donuts. It was hot. It was crowded. The wait would have taken two hours. I still had to talk my boyfriend out of hopping in line.
I didn’t believe (Bei–lieve?) the hype until I popped into the new shop next to Chestnut Hall. Since then, Beiler’s has become a biweekly part of my diet: a reward for surviving an exam, a post–Street pick–me–up, a random treat whenever I’m nearby. The beauty of Beiler’s is that it’s so damn cheap: a single donut is just $1.10 (forty cents less than a single Federal Donut, and eleven cents more than a Dunkin). A box of a half–dozen is $5.99, a dozen is $10.99, and—for the extra–ambitious—a box of three dozen donuts is $29.00.
And “donut” doesn’t do these beauties justice. Each Beiler’s creation is a confectionary art piece, a delicate swirl of flavors painted in heaps of filling and layers of icing. Lines of frosting dribble across the hand–sized pastries. They gleam under the shop’s fluorescent lights, winking behind the glass. The line—there’s always a line—moves fast. Some slide onto wooden stools to sit and eat; others cradle the starch white to–go boxes. Street prefers to bite right in. Here are our takes on the best of Beiler’s.
Desserts are at their best when they merge contrasting flavors. Salt and caramel form the perfect duet, adding a zing to the sticky sweetness. Creamy filling bursts from the center. The donut itself is soft and flaky, a basin for the sugary frosting that drips onto your palms and coats your fingers. It’s heaven. I think I audibly gasped.
The filling and frosting gush with rich, whipped, velvety chocolate. So. Much. Chocolate. Each bite sings.
I still don’t know whether to pronounce this like “cream” or “cremm”; in my head, this donut’s just “the one that tastes like solid Starbucks”. The smooth, buttery frosting tastes like your favorite overpriced caffeine source: a blend of coffee, chocolate, and sugary vanilla. The filling is heavy; the frosting is fluffy. I’ll never look at mocha the same way.
Warning: the fat flakes of coconut will shake onto your hands and pants. You’ll pick clusters of coconut off your carpet for days if you’re not careful. But this donut is beyond worth it—this baby’s Nirvana for any coconut lover. There’s enough coconut sprinkled on top to satisfy your craving, and enough gooey custard filling to complement the candied frosting.
Chocolate Coconut Iced:
If you’re craving coconut, stick to the Coconut Custard. The Chocolate Coconut Iced is still delectable—it’s like eating a donut–sized almond joy—but without custard filling, this donut’s flavors seem less intense.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Creme:
I’m a little obsessed with peanut butter—my roommates can’t count the times they’ve walked in to find me sprawled over a textbook with a jar of Skippy and a spoon. This donut didn’t disappoint. It’s gorgeous, visually and on the tongue: strips of chocolate icing ooze on a swath of peanut butter frosting. I think I’m in love.