Floresta Nature Doughnuts - Tokyo, Japan
Most doughnut shops boast massive portions or outrageous flavours, but the draw at Floresta Doughnuts is the quality of what goes into their doughnuts. The focus is on using local, organic, preservative-free ingredients to make their beloved rings. While some may yawn or roll their eyes at the thought of such a doughnut, they are as satisfying as their traditional counterparts just in a different way. The taste is not what you would expect from a doughnut if you're used to those from North America. The rings themselves are baked rather than fried, making them lighter and crispy on the outside while remaining soft on the inside and far less sweet. Natural dyes are used to add colourful hues to the icing instead of the artificial colouring that is common in other bakeries.
The husband and wife duo who started Floresta (forest in Portuguese) with the wish to provide healthier sweet treats for their kids are also reducing their impact on the environment. They only produce a limited quantity of baked goods every day, use less packaging, and even go as far as using earth safe cleaning products in all of their shops.
From humble beginnings as a truck on the side of the road selling freshly made doughnuts at flea markets, to opening a small shop in Nara Prefecture in 2006, they have since grown to include multiple locations throughout Japan as well as a menu featuring more than just their namesake baked goods. Their popularity across the country coupled with small batch production means arriving the earlier the better, before they sell out. If you happen to miss out on the freshly baked rings, the handmade ice-cream in Milk or Vanilla is a pretty good consolation prize.