Britts Donuts

By David Paul
Not just a donut. Britt’s Donuts are the best donut experience you’ll ever have!
For generations of visitors to Carolina Beach, eating a Britts donut is a much anticipated rite of passage. You simply can’t vacation at Carolina Beach or Kure Beach during the summer and not have one (or two or three) of their famous delicious donuts. I guarantee that when you go back to work on Monday and tell your coworkers you vacationed in Carolina Beach the very first thing they will ask you is if you had a Britts.       

A Small Donut Store and Fresh Made Glazed Donuts

Britts Donut shop has been a consistent landmark on the Carolina Beach boardwalk since 1939. They are not a big, fancy place like Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme. They are a small store, only make one kind of donut, glazed, and they only take cash.  You can watch them make your donut right in front of you. They have a large frying vessel full of oil in the front of the store behind a large window. They roll out the dough and toss them into the fryer. When one side is done they’ll flip them over and when they are done they take a wooden stick and scoop them up a dozen at a time. They then glaze them (both sides) and hand them to you – hot and dripping. Your first bite with take you right to heaven and by the time you finish you’ll wish you had bought another one.  

A Donut With A Season, Concerts and Fireworks

Britts is only open part of the year, typically from Mid April through September. As a Property Manager I tell all my renters about Britts so they don’t miss out. Prior to Memorial Day they are typically only open Friday – Sunday so you need to be ready when you arrive and know their hours of operation. If you come to the beach on vacation and miss out, you’ll be disappointed but I bet you won’t make that mistake again. The busiest time for Britts is Thursday nights in the summer. The boardwalk is jammed with people who are there for the free concerts at the gazebo which start at 6:00 PM. Then, as the concert is ending – typically around 9:00 PM, they shoot off fireworks over the beach. I’d guess that a large majority of people who are there that evening stood in line and bought a Britts donut, probably a whole lot more than one. 

Britts Donuts, One Day At A Time

When I go I usually get six and ask them to double bag them. Since they’re served moments after coming out of the hot fryer and freshly glazed, they tend to be a bit messy. The double bagging helps them to not seep through as easily and make a mess on my car seat. Luckily I only live a mile away. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t take one out of the bag and eat it on the ride home. Heck, to be 100% truthful, I usually order seven: one to go that I have to eat immediately when they hand it to me and six in the bag. I’m not ashamed to share the story of my addiction to Britts. Hi, my name is David and I’m a Britts-aholic.
One time my family and I were home trying to decide what to have for supper. We decided to order a pizza from Frank’s Pizza. I drove over to pick up the pizza and while I was waiting, I could see them making donuts across the boardwalk. Since they were right across from Franks, and there was no line, I went over, and got one. To someone who has never tasted a Britts, eating a donut while waiting for a pizza seems a bit crazy. But not to me. I’ve been enjoying Britts since 1992. They are THAT good.
I even get excited in the anticipation of ordering a Britts, let alone eating one. It doesn't matter that sometimes you’ll have to wait in a long line. You can smell them from down the boardwalk. As you get closer and closer to the front of the line your heart races and you know that soon you’ll have a donut of your own in your hand. In talking to an old timer here at the beach, he remembers first enjoying a Britts back in the 1940’s. He told me of a story that he and the owner’s son were friends and on Friday nights at closing they would head over there and the owner would make them a special donut – one as large as your head! That must have been something to see and fun to eat for sure. Talk about your sugar high!       

One Tip for Eating At Britts

One last comment: If the kids are getting tired of waiting in a long line in the hot sun you
may have another option. Britts has a few seats inside at the counter. If you find some empty and want to have a donut and a cup of coffee, or a glass of milk, you can sit down and get served right away. Most tourists don’t know this so don’t tell anybody!