Cupcakes had their moment in the sun, then cake pops were all the rage, but now? Now is the age of donuts.

Sure, the chocolate-frosted from your local chain will do in a pinch, but when it comes to a mind-blowingly good donut experience, there's one place at the Jersey Shore that can't be beat.

Uncle Dood's Hot Hand Dipped Donuts in downtown Toms River.

Uncle Dood's Donuts

Lucky for me, it's literally right next door the radio station, so I can get my fix whenever I want, but seriously, this place is worth traveling for.

Amazingly moist and delicious inside with a fabulous crunch on the outside, they are seriously heavenly.

The donuts are always fresh and made-to-order, and while there are always standard icings and toppings available, the featured flavors change every month, which has been a great way to show off Uncle Dood's creativity.

July's menu featured, among others, the 'SSC,' with chocolate frosting with a caramel drizzle and sea salt, 'Bed Rockin',' with vanilla icing and Fruity Pebbles cereal, and 'Nut Tellin' Ya,' with Nutella icing and cinnamon sugar.

Best Donut at the Jersey Shore


August is a people's choice menu, and you'd be crazy not to try the 'Vermont Swine,' with maple icing and bacon bits.

So who is Uncle Dood? Dominic Livolsi, one of the most genuinely nice and friendly individuals I've ever met.

Uncle Dood!
Uncle Dood making fresh donuts! (Laurie Cataldo)

I spent some time talking to Dominic and his wife, Jen, a.k.a. Aunt Doodette, after they closed up the shop one day (about a week after they got married mind you - talk about dedication!), and felt like I was talking to old friends.

The shop has only been open since February, and the pair say they are humbled by how overwhelmingly busy it has gotten since then.

So how did Uncle Dood's come to be? Turns out they went down to Ocean City, Maryland on vacation 4 years ago, and waited in line for 45 minutes what they call 'the greatest donut ever.'

Dominic was inspired, and decided to sell off his motorcycles and anything else he could to start up a donut shop of his own. (Ballsy!)

Never formally trained, he played around in the kitchen until he found a donut recipe that worked, landing on a proprietary spiced and vanilla cake donut that is so good, it doesn't even need frosting. (But wow, the frostings make it even better...)

Even better, sometimes Dood does 'doninis.' PRESSED DONUT SANDWICHES. They've done ice cream sandwiches, pulled pork, and breakfast sandwiches like this:

Pork roll and cheese donini
Pork roll and cheese donini. OMG. (Facebook)

The doninis aren't always available, and when they are, they go quick. Like Uncle Dood's on Facebook and you'll always know what they have going on. (And drool when they post pictures of fresh, hot donuts.)

Seriously, stop in and try one. They're open at 4 Robbins Street in Toms River from Tuesday-Friday 6:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., weekends 6:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Call them at (609) 462-3517 and they can have your order ready ahead of time.

As for the name Uncle Dood? That came from his nephew Aaron, who couldn't say 'Dominic' as a little kid, and still refers to him as Uncle Dood to this day. Love it!

Know of a cool local store serving up amazing eats? Tell us about it in the comment section below!

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