Credit: Photograph by Darrow Montgomery

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First, it was pies. Then, pop-tarts. Even macaroons. It seems every sweet treat has been hailed “the new cupcake” at one point, but none have been able to truly usurp the royal icing. Doughnuts, however, have a fighting chance. In the same way cucpcakeries proliferated across the city, gourmet doughnut shops are now appearing everywhere. In the coming months two fried chicken and doughnut shops will open up: Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s GBD (Golden Brown Delicious) in Dupont Circle and Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken in Metro Center. Also on its way: District Doughtnuts, a new catering outfit that’s on the hunt for a brick-and-mortar locale. Doughnuts will also be the main attraction in the bakery of Ted’s Bulletin on 14th Street NW, opening next year. And trendy restaurants like Pearl Dive Oyster Palace and Green Pig Bistro are offering the treat on their dessert menus (with the latter pouring on chocolate syrup tableside). This new occupying force of fried dough and sugar won’t look like your average Dunkin’ Donuts line-up, either. Look for flavors like Campari-grapefruit, peanut butter and jelly, and chocolate pistachio.