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13 Eats: Donut Hunt at Robinette's

For the next few weeks, we’re hunting for the best apple orchard donut. The second stop on our donut hunt is Robinette's Apple Haus & Winery.
Credit: Amy McNeel 13OYS

There is no shortage of incredible apple orchards in West Michigan. But with so many options, how do you choose where to indulge? We — 13 ON YOUR SIDE digital producers Riley and Amy — have set out to find the tastiest spots in the area and are documenting our journey with a new series called 13 Eats.

13 Eats is all about highlighting the best, locally owned eateries in the Grand Rapids area. And for the next few weeks, we’re hunting for the best apple orchard donut. We started the hunt at Moelker Orchards & Farm Market, and are now making our second stop at Robinette’s. For all those who love Michigan autumn, you’re in for a treat.

About Robinette's Apple Haus & Winery

Nestled on a large piece of land on Grand Rapids’ northeast side, Robinette’s is a hustling and bustling farm with strong roots and an even stronger community connection.

The Robinette family bought the farm all the way back in 1911, meaning its members have had over 100 years to make Robinette’s the perfect fall getaway. 

Credit: Amy McNeel 13OYS

According to their website, the farm is now in its sixth generation of family. And what started out as a peach farm has turned into SO much more. The place literally has it all, from U-pick apples to a corn maze, hayrides, wine tastings and even a jumping pillow! And of course, Robinette’s has the iconic, beloved fall donut. 

Learn more about the farm here.

The Most Important Part... The Donuts

Okay, listen here. The donuts at Robinette’s are NO JOKE. We picked up a couple cinnamon sugar donuts for $1.25 each (great deal!) and were instantly in awe. Why? Because not only were they beautiful to look at, but they were warm to the touch. And you know what’s better than a donut? A WARM donut. 

While the little fried pastries may be nice to look at, they are even better to eat. The outside is coated in a sparkling cinnamon sugar and the inside is all warm, soft goodness. The cinnamon taste continues into the dough; little flecks of the brown spice in the yellow cake. The dough is cakey but not too dense and the donut truly melts in the mouth. 

Overall, the donut-eating experience was an excellent one. A few napkins are a must, as the cinnamon sugar is a bit messy, but the tasty treats are well worth the cleanup. And for only $12 a dozen, the donuts are just that much more tempting.

Learn more about the bakery here.

The Vibe

Robinette’s is no longer your traditional down-home, family-owned-and-operated orchard. The place has successfully become a full-fledged operation. And yet, they still somehow manage to make you feel the coziness of your friendly neighborhood farm. 

Walking out of your car on the dirt parking lot, you’re met with a decision — where should I start? All directions have attractions that seem equally enticing. In the end, the lingering scent of fried apple cinnamon goodness from the bakery is what grabs your attention the most.

Inside the bakery and market, the walls and ceiling are covered in wood slats to drive home the log-cabin-feel. Their workers, who range from brand new employees to seasoned veterans, wear their Robinette’s polos and name tags with a little apple icon. They each smile at you upon entrance.

A Robinette family member is visible in each of the rooms, chatting with visitors and doing their daily tasks. It’s obvious that pride plays an important part in the family business. 

The place can pull a crowd, even on a Monday morning, and we suppose that tells you all you need to know about the quality of experience you’ll get at Robinette’s. The hustle and bustle sounds of customers fills the room, all the way up to the vaulted ceilings.

Kids are running around the gigantic apple sculpture outside, swinging on porch swings, bouncing on a jumping pillow and running down aisles of trees in the orchard. The vibe is best described as chaotic goodness — making it simply the perfect destination for a Sunday afternoon in autumn.

The Verdict

A visit to Robinette’s is a true family affair. It’s a place you can stop by quickly for a donut run, or a place you can spend the whole entire afternoon for hours of fall-packed fun. A trip to the farm feels like an adventure full of tiny, special moments.

We quite obviously loved the overall atmosphere at Robinette’s, and that doesn’t exclude the donuts. They were delicious. Crunchy. Soft. Warm. Overall, the place knocks their donuts out of the park — we would 100% recommend (don’t tell, but we each bought a few extra for home. Shhhh). 

All in all, Robinette’s is a breath of fresh, crisp fall air. It was energetic yet cozy and had activities to interest each age group, especially the kiddos! Whether you’re looking for a life-changing donut or a day of family fun, Robinette’s is a true gem among the rest.  

► Robinette’s is located at 3142 4 Mile Road NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

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