Pros: Good donuts, clean restaurant.
Cons: Not great donuts, not very good coffee, more expensive than other donut places.
Krispy Kreme this, Krispy Kreme that--seems like nowadays, that's the only donut shop that anyone cares about, or at least, talks about. As for me, I suppose it's an OK donut shop... but great?
The first thing that stands out about Krispy Kreme--it's actually clean! I never knew a clean donut shop existed until I stepped into the only Krispy Kreme anywhere in the New Orleans area. The shop had lots of light, unlike other donut shops I've been to, which have been darker, and drearier, for the most part. Near the entrance there was a jazz-looking painting covering the wall... probably specifically made for the New Orleans location, but it was all right. Just... didn't feel like a real donut shop, but more like a McDonald's when walking into the shop.
Now, I have nothing against a donut shop being clean... that's a plus, even! But I didn't really care for a donut shop feeling more like a McDonald's. Donut shops are supposed to be dark, and not much walking room, and stools around a bar to eat at. Krispy Kreme didn't have that... just didn't feel like a true donut shop eating in, unfortunately.
Now, living in New Orleans, I've come to be a very picky donut eater. With Tastee Donuts and Cafe du Monde here, I expect any new donut place to beat my experience at either New Orleans chain. Does it have better donuts? Better coffee? Does it even have beignets? Unfortunately, no, Krispy Kreme does not.
Essentially, Krispy Kreme, unlike some donut shops (like Tastee Donuts), sells donuts, and only donuts. And the donuts are... average. Despite what it seems everyone says, they're not the greatest donuts.
There are essentially two kinds of donuts--regular donuts, with a hole in the middle, and filled donuts, with some sort of filling in the middle of the donut, and no hole. Krispy Kreme doesn't make either kind of donut very outstanding, or apart from Tastee Donuts.
My favorite donuts are regular old glazed donuts and lemon-filled donuts. The traditional glazed donuts at Krispy Kreme are really lacking--an overly thick layer of glaze laid upon a rather tasteless, sponge-textured donut. The donuts themselves don't have much flavor, and not a great donut-y texture either, though they do seem to have much more grease inside the actual donut than Tastee. And the lemon-filled donuts, the lemon filling seems to be absolutely blech nowadays, like a horrid creme-lemon hybrid!The donut itself still has the same problems as the glazed as well.
Also, Krispy Kreme does not even make beignets, which are powdered square-shaped donuts, looking something like pillows, which Krispy Kreme doesn't even make, even though they're incredibly delicious. That's one of Cafe du Monde's specialties, their beignets, and they're delicious, if not messy as well.
And the coffee is very blah at Krispy Kreme. Sure, it's OK, but the coffee is pretty weak, which I am not too fond of. Cafe du Monde and Tastee Donuts both have a much stronger, better-tasting coffee than Krispy Kreme. And of course, you can get great specialty coffees at a place like Gloria Jean's... so coffee isn't a real selling point to eating at Krispy Kreme.
Another unfortunate aspect of Krispy Kreme is the price--it's 15 cents more per donut than Tastee Donuts (45 cents per donut Vs. 60 cents per donut). And Tastee is better.
However, Krispy Kreme has something going for it, which makes me recommend it for most of you--Tastee Donuts and Cafe du Monde are New Orleans restaurants. If you don't live here, Krispy Kreme may very well have the best donuts in your area. As far as I know, after all, Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts are the only two national donut chains I have heard of, and Krispy Kreme is the better of the two, not to mention, cleaner. There may be a better local donut shop in your area... but if there is none, try Krispy Kreme--it's not bad. Just not great.