Our Tim Hortons review panel was not smitten with the doughnuts wrought by this Canada-based chain. The brand failed to take a single category win in our four-way blind taste test. Panelists were disappointed with each of the varieties we tasted, stating in any number of ways that the doughnuts were dry and bland. About the chocolate (cake) doughnut, one termed it "almost bitter, not enough sugar." The icing on the sprinkled doughnut was deemed "very dry" and the pastry itself "almost stale"; one reviewer concluded that the "sprinkles have more flavor than anything else." Tim Hortons' glazed and jelly doughnuts suffered the same review fate.
The few posts we found on Yelp submitted by residents of the lower 48 grouse about lack of freshness. One consumer asserted they harden quickly and urged caution when biting in, but added that they're quite good when totally fresh.
In terms of nutrition, Tim Hortons holds a slight lead over the competition. The glazed doughnut hits 190 calories but only 6 grams of total fat while the chocolate glazed doughnut rings in at 280 calories and 14 grams of total fat. As for prices, doughnuts cost 99 cents each or $7.79 a dozen.
Tim Hortons first opened its doors in 1964 and made its way to the United States some 20 years later. It merged with Burger King in 2014 and now operates about 4,600 restaurants in Canada, the Gulf region, and the U.S., where outlets are confined to just 11 states. For locations, Tim Hortons favors spots like malls, hospitals, universities, and highway pit stops. It mounts the widest variety of menu options among the brands we sampled. There is a full breakfast menu of sandwiches, yogurt, fruit, bagels, baked goods, aside from doughnuts and the lunch/dinner menu includes sandwiches, wraps, paninis, soups, macaroni and cheese, and chili. While doughnuts are a big draw, many consumers say the coffee is what Tim Hortons is really about and it is sold in some supermarkets.
Tim Hortons may be a favorite north of the border, but not with our tasters. The next time you drive by a Tim Hortons, you may want to stick with the coffee and pick up a doughnut elsewhere.