Amid the polished allure of Krispy Kreme, local chains like Shipley’s and newfangled gourmet donut shops like Hugs & Donuts in the Heights, there’s a local mom-and-pop store in Montrose with a seriously underrated reputation: Christy’s Donuts and Kolaches.

Where: 1103 W Gray St, Houston, TX 77019

What to get: Apple fritter, donut holes, chocolate sprinkle donuts

Protip: There’s a $4 minimum for using credit card

I discovered this gem freshman year, and after tasting their apple fritter, I’ve become a regular customer. They’re not about frills or dressy toppings. Think soft, pillowy donuts in a sweet, delicate glaze and massive kolaches stuffed chock full with jumbo sausage. They’re old-fashioned over there.

The store itself is a dingy, scrappy place that looks like a vintage diner. Coupled with old windows and the saddest-looking coffee condiments counter, Christy’s appeal may seem dubious at first, but wait until you taste the donut.

First, the apple fritter. At just $1.25 for each, the wide disks have an edgy, cinnamon-infused crust of glaze studded with minced apple. Beyond the glaze, the inside features light, yeasty dough that complements the crispy outside’s indulgent flavors. Christy’s donut holes are also a steal. At $1.25 per dozen, the morsels are perfect for sharing, and even if you decide against ordering them, you may find a few complimentary ones snuck into your to-go bag.

On the savory side, Christy’s falls a little flat. Their hearty bacon, egg and cheese croissant sandwich is passable, but only the croissant saves it from being a disappointment. Warming up the sandwich helps to maximize the croissant’s buttery flavor and flaky texture, but the sandwich’s insides are otherwise mediocre. If offered the option of donut or savory breakfast (croissant or kolache), I’m still a donut believer through and through.

I’ve seen doctors, lawyers, construction workers and other college students all frequent Christy’s for a quick breakfast. That just goes to shows how the place embraces a neighborhood feel that invites people in for a perfect pairing of fresh donuts and a steaming cup of coffee.