Love It/Hate It: Dunkin’ Donuts

Boston is unequivocally a Dunks town: The Canton-based coffeeshop has seemingly plastered its pink-and-orange marquee on every block, outnumbering Starbucks ten to one in Massachusetts. If you’re not a New Englander, you may wonder why everyone around you is clutching the same absurdly large iced coffee. Here, arguments for and against joining the cult of Dunks.

LOVE IT: Starbucks, screw your $6 mermaid-wizard milkshakes and dated Norah Jones soundtracks. There’s something for everyone at Dunks, whether you want an almond milk chai latte or a huge, cheap box of cake circles to eat for breakfast—Dunkin’ doesn’t judge. Besides, you don’t need to pay a full hour’s wages to have someone spread an avocado on some dry toast when a Dunkin’ egg and cheese English muffin is a buck-fifty and delivers the same caloric payoff. Dunkin’ Donuts is the coffee of the working folk, served without pretense or markup. Those plastic orange seats aren’t meant for lounging with your laptop, and that hardworking barista/toaster operator/donut flipper isn’t flirting with you. At Dunks, you get your $2 caffeine fix and you get back to your damn day. In many ways, that’s the spirit of Boston, too.  

HATE IT: Dunkin’ Brands Inc. is a multinational corporation hellbent on driving actual neighborhood donut shops out of business with their stupidly low prices and chemically addictive sugar concoctions. In that way, it’s no different than Starbucks—so no, you aren’t fighting any kind of corporate machine with your Vanilla Bean Coolatta (any idea what’s in that? Me neither). And let’s not forget that Dunks is ground zero for toxic masculinity, a place where insecure dudes can order their Extra Large Girl Scout Cookie Peanut Butter Cookie Iced Coffee and reassure themselves of their unimpeachable manhood. You might as well drop the facade of working class solidarity and get yourself the Pumpkin Spice Latte that you really want.