The Six Finest Donut Outlets in Denver

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The ultra flaky, layered donuts from Parlor.

Molly Martin

Donuts aren’t the type of treat most people eat every day, but when the cravings arise it needs to be satisfied. Not all donuts are created equal, however. While there’s nothing wrong with a standard icing (why do you think Krispy Kreme remains so popular?), Denver has plenty of options if you want to improve your donut game.

From croissant-like layered takes and sourdough donuts to a chewy variety of mochi, these six places are your best pick in town for diving straight into that sweet donut hole of happiness.

Salon donuts
95 Lincoln Street
This Illinois-born brand debuted in Denver in February, just days after the birth of son of owners Sean and Kailyn Harshbarger. Although influenced by Ansel’s laminated donut approach, Parlor’s attitude is bigger and the toppings are far less precious. Instead of a simple, precise ring, frosting sprays from the sides and add-ons like sprinkles, strawberries, and biscuit sprinkles are sprinkled on top. Flavors include blueberry, raspberry pistachio, french toast, churro, and turtle cheesecake. While the donut is crispy and flaky on the outside, the inside of the donut is airy and buttery. A second grab-and-go location is slated to open by the end of the summer at 5001 South Parker Road in Aurora.

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Go into Hops and Pie to find Berkeley Donuts.  - MARK ANTONATION

Go into Hops and Pie to find Berkeley Donuts.

Mark Antonation

Berkeley donuts
3920 Tennyson Street
This bakery in Hops & Pie serves cakes and sourdough donuts every Wednesday through Sunday from 7.30 a.m. until they sell out – and if you don’t want to risk that, you can pre-order and arrange a pick-up time. Online time. Favorites include the honey glazed sourdough and sea salt caramel with black Hawaiian sea salt on a chocolate cake donut. Vegan and gluten-free varieties are also available.

Dochis Mochi Donuts made their Denver debut.  - DOCHI / FACEBOOK

Dochis Mochi Donuts made their Denver debut.

Dochi / Facebook

2449 Larimer Street
Dochi isn’t the first to bring Japanese mochi donuts to Denver, but it is definitely the last. Dochi opened its doors on May 29, making it the sixth location for a company founded in Orlando in 2018. The donuts, which come in flavors like Oreo Matcha and “Ube Bae”, are made from rice flour, resulting in a light, airy texture. They also look a bit different from typical donuts – more flower-like, with sections that are easy to pull apart and divide (although you can keep them all to yourself).

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Monthly specials and habit classics fill the donut shelves.  - MARK ANTONATION

Monthly specials and habit classics fill the donut shelves.

Mark Antonation

Habit Donut Pharmacy
1553 Platte Street and 2200 California Street
There are two schools of thought when it comes to donuts: you can either eat light, fluffy donuts, which are best straight out of the deep fryer, or richer brioche-style donuts that taste more like a French pastry. Habit specializes in the latter and creates imaginative flavor combinations on sweet, crunchy rounds. The specialty of the house is the blazed, a normal glazed donut that is lit on top to caramelize the sugar. Every day brings different specials, from Real Mint Shady to Blue Barry White. Increase your choices with a wet injection or a shmear hemp butter. What would be better?

We got through the pandemic, but bring the pandemic donuts.  - TORI BÜHNER

We got through the pandemic, but bring the pandemic donuts.

Tori Buehner

Pandemic Donuts
2962 Welton Street
It might be a little disrespectful to name your donut business after a worldwide disease, but Pandemic Donuts was born out of the troubled times created by COVID-19 and the restaurant restrictions that resulted from it. As a result, it received our award for Best Pandemic Donuts in the 2021 Best of Denver edition. Gabrielle Henning and Michael Milton were fired from their jobs in the restaurant industry when the pandemic broke out in March 2020 and turned to donuts being made in their country kitchen to make ends meet. The donuts, so light and airy that you can eat several, were so good that the two couldn’t keep up with the demand. Now they have their own bakery at Queen City Collective Coffee in Five Points, and the donuts are flying out the door. The sweet treats are also available every Saturday throughout summer at the City Park Farmers Market.

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Classic raised donuts at Wake & Bake.  - MARK ANTONATION

Classic raised donuts at Wake & Bake.

Mark Antonation

Wake beacon
1301 South Broadway
Of course, we can’t talk about round baked goods without our 2021 Best of Denver picks for the best donut. Veteran donut baker Juan Lopez bought a Winchell’s franchise in 2019 with an understanding that he would convert it into an independent bakery in the next year. In July 2020, he officially launched Wake & Bake with his own recipes and made a variety of classic donuts for the workers in the morning, noon and evening. You’ll find a few nod to modern trends (some oreo crumbs here, some bacon there), but old favorites like the buttermilk bars, maple donuts, and cinnamon crumb cake donuts are so good they taste like a revelation.

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