The Ten Best Doughnut Stops in Metro Denver

A dozen doughnuts from Habit Doughnut Dispensary.EXPAND
A dozen doughnuts from Habit Doughnut Dispensary.
Linnea Covington

There's never a bad season for doughnuts, as long as you stay away from uninspired pastry shops. Don't worry about rolling into the wrong shop, though; if you stick to this list of ten awesome places, you'll be able to sink your teeth into great doughnuts throughout the metro area. From sweet balls of frosted cake joy to fresh yeast-risen orbs filled with jelly to wacky flavors in doughnut form, there are plenty of options for everyone. Use this alphabetical list as a guide to find the best doughnuts in Denver, whether in traditional shops or unexpected eateries.

A peanut butter and white chocolate doughnut at Brider.EXPAND
A peanut butter and white chocolate doughnut at Brider.
Linnea Covington

1. Acorn
3350 Brighton Boulevard
1644 Platte Street

Acorn and Brider chef/co-owner Steven Redzikowski may have created the perfect doughnut, and enough people appear to agree, given that the limited selection served at these two Denver restaurants sells out every day. At Acorn, the fifteen or so doughnuts made daily disappear before lunch ends, and at Brider the situation proves the same, though there are a few more made — along with addictive apple fritters. The flavors change daily and have included roasted blackberry-ginger, grapefruit glazed, Chinese five-spice with sugar, and bourbon with mint. The first doughnut special made an appearance at Acorn on a Saturday as a treat for customers, but the demand proved high, and soon it was clear the eatery needed to offer them every day at lunch time. Get there early to nab one, but don't be surprised if they're already gone.

City Donuts doesn't get crazy, but there's beauty in simplicity.EXPAND
City Donuts doesn't get crazy, but there's beauty in simplicity.
Linnea Covington

2. City Donuts
4918 East Colfax Avenue, 720-485-5706
746 Peoria Street, Aurora, 303-367-4603

If you aren't looking, you might drive right past City Donuts' small storefront on East Colfax. Don't let this happen; after all, the quaint shop won our Best of Denver award last year for its sweet pastries for a good reason. The selection (lacking the newfangled inventions of other shops) may look a little dull, but those looks are deceiving. The yeast-risen options prove light, fluffy and totally addictive, while the cake doughnuts have a nice lemony freshness that sings with not-too-sweet frosting and multi-colored sprinkles. You might also want to try the apple fritters, which have a deep flavor and density perfect for dipping in black coffee or taking on the road. Just make sure you get there early: The doughnuts are made at the Aurora location, and they sell out just about every day.

Go to Glazed & Confuzed for a doughnut feast.
Go to Glazed & Confuzed for a doughnut feast.
Lindsey Bartlett

3. Glazed & Confuzed
5301 Leetsdale Drive

When doughnuts tastes fresh and bouncy and boast a bevy of unique, inspired flavors, the shop making said treats surely stands out. At Josh Schwab's Glazed & Confuzed, such is the case, and it's not just the witty name that makes the offerings so good. You'll want to hang out in this spacious, three-year-old shop to dive into a plate of bacon-and-maple-laced Breakfast of Champz doughnuts while nestled in a booth, or feed your kids bites of bright-pink strawberry-glazed morsels while they play with toys. The flavor list changes frequently; recent highlights on the menu include the Mojito, a yeast doughnut with rum, lime and mint glaze that gets topped with a candied mint leaf; the Mexican hot chocolate, a stuffed doughnut oozing with cinnamon-tinged chocolate goodness; and the Confuzed Somoa, the shop's take on the classic Girl Scout cookie. If you come in and the case is empty, don't worry; Schwab and his team restock with fresh doughnuts all day long, something that can happen more than a dozen times on a busy Saturday. To top off the wonderfulness of this venue, Schwab uses organic, sustainable and local ingredients in almost all of the doughnuts, so that makes them good for you (right?).

The booze-decorated counter at Habit Doughnut Dispensary.EXPAND
The booze-decorated counter at Habit Doughnut Dispensary.
Linnea Covington

4. Habit Doughnut Dispensary
1553 Platte Street

The doughnuts at this hipster shop downtown aren't for everyone. But if you crave brioche doughnuts in flavors like strawberry jam, peanut-butter drizzle and candied peanuts, or mint-buttercream filling with mint-chocolate ganache, well, then, give Habit a go. French-toast doughnuts come with a "syringe" of maple syrup, and a range of streusels make an appearance on all sorts of daily flavors. The brains behind the creations is chef Jason Graf, and the menu speaks to his love of the pastry as well as his fondness for whiskey. That's why you can opt for doughnuts infused or paired with booze, a novelty that's open to guests over 21. But don't worry, kids can find goodies, too, including the Habit, a raspberry and blueberry doughnut with white chocolate, or the simple malted-milk-glazed option. There are no tables at Habit, so take your doughnuts to go — even if it's right next door to Carbon Cafe & Bar for a cup of coffee.

Freshly fried cake doughnuts at Fractured Prune.EXPAND
Freshly fried cake doughnuts at Fractured Prune.
Linnea Covington

5. Fractured Prune
1102 South Colorado Boulevard

It's not often you get to eat piping-hot cake doughnuts straight from the fryer, but that's what this shop is all about. The first Fractured Prune opened in Ocean City, Maryland, in 1976. Since then it has spread to a handful of other states, but the two-year-old Denver shop is the only one in Colorado. Aside from the freshest doughnuts possible, another draw is the option to pick your own combinations of glazes and toppings. Create your own or order one of the house favorites: Black Forest or Rocky Shores, a honey-glazed doughnut laden with cinnamon sugar and chocolate chips, a mix that melts with the heat of the doughnut into a gooey sauce perfect for licking off fingers. Keep that in mind if you decide to munch on one in the car, but otherwise, a to-go box is a good idea, since the shop doesn't offer much in the way of seating.

Keep reading for five more doughnut stops...

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