It's National Donut Day! While bigger chains like Dunkin' Donuts, Krispy Kreme and LaMar's will be offering free doughnuts all day, today is also a good time to support Denver's multitude of local doughnut shops -- and the other surprising places that serve these delicacies. Here's our list of the ten best places for doughnuts in Denver (in no particular order).
Glazed and Confuzed Josh Schwab, "doughnut artist" and owner of Glazed and Confuzed, has a penchant for the more inventive fried treat. Utilizing an equal balance of traditional method and imagination, and using fresh, local ingredients, Schwab creates such heart-stoppers as a maple bacon doughnut topped with hand-cured bacon, and a root beer float: a handmade root beer glaze atop a Bavarian cream-stuffed doughnut. Right now, you can find his doughnuts at the City Park and Cherry Creek farmers' markets, as well as Kaladi Coffee and the Weathervane Cafe. Il Posto 2011 East 17th Avenue On top of serving simple, delicious Milanese-inspired cuisine, Il Posto answers the doughnut call with a decidedly Italian twist: its bombolini. These delicate drop doughnuts are sugared and served with creme Anglaise and pickled blueberries. Donut Maker 9625 East Arapahoe Road, Greenwood Village For over 25 years, the Donut Maker has been open every day, offering fresh doughnuts to suburban dwellers. The shop boasts an impressive display of classic varieties like twists and apple fritters, but also mixes it up with options like Oreo custard-filled and Nutella-stuffed beauties, too. Try getting there early on Friday -- that's today! -- for fresh crullers. Amerigo Delicatus 2449 Larimer Street Amerigo Delicatus is a welcome addition to the RiNo neighborhood -- and not just because of its thoughtful plates of Italian comfort food and deli-style sandwiches. Every day, it prepares buttermilk doughnuts in-house, finishing them with a light dusting of granulated sugar. Walton Donuts 6603 Leetsdale Drive Walton Donuts has only been open since 2004, but it has the old soul of a lived-in doughnut stop. Customers can pop in for simple, no-nonsense options like the basic cake doughnut (perfect for coffee-dipping) , iced doughnuts with toppings ranging from peanuts to coconut and sprinkles, and cinnamon rolls and maple-topped twists. Jelly 600 East 13th Avenue 1700 East Evans Avenue At these popular breakfast spots, you'll often see diners starting their meals with a perfect bowl of tiny, filled doughnuts. There's a range of enticing filling flavors: lemon curd, maple bacon, vanilla or chocolate creme Anglaise, Bhakti chai, Thai (a peanut glaze with sweet sriracha) and, of course, jelly. The Donut 5270 East Arapahoe Road, Greenwood Village The Donut has been packing its abundant pastry case with bear claws, eclairs, classic cake doughnuts and cinnamon raisin squares for two dozen years. The red velvet cake doughnut is a particular favorite with regulars. Remember to grab some coffee to wash it all down. Lucile's Creole Cafe 275 South Logan Street and three other metro locations For more than three decades, Lucile's has been keeping things Cajun in Denver -- and an important part of the Cajun tradition is beignets. Lucile's serves up perfectly golden-brown beignets with a generous dusting of powdered sugar; they're a great way to start the day. The Donut House 3124 South Parker Road The Donut House makes a killer cinnamon sugar crumb, a rustic applesauce cake doughnut and a perfect chocolate doughnut with real fudge -- but its biggest draw might be the array of old-fashioneds. Try the traditional glazed, or get crazy with a blueberry, cherry or pineapple version. The Inventing Room Ian Kleinman, Denver's molecular magician, whips up magical culinary delights with his catering company, the Inventing Room, which hosts pop-ups that push the gastronomic envelope. Last summer he took over Table 6 and turned it into a doughnut temple; he did it again at Bittersweet in January, serving up creations like the "Theobrama," smothered in hot fudge, chocolate pop rocks, exploding whipped cream, salted chocolate and raspberries; and the "Tropical," sublime coconut mousse with brown-sugar-braised pineapple pomegranate bubbles and mango buttercream. Kleinman's doughnut pop-up will be at Biker Jim's in July.