Best of Denver

The Ten Best Doughnut Stops in Metro Denver

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

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click to enlarge A sampling of doughnuts from LaMar's. - LINNEA COVINGTON
A sampling of doughnuts from LaMar's.
Linnea Covington
LaMar's Donuts and Coffee
Multiple Locations

Ray Lamar opened his first LaMar’s Donuts in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1960. More than thirty years later he decided to franchise, and now you can find these sugary doughnuts in nine locations in Colorado, as well as in four other states. The concept is simple: lots of flavors, choices of cake and yeast-risen doughnuts, and a reputation for fresh and fun creations. Compared to other boutique shops in the city, the doughnuts at LaMar's are sweeter and more traditional, but sometimes that's all you want in a pastry. Choose from flavors such as caramel iced, maple iced with peanuts, old-fashioned sour cream, pineapple cake and cherry-iced cruellers. The shop is a child's dream, with piles of doughnuts as far as they can see and so many to pick from you might have to buy them two. Luckily, LaMar's also specializes in coffee, perfect for washing down a Lamar's creation.

click to enlarge The popular pine-cone doughnut at OMG Donuts in Arvada. - LINNEA COVINGTON
The popular pine-cone doughnut at OMG Donuts in Arvada.
Linnea Covington
OMG Donuts
7355 Ralston Road, Arvada

"Yellow" is the first word that comes to mind when you walk into this small, three-year-old doughnut shop. But soon that crash of color gets overshadowed by the tasty treats the Arvada joint churns out seven days a week. At the counter you'll find Peter ("Just Peter," he offers), the baker, manager and one-man-band who owns OMG Donuts with his Texan wife. Make sure to try a pine-cone doughnut, a large, yeast-risen pastry that looks like its name and pulls apart in neat little chunks of cinnamon-sugar goodness. Jelly and cream are big stars here, too: OMG will fill your doughnuts with raspberry jam, lemon curd, Bavarian cream, peanut butter or vanilla custard on demand.

Osaka Ramen
2611 Walnut Street

You might be wondering how a ramen shop made the list of best places to get doughnuts. Chef/owner Jeff Osaka has skill with more than just noodles; he also makes a wonderfully unique and addictive pastry. Dubbed "My Wife's Doughnuts," this mochi- (a paste made from rice flour) and egg-based doughnut batter gets deep-fried by the spoonful, creating an orb of golden goodness complete with crisp tentacles curling up from the top. Before they're served, each doughnut gets a slather of salted butter and a dusting of sugar and kinako, a roasted-soybean powder. It's umami meets dessert in the most memorable and crave-worthy way.

click to enlarge The counter at Walton Donuts. - LINNEA COVINGTON
The counter at Walton Donuts.
Linnea Covington
Walton Donuts
6603 Leetsdale Drive (and other locations)

If you like old-school doughnuts that bring to mind church meetings and classic cop shows, Walton Donuts has what you need, only better. The bright, sparse and spiffy shop opened in 2004 and has been churning out fresh, well-made doughnuts ever since. Go for a simple yeast-risen ring glazed with sugar or coated in shiny chocolate — or try the fist-sized cake doughnuts, which come in chocolate or vanilla, topped with chocolate frosting, mini M&Ms or rainbow sprinkles. The bakery also serves fritters and jelly-filled doughnuts; take a box to go or pull up a chair at one of the few tables. This mini-chain has four locations, in Denver, Aurora, Lakewood and Parker.

click to enlarge The pastry display at Voodoo Doughnut. - LINNEA COVINGTON
The pastry display at Voodoo Doughnut.
Linnea Covington
Voodoo Doughnut
1520 East Colfax Avenue

There might be magic in the doughnuts coming out of this bustling shop on Colfax. Otherwise, why would there constantly be a line to get them? Voodoo Doughnut started in Portland, Oregon, and came to Denver in 2013, bringing its successful 24/7 model that constantly churns out super-fresh goodies that have developed a cult following. No matter what texture you crave, there's something for everyone here. Get yours in cake, yeast-raised or French cruller. Pop-culture options include the Old Dirty Bastard, a yeast-raised doughnut with chocolate frosting, Oreos and peanut butter; the Arnold Palmer, a plain cake doughnut with vanilla frosting that's dusted with lemonade and iced-tea powder; and the crunchy cereal-covered Captain My Captain. Don't leave without getting one of the signature voodoo-doll doughnuts, a fluffy specimen plumped with raspberry jelly and coated in chocolate. After all, how often do you get to eat a pastry shaped like a strange little man?
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Linnea Covington moved back to Denver after spending thirteen years in New York City and couldn't be happier to be home, exploring the Mile High and eating as much as possible, especially when it involves pizza or ice cream.
Contact: Linnea Covington