(ABC4) – Whether you’re on your way to the office, or enjoying a snack at home, doughnuts have a way of brightening the day. They’re good at night as well. They’re pretty much awesome any time of day. They’re especially yummy on Friday, which is celebrated as National Doughnut Day.
Utah has a wide variety of original doughnut shops with innovative ideas and concepts that push the centuries-old snack to the limits of creativity and expression. Homer Simpson, the most famous doughnut connoisseur in pop culture, would be in heaven to take a tour of the Beehive State’s best doughnut shops.
Here’s a short list of some of the most original and beloved places to get a doughnut in the state:
Were it not for a bit of protruding flavor on one side of the baked good, you might not think much of Mad Dough’s bismark-style doughnut. However, one bite will take you on an explosive filling adventure. With a smaller menu offering just five flavors of dough at a time, along with the specialty options, Mad Dough is still somewhat of the new kid on the block in SLC’s pastry scene. The doughnuts can be picked up Wednesday through Saturday at the joint’s snazzy new location on 900 S in downtown Salt Lake City, so if you’re in the hankering for Mad Dough early in the week, you’ll just have to wait a day or so.
Located just a few steps away from Trolley Square downtown, some folks online say that they’ve been going to Banbury for as long as they can remember. One person describes the cinnamon crumb donut as “the biggest donut ever.” Other classic doughnut stylings at Banbury include some pretty tasty varieties in rosettes, twists, and butterfly shapes. Not only are the doughnuts yummy, but they also come at a great price. For around $11, you can walk out of the joint with a dozen donuts, ready to be the hero of your office or wherever you plan to share your treats. Or keep them all to yourself, no judgment.
Once known as Sugarbabies Donuts, Darla’s is a family-run business that provides some of the tastiest pastries on the west side of SLC. Stop by and you’ll meet Darla herself or her daughters, Jenna and Chelsea, either icing and decorating the doughnuts or ringing customers up at the cash registers. According to their Yelp page, their goal is to treat customers “like welcomed friends.” In addition to the circular, hole-in-the-middle, traditional donuts, Darla’s also has a wide range of fritters, brownies, cinnamon rolls, turnovers, and croissants. How they manage to make all these treats fresh each day is a mystery, but what isn’t a secret is that Darla’s brings folks back for more all the time.
We’re happy-go-lucky, happy to wait on people, let people pick out their stuff, I would definitely say we’re known for our customer service. And the donuts are delish.Darla Milligan, owner and namesake, Darla’s Donuts
When it comes to esthetics, Donut Boy makes a strong case for providing the prettiest doughnuts in town, if not the whole world. The Majestic Unicorn doughnut, complete with frosting eyelashes and a golden horn, looks almost too cute to eat. The Nutella Orea donut, with an entire Oreo cookie wedged into the frosting is unequivocally mouth-watering. Let’s say you want to pretend you’re not at a doughnut shop for a doughnut, Donut Boy’s ham, egg, and cheese croissant is a great choice before you inevitably grab a Spider-Man donut on the way out.
Clark’s Island Donuts
The malasada doughnuts at Clark’s have taken quite the journey to arrive at the food truck, which spends most of its time in Utah County. If they look foreign, it’s because they are. The malasada originates from Portugal and is also quite popular in Brazil. They took off in the United States when Portuguese immigrants came to Hawaii to work the sugar cane fields and brought a taste of home with them. According to the crew at Clark’s, the malasadas couldn’t be any fresher for their customers, as they don’t start the frying process until the moment that the order is made. Throw in a bit of sugar and choice of filling and you’ll quickly have a fantastic treat that is crisp and sugary on the outside and pillowy and sweet in the middle.
A Davis County favorite since 1945, the family behind Parsons’ Bakery is just as passionate about delicious baked goods as they are about water skiing, which is to say, quite passionate. Take a look at the magazine clippings on the wall at the Bountiful location and you’ll get it. When they’re not on the water, the family and their team are making some of the best doughnuts and cookies in the state. If you’re not in the mood for a doughnut, the parfait cookie is a big hit. Consider yourself lucky if they have any left when you stop by.
One of the new players in the doughnut game, Momi is making a name for itself with beaded-shaped doughnuts and insanely creative flavors. For April, Momi put out a Hawaiian-inspired POG doughnut with tastes of passion fruit, guava, and orange-infused in the frosting. In May, the flavor of the month, Milk Tea, was a hit with lovers of boba. June’s flavor is a summer-ready raspberry lemon, that could pair as well with a glass of lemonade as it would with milk’s traditional complimentary drink, milk. Some of Momi’s doughnuts, especially the Mochi offerings, look more like a designer bracelet than they do an edible treat. If having an Instagrammable doughnut is a priority to you, in addition to a yummy snack, Momi seems to have that figured out.
The Big O Doughnuts
The Big O’s big idea is to bring gourmet vegan doughnuts to Salt Lake City. These are plant-based treats are strong on creativity and making the snack experience as healthy as can be possibly done while still being really, really good. The chocolate chip cookie dough doughnut actually features a dollop of raw, edible cookie dough in the center of the donut. How was this never a thing before? The store also features a fun, build-your-own-box doughnut wall with the circular snacks hanging on pegs, ripe for the picking. What will these guys think of next?
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The above is not a comprehensive list. Which ones did we miss? Comment on the Facebook page below!