Basic buttermilk, gooey glazed or jelly filled, Denver loves its doughnuts. Are you a dunker? Or do you go for gourmet fried dough with maple and bacon or jalapeno and strawberries? Here are a few independent doughnut shops that make a whole-lotta fun around the pastry with a hole.

The Donut House (Credit, Kimberly Lord Stewart)

The Donut House
3124 S. Parker Road
Aurora, CO 80014
(303) 337-2771

If you want simple old-fashioned goodness from a mom and pop kind of place, try the Donut House in Parker. With cherry-red walls, sweet smiles and friendly service, this is everything an old-school doughnut shop should be. Local favorites include the blueberry and apple fritter, dense cake-style doughnuts and of course, for the kids, sprinkles and pink frosting.

Crave (Credit, Kimberly Lord Stewart)

891 14th St.
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 586-4199

So Crave only has one type of doughnut on the menu. But when they are this good and this fresh, one is enough. Stop in for fresh hot vanilla bean doughnuts with two sauces, a rich dark chocolate ganache (vanilla pictured) and wild berry coulis. Try them with a molto-caldo cappuccino or a freshly brewed tea for breakfast or with a cocktail for a late-night treat.

Dizzy’s Donuts (Credit, Kimberly Lord Stewart)

Dizzy’s Donuts
1606 Conestoga St.
Boulder, CO 80301
(303) 494-5331

If Boulder said it was too healthy for a doughnut shop, it’d be telling a white powdered sugar lie. It is a college town after all. But for Boulder, not just any doughnut shop will do, which is why Dizzy Donuts is pure Boulder. The doughnuts are handmade, no premixes are allowed in the building. The flavors and textures are like none other with maple bacon, jalapeno glazed, Boulder cream (aka Boston cream Colorado style), fresh jelly filled and seasonal fruit fritters. The menu changes frequently, but try to go on a Friday and try the ham doughnut sandwich with thin slices of ham between a glazed jalapeno doughnut. It’s sugar, and spice and everything nice.

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Jelly Cafe
600 E. 13th Ave.
Denver, CO
(303) 831-6301

Even if you aren’t a morning person, Jelly Cafe will cheer you up. With sunny-side up walls and a friendly staff, it’s a great way to start the day. And as the name implies, it is all about jelly and doughnuts. The freshly made doughnut bites come in plates of four or eight, with as many flavors to match. Flavors include jelly filled, lemon custard, cinnamon sugar, maple bacon, creme anglaise, chocolate anglaise, Thai and Bhakti chai. Order a coffee in the morning or a hot toddy at night to wash it down. There are two Jelly locations, Capital Hill and East Evans.

Walton Donuts
4086 S. Parker Road
Aurora, CO 80014
(303) 627-2924

Walton Donuts has a fresh new location on South Parker Road. The doughnuts are just as good as the original location on Leetsdale Drive, but this new spot is fresher. Walton’s doughnuts are ready at the crack of dawn everyday, doors open and 5 a.m. Look for apple cinnamon bear claws, glazed or chocolate cinnamon rolls, as well as raised, filled and cake doughnuts.

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Kimberly Lord Stewart is a food author and journalist for CBS Denver local, Organic Food Reporter for, and the Food, Wine and Spirits editor for Denver Life magazine. Her book, “Eating Between the Lines” tells readers about the truth and myths of food labeling. Stewart is the recipient of two Association of Food Journalist awards for food news reporting and the Jessie Neal Business Journalism award. Her work can be found at