Voodoo Doughnuts is an iconic donut establishment that started in the Portland area back in 2003. Since its start there, they’ve expanded to Eugene, Oregon as well as Denver, Austin and recently to Universal Hollywood.
I visited the original location about 7 or 8 years ago. It was later in the morning. The donuts were good. We waited in line about 15 minutes. According to locals, that would have been closer to an hour if we’d wandered in earlier. Fast forward to a few years ago when Voodoo opened in Denver. I’m in Denver frequently on business. I avoided the location for the first couple of years. My prevailing theory was that no donut is worth a 30-minute wait. I still might be right on that.
I’ve wandered in a few times within the past year and thought it was time to officially review Voodoo. So, here goes:
Good Things Come In Pink Boxes
Voodoo is extremely irreverent. With slogans like “Good Things Come in Pink Boxes” and “The Magic Is In The Hole” plastered on everything from t-shirts to women’s underwear, they’re very forward with their cheekiness.
Heck, it takes some, er, um stones to make a donut like this. And, charge over $5 for it.
If you’re walking into the Denver location, be prepared for a lot of pink. Oh, and make sure you bring cash. No Voodoo locations take credit cards. Located on East Colfax Avenue right near the heart of downtown, the line does stretch out the door from time to time. For newbies, the line is probably equal parts blessing and curse. Yes, you’ll have to wait. But, you’ll need a bit of time to decipher the dizzying variety of offerings.
There are a couple dozen different donuts and the menu board doesn’t really break down what’s in each one. You can check out their website for a description of most donuts. Some special ones have signs on the display case with a description (Viscous Hibiscus was a special offering the last time we were there). Others, like the Colfax Creme, don’t have published details. I’m guessing it’s like the Portland Creme, which is a “Raised yeast shell filled with Bavarian cream and topped with chocolate and two eyeballs, representing the vision of the great city of Portland” (one image I saw had 4 eyes on a Colfax Creme).
But, Are The Donuts Any Good?
Here’s where I run into a problem. The donuts are quite good. While the donut rating system is in its infancy, I wonder if I should be scoring just on donut quality? Or, should I ding a location because it takes forever to score some donuts?
I’ve been to Voodoo in Denver 3 or 4 times now. The donuts are always fresh. They cover their bases, offering solid varieties of both yeast-raised and cake donuts. Let’s face it. If you can’t do both styles well, then you don’t deserve a 4 or 5-star ranking on these pages. And, my family enjoyed the donuts. Cat loved The Loop and Michelle (who never eats sweets) went to town on the Powdered Jelly. She’s going to kill me for posting that picture.
Despite all the noise, wonkiness and waiting in line, Voodoo is solid. The Neapolitan and the Sprinkle Cake are amongst my favorites, with the Oh Captain, My Captain rounding out my top 3 (who doesn’t love Cap’n Crunch?). The Buttermilk Bar is supposed to be one of the house favorites. I found it a bit heavy for my taste.
Where does that leave us? Based almost solely on the quality of their donuts, I’d give them a 4.
- A Sugar Symphony In Your Mouth. Life-Changing!
- You Literally Reach For Another One Before You Finish The One In Your Hand.
- Dunkin' Donuts. Waaay Better Than No Donuts At All!
- Taste Good After A Hangover.
- Only In Case Of Emergency (i.e. grocery store donuts).
The Final Two Pennies
Maybe I’ll never find a 5-star donut. But, I’ve had better donuts than Voodoo. And, I’ve had a lot worse. Voodoo gets kudos for fresh afternoon donuts. Any donut shop can have fresh tasting donuts at 8am. But, I’ve wandered into way too many shops at 2pm when the donuts just don’t taste very good. Voodoo has the benefit of a popular business. They can bake fresh throughout the day. Still, I’ve never had a stale, over-baked or under-filled donut there. I’m sure it happens, just not yet to me.
Voodoo isn’t quite in my hall of fame of best donuts ever. They might score some extra points on kitsch and 14-year old boy humor with me, but that doesn’t make them a five. However, I think it’s easy to knock Voodoo because they’re so popular (see, Starbucks). You can still score a dozen donuts at Voodoo for $11. That might sound like a lot, but it’s at the bottom of the price point for “gourmet” donut shops. Maybe that’s because Voodoo isn’t gourmet. Or, maybe they were gourmet before gourmet was really the thing.
In the end, Voodoo knows know to make a good donut. That’s what you need to know.
Want to check out some of my other donut reviews?
The post Donuts Across America! Voodoo Doughnuts In Denver was published first on Pizza in Motion