There’s a mochi doughnut wave taking over the Denver food scene, and its newest addition opened over Memorial Day weekend. Dochi — located in the RiNo neighborhood — is a reflection of the classic mochi doughnuts that are usually found in Japanese street markets but with a twist.
Childhood friends Jason Le and Frank Phan opened the first location in Orlando, Florida in 2018 then later branched out to Washington and now Denver. While it may seem like a stretch to open a Dochi location in Denver, thousands of miles from either location, another childhood friend was interested in bringing these unique treats to RiNo. Johnny Pham and wife Jennie Nguyen would often visit the original location and bring back 20 boxes home to share with family and friends.
Rather than traveling across the nation just to bring back some doughnuts, it was only logical to open a Dochi in their backyard. With help from both Le and Phan, the local team has recreated the same cross between a Japanese rice dessert and a traditional American fried doughnut. Instead of sticking to overused flavors that frequent most traditional dessert shops, the menu hosts an array of diverse flavors and crunchy toppings.
While the team behind Dochi takes inspiration from their Asian American heritage, some flavors include strawberry Pocky, matcha Oreo, ube glaze and various rotating combinations.
The original store mainly featured Japanese flavored doughnuts until it started to grow in popularity and gained more attention. Now some familiar American flavor profiles like Fruity Pebbles and cookie butter grace the menu.
The biggest difference between a “dochi” and a traditional fried doughnut is the texture. These desserts have a light crispy outside and chewy inside, similar to a spongelike consistency. Every doughnut is glazed and sprinkled to perfection in the hopes that each bite has the perfect ratio. With a unique shape resembling a teething ring, it’s easy to pull apart and share with friends.
As for taking root in RiNo, the Dochi team wanted their culinary work of art to mirror that of the art district. With such a great community for aspiring businesses, Dochi fits in perfectly. Since the Denver location is new, this store is a testing ground for any future spots across the front range.
Currently, the shop is dine-in and will offer delivery in the near future. Dochi is located at 2449 Larimer St., Denver. It is open Monday through Thursday from 11 to 3 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 11 to 6 p.m.
All Photography By Kori Hazel.