Parlor Brings Layered Doughnuts To the Mile High

Doughnut lovers have rejoiced in Denver with the number of options that have recently sprung up in the city. They are about to get even more thrilled about a new neighbor taking a home in a pristine white house on Lincoln Avenue.

Portland brings its presence with Voodoo’s wacky flavors – ramen and bubblegum to name a few. Pandemic Donuts are the love child of two industry pros that found a new path during the pandemic. The Doughnut Club trades the loud music and late-nights expected from its name and offers a sugary wake-up call instead. Regardless of the theme, it’s hard to turn down a yeasted or cake doughnut, but Indiana’s Parlor Doughnuts diverts from both and brings a new style to the city.

Parlor combines the lightness of a yeasted doughnut and keeps the moistness of a cake doughnut. The outward appearance may seem like any other – with the exception a missing hole. The glaze coats perfectly coats each doughnut with a different flavor while underneath layers bubble and crackle from the deep fryer. The thin layers are easily missed at first glance. One shattering bite reveals a laminated dough that can also be used to make french croissants.

Dominique Ansel brought the first iteration of the hybrid mix of croissants and doughnuts to New York with the viral Cronut craze. There have been many others, like Parlor Doughnuts, that have found a way to bring this new innovation nationwide.

This store, once a science supply store turned coffee shop, stands tall and has a pristine white and light blue coloring that glows as those walk by. The polished porcelain mosaic completes the clean, retro look. In the back, the red garage door is open and ready to bring in the feeling of summer while sharing the sweet scent of doughnuts with the world.

Their display cases decorated in doughnuts are the first thing people see when walking in. The case holds about 20 flavors and looks like a jar of sprinkles with all the colors they use to bring out each unique flavor. Although none have the hole as one usually associates with a doughnut, it allows these unique creations to keep more of the buttery flakiness. Some are stuffed and they have cronies too – the doughnut bites that come from croissant doughnuts rather than doughnut holes.
An easy entrance to summer comes from their vibrant fruit flavors. The Blueberry Hill doughnut has a purple coating with flecks of blueberries scattered throughout. It brings the subtly sweet taste that comes from picking berries straight off the bushes. Pink icing is easily associated with strawberries. So, Parlor doughnuts go a step further by topping off their strawberry shortcake with two slices of strawberry and a dollop of cream. They pair raspberry and pistachios for a fruity and nutty combination as the Peanut Butter and Jelly 2.0.

Cocoa lovers can rejoice with options like Chocolate Chocolate – a dip in rich chocolate glaze, extra chocolate drizzle and chocolate chips to get the point across. Cookies n’ Cream creates a childhood memory instantaneously while Campfire begins with the same glaze to represent the melted chocolate in s’mores and then topped with toasted mini marshmallows and a dusting of graham cracker crumbs. All these delicious doughnuts come in at under $3 and get cheaper the more you buy, so bring some friends   

Parlor Doughnuts have locations on both coastlines – from California to the Florida Gulf Coast. But they are taking a break from the beach and finally made it to the mountains.

Parlor Doughnuts is located at 95 Lincoln Street, Denver.

All photography by Haley Paez