16205 N. Scottsdale Road, 85254
Stepping through the doors at Donut Bar, the first thing that hits you is the donut. Not literally, but the far wall has a massive donut with wings painted on it, like you’re entering a donut haven – and if you like donuts, this very well may be a haven for you.
On Saturday and Sunday, Donut Bar opens at 8 a.m. I got there at 8:04 and there was already a line out the door, with the owner of the shop passing out Cookie Monster cupcakes to the kids, their faces full of blue frosting.
Once you get inside the building, you can see an array of about 30 different donuts, and a chef at the start of the line, on the grill. Yes, there’s a grill, and on this grill is made… or maybe created… a grilled cheese donut sandwich.
The shop also offers French toast and a Monte Cristo sandwich, which is how I began my morning. Two slices of French toast, American and gruyere cheese, ham and strawberry jelly, topped off with powdered sugar. Don’t knock it until you try it.
Donut Bar makes around 60 types of donuts. The variety changes each day, so there’s always something new to try. Among the assortment is: a Nutella-stuffed donut, birthday cake, crème brulee, red velvet, strawberry split, Samoa, maple bacon, unicorn (yes, there’s a candy unicorn horn on it), and banana caramel. And those are just the ones that I could see. The shop also offers a pretzel donut and the Homer’s Classic – a real, edible version of the sprinkled donuts Homer loves on “The Simpsons.”
But the place is called Donut BAR, right? That’s because it is actually also a bar. There are eight beers on tap, all of which are from local breweries including Four Peaks and Huss Brewing. There are also mimosas available. I tried mango – because champagne and donuts, what more could you want on a Saturday? There’s also a traditional orange juice mimosa and a pineapple one.
Behind the wall of donuts and enthusiastic donut-slingers, there’s a window where you can see into the kitchen, where all the magic happens. I attempted to take a photo, but apparently that’s frowned upon because I was scolded by one of the employees. I was told that the donut-makers are at the shop baking for around 22 hours, with the decorators coming in at 4 a.m. to embellish the tasty treats, so they are not to be bothered.
Donut Bar has three open locations. The inaugural Donut Bar was opened in San Diego, then to Las Vegas. The Scottsdale location opened in November 2018, and expansion is in the near future.