Vegan doughnuts that excite and please, even for non-vegan folks.
The Big O Doughnut –
Salt Lake City – Donuts, Desserts – $ – Fast Casual
”Benjamin @DonutCritic - Pro Sifter & InfluencerSep 1, 2019
Overall 4.3 / 5.0
The Big O Doughnut has blossomed from being one of the lone vegan options for sweet treats to a Salt Lake City staple in the doughnut community. Although they offer the standard flavors, they are known for innovative flavor combinations and ingredients. For instance, try their faux bacon and you know they’re for real.
Big O Doughnuts range from $3 – $4 each, which is on the expensive end for doughnuts in Utah. Most doughnuts in Utah are still in the $1 – $2 range, but those doughnut shops usually don’t have vegan, plant-based or flavor options. The value from trying Big O Doughnuts is realized when you eat a Boston creme style donut while maintaining your vegan diet.
Most popular dishes
The rainbow-sprinkled, pistachio cake, maple bar with faux bacon, and the exciting monthly specials are all popular.
What I ordered
I ordered the raised passion fruit (rotating special), raised raspberry white chocolate (rotating special), raised strawberry rose, Boston cream, pistachio cake, raised biscoff cookie, and churro cake.
Overall, the raised dough is denser than non-vegan counterparts. It’s closer to a soft bread than a light pastry. The cake version is a bit more crumbly than those that use eggs. This is pretty consistent with other vegan doughnuts I’ve had in other shops throughout the US. Besides dough, here are some notes on the flavors of each donut tried:
Raised passion fruit (rotating special)
This is my favorite flavor served by The Big O Doughnut. The passion fruit flavor is prominent. It’s sweet but is balanced with a lingering tartness that welcomes future bites.
Raised raspberry white chocolate (rotating special)
I was most surprised by this donut. The tart raspberry was a perfect complement for the smooth, rich white chocolate.
Raised strawberry rose
This is a classic Big O Doughnut flavor. It surprises each time but is heavy with floral. Some describe it as a perfume flavor. So, I usually don’t recommend this unless one wants an interesting tasting experience.
The chocolate topping was delicious but couldn’t compensate for the lack of cream. It had decent flavor but more of a grainy texture. This doughnut probably had the largest dropoff from a non-vegan doughnut option.
Plenty of pistachios were added to this doughnut, which isn’t the case with a lot of shops that serve pistachio. If the cake doughnut base was more moist and flavorful then it may have become my favorite.
Raised biscoff cookie
If you are a fan of biscoff, then it is hard to go wrong with this doughnut. Biscoff is such a strong flavor. The flavor didn’t disappoint, but I am not a big fan of Biscoff.
I always am expecting a surge of cinnamon, but it doesn’t deliver as well as I want. It’s a great cinnamon option but I wish there was more flavor.
The real draw is the options for individuals that have dietary restrictions. They serve vegan, plant-based doughnuts with options for soy-free as well. The absence of eggs, milk, butter, cream, oils, etc. will appeal to many looking for a sweet treat. They also offer gluten-free options on Wednesdays and Fridays if you call and order ahead.
The vibe inside Big O Doughnuts is homey with a hipster edge. A lot of mismatched items come together to make for a fun atmosphere. The store is located in a blossoming area of Salt Lake City, which will only become a bigger hub for interesting food.
The service was pleasant. We arrived as they opened, which allowed us to enjoy our doughnuts without a crowd. The cashier was helpful in describing the doughnut flavors and recommending the popular options.
What I liked most
I like the interesting flavors and the clear effort they put into providing delicious treats for individuals with dietary restrictions.
What I disliked most
The vegan dough will likely never achieve the texture and quality of normal dough. One needs to go in expecting something delicious but not necessarily a regular doughnut.
Overall, I plan to visit The Big O Doughnuts when I want fresh and new flavors. I recommend to anyone that has dietary restrictions.