I know that I have met my kind of people when my best friends, their spouses, and I can have a long, thought out debate over the merits of fancy donuts and whether anything truly beats a freshly fried donut (answer: very little). Based on my Instagram feed you might assume (correctly) that I adore fancy donuts but I also love the simplicity of a freshly fried, sugar dusted or glazed donut a la Krispy Kreme…
But Hoopla Donuts, located in Calgary Place, is definitely no Krispy Kreme!
Hoopla offers both fried, filled donuts, as well as baked gluten free donuts – and both options are delicious. Run by Phil & Sebastian they offer an extensive menu with rotating permanent flavours, and feature donuts which change on a monthly basis. I went the second day they opened, and thankfully managed to get there before they sold out! Their stock estimates have reportedly improved a lot (understandably) since that first week, and they now offer a pre-order and pick up service, which is much more reasonable if you work in the #YYC core and want to pick up donuts on your break, and not like me who has weekdays off sometimes and therefore doesn’t mind waiting a while since you have time to kill!
I didn’t actually intend on trying a gluten free donut (I don’t mind the idea, but if I’m going to have a donut I generally want the fried dough satisfaction) but the Mango Toasted Coconut donut looked too pretty to resist (and I love Mango anything). The texture of this baked donut was excellent and I wouldn’t have known it was gluten free unless you told me! There was no oiliness, the dough was light, and the glaze was nicely balanced – just a bit tart, and not too sugary-sweet. The toasted coconut provided a really nice textural crunch. I enjoyed this so much I returned the next week to try the “regular” fried, filled donuts, which I also enjoyed, but if you’re planning on eating the donuts later I do find that their gluten free options tend to ‘age’ a bit better – the fried donuts are best eaten the day of purchase.
Hoopla Donuts are available at Calgary Place Monday–Friday and also at Phil & Sebastian on Stephen Avenue (the menu at Stephen Avenue is not as large). I am planning my next trip already!