Duke City Donuts – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

The new (as of May, 2012) Scottsdale Shopping Center home of Duke City Donuts

If you love donuts (and who doesn’t), you might want to consider being just a bit more generous when you see the ubiquitous Salvation Army bell-ringers and their familiar kettles standing in the chilly winter air to solicit donations.  The Salvation Army didn’t invent the first donut, but you can certainly credit much of their popularity to this philanthropic group. During World War I, the “lassies” in the Salvation Army prepared donuts for thousands of soldiers, an act which along with their compassion endeared the group to the American public.  It also stimulated a taste for donuts which hadn’t existed before the war among the American public.

In 1938, the first Friday in June was established as “Salvation Army Donut Day” in Chicago, not only to honor the Salvation Army but to help raise much-needed operating funds for the group.  It was also set aside as a tribute to the Salvation Army lassies who made and served the donuts during World War I.  Although the spelling has been shortened from “doughnut” to “donut” over the years, by any spelling the donut has been the Salvation Army’s trademark since World War I.

Donuts under glass at Enchantment Chocolates
Donuts under glass at Duke City Donuts

In recent years, donuts and their high-carb brethren have been vilified and all but banned by the “nutritionally correct” who believe America should supplant these deliciously decadent orbs with beet juice, tofu, carrots and celery sticks.  Coupled with the advent of the carb unfriendly Adkins Diet, donuts went through a period in which they were as popular as terrorist extremists at a New York City fire department party.  Even the sanctified Krispy Kreme saw stock prices plummet.

Albuquerque has in recent years seen the demise, departure or diminished numbers of Krispy Kreme, Shipley’s Donuts, Winchell’s Donuts and even most of the city’s Dunkin’ Donuts. Whether it was an onslaught of health-crazed fanatics, reduced ranks in the police force or a combination of other factors, the Duke City can hardly be called the Donut City.  Perhaps the one donut restaurant which did more to resurrect the popularity of donuts in the Duke City is the aptly named Duke City Donuts.

Maple Glazed Donut with Bacon, Dark Chocolate Cashew Bark, Milk Chocolate Oreo

Duke City Donuts is located in the far northeast heights Scottsdale Shopping Village (on the northwest corner of Eubank and Candelaria).  Turn into the Village and the very first business you will see is Duke City Donuts which moved to its new location in May, 2012, very shortly after being honored by Albuquerque The Magazine.  In its annual Food & Wine issue for 2012, Albuquerque The Magazine awarded Duke City Donuts a Hot Plate Award signifying the selection of its maple bacon donut as one of the “most interesting, special and tasty dishes around.”  Considering the thousands of potential selections, to be singled out is quite an honor.

Duke City Donuts is not a pretty new face to the Scottsdale Village Shopping Center, but a change in ownership in 2007 precipitated a change in direction and vision for the store.  One of those changes was diversification from chocolates which meant the inclusion of delectable and delightful donuts, the type of which might make Homer Simpson swoon.  That change of direction and vision was reenforced in 2011 when the store changed its name from Enchantment Chocolates to Duke City Donuts.

Top: Two Glazed Donuts, Strawberry Glazed Donut, Pumpkin Glazed Donut, Spicy Pumpkin, Pumpkin Cake

The menu is replete with raised donuts and cake donuts with flavors of the week for every day of the week.  On Monday, it’s blueberry; on Tuesday, it’s cherry; on Wednesday, it’s lemon and on Thursday, it’s strawberry.  Friday’s flavor of the day is chocolate while orange is the flavor of the day on Saturdays.  A seasonal favorite is pumpkin donuts which are made in a variety of ways.

Flavor of the day doesn’t mean solely one donut featuring that flavor.  On the Saturday of my inaugural visit, orange, the flavor of the day was featured in a chocolate donut, an orange cake donut and an orange raised donut.  Flavor of the day also doesn’t mean obviously artificial flavoring that barely approximates the select flavor.  The orange donuts have a pronounced citrus flavor, a sweet tanginess reminiscent of the sun-kissed orange in its peak of flavor.

Colorful and delicious assortment of donuts
Colorful and delicious assortment of donuts

Donuts are topped with a variety of decadent frostings including a maple frosted donut which would make any Canadian proud.  The maple actually tastes like maple, not like white icing tinged brown.  It’s a novel concept other proprietors of donuts should follow.  More of them should also top maple donuts with a single piece of crispy fried bacon.  It’s an interesting and delicious example of flavor contrasts where sweet and salty play against one another.

True to its former name, Duke City Donuts features a menagerie of sweet treats the nutrition police are sure to disdain.  Aside from homemade chocolates, the store showcases a variety of fudge and other homemade candy.  It also sells a nice selection of popcorn in flavors other than the de rigueur standards.  The popcorn is colorful and delicious and is available in such flavors as blueberry and chocolate.  You also don’t have to wait for the State Fair if you crave cotton candy.  Duke City Donuts has that, too.

Five of the very best donuts in New Mexico

16 March 2013: October may be National Doughnut Month, but the magazine Everyday with Rachael Ray celebrated a “hole lotta love!” in March with a pictorial of some of America’s most “fancified and accessorized” donuts.  Included in the almost good enough to eat photo shoot was a Samoa donut (toasted coconut, caramel and chocolate) from Duke City Donuts. The Samosa is much better than its photograph because you can indulge in its decadent deliciousness.

Every time we visit Duke City Donuts, we find a new favorite–or at least something new and interesting.  In the latter category is a Lucky Charms cereal donut painted green in honor of the Emerald Isle.  It’s too sweet for me, but perfect for my Kim who’s much sweeter.  It wouldn’t be New Mexico if donuts didn’t incorporate our official state vegetable (no, not the pinto bean; the other one–chile).  The chocolate-bacon-red chile-bacon donut packs a back of the throat punch.  It’s the type of donut you’d want a glass of milk with.  Similar to New Mexican restaurants, Duke City Donuts can actually ask the official state question–“red or green” because one of its donuts combines apples and green chile.  This one not only has a nice piquancy, it has a freshly roasted flavor, too.

Top: Lucky Charms Donut; Red Chile-Chocolate-Bacon Donut Bottom: Samosa Donut, Green Chile Apple
Top: Lucky Charms Donut; Red Chile-Chocolate-Bacon Donut Bottom: Samosa Donut, Green Chile Apple

Duke City Donuts, where you can celebrate Donut Day everyday may offer the very best donuts in Albuquerque–donuts so good, owner J.D. Dame changed its name to reflect the popularity of the peoples’ choice product.    Provided that same enchantment continues to permeate that glorious fried dough, he could call the restaurant anything he wants and donut lovers will beat a path to his door.

Duke City Donuts
3107 Eubank Blvd, N.E.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
1st VISIT: 18 July 2009
LATEST VISIT: 28 July 2013
BEST BET: Chocolate Orange Donut, Orange Donut, Glazed Donut, Maple Frosted Donut, Maple-Bacon Donut, Coffee Toffee Donut, Pumpkin Cake Donut, Spicy Pumpkin Donut, Glazed Pumpkin Donut

Duke City Donuts on Urbanspoon

12 thoughts on “Duke City Donuts – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

  1. I love the mint chocolate, butterfinger, oreo, Samoas, the maple-bacon, etc. Another favorite is the apple fritter – fried dough with apple chunks and covered in glaze. I also recommend the green chili-apple filled, not always available, but an amazing taste combination. They also have crazy combos like cereal, candy or pretzels.

  2. This is the best donut in Albuquerque. In fact, instead of a birthday cake, my wife bought a few dozen for the celebration. EVERYONE was happy with her choice!

  3. FYI Duke City Donuts is now open 7 days a week including Sundays. My doughnut cravings can now be fulfilled every day! 🙂

  4. I discovered your business after you participated in the chocolate fair at the Convention Center. Didn’t try your samples there, but noted the address via your flier/coupon.

    Bought a dozen to take to work, and they are hands down the best in town, and due to both recipe and freshness. Krispy Kremes are bland and soft, Donut Mart’s are varied but old, and Dunkin Donuts are just plain a fraud.

    BUT, your shop is having problems keeping the backbone in stock. Plain raised glazed never seem to be present in even a dozen. Multiple times I have stopped in morning times to not even be able to buy one.

    And, counter courtesy is missing, period.

    I’d love to see more of your product available, as I have already told many of its quality, and I’d like to see the “friendly” service promoted on your home page. Great product from terse salespeople is not worth it.

  5. Tip O the Day: Back in the day when there were only plain or powdered, my Mom would stand a plain donut on end (ya, I know…there is really no definitive “end”, so do the best ya can) and carefully slice it in half, vertically. (Alternatively, some may prefer to lay the donut on its side (either one) and slice it through the horizontal plane.) While slicing a few, she’d have a pat or two of butter melting in a fry pan into which she’d place the exposed inner side of the donut to lightly fry. (Depending on one’s “diet”, one might lightly rebutter after fried…LOL or substitute grape jelly for butter.). (Depending on your toaster, you could try toasting and then butter.) “Chow!”

  6. Joined by Sensei and Boomer for Sr Plata birthday for a little dessert after some excellent Korean food. Ok, so, its a weekday and most of the popular items are not available like cinnamon rolls and some donut made with bacon (obviously that isnt going to happen to the Sephardic in me) which they have on weekends. So, I was graced by trying an oreo donut, maple walnut donut and chocolate eclair. Yes, I stopped at 3 but those 3 were really good, fresh, flavorful and an excellent ending to a lunch with the NM FoF. The oreo was very good, never had something like that on top and was excellent just as the maple walnut was a good 2nd donut to down. I saved the eclair for last, it had a great custard filling. I kicked myself cause Boomer added a peanut butter / Chocolate to his entourage of donuts and I would have loved to try it. Think this would be an excellent place to pick up some goodies for the weekend to share with friends, family and a good cup of coffee…

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