Doughnuts have something of a bad reputation as an unsophisticated junk food since until recently their existence has been largely dominated by fast food chains like Tim Hortons and Krispy Kreme who mass produce their uninspired creations. But they are experiencing something of a gentrification in Vancouver and the recently opened Lucky’s Doughnuts on Main Street is leading the pack. Joining forces with 49th Parallel Coffee, this sweet and caffeine pairing is irresistibly addictive and on our visits, the newest addition to Main Street was already hopping. This refreshing option for an after-dinner treat or an afternoon hangout makes everything from scratch including their cake and yeast-based dough, of course, but also the jams and glazes that adorn them.
Upon entry, you will be greeted by friendly servers and baristas at the central counter where there are several rotating flavours on offer including Coconut Cream, Strawberry Shortcake and Chocolate Old Fashioned. We sampled more doughnuts than is probably fashionable to admit including a perennial favourite and a true test of Lucky’s ability with the dough itself, the Old Fashioned; we were impressed by this cake doughnut which was delicately sweet and incredibly light and airy. Their sophisticated Orange Blossom Pistachio was infused with bits of flavourful orange rind and generously peppered with lots of bright green pistachios on top. The Salted Caramel had an amazingly sticky (and delicious) tan glaze with flakes of salt – a lovely union. We’ve yet to try their incredibly popular Bacon and Apple Fritter, but something about this combination just sounds so right. Amazingly, none of the creations we sampled were overly saccharine – Lucky’s has managed to strike a careful balance, allowing their flavourings to shine through rather than having their creations be dominated by sugar. Doughnuts and coffee are a natural pairing and Lucky’s has found an excellent partner in 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters who take their brew seriously. Their Americano is smooth and rich and serves as the perfect accompaniment to Lucky’s indulgences. Be sure to check out the Fresh Sheet that lists their daily coffee and doughnut combo for $4 as well as their coffee of the day.
Lucky’s large space, clad in wood and brick, creates a warm and inviting atmosphere that encourages lounging – the place is already swarming with sugar and caffeine addicts armed with their laptops. To the left of the central counter is a communal long-table and a large window providing a view of their house-made doughnuts, being prepared fresh on-site, in progress. Smaller tables and even a few plush loungers gathered around a gas fireplace fill out the right. These doughnuts are, admittedly, on the pricey side at around $2.50-3.50 a pop, but well worth it since they are freshly prepared and much better crafted than their fast food counterparts. If you order more than 6, you’ll get a 15% discount. We’ve already visited twice in search of their popular crullers only to find them sold out – we’ll just have to persist until we’re able to try these tasty treats.