Duck Donuts – where the donuts are fresh, warm and made to order with a multitude of topping combinations – has now opened a location in Knoxville! And in typical Knoxvillian fashion, the city came out in droves last weekend in the snow to eat the donuts.
Duck Donuts officially opened in Knoxville last Saturday and we managed to head over there despite the snow to check them out.
Lots of donut lovers were clearly anxiously anticipating the opening since they were packed when we arrived around lunchtime!
Duck is a well-known franchise that started in the Outerbanks where you have the opportunity to create your own donut flavors from a list of coatings, drizzles, and toppings. Your chosen combinations are made to order right in front of you – much like a Subway or Chipotle. So when you walk in, you first need to grab an order form (or download it from the website) that you can just hand to the cashier.
This is great for an indecisive person like me so that I have time to mull over the choices and decide before I get to the front of the line and hold up everyone behind me. The order form lists all of the options available and a spot for the quantity of that combination. A little tip: you can choose more than one coating, drizzle or topping for each donut. In fact, some of their most popular flavors use two or more of the coatings. Try the “French Toast”, which is maple with cinnamon sugar and powdered sugar.
After you’ve paid, they’ll get started on your custom order right away, which you’ll pick up when they call your number at the pick up window. The kitchen area is completely open so that you can watch them frying off fresh donuts all day long. Duck makes one base donut type – a vanilla cake donut. I think it’s totally okay to only offer one type of product when that one product is done so well and they’ve honed the craft of creating the perfect cake donut. These are super soft, moist, and delicious. They are even almost just as good a day or two later reheated for 10 seconds in the microwave.
Fresh, warm cake donuts are then topped in front of you with the combinations you selected.
If you need suggestions, by the register was a card offering up some fun flavor combinations to try. We did not end up ordering any of these recommendations, but I definitely want to try the Beach, Strawberry Shortcake and Strawberry Lemonade next time.
What would a donut shop be without good coffee? In addition to delicious made-to-order donuts, Duck also offers quality roasted coffee and other coffee beverages. Remington ordered a coffee and sipped each blend that was available that day before filling his cup with the Lighthouse blend, but he said they were all really good. Considering we are both coffee snobs, that means you can ensure you’ll have a decent cup of joe to go with your donut.
We ended up ordering 7 different donut combinations, but somehow only paid for a 1/2 dozen. We did not catch their mistake until we picked up our donuts and were walking out the door. Granted that mistake was in our favor, but the other issue we had was when one of our donut flavor combinations got screwed up and we did not notice until we got home. Since it was their very first day open and they were slammed, we didn’t take issue with the mishaps.
Top row from left is the famous maple bacon, vanilla with oreo, blueberry with chocolate sprinkles (this was supposed to have coconut instead). Bottom row from left is chocolate with salted caramel, strawberry with hot fudge (this was supposed to have chocolate sprinkles on it too), and lemon with raspberry.
Our seventh donut was peanut butter topped with chopped peanuts.
While they were all amazing and packed with flavor, favorites were the blueberry coating, vanilla with oreo, the lemon coating and peanut butter. Even though we both aren’t big on peanut butter flavored sweets (don’t get me wrong, I love peanut butter, just not in sweets usually), we really liked the flavor of this donut. Remington, who hates typical sweet jarred peanut butter, actually took a few bites and enjoyed it. Next time I’d like to try it with a chocolate or raspberry drizzle.
I’m not sure if Duck Donuts was the first to do a maple bacon donut or not and while theirs is really good, I still have to hand the award for best maple bacon to Maker’s. It’s the best donut at Maker’s thanks to the rich coffee flavoring in the maple icing and the smoky Benton’s bacon. That said, Duck’s offering is definitely a close second. And I think a lot of their other coatings and drizzles rival the competition in terms of intensity of flavor.
Duck Donuts offers a delicious cake donut in an infinite number of fun flavor combinations made-to-order just for you. I’ll be dreaming up my next concoction for our second visit to Duck because we will definitely become regulars. So get your creative juices flowing in the morning with a trip to Duck Donuts. There’s not much better than a fresh donut, but you can’t beat being able to customize it with your favorite toppings.
6104 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN, United States
Phone: (865) 236-1393
Hours of Operation:
Mon: 6:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Tues – Thurs: 6:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Fri – Sat: 6:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sun: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM