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August 13, 2017

Vortex Doughnuts

by Anne Paddock

Every once in a while, a girl just needs a doughnut because there’s something totally decadent about biting into a light airy yeast-raised doughnut with a cinnamon sugar or glaze topping (subsequent bites may take you into doughnut euphoria).  But, for those following a plant-based diet, finding a delicious vegan doughnut is often challenging.

Whenever I visit cities or towns, I always google “chocolate,” “farmer’s markets,” “restaurants” (because most will make a plant-based option), “vegan restaurants,” and “doughnuts.”  Although doughnuts are not exactly wholesome and nutritious, they are pure comfort food for special occasions, like a Sunday morning!

In New York City, it’s Dun-Well Doughnuts but in Asheville, North Carolina, Vortex Doughnuts is the place to visit when nothing but a scrumptious vegan doughnut will do. Of course, this famous doughnut and coffee shop also offers doughnuts made with eggs and dairy products but it’s the plant-based doughnuts that draw me through its large wooden and glass filled doors. Light, airy, melt-in-your-mouth decadently (is that a word?) delicious is what a vegan Vortex Doughnut is. 

Located at 32 Banks Street in the South Slope neighborhood of downtown Asheville just a few blocks off Biltmore Avenue or Southside Avenue on a street that needs a paving job and in a neighborhood that looks more industrial than entertaining, Vortex Doughnuts operates out of a former manufacturing warehouse that has been transformed into the ultimate independent boutique doughnut and coffee shop. With floor to ceiling windows, wood tables, and a giant blackboard behind the huge counter announcing all the types of doughnuts, coffee, and “non-coffee” drinks, Vortex Doughnuts has the ambiance of a hipster coffee shop with magnificent doughnuts.

The doughnuts are made on-site and the varieties change daily. Although the blackboard simply lists “vegan” under the “doughnut guide,” there are usually at least a half-dozen varieties (and often more depending on the time of day) of vegan doughnuts including glazed, cinnamon and sugar, chocolate covered, espresso glazed, berry filled, vanilla glazed, salted caramel, and more.

Open 7 days a week, Sunday to Friday from 7 am – 5 pm and on Saturdays from 7 am – 7 pm, Vortex Doughnuts is super popular especially on weekends, and Wednesdays from noon until 5:00 pm when a dozen doughnuts are half-price, or on Tuesdays from noon to 5 pm during  Two for Tuesdays:  buy one doughnut and get the second free.  During the summer, Vortex Doughnuts also offers vegan doughnut ice cream sandwiches!

So, if your travels take you to Asheville, make sure to stop by Vortex Doughnuts for your doughnut fix. To read more about Vortex Doughnuts, go to the shop’s website: www.vortexdoughnuts.com.  This is not a place to miss!

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