YoYo Donuts & Coffee Bar

Lars Swanson / Heavy Table

Warning: These doughnuts will self-destruct. After the end times, when only cockroaches and unfrozen gas station doughnuts remain, the ethereal creations at YoYo Donuts & Coffee Bar in Minnetonka will be long gone. Actually, they’ll be long gone in 48 hours. That’s because YoYo uses no dough extenders or preservatives — you can resurrect the doughnuts the next morning with maybe a 10-second jolt in the microwave, but you likely won’t have them sitting around that long anyway. Crafted with a unique flour blend and a creative array of toppings, doughnuts from YoYo are squarely in the conversation for best doughnut in the Twin Cities.

Lars Swanson / Heavy Table

The store has been open since mid-September and is humorously located in between a Snap Fitness and a Seattle Sutton’s. A Twin Cities lifer, owner Chris Moquist (below) recalls doughnut shops in the metro giving way to bagels during the ’80s. Despite its short-lived tryst with Krispy Kreme, the metro was sorely in need of a good doughnut, and Moquist has certainly delivered.  A former communications and PR professional, he has YoYo currently operating on one baking shift per day, which could be upwards of 70 or 80 dozen. A Dogwood Coffee outpost offers a quality counterpart to the doughnuts. Chocolate lovers take note: The house chocolate blend makes for a rich and intense mocha.

Lars Swanson / Heavy Table

YoYo’s doughnuts stand out due to the unique taste of their dough.  The raised doughnuts are made from a mix of less-refined wheat flour, barley flour, and potato flour, giving them a hearty, substantial flavor. Moquist lifted the potato flour idea from his family history. “When my father grew up they had a Spudnut franchise on the front of the creamery that my grandfather owned,” he says. “He always said those were the best doughnuts ever. This was a small town in South Dakota, and they’d go through a ridiculous number of doughnuts every day.”  His doughnuts have raised similar buzz so far and have been just as appreciated for what they don’t contain – trans-fats, peanuts, or tree nuts. “It’s a huge thing,” he says, “seeing kids come in here who have never eaten a doughnut, being told they can have anything in the entire case.”  As a result, birthday gatherings have become regular occurrences at YoYo.

Lars Swanson / Heavy Table

Their most popular doughnut, by a wide margin, is the maple bacon long john. It’s hard to believe, but the dough itself contributes equally to the doughnut flavor as the maple glaze and the thick slice of applewood smoked bacon and creates an undeniably delicious bite. “We had seen some place on the West Coast that had a cake doughnut with crumbled bacon bits,” says Moquist. “We figured, Why not use a big piece of bacon? It’s the sweet / salty thing – like pancakes, bacon, and a little syrup, all in a portable device.” It provokes reactions from skepticism to disgust almost daily, but only from those who haven’t tried it. Regulars have been known to recommend or even buy it for those hesitating at the register.

Lars Swanson / Heavy Table

His cake doughnuts break the stereotype as well — they’re light and airy, while still springy and moist. The old-fashioned cake doughnuts have the classic crunchy shell while maintaining an impossibly light and spongy center. Go for the sour cream glazed or the classic cake doughnut with wild Maine blueberries.

Lars Swanson / Heavy Table

Two standout doughnuts from the old-school category: The fritters, both apple and cherry, are not at all the dense dough clusters you’ve come to expect. And the buttermilk crullers may be the doughnut that most plainly shows off the YoYo difference. They’re nothing but dough — no sugar, glaze, or toppings — in a long, irregularly crimped finger. But what dough! Crunchy and textured outside with a soft, creamy inside. Their shape and plain yet expressive flavor make them the most ideal coffee-dunking doughnut imaginable.

Lars Swanson / Heavy Table

Being in the middle of a bunch of office parks has Moquist courting lunch crowds as well.  He’s recently added homemade pizza slices to his soup and salad offerings, and he plans to add Chicago-style hot dogs to the  menu soon.  As for new doughnuts in the works? “We’ve had a lot of requests for savory doughnuts; we’re batting around a lot of different, crazy ideas,” he says. “Another we have been told about that we’re going to try – apparently in Texas, there’s a sort of long john with a small sausage poked in the middle, fried and rolled in granulated sugar.”  It looks like the regulars might have another oddity to push. For those not feeling adventurous on their first visit, Moquist advises that his classic glazed raised will stand up to anyone’s. “You can just tell the difference in the doughnut,” he says. “If you come out and try it, you’ll be back.  We know you’ll be hooked.”

Lars Swanson / Heavy Table

BEST BET: The maple bacon long john. Believe it!

YoYo Donuts & Coffee Bar
5757 Sanibel Dr
Minnetonka, MN 55343
952.960.1800
OWNER: Chris Moquist
HOURS:
Mon-Sat: 6am-4pm
Sun: 7am-noon

Lars Swanson / Heavy Table

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About the Author

John Garland

John Garland is a freelance writer living in the East Isles neighborhood of Minneapolis. His area of expertise is wine - thanks to schooling from the International Sommelier Guild and more than a few winery visits during his time at the American University of Rome. He also contributes to Beer Dabbler's Growler Magazine and is always available for writing opportunities and happy hours.

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19 Comments

  1. Awesome doughnuts there. Well worth a visit!

  2. Midwesterner01/26/2011Reply

    I thought the address looked familiar — If I’m lucky I can get a two-fer for the drive and stop in at a time when Groveland Confections (great chocolates) in the same complex is open to the public.

  3. My mouth is watering! Definitely a place I’ll need to check out.

  4. I love the doughnuts at this place–so fresh and tasty! Even better was the owner–he walked from behind the doughnut counter to listen to exactly what I wanted and helped me pick out each doughnut. He even threw in a free one! Best customer service I’ve had in the last year.

  5. Why oh why do I live so far away from here?!

  6. Audrey Gibbs01/26/2011Reply

    Doughnuts are not even my fave, but YoYo’s Cherry Fritter along with the Old Fashioned doughnut you mentioned are simply Amazing. Great review!

  7. Jason Walker01/26/2011Reply

    Call before you go for lunch. Tried to go twice – twice! – for lunch, and both times they had no sandwiches, no salads, nothing. Now they’re switching to pizza, fine, but my advice is to call ahead.
    The first time I was denied lunch I did get a coffee though and must admit it was damn good.

  8. Thanks, all, for the kind words and kudos! And Jason, you’re right — our sandwich/soup program just didn’t work. Now we have at least three different pizzas, served by the slice, every day (promise!) starting at 11 AM sharp. Side salads and sodas for a little “meal deal”, too!

  9. gachevsky01/27/2011Reply

    Doughnuts AND pizza? Now, that’s my kind of place! Too bad I don’t live closer.

  10. Jason Walker01/27/2011Reply

    A co-worker suggested delivery service of donuts and pizza might be the perfect combination, if they could pull it off.

  11. Just went to YoYo this morning based on this review, and holy-moley: it’s all true! I can’t wait to spread the word!

  12. If they can make the maple bacon doughnut as well as Voodoo (in Portland, OR), then they’ll be a must have!

  13. I just had my first bacon doughnut at Jack’s Bakery in Brookyln Park. They crumble the bacon on top of the doughnut, so it’s a little different, but it was super good. I can’t wait to try the YoYo doughnut!

  14. Is YOYO donuts a registered trade name becausethere is one opening in Homewood AL

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