The New SoCo Spot – The Salty Donut
The Salty Donut first opened their doors in 2015 out of a pop-up shop camper in Florida. Now with six locations across the country, and a new shop coming soon in Palm Beach, Florida, they have opened new doors in Austin as well.
The Salty Donut is a family-owned donut shop specializing in from-scratch brioche donuts, with a variety of fun flavors. They are proud to not use any artificial ingredients and even offer gluten-free and vegan donuts!
The Salty Donut also offers a wide variety of coffee drinks made from Intelligentsia Coffee as well as hot and iced specialty teas. I tried their Cinnamon Cereal Milk latte, which tastes just like a latte with milk straight from a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
They also have seasonal cold brew flavors. For the fall, they are offering a Maple + Brown Sugar cold brew coffee. I also tried their King Crimson Tea + Lemonade. The tea is a hibiscus blend with rosehips, lemongrass, orange peel, licorice root, and essential tangerine oil, which produced a wonderfully refreshing beverage that I would enjoy in summer or fall seasons due to the subtle fall flavors in the tea but with the refreshing lemonade as well.
Their display of beautifully decorated donuts can be intimidating, with so many unique flavors. They even have a donut unique just to their Austin store, their Prickly Pear Margarita Donut. This confection is made with their 24-hour brioche donut dough, filled with lime curd, topped with prickly pear and lime glaze, mascarpone whipped cream, shortbread cookie crumb, and lime zest.
Another special donut this month is the Frosted Animal Cookie donut filled with strawberry cream, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Texas. They also offer seasonal gluten-free and vegan donuts. Their fall variants include a vegan Cocoa + Brown Sugar Blondie donut filled with oat milk blondie batter, cocoa, and butterscotch glaze, and topped with crushed brown sugar blondie cookies.
The gluten-free fall donut is a Sweet Potato Pie donut, a gluten-free sweet potato cake donut, bottom crusted in crushed white chocolate and pecan streusel, topped with a toasted marshmallow glaze.
I tried seven of these uniquely flavored donuts! Starting with the traditional glazed, which I think is a good way to judge the quality of a donut place. It was perfectly soft, with an even coat of sweet vanilla glaze, made with real vanilla beans. The Horchata donut is their best seller and my personal favorite. It is made with their brioche soaked in a homemade horchata mixture, bottom crusted with Valrhona Carmelina chocolate, and finished with torched cinnamon-meringue. I also tried their Prickly Pear Margarita, Iced Circus Animal, Tiramisu, Vegan Cocoa + Brown Sugar Blondie, and the Dragon + Passion Fruit donut.
My partner’s favorite was the Dragon +Passion Fruit donut. It is made with their 24-hour brioche filled with a whipped passion fruit mousse, dragon, and passion fruit glaze, topped with crushed graham crackers + a dragon fruit infused whipped cream.
Typically, I am not a person that goes for elaborately flavored and decorated donuts. I prefer a classic glazed Krispy Kreme. However, I was surprisingly impressed with the quality of the 24-hour brioche donut dough The Salty Donut uses. It is what makes we want to go back and try any of their new flavors. Additionally, none of the donuts I tried were too sweet, all were very well balanced in flavors and sweetness, which was also pleasantly surprising.
I especially want to return once their liquor license has been approved and they add an alcoholic beverage menu. I think the Salty Donut is a wonderful addition to the South Congress strip. Located right next to Magnolia Café, it will make a great spot to grab dessert, as they are open late on Friday and Saturday. I highly recommend checking out The Salty Donut. They have a treat for everyone, even if you are not typically a specialty donut person.