Who Does the Best Donuts in LA?

October 07, 2021

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Los Angelinos may be more health-conscious than folks in some other towns, but they sure do love their sugary deep-fried donuts! From famous donut shops in LA to hidden gems, we take a deep dive into the best donuts in LA.

 

California Donuts

An old-school family-owned bakery that serves 24 hours a day, California Donuts has been churning out sugary delights since 1982. From glazed to Boston Cream, they've got lots of classics on the menu. But their specialty donuts offer a bit more diversity. How about a donut topped with Fruity Pebbles cereal? Or Fruit Loops? Maybe you'll go for a donut covered in M&Ms or an Oreo donut that looks just like a panda.


 


Donut Friend

While the newer locations in Downtown LA and Silverlake offer the same sweet treats, Donut Friend's original Highland Park spot is arguably the best place to enjoy their famed Strawberrylab. Or perhaps their Fudgegazi. Maybe a Polar Berry Club donut. Or you can do it DIY style—just tell Donut Friend what kind of filling and topping you'd like, and they'll whip up a custom donut on the spot. But of course, you may not be able to pass on the menu's selections like the Angry Samoa—vanilla cake dipped in chocolate, topped with caramel, toasted coconut, and finished off with chocolate stripes.


 


DK's Donuts

If you've ever rolled down Santa Monica Boulevard on your way to the beach you've probably caught a glimpse of DK's Donuts's pink-and-purple storefront. It's been there since 1981. And it's much more than a donut shop, serving sandwiches and breakfast burritos as well. But their massive selection of donuts—120 of them from classic to curious—is DK's claim to fame. Just a few of the notable selections include an Ube Bacon Bits Donut, Double Decker Strawberry Creamsicle, and a Nutella Churro Donut.


 


Randy’s Donuts

An instantly recognizable LA landmark, the giant donut on the roof of Randy’s Donuts has been glimpsed many times by most local drivers who are stuck on the 405. And for sure many of them have gotten in line for the delights that have been served from the popular spot since 1952. Randy's has changed with the times. They have creative offerings like a Bacon Maple Long John and a Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but it may be best to go with a classic glazed or a traditional powdered sugar donut at this LA institution.


 


Sidecar

Sidecar offers a more upscale donut experience, in Santa Monica, Costa Mesa, Torrance, and Fairfax. Saying it serves "the world's freshest donuts," Sidecar makes a big claim that's tough to prove. But quite possible given that they make their donuts throughout the day in small batches every hour. Go for Sidecar classics like their Saigon Cinnamon Crumb, fruit-filled huckleberry, or specialty donuts like their Rainbow Berry Pop-Tart, or perhaps their Vegan Blueberry Maple Pancake.


 


Blinkie's Donut Emporium

A Woodland Hills tradition for over half a century, Blinkie's has been serving daily-made donuts since the 1960s, currently under the helm of Parisian-born owner Teresa Ngo. Their Bavarian Cream and Apple Fritter donuts are particularly popular, though you may be tempted to try one of their buttermilk offerings such as blueberry or maple. Blinkie's also whips up some more eclectic treats with flavors including horchata and mango tajin.


 


SK Donuts and Croissant

As the name suggests, SK Donuts and Croissant serves up some delectable flaky croissants, solo or in sandwiches such as pastrami and spinach and cheese. But the donuts at the family-run joint that's been going since the late-80s are arguably more popular; their deep-fried Oreo offerings will tempt anyone to forget about calorie counting. However, there are also more health-conscious offerings, such as their apple and blueberry vegan fritters.


 


Fōnuts

Fōnuts? Extra points if you guessed that the name originates from "faux-donut." While they're not exactly "fake donuts," the offerings at Fōnuts are unlike most others you'll find at other donut shops across Los Angeles. They're baked, not fried, made with almond flour and gluten-free, with low-to-no sugar selections. All without sacrificing flavor! Moist and chewy fōnuts like their Strawberry Shortcake, Banana Chocolate, and Olive Oil Wild Blueberry can satisfy the most critical of donut connoisseurs.


 


Kettle Glazed

The 24-hour donut joint in Hollywood has gained popularity for its croissant-style creations such as their chocolate-drizzle donut-croissant hybrid. And their croissant-muffin cross, the "cruffin," has legions of fans. But Kettle Glazed excels in traditional donuts, such as the Old Fashioned Buttermilk Vanilla, Blueberry Lemon, and the double-threat Chocolate Chocolate.


 

As diverse as the people who call LA home, Los Angeles doughnuts have something to satisfy just about every sweet tooth. How about yours?

Written by William McCleary for Knockaround.

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