The Best Donuts in Los Angeles

Next Stop: Donut City

Cofax Coffee

Donuts at Cofax Coffee

 |  Photo:  Joshua Lurie

L.A. is the U.S. city with the most donut shops, meaning it can be tricky to sift through the river of deep-fried rings. Clearly, Angelenos have displayed serious commitment to doughnuts (aka donuts), which originated in the 19th Century. Cake Monkey Bakery and Donut Snob also wholesale great donuts to different coffeehouses, but we’re focused on 20 L.A. places where you can find destination donuts on a regular basis.

10 Speed Donuts

10 Speed Donuts | Photo: 10 Speed, Facebook

10 Speed Coffee



Pedalers Fork anchors a multi-faceted establishment by a Calabasas creek that includes a bike repair shop out back and a roastery and café called 10 Speed Coffee. Every Thursday morning, pastry chef Jess Goodman stocks the display case with delectable raised donuts. Depending on the week, you might find chocolate glaze, vanilla glaze with rainbow sprinkles, cinnamon sugar, or maple glaze with bacon bits. In an effort to minimize food waste, Goodman also tops donuts with leftovers like brownies, cookies, and potato chips, the types of snacks cyclists crave post-ride.

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Astro Doughnuts/astrodoughnuts.com

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken



Elliot Spaisman and Jeff Halpern imported Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken from Washington, D.C., teaming with Fandango founding CEO Art Levitt on a prime space near downtown’s Central Library. Their food gets “Fried, Stuffed & Glazed” in a space with white brick walls, exhibition kitchen, and sidewalk patio. Raised square donuts include orange creamsicle with orange cream and crushed pistachios up top, PB&J slathered with peanut butter and filled with strawberry jelly, and crème brûlée containing vanilla cream and sporting torched lids. If you’re really feeling adventurous, Astro offers a fried chicken BLT with lettuce, tomato, bacon, and chicken breast sandwiched between a plain doughnut or a square dusted with Old Bay seasoning.

Lemon thyme pistachio donut at Birdies | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Lemon thyme pistachio donut at Birdies

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Birdies



Jason Harley, who previously helmed Mabel’s Chicken & Waffles in the same DTLA space, reemerged with an even more proven combo to start 2016: fried chicken and donuts. Birdies promise “crumbly and buttery” cake donuts and “golden brown and delicious” yeast donuts, along with “unique glazes, fillings and toppings.” Lemon thyme pistachio, strawberry white chocolate, and candied maple bacon fills just three trays that grace the counter. Harley also makes a blinged out donut coated with 24K gold leaf.

Blinkie's Donuts

Blinkie's Donuts

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Blinkie's Donut



Keep a close eye on Blinkie’s classic donuts. They’ve been known to sell out just past noon on weekends at this Woodland Hills strip mall. The display case holds airy raised and glazed donuts, crusty old-fashioned rings that look like blown truck tires (but taste much better). They even have a raised donut that riffs on the black-and-white cookie, with overlapping layers of chocolate and vanilla frosting.

Blue Star Donuts | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Blue Star Donuts

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Blue Star Donuts



Blue Star, the Portland import from Katie Poppe and Micah Camden, has branches in Japan and debuted on Venice’s fashionable Abbot Kinney Boulevard in 2015. The airy space features white walls, skylights, an open kitchen, and a blackboard that describes "Quality Over Quantity.” Donuts are crafted with French-style brioche dough crafted with sustainable Shepherd’s Grain bread flour, cage free eggs, whole hormone-free milk and European-style butter. Rings fry in rice bran oil, and staffers make and apply glazes and fillings throughout the day. Firmness levels vary, and some of the more creative flavor combinations include passion fruit cocoa nib, lemon poppy buttermilk, and blueberry bourbon basil. They also have a hard apple cider fritter with caramelized fruit.

Bob's Coffee & Donuts

Bob's Coffee & Donuts



Bob’s Coffee & Doughnuts is an institution at The Original Farmers Market from Bob Tusquellas, who practically grew up at the Market. He worked at his family’s meat market and later operated the fish Market. He’s owned the donut shop since 1970. For each donut, Tusquellas convenes a committee with his wife, two daughters, and two grandchildren. Each new donut addition has to be agreed upon by unanimous consent.

Cofax Coffee

Donuts at Cofax Coffee

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Cofax Coffee Shop



Restaurateur David Reiss and chef Jason Travi transformed a boxy grey space on a Hollywood side street into a hub for New England-inspired comfort food. Sure, smoked meat poutine and lobster rolls are rewarding, but save room for Miho Travi’s apple cider donuts. Crisp-crusted sugar lined rings plated with a streak of apple butter and a ramekin of savory salted caramel.

Donut Friend

Donut Friend | Photo: Donut Friend, Facebook

Donut Friend



Drive Like Jehu drummer and Blink-182 producer Mark Trombino debuted Donut Friend in rapidly changing Highland Park in 2013. He stayed true to his rock roots by featuring a cartoon mural of bears playing a donut guitar and drum kit. He also riffed on bands when naming signature donuts, called “favorite compilations.” Fudgegazi is a play on hardcore band Fugazi that involves a sliced chocolate donut stuffed with chocolate cream and graced with chocolate shavings. Named for Irish punk band Stiff Little Fingers, Stiff Little Butterfingers features a raised with peanut butter and Just Like Honey, chocolate glaze and crushed Chick-O-Sticks. You can also D.I.Y. with dozens of sauces, sugars, spices, toppings, creams, butters, fresh fruit or gourmet cheese.

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Strawberry stuffed donut at The Donut Man | Photo by Joshua Lurie

The Donut Man



This 24/7 donut destination from Jim Nakano and wife Miyako might reside along vintage Route 66, but his strawberry or peach stuffed donuts are still state of the art. When they’re in season, people flock to Glendora to score hole-free glazed donuts packed with more than a quarter-pound of fresh fruit. At other times, regulars can still make due with deluxe tiger tails, maple bars, and donuts decorated with fresh strawberry jam.

Donut Snob

Donut Snob

Donut Snob



What sets Janeen Gudelj’s gourmet raised donuts apart from the pack isn’t just the variety; it’s also the layers of flavor and colorful presentations. Options include tart Razzy Lemon Lulu containing lemon curd and topped with julienne lemon peel; a S’mores riff called the Campfire, with chocolate ganache, Graham cracker crumbs and a molten marshmallow cap; and Rise and Shine with espresso glaze and dark chocolate drizzle. She also rotates seasonal rings. Her donuts are available on select days at retail partners like the Westin Bonaventure in DTLA, Paper or Plastik Cafe in Mid-City, and Blue Butterfly Coffee Co. in El Segundo. Check the Donut Snob website for additional locations and delivery.

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Sticky Oat Donut/Instagram: @wearefriendsandfamily

Friends & Family



Friends & Family is the ambitious bakery, restaurant, and ice cream parlor from seasoned chefs Roxana Jullapat (sweet) and Daniel Mattern (savory). They offer counter service for breakfast and lunch. Start the day with Jullapat’s unique sticky oat donut. She uses toasted oat flour from South Carolina’s famed Anson Mills and rounds out rings with all-purpose flour. “I wanted to make a donut with whole grain flour (oats in this case) that people would actually wanted to eat,” she says. “I thought ‘Who could refuse a donut dipped in sticky caramel and sprinkled with toasted pecans?’” We put up no resistance when faced with her fluffy, sticky donuts showered with crushed pecans.

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Bomboloni at Jon & Vinny's/instagram: @animalvinny

Jon & Vinny's



Jon & Vinny’s, the airy Italian-American restaurant in Fairfax Village from chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, serves crave-worthy food from breakfast through dinner. They also hook customers with a prominent pastry case that rests on the counter in front of the kitchen, right on the walk from the front door to their booths. On the top rack, you’ll find Italian donuts called bombolone. Fluffy pillows of fried dough are filled with vanilla custard or Nutella (dusted with powdered sugar), or raspberry jam (rolled with sugar).

Kettle Glazed Donuts | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Kettle Glazed Donuts

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Kettle Glazed



Kettle Glazed is a classic donut shop that debuted in a strip mall by the 101 back in 2013. Sami Anz’s modern glass-fronted space features pastel green tiles, wood panels, and black tables with orange stools. The case houses trendy cronuts and cruffins, plus more traditional raised donuts like vanilla bean and glazed chocolate with crushed peanuts. Fun filled flavors include lemon curd, PB&J, and S’mores, which is plugged with marshmallow and plumed with Graham crackers.

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Old Fashioned Glazed Doughnut at Milo & Olive | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Milo and Olive



The fourth culinary establishment from pastry chef Zoe Nathan and her restaurateur husband Josh Loeb incorporates the name of their son and features plenty of tantalizing baked goods on their countertop. Milo & Olive’s Old Fashioned Glazed Doughnut is a substantial ring with a glaze that touts light vanilla flecking. The texture has good bounce without veering into chewy territory.

Citrus glazed doughnut at Republique | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Citrus glazed doughnut at Republique

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Republique



Republique, the Cal-French brasserie from Walter Manzke and pastry chef/wife Margarita Manzke, may be the most versatile restaurant in the city. By night, they serve impressive seasonal plates in a space that could double as a culinary church. By day, Margarita fills a sprawling pastry case. Donuts are always a part of her repertoire. Bombolini, Italian donut balls, come in flames like crème brulee with custard, banana salted caramel, filled with jam, or coated in simple sugar. Raised donut rings are coated in glazes like sweet honey vanilla or citrus with Meyer lemon, orange and grapefruit.

Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee

Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee – Santa Monica



Sidecar Doughnuts is a Costa Mesa sensation from chef Brooke Desprez and business partners Chi-lin Pendergrast and husband Sumter. In 2015, they expanded their seasonal, market-driven vision to Santa Monica, pairing Stumptown coffee bar with wildly imaginative doughnuts. Modern classics include huckleberry cake donuts, butter and salt cake donuts, and buttermilk nutmeg drops dipped in vanilla bean glaze. Adherents also look forward to monthly flavors. For instance, November features a pumpkin spice cake doughnut, topped with house made pumpkin glaze and a cheesecake drizzle.

Rosemary caramel donut at The Sycamore Kitchen

Rosemary caramel donut at The Sycamore Kitchen

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

The Sycamore Kitchen



Step inside The Sycamore Kitchen at your peril. This industrial chic café on a fashionable stretch of La Brea Avenue greets customers with a counter that’s practically overflowing with tempting baked goods. Chef/co-owner Karen Hatfield is the responsible party. She usually showcases pillowy raised donuts on a pedestal, which is where they belong. Flavors might include chocolate glazed, brown butter coconut, or rosemary caramel. The latter straddles the line between sweet and savory with cascading glaze, a sprinkle of sea salt and aromatic herbs.

Trejo's Mango Chile Donut

Trejo's Mango Chile Donut

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts



Danny Trejo, the legendary badass from movies like Machete and From Dusk Till Dawn jumped feet first into the food world with Trejo’s Tacos. He and partners Ash Shah and Jeff Georgino quickly expanded to donuts and coffee at a bright pink space on a prime Hollywood corner. Pastry chef Dianne Crame created all of the donut recipes, many with creative Latin flavors. Margarita is a tangy raised donut flavored with tequila, lime, and salt. Nacho is a rare savory donut with molten Cheddar cheese, chives, and a one-two punch from jalapeno and Trejo’s hot sauce. They also make cake donuts like El Diablo with chocolate cake, dark chocolate glaze, cinnamon, and cayenne.

Voodoo Doughnut Tray

Voodoo Doughnut Tray | Photo: Voodoo Doughnuts

Voodoo Doughnut



Kenneth “Cat Daddy” Pogson and Tres Shannon built one of the most divisive donut brands in the U.S., with kitschy offerings shaped like voodoo dolls and pentagrams topped with ingredients like breakfast cereal and crushed candy bars. They’ve also helped to popularize the now ubiquitous maple bacon combo and brought levity to plenty of other rings and bars. That freewheeling approach has propelled the duo’s concept beyond Portland to cities like Austin, Denver, and to start 2016, Universal City. A voodoo priest with a top hat and cane greets customers at the Universal CityWalk location with over 60 types of donuts, a Stumptown Coffee bar, and velvet Harry Dean Stanton painting. Their signature Hollywood Cream involves a maple glaze, Bavarian cream, and edible sunglasses. Grape Ape is a supple raised donut with vanilla frosting, grape dust and lavender sprinkles. They also have old fashioned donuts and crullers, but why bother?