In a city that boasts mom-and-pop donut shops on what seems like every corner, we’ve got this breakfast staple down to a science. We know exactly where you should go when you want a doughnut stuffed with goat cheese and strawberry jam, or a classic old fashioned paired with the perfect cup of coffee. But for the best donut shops overall—the ones where you can order one of each kind, knowing you can’t go wrong? We did some research, and let’s just say that by sticking to the shops on this list, you may never eat a mediocre doughnut again.
RECOMMENDED: The best doughnuts in L.A. by category
We get a lot of East Coast transplants, but not so many from D.C.—Astro’s has us wishing we got a lot more of them, though, because these doughnuts are some of the best L.A.’s ever seen. Whimsical, daily-rotating flavors augment a killer lineup of standards: a custard-filled, torch-touched crème brûlée; thick, chocolatey cake doughnuts; a jam-packed PB&J spin that’s coated with peanut butter icing. Catch them on the right day and sometimes a flavor—such as the nutella-coated doughnut—gets fried to order.
A trip to the Original Farmers Market wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Bob’s, which has been churning out freshly made doughtnuts since 1947. The cash-only stall offers cake and yeast rounds baked fresh each morning and taste tested by the staff to make sure they’re perfect. Choose from a variety of traditional, decadent flavors, including the perennial favorite classic glazed, as well as an outstanding old fashioned that pairs perfectly with Bob’s own blend of coffee.
Do you want a waffle or a doughnut? At DK’s, you can have—wait for it—both at the same time. It’s called the Wow-Nut, and is billed as L.A.’s first doughnut-waffle hybrid, a creation that you can garnish with your choice of toppings and house-made icing. For something a little more traditional, there are the classic glazed, frosted, sprinkled varieties, but with flavors like ube purple yam and chocolate-dipped red velvet, it pays to be a little more adventurous.
Donut Friend is all about thinking outside of the box. Take, for example, their Srirachosin: a behemoth doughnut stuffed with peanut butter, strawberry jam, bacon and a few drops of sriracha hot sauce. Or perhaps, for a donut with a more familiar flavor combo, the Jets to Basil: a traditional doughnut filled with goat cheese, jam and a balsamic reduction. You can customize your own doughnuts as well, but with options like Coconut of Conformity on the menu, why not venture outside of your comfort zone for a bit(e)?
Despite being open 24/7, you may still show up at the quieter hour of 3am to this popular doughnut shop and find a line out the door. Blame it on the strawberries: The shop’s famous strawberry-stuffed doughnut draws in Angelenos from across L.A.; at $4, its gargantuan size and chunks of fresh fruit make it worth the trek. Missed a fresh batch? No worries—their foot-long tiger tails are just as good.
The lack of a proper brick-and-mortar shop hasn’t stopped this gourmet bakery from gaining a fiercely loyal following across L.A., who can find the beautifully decorated pastries at cafes across town. A minimum of a dozen donuts—choose from hits like the s’more-inspired Campfire or the popular salted caramel—is required for delivery orders, which are placed via email.
If the doughnuts at this coffee shop seem a little off to you, then your first clue should be the name—Fonuts—which alludes to a baked (rather than fried) version of the doughy treat. Deliciously outrageous flavors like maple bacon, peanut butter and jelly, and chorizo cheddar are on full display, as are gluten-free and vegan options. Our favorite? The coconut passion fruit, which sends you to straight to the tropics in one bite.
Kettle Glazed Doughnuts is fueling Hollywood with doughnuts, cruellers, cronuts (or a version thereof), fritters and more delicious, sugar-infused morning treats. Top marks go to the s’mores doughnut, with its melted-marshmallow center and graham cracker topping. For something a little more traditional, though, the old fashioned is a tried and true winner—and, at Kettle Glazed, can be dressed up with a chocolate drizzle or bits of pistachio.
You’ll know it by the neon “HOT” sign that flashes at various times throughout the day, signaling that a fresh batch of doughnuts has just come straight off the conveyor belt. Sure, there are a number of flavors you could choose from—chocolate, powdered jelly, frosted—but fans of this national chain know that it’s the hot glazed doughnuts people covet. There are a few locations around Los Angeles, including one in Santa Monica and one in Burbank, plus one on Crenshaw Boulevard near the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook—making this melt-in-your-mouth donut a perfect post-workout treat. Come on, you’ve earned it.
If there is such a thing as a historic doughnut shop, Randy’s certainly fits the bill. The bakery’s 1953 building and iconic signage—a giant doughnut designed by Henry J. Goodwin—has been featured in countless films and TV shows (2012, Californication, Mars Attacks! and Arrested Development, among others), and is a sight that Angelenos have come to love as they crawl past the always-packed shop during rush hour on the 405. Randy’s apple fritter is widely regarded as a favorite, but a classic glazed or hefty bearclaw is worth the trip as well.