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 donut 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 donut again.
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A Westwood staple and LA classic, this neighborhood corner donut shop channels more decadence than breakfast on-the-go. Case in point: The Huell ($3), named after the late TV personality, Huell Howser, is a fluffy yeast donut coated with chocolate, topped with chocolate chips and filled with peanut butter—a treat that only stoners at midnight would be willing to stomach. If love at first bite seizes you, you can have Stan's donuts shipped to you overnight to any part of the United States.
You'll know it by the neon "HOT" sign that flashes at various times throughout the day, signaling that a fresh batch of donuts 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 donuts 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.
Found in a small strip mall off of W 3rd Street, SK Donuts & Croissants draws in large breakfast crowds each morning for their expertly made creations. From classic flavors—glazed, frosted, old fashioned and fritters—to donuts stuffed with fresh fruit and whipped cream, there's a pastry at SK's for everyone. Don't walk out without picking up their strawberry stuffed donut, which gives the Donut Man's own famous iteration a run for its money.
Do you want a waffle or a donut? At DK's, you can have—wait for it—both at the same time. It's called the Wow-Nut ($6.95), and is billed as LA's first donut-waffle hybrid, a creation that you can garnish with your choice of toppings and homemade icing. For something a little more traditional, there are the classic glazed, frosted, sprinkled varieties, but with flavors likes ube purple yam and chocolate dipped red velvet, it pays to be a little more adventurous.
If there is such a thing as a historic donut shop, Randy's Donuts certainly fits the bill. The bakery's 1953 building and iconic signage—a giant donut 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 donut 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.
Despite being open 24/7, you may still show up at the quieter hour of 3am to this popular donut shop and find a line out the door. Blame it on the strawberries: The shop's famous strawberry-stuffed donut draws in Angelenos from across LA; 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.
Donut Friend is all about thinking outside of the box. Take, for example, their Srirachosin: a behemoth donut 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 donut filled with goat cheese, jam and a balsamic reduction. You can customize your own donuts as well, but with options like Coconut of Conformity on the menu, why not venture outside of your comfort zone for a bit(e)?
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.
Stop by Tony's Donut House and you may see Tony himself ringing customers up at the register or racking donuts. Though he claims to be one of the first donut makers in LA to recreate the Cronut (they're called "Cravenuts" here), Tony exhibits creativity in more original ways, too: donut breakfast sandwiches feature ham and cheese tucked between two glazed donut halves, a sprinkled donut may use Fruity Pebbles instead of traditional sprinkles, and the banana Nutella donut is just plain genius. You can pick up some bubble tea or egg rolls here as well—yes, we said egg rolls.
The name spells it out for you: Ice Cream, Donuts and Coffee are the menu highlights at ICDC, founded by owner Amy Knoll Fraser and pastry chef Mariah Swan. Unique donut flavors include salt and pepper, brown butter glaze with toasted coconut, and donuts dotted with housemade cinnamon marshmallows. Vittoria coffee is brewed here, and serves as a main ingredient in ICDC's heavenly affogato, along with the creamiest ice cream that is pasteurized in-house.
The lack of a proper brick-and-mortar shop hasn't stopped this gourmet bakery from gaining a fiercely loyal following across LA, who can find the beautifully decorated pastries at cafes across town (think Tiago, Cofax, Barista Society and more). 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.
A welcome addition to Hollywood's relatively lackluster dining (and snacking) scene, Kettle Glazed Doughnuts is fueling the neighborhood with donuts, cruellers, cronuts (or a version thereof), fritters and more delicious, sugar-infused morning treats. Top marks go to the s'mores donut, 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.