The 10 Best Donuts in LA
Even if you're just visiting, it doesn't take long to figure out that donuts are big in Los Angeles. From the ubiquitous chains to the mom-and-pop stands dotting strip malls across the city, it's almost impossible to not be within walking distance of a donut in LA. With such saturation, eating donuts in LA no longer becomes about merely finding whatever's close. No—such an embarrassment of riches begs the question: where are the best donuts in LA? To help the intrepid donut seeker find the answer, we compiled this: the top 10 donuts in Los Angeles.
10. Whatever You Build at Donut Friend
5107 York Blvd. | Highland Park
While there's an entire menu of tempting options here, including the ever-popular S'Morrissey s'mores donut, the allure of Donut Friend is its DIY donut menu. The three-step process lets you build your own custom donut, fill it with sweet creams or fruits, and top it with extras that run the gamut from ordinary (sprinkles and chocolate chips) to the bizarrely intriguing (basil, cayenne pepper, and olive oil, among others).
9. Ube Bacon-Bits Donut at DK's Donuts
1614 Santa Monica Blvd. | Santa Monica
First off: it's pronounced oo-bay, and it's a Filipino tuber similar to a sweet potato. It's used in many southeast-Asian desserts, and yes, it's what gives these delightful donuts their bright-purple color and a sweet flavor you won't find in any regular donut glazing. Iced atop a rich cake ring, the purple stuff mixes with huge chunks of bacon to complete the sweet-salty-savory flavor trifecta.
8. Reese's Cup Donut at California Donuts
3540 W. 3rd St. | Koreatown
While the panda and unicorn donuts are probably California Donuts's most Instagram-worthy varieties, we think the Reese's Cup donut (the third one in from the left in the bottom row of the above picture) is the best of the bunch at this 24-hour joint. Filled with sweet peanut-butter cream, topped with chocolate icing, and garnished with a mound of its crumbled, namesake cups, this donut is the ultimate indulgence for any chocolate-peanut-butter lover.
7. Glazed at Randy's Donuts
805 W Manchester Blvd. | Inglewood
Arguably the most famous donut shop in the world—you can spot its iconic sculpture in movies such as Mars Attacks! And Iron Man 2—Randy's also makes donuts that match its instant recognizability. The go-to here is the plain glazed, which is made with a fluffy, yeasty ring and just the right amount of sugary coating. If you're really hungry, you can opt for the Texas glazed: a donut that looks big enough to double as a spare tire.
6. Cronut at Kettle Glazed Doughnuts
6211 Franklin Ave. | Hollywood Hills
What started off in 2013 as an inventive, must-have donut-croissant hybrid, the cronut has since settled in among the old-fashioned donuts and long johns as a staple at modern donut shops. Kettle Glazed, a modest spot tucked into a Hollywood Hills strip mall, makes one of the best takes on the cronut in the city. Its combination of rich donut flavor and an airy, croissant-like interior can be had plain or drizzled with chocolate.
5. The Huell at Stan's Donuts
10948 Weyburn Ave. | Westwood
For over 50 years, Stan's has been an institution for hungry students at nearby UCLA, and with good reason. And while their buttermilk bars are particularly good, the best of Stan's huge selection of donuts is The Huell. One of several pocket-style raised donuts, The Huell's peanut-butter filling, chocolate icing, and chocolate-chip topping make it easy to see why it's a customer favorite.
4. Strawberry Skronut at SK Donuts & Croissant
5850 W. 3rd St. | Mid-Wilshire
Another LA donut shop, another cronut. But what nudges SK's take on the dish slightly ahead of the one at Kettle Glazed is its construction: their fluffy croissant ring is split in half and filled (and topped) with fresh strawberries and whipped cream, making the whole thing part donut, part croissant, and part strawberry shortcake.
3. Cinnamon Roll at Bob's Coffee and Doughnuts
6333 W. 3rd St. #450 | La Brea
From the shingled counter to the old-west-style lettering to the prices (the cinnamon roll is a mere $1.75), everything about Bob's screams old school. The crown jewel of this no-frills donut stand is its cinnamon roll, a massive spiral of chewy dough, cinnamon, and glaze that, in a town that didn't boast as many outstanding donut shops as LA does, would likely make it the best donut you could find.
2. Buttermilk Bar at Primo's Donuts
2918 Sawtelle Blvd. | West Los Angeles/Sawtelle
We're definitely not alone in ranking Primo's among the best donuts in LA: everyone from Eater to Food + Wine to Thrillist has heaped praise on this throwback donut shop, which has been around since the mid-1950s. The unquestioned king of the menu is the buttermilk bar, a small loaf of cakey, glazed goodness that's as rich and satisfying as it is simple.
1. Strawberry Donut at The Donut Man
915 E. Route 66 | Glendora
Picture, if you will, a football. Now, instead of leather, imagine said football is made of glazed, fried dough. Slice that football open and pack it with an industrial ladle's worth of whole strawberries coated in syrup. This imaginary pigskin-turned-dessert isn't the stuff of food dreams—it's the best donut in Los Angeles, the strawberry donut at The Donut Man in Glendora. Beware, though: the hefty donut is a seasonal specialty, and you might need to brave long lines to snag one.