MORE

10 Best Doughnuts in Los Angeles

The glazed doughnut from Du Pars.
The glazed doughnut from Du Pars.
A. Trachta

They say sex is like a doughnut: Even at its worst, is it ever really bad? Well, once you consume, in rapid succession, as many doughnuts as we have in the last few weeks, you start to believe it can be.

Of course there's never a reason to eat a doughnut. No amount of self-delusion will allow you to believe that fruit filling is a dose of vitamins for the day. No, eating a doughnut is an act of pure pleasure-seeking, so if you're going to have one, every bite should merit throwing a wrench in your otherwise clean-living diet. Dry, bland pastry need not apply.

So as an act of public service, we scoured the city for the best doughnuts around, all worth the sugar crash you'll inevitably experience later. We focused our search on actual doughnut shops, as opposed to restaurants that serve them on the menu — with the exception of one, because if you're going to order a doughnut from a waitress, it seems fitting to do so at a 24-hour diner. 

The custard-filled doughnut from Maggie's.
The custard-filled doughnut from Maggie's.

10. Maggie's Donuts:

There's one main reason to swing by Maggie's, and that's the custard-filled iced chocolate bar, which is so, well, custard-filled, it's literally bursting. Served split down the middle, you get a peek before you eat at the erupting cool vanilla epicenter, which couples perfectly with the soft and sweet doughnut shell. Some of the custard will spill out onto your fingers, and you'll lap it up, and you won't care how that looks. 2612 E. Sixth St.,

Los Angeles; 213-383-1511.

The chocolate doughnut and vanilla cruller from Spudnuts
The chocolate doughnut and vanilla cruller from Spudnuts

9. Spudnuts:

Out of the chains around L.A., Spudnuts is our top pick. It's a basic shop with a hefty handful of locations all around L.A. and the Valley. As such, it's best to keep your order simple, too. If you're gonna do chocolate, do it all the way with the chocolate-frosted and chocolate chip-topped chocolate doughnut. Even better, though, is the vanilla cruller, which is only lightly glazed, but manages to pack a really bright vanilla flavor. 2775 Van Nuys Blvd., Los Angeles; 818-896-4678.

Du-Par's Bearclaw
Du-Par's Bearclaw

8. Du-Par's:

Du-Par's certainly isn't a doughnut shop, but if you're near the Grove location, it's worth braving the highly congested parking lot to sample one of the few varieties this diner has on its menu. The classic glazed is a champion of its breed, puffed up to a thick, chewy consistency that requires serious jaw action for each bite. Du-Par's gets the glaze just right too — hardened barely past the point of sticky liquid to form something shy of a crust. The bear claw isn't your run-of-the-mill, boasting a delicious almond filling that's reminiscent of baklava. And the fact that it's served warm certainly doesn't hurt. 6333 W. Third St., Los Angeles; 323-933-8446.

The Old-Fashioned and chocolate cake doughnut at Ms. Donuts
The Old-Fashioned and chocolate cake doughnut at Ms. Donuts

7. Ms. Donuts:

In the Echo Park/Silver Lake area, you could do a lot worse than this old-fashioned shop, especially when the line at Taco Zone is too long and you need some late night sustenance. The maple bar was a little on the dry side, but the chocolate was the exact opposite — in a good way — with a texture that suggested it could have been cooked about 30 seconds longer, but we were glad it wasn't. The Old-Fashioned doughnut is also a winner here, with glaze so thick it softly crunches as you eat it. 1353 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles; 213-484-0927.

Coconut doughnut from BabyCakes
Coconut doughnut from BabyCakes

6. BabyCakes:

The doughnuts at BabyCakes (and actually everything else at BabyCakes) are vegan, kosher, gluten-free, wheat-free, soy-free, casein-free, egg-free and sans refined sugar. In other words, any sane pastry-lover's nightmare. Or so you would think, but once you try one of its baked-not-fried doughnut varieties, the last thing on your mind will be anything its lacking. What you'll taste instead is delicious gooey sweetness, along with a hint of lemon added for brightness. The salted caramel doughnut, though a mess of dense cake and sticky sauce, is really the best, but the coconut is also worth a try, since its flavor is mild enough for any non-coconut fan to get behind. 236 N. Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles; 855-462-2292.

Maple bar from Bob's
Maple bar from Bob's

5. Bob's Coffee and Doughnuts:

Bob's has a vintage feel, as it should, since it's located in the Original L.A. Farmers Market. And while not quite as old as the market itself, it's been flinging outstanding little circular treats since 1970. Fitting to the ambiance, Bob's has plenty of classic doughnuts, like the bear claw, the apple fritter and almighty glazed, but it's not so set in its ways, shaking it up with a few new-school varieties like Nutella. The maple was our favorite, even among its many worthy competitors in town, perhaps because it came with the bonus of alfresco dining. Or maybe just because it was perfectly chewy and delicious. 6333 W. Third St., #450, Los Angeles; 323-933-8929.


The jelly-filled doughnut from Randy's.
The jelly-filled doughnut from Randy's.

4. Randy's Donuts:

From blocks away, that massive doughnut structure on top of Randy's beckons you, and on your way home from LAX, which is when many people see it, it's hard to say no. So don't — listen to your gut, literally. Randy's has everything you long to see on a doughnut menu: glazed, cake, twists, apple fritters, bear claws, you name it, and none is a bad choice. But out of these classics, the jelly doughnut is our top pick. Maybe we've maxed out on food porn lately, but doesn't that hole through which it's stuffed look like it's puckering for a kiss? The jelly inside does not taste like it was made from muddled organic raspberries and sweetened with agave. No, it tastes like pie filling loaded with additives. But you know what? It's delicious. And on the topic of fillings, be aware the "cream-filled" is actually custard-filled, which turns out to be all the better. 805 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood; 310-645-4707.

Primo's buttermilk doughnut
Primo's buttermilk doughnut

3. Primo's Donuts:

Primo's has been doing its thing since 1956, and despite now being hovered over by a major freeway, it somehow maintains that same simplistic charm we associate with the romanticized version of that era. It's a tiny shop that serves maybe a dozen or so varieties, but we recommend getting there early if you want the good stuff before it runs out. The favorite there, and rightfully so, is the buttermilk, a dense, glazed behemoth of a thing that weighs more in your hand than it looks like it should. But it encompasses all you could ever want in a pastry: a crunchy exterior with a moist, slightly undercooked center. The glazed twist is also a treat in its own right. You'll know that the moment you take a bite and the coating turns to sweet liquid. 2918 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles; 310-478-6930.

Chocolate cheese doughnuts from Stan's
Chocolate cheese doughnuts from Stan's

2. Stan's Doughnuts:

Stan's isn't even really a shop, it's a stand that shares its space with an outpost of the Flame Broiler. But despite this culinary clash, everything else about the place works. Its counter is full of unique varieties like the famous peanut butter banana and the giant pretzel-shaped twists that can be hard to choose between. Former Squid Ink blogger Elina Shatkin steered us toward the apple fritters, which were about the best fritters we tried, especially due to a lingering cinnamon aftertaste. But the chocolate cheese, which is basically an iced cheese Danish, won our hearts with a decadence that bordered on comical. 10948 Weyburn Ave., Los Angeles; 310-208-8660.


The Donut Man's apple doughnut
The Donut Man's apple doughnut

1. The Donut Man:

Few doughnuts are worth driving some 30-odd miles to taste (if you're coming from city center) but in the case of the Donut Man, gas up. And not just for their undeniable deliciousness but also for their sheer girth. If you've heard of the Donut Man, likely you've seen photos of their strawberry doughnut, which oozes a filling of whole, ripe strawberries from a sweet biscuit-like shell. That's a good one to try, as is the apple, which, unlike most apple fritters, has filling that runneth over much like its strawberry cousin. Best of all, though, is the Tiger Tail, a glazed chocolate and vanilla braid that looks as if they put devil's food and regular batter in a soft-serve ice cream machine and hit "twist." Like many of the other varieties, it's semi-ridiculously oversized, making the whole doughnut experience at the Donut Man feel like a culinary funhouse. 915 E. Route 66, Glendora; 626-335-9111.

Be sure to download our Best Of mobile app for more of this sort of thing. Cupcakes, burgers, dim sum, tacos, coffee shops, bakeries, ice cream shops, burritos, milkshakes, etc.


Follow Ali Trachta on Twitter @MySo_CalLife. Follow Squid Ink at @LAWeeklyFood and check out our Facebook page.

Use Current Location

Related Locations

miles
The Donut Man

915 E. Route 66
Glendora, CA 91741

626-335-9111

www.thedonutmanca.com

miles
Du-par's Restaurant & Bakery

12036 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604

818-766-4437

www.du-pars.com

miles
Spudnuts Donuts

12775 Van Nuys Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 91331

818-896-4678

miles
Ms Donuts

1353 Glendale Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026-2507

213-484-0927


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >