Once thought of as a dessert food, doughnuts have been a part of American history since they were first mentioned back in 1803. Since then, they’ve transitioned into a breakfast staple around the world. In Los Angeles, there’s a doughnut shop practically on every corner. But with that, many establishments selling these toroidal pieces of heaven, it’s hard to know who has the best. Whether you want traditional buttermilk, chocolate coated, jelly, custard, cheese filled or are looking for something new and exciting, these five places are a great start.
SK’s Donuts & Croissant
5850 W. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Because doughnuts aren’t just for breakfast, SK’s Donuts & Croissant is open 24 hours. Morning, noon, night, midnight and break of dawn, SK’s Donuts & Croissant is there with fresh red velvet, strawberry-filled (not jelly, but thick slices of real strawberries) Bavarian crème, triple chocolate, cake batter doughnuts and many other flavors you won’t be able to stop thinking about. The glazed blueberry doughnuts are a best seller and should be nabbed whenever present. SK’s, which also has fresh streusel, muffins and stuffed croissants and breakfast sandwiches, is cash only so come prepared.
Bob’s Coffee & Doughnuts
6333 W. 3rd St., Suite 450
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Serving freshly made doughnuts to people at the Farmer’s Market since 1947, Bob’s Coffee & Doughnuts has been listed in “Los Angeles Magazine’s” Best Of for doughnuts. The gruff woman at the counter has been likened to Seinfeld’s “Soup Nazi” which only adds to the LA experience. The jelly- and lemon-filled doughnuts are tender with a center so overfilled with scrumptiousness that it practically explodes in your mouth. The apple fritters are a must-try, as well as the traditional plain and chocolate coated. The stand closes when the market closes, so go early.
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2918 Sawtelle Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Instead of buying a house one spring day back in 1956, Ralph and Celia bought a doughnut shop on a whim and the rest is history. As one of the oldest mom-and-pop shops in LA, Primo’s Westdale Doughnuts on Sawtelle Boulevard has continued to use the best quality ingredients and serve the freshest doughnuts for miles. Primo’s sticks to the timeless classics like buttermilk glazed, cherry, orange, chocolate, vanilla, maple, crumb, cinnamon and plain. Twists, Long Johns, bear claws, butterflies, muffins and other assortments are just as delightful. These treasures sell out quickly so get there early. Primo’s accepts cash and checks only.
8104 W. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Fōnuts breaks the rules when it comes to doughnuts. Firstly, the décor is industrial chic, not your typical bakery café setting. Secondly, the doughnuts are baked or steamed, not fried. If you can get past the unconventional-ism that is fōnuts (or faux doughnuts), your taste buds will be well rewarded. Flavors like chorizo cheddar, blueberry earl grey, coconut passion fruit, caramel apple, blood orange, banana cinnamon, chocolate hazelnut, rosemary olive oil, pumpkin and banana chocolate doughnuts await you. And if those sound incredible, there are still many other kinds on the menu to check out. There are even gluten-free and vegan doughnuts. Faux has never looked, smelled or tasted so good.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Everyone has stopped to pick up a box of doughnuts on their way into a meeting, the office or to a friend’s house. Being thoughtful goes a long way. But you can take it to a new level with the Donut Snob. Place an order 24 hours in advance and you can have a box of Oinkers (maple cinnamon, orange zest glaze and maple bacon), Campfires (chocolate ganache, graham cracker crumbs and topped with roasted marshmallow) or Salted Caramels (drenched in caramel and sprinkled with sea salt flakes), among others, delivered to wherever you are. These doughnuts will cost you some dough but can you really put a price on a doughnut topped with bacon?
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Kristine G. Bottone is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.