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Donut shops in San Diego

Can anyone recommend the best donut shops anywhere in San Diego.
Someone told me VG in Cardiff is the best. Can you recomend any other
of this quality

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  1. Mary's -in Santee.

    On Mission Gorge at the 125/52 - SouthEast corner. Been there forever (more than 30 years). Open 24/7.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Cathy

      Second on Mary's. Really good doughnuts!


      13 Replies
      1. re: HungryHarry

        It is actually only one response, Harry.

        It isn't a question of liking donuts, it is an answer as to where are quality donuts other than Cardiff.

        Both Cardiff and Santee are in San Diego County.

        Perhaps you want to start another post asking about donut shops within the City of San Diego only.

        1. re: HungryHarry

          Actually, it was three responses with one recommendation, to be technical! :-)

          If you were expecting a whole long list of donut shops, I think most of the rest are chains and are pretty ordinary to mediocre. I'm not aware of any others, if anyone else is maybe they will chime in.

          1. re: Alice Q

            There is one in Leucadia "The Leucadia Donut Shop". I have not been there. I have read about it. Of course Leucadia is further north than Cardiff, so........

            I loved VG when we recently tried it for the first time.

            Good luck on your donut hunt, Harry

            1. re: Enorah

              There is a great, although tiny, donut shop in Imperial Beach.

              Stardust Donut Shop
              698 Highway 75

              1. re: Encinitan

                Oh, good call! I had forgotten all about this place. Yep, good donuts, and I love their cinnamon rolls.

                1. re: Encinitan

                  Stardust Donut Shop really has some tasty donuts..
                  Apparently the owners open up at whatever time they can get up in the morning, and stay open until the last donut is sold.. so I've only had them when other people have bought them and shared with me.

                  Anyone try these, and know how they compare to the world famous Mary's donuts?

                  1. re: epicureous eggplant

                    never heard of Stardust...need a clue as to where it is so I can do a proper comparison...when I find it open.

                    1. re: Cathy

                      I know, I know... I thought it was a lil strange...but then again how refreshing.. wake up to do something you love (make donuts) whenever you feel like, and that makes your living.

                      Anyhow, I think 9 am or 10 am would be a safe time to make it there?

                      If you take the Coronado bridge to the silver strand, take the the strand into imperial beach, and Stardust will be on your left hand side. I believe it's a couple blocks from where the silver strand ends and becomes imperial beach.

                      If you take 5s exit palm ave to the right, keep straight towards the strand, and Stardust will be on your right hand side.


                      1. re: epicureous eggplant


                        When I am down that way I will "take one for the team" and let you know.

                    2. re: epicureous eggplant

                      Their cinnamon rolls are amazing, as well!

                2. re: Alice Q

                  Mid-last century there used to be a chain of donut shops in SD call Heavenly Donuts, and while they weren't quite "heavenly" they were pretty darned good. There is one last Heavenly Donuts shop left where the donuts are still pretty darned good. It's on Waring Rd. and Twain AVE. in Allied Gardens, next to the dirt lot and the alterations shop. It's not in the same league with VG or Mary's, but it's not too many steps behind behind.

                  1. re: DiningDiva

                    This is probably a useless aside, but am I the only one amused by all the donut shops in the former Dunkin Donut stores? Most of them still have the same decor, and it's been about what - 15 years since Dunkin moved out? A low margin business, I guess.

                    I guess it's sort of like "Bertos", except it seems the donut shops have names like "Yummy Donuts", "Sunny Donuts", etc.

                    I'm quite fond of the gigantic apple fritters at Golden Donuts in University City (in the Von's shopping center at the southeast corner of Genesee and Governor). I'm not sure how good the rest of their donuts are, because one of those fritters gives me a weekly quota of saturated fat (I try to split them with somebody, but often there are no takers). Twice the size and flavor, and half the price, of the Starbucks offering.

                    1. re: RB Hound

                      They also used to have good chocolate buttermilk bars - I grew up in that neck of the woods but it's been a long time since I've been there!

              2. I'm always looking for good doughnuts. Recommendations in this thread have been VGs, Mayrs, Mission George, Leucadia, and Stardust Donuts.

                Are there any other suggestions?

                  1. re: Beach Chick

                    Actually, VG's is a full-service bakery. We get our kids' birthday cakes from there, they have breads, the chocolate chip and coconut cookie bars are really good too. They even have some high-end kind of desserts (eclairs and such) at the end of the case. It's a great place, a community gathering spot ("the Cardiff City Hall" I think they used to call it) and a short walk to the beach at that! Can't beat it.

                  2. Not quite the same, HH, but if it's your anniversary maybe or birthday: The Lodge at Torrey Pines makes their own donuts and they're incredible. They make cinnamon sugar and a filled one I can't remember. My book club meets there and once the chef made us a platter and it was hilarious to see all these skinny, smartypants women stuffing donuts faster than they could talk. But call ahead.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: pickypicky

                      The Julian Pie Company (in Julian or next to Dudley's Bakery) have apple cider doughnuts-I think the cinnamon ones and the chocolate glazed ones are amazing!!

                      1. re: nessy

                        The cinnamon apple cider doughnut is the single best doughnut I have ever had.

                        1. re: dustchick

                          Oh yeah - those apple cider donuts are the bomb (I was going to use another phrase that even censored, probably would result in my post being moderated). I first tried one when they were handing out samples to people buying pies, and I got hooked.

                          Dudley's...Julian Pie Company...if Robert Atkins is in hell right now, it might be an awful lot like Santa Ysabel.

                        2. re: nessy

                          Yeah! We'll be spending one night in Julian, so thanks for the recommendation.

                      2. I just returned from our California trip and had a chance to try doughnuts at VJs and Julien Pie. Both were wonderful. The kids at VGs were great. - I loved that place!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: wintersummer

                          Yea for VG Donuts in Cardiff.

                          I feel a celebratory donut run about to happen

                        2. There is a place here in Escondido called Peterson's doughnuts - very tasty and their maple logs are huge! But generally I'd say that doughnuts are not terribly popular out here. The Krispy Kreme off the 78 went out of business in 2(?) years and it was right next to an In-n-Out. Maybe if someone started calling the "Healthnuts" instead of "Doughnuts" the southern californians would come flocking!

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: tanne

                            VG - average/overated (I understand the local support)
                            Peterson's - A+ only stan's in westwood is better.

                            1. re: tanne

                              These ARE the best in the San Diego area. My husband and I accidentally stumbled across this place when my daughter had a travel ball game out there. We went down the wrong street and we always go back there every time we are in town. Or even close to there. I'm usually a glazed doughnut person, but after having one of their chocolate cake doughnut with that really good frosting, I dont get anything else. This is the only place I will eat a cake doughnut. You have got to try this place!

                              1. re: tanne

                                Peterson's is indeed the best donutshop around in north county, if you haven't tried it make the trek, you'll be glad you did

                                1. re: tanne

                                  Love Petersons for donuts! That's one of my nephew's favorite places to go! He always picks out vanilla w. sprinkles for himself then when we get home, he eats my chocolate donut instead!

                                  I've learned to buy an extra one and hide it from him otherwise he'd eat that one too!

                                2. Donut Touch in the food court at Camino Santa Fe and Mira Mesa Blvd. Great quality doughnuts, good muffins and bagels (and almond-filled croissants), too.

                                  1. Rose Donuts in the Morena District aren't too bad, although my waistline prohibits much comparison donut dining: Linda Vista Rd & Napa St. Hey, they're in the same block as SDPD's Western Division substation, they gotta be at least above-average.

                                    Fifteen years ago, when I was working out in El Kabong, a co-worker would bring in terrific -- I mean really terrific -- doughnuts from a shop in Casa de Oro, just east of the SR125-SR94 split. I think there's a Casa de Oro Shopping Center where they can be found. . . . I think. It's not really a big place -- if it's an obsession, you could ask around. Eat a few for me.

                                    1. VG's, one of the most overrated donuts of all time. Good donut but not great.

                                      1. I am going to go ahead and state the obvious. For some reason the Korean community owns just about every donut shop in socal. I guess Koreans like donuts a certain way and that way sucks. Most shops use the same crap pre made mixes and cheap oil. This is sad but the best donut near me is yum yum. Love the maple cruller.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: SeanT

                                          Well, maybe try Donut Touch in Mira Mesa/Sorrento Mesa: Its ownership/management/staff appears to be (and this is just an eyeballing guess, I haven't actually asked 'cause it didn't matter to me) a Chaldean/Mexican-American enterprise. Their donuts are at least in the top four of San Diego.

                                          Was that enough ////s? ;-)

                                        2. I don't usually "go out and and get doughnuts," but tonight I "went out and got doughnuts." Star Doughnuts in Hillcrest at Washington and Dove. It's perfect. Reminds me of the doughnut alter-ego of the dream Ramen place at the end of Tampopo- spotless, organized, and delicious. Selection conventional, but certainly type-specimens of perfection.


                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: SaltyRaisins

                                            Sorry, gotta disagree. I live in walking distance to Star D's, have tried a couple-three times over the years. Small doughnuts, change-the-grease-already taste. My neighbors concur. The closest nice-nuts are at Rose D's, in the Morena District (see previous reply).

                                            1. re: SaltyRaisins

                                              Agree! We used to live in the neighborhood, and my husband went to Star every morning for breakfast. He loved the donuts and the coffee, as did my mom who made a point of going each time she visited. I really liked the glazed donut but I love all kinds of glazed donuts.