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Looking for New Doughnuts

Every spring, I do a doughnut tour (see here for a previous one: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/401335) of the best doughnuts in LA and every year I try to add something new. This year, I'm out of ideas, so I thought I'd put it out there. Looking at the list below of places I've been, what is the best LA area doughnut shop not on the list? Thanks.

California Donut
Donut Man
Randy's Donuts
Royal Donut

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  1. Are you visiting dedicated doughnut only shops?

    The doughnuts I had at Animal a couple of weeks ago were fantastic.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cjla

      Thanks cjla. I agree the doughnuts at Animal are great, but for this, I am looking for more traditional doughnut shops, as opposed to high end restaurants, many of which are also making doughnuts these days.

    2. So you had to go and say the "D" word. Good for you. I look forward to your updated donut post.

      I have been to the places you mention and they are very good. The two places below have my full attention for the donuts listed. These two places know the correct temperature to heat their consistently clean new oil, and for exactly how long to cook, to make the perfect exterior and interior.

      Peacock Donuts (Best selection of Crullers, best plain cake and iced cake -- especially the chocolate iced white cake, Best for all things cinnamon)
      34 E. Durate Rd. (1 block East of Santa Anita Ave. & plenty of parking in the rear)
      Arcadia, CA 91006
      (626) 445-6564

      A.M. Donuts (Best Raised Glazed donuts in LA -- just looking at these large pillows of air takes me back to the Helms Bakery truck)
      34 W. Las Tunas Dr.
      Arcadia, CA 91007
      (626) 574-0160
      One Block West of Santa Anita Ave. Across the street form Rite Aid, hidden in a small parking lot.

      5 Replies
      1. re: JeetJet

        You've definitely piqued my curisoity with these. I will try to make it out to Arcadia to check them out. Thanks.

        1. re: sku

          Hey sku, maybe you could take one for the team and try out one of the "Donuts and Chinese" food places I see in the K-town area. One that I notice most of the time is on Crenshaw Blvd. and maybe Pico (NW corner) in a strip mall. I'll try and get the exact address. There are others around - I just can't come up with a more accurate location than the one on Crenshaw.

          Add: Found 3 listed: (none of these is the one I see)

          Tweedy Tender Donut & Chinese Fast Food
          4209 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles - (323) 735-8786

          Seventh Star Donuts & Chinese
          1754 W Slauson Ave, Los Angeles - (323) 291-6766

          Royal Chinese Food & Donut
          11499 Jefferson Blvd, Culver City - (310) 390-7017

          1. re: sku

            I forgot to mention that A.M. donuts also has a good buttermilk bar and a large selection of cinnamon crumb donuts. II think I even saw a cinnamon crunb apple fritter there along wth something that was cinnamon crumb with chocolate icing on top.

            Peacock Donuts has a number of cinnamon items without the "Crumb." I have tried them all and so should you. I also always ask for a plain cake because they have a slight crust outside . Actually, I ask for a "well done"" plain cake because I like as much of the crusty texture as I can get. But that is what makes all the iced cake donuts at Peacock so good. Both of these places take pride in what they do.

            1. re: sku

              So I ended up going to these two. I wasn't that excited about AM and definitely didn't think it's raised glazed was as good as Bob's or Stan's, who do great one, but I loved the French Cruller at Peacock. It was almost custardy inside, definitely a step above the regular Cruller, and I do love the crullers. Thanks for the recs.


            2. re: JeetJet

              Thanks for the rec on the glazed donuts from A.M. Donuts in Arcadia. Stopped by this morning and had a couple of those pillowy glazed donuts and they just melted in my mouth! Definitely the best glazed donuts I've eaten in SoCal.

            3. I love DK donuts on Santa Monica Blvd at 16th St (next to a 7-11). I don't know if they are outstanding overall, but I love them because they carry a good rendition of the white vanilla creme filled donuts (not custard, this is more like white frosting) that are really popular on the east coast but (other than DK) do not seem to exist in L.A.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Nicole

                That shop also has donut holes (in a bunch of different varieties) which I really like and have had a hard time finding elsewhere.

                1. re: mollyomormon

                  Yeah, I like the donut holes too. :)

              2. My vote goes to K'S DONUT EMPORIUM at Beverly Glen and Ventura. (There are two other outposts, but neither comes close to quality. They are the same franchise, but separately owned.) Glazed old-fashioneds, apple fritters, crullers, everything's good.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Emme

                  I second K's -- we go to the one on Libbit and Ventura, and their glazed old-fashioned is awesome. Seems like there's a tiny hint of lemon tang in there somewhere!

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Unlike donuts, the Pogis are mostly savory but still suitable for breakfast with a cup of rich coffee. I've never been fortunate enough to have them just as they come out of the oven at Ap-Petite, but tossing a cheese or bacon Pogi into a hot oven at home for a couple of minutes improves both flavor and texture. I wouldn't use the microwave, because it would soften the outside too much.

                    What's that? "What in the world are these guys talking about??"

                    Try Ap-Petite, and you'll soon see -- not only "Pogis" but a large assortment of beautiful and delicious little pastries.

                    1. re: sbritchky

                      The pumpkin seed pogi might be my favorite. The simple butter one is good as well.

                  2. I love these:

                    Granny's Donuts
                    316 N Western Ave
                    San Pedro, CA 90732

                    1. K&C Donuts & Deli
                      838 E Mission Rd
                      San Gabriel, CA 91776

                      Good donuts, fantastic sandwiches

                      1. Not exactly a donut shop, but Nickle Diner has some interesting donuts... I went there looking for the Bacon... I actually liked the Strawberry Shortcake one the best!


                        1. I have not been but a buddy worked very close to the place and spoke of them very highly. He normally is spot on too..
                          Sk's Donuts & Croissants
                          5850 W 3rd St
                          Los Angeles, CA 90036

                          (323) 935-2409

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Foodandwine

                            Has anyone been to Sk's?? Wondering what your thoughts are..

                            1. re: Foodandwine

                              Last time SKU where are you.. Has anyone been to Sk's?? It gets allot of love and SKU is Looking for LA enviorns and most of the recs are in SGV??

                              1. re: Foodandwine

                                i went to the donut and croissant shop on 3rd st near la brea the other day, it was good not great (didn't quite have that delicious toothsome fluffiness of a bar at Primo's Westdale), but on second though the French cruller was pretty darn good, but then again I love crullers more than life itself.

                                1. re: Foodandwine

                                  S.K.'s is brilliant. Has been around for a number of years and they're open 24 hours (minus a few hours on Sundays). Korean family-owned. Better than Bob's by a mile. I recommend all, but the apple fritter, cruller, and chocolate bar are amazing. That said, the plain glazed and buttermilks are pretty extraordinary, too. They cook fresh often throughout the day and night.

                            2. The Arcadia shops sound intriguing. Here are a few I like:

                              Miss Donuts and Bagels
                              Corner of Bonita and D St. in La Verne (not to be confused with the exact same named but differently owned shop on the corner of Fruit and Foothill in La Verne)
                              very good donuts and outstanding sourdough bagels.

                              Le Donut
                              on the corner of Highland Ave. & Huntington Dr. in Duarte. I really like the cinnamon rolls here but all the donuts are good.

                              There is another one that I've liked in the past, the name escapes me, but it's behind the Mobil Station on the corner of Mt. Olive and Huntington in Duarte, in the Fresh 'n Easy shopping center. I think they're good but I give the nod to Le Donut as being slightly better.

                              1. This will round out my list.

                                Donuts Galore (Must try Cinnamon twist. It is crusty outside with a dough inside that all goes great with coffee. Buy two of these and take one home. The apple fritters are the best I have ever had and it would be great to find out what time in the morning you can get these hot fresh made.
                                1112 Via Verde (VON'S CENTER)
                                San Dimas, CA 91773
                                (909) 599-3848
                                Monday-Saturday: 4:30 AM - 6 PM
                                Sunday: 4:30 AM - 4 PM
                                From the 57 Fry Exit at Via Verde and go West to the corner of Via Verde and Puente St. From the 10, exit at Via Verde and gp East.

                                18 Replies
                                1. re: JeetJet

                                  I knew there were good donuts in the San Gabriel Valley, I just never thought it would be an epicenter of sorts in the LA area, to be fair though I never look for donuts when I travel to other regions whether it be West LA, the SFV, downtown, Orange County, or Ventura. So far Donut Man in Glendora(among the best), Donuts Galore in San Dimas, Le Donut in Duarte, Miss Donuts and Bagels in La Verne, Peacock Dougnuts in Arcadia, A.M. Donuts also in Arcadia, K&C Donuts & Deli in San Gabriel. I can add another donut place here in Walnut not too far from San Dimas, La Verne or Glendora, its in the same shopping center across from Mt. SAC, with many asian food joints--forget the name but great donuts.

                                  1. re: b0ardkn0t

                                    Here is another great place. Uncle Joe's is an instatution in the SGV. The Buttermilk Bars are very good . Something that was popular around trhe SGV in the 1970's was "Apple filled and Blueberry filled "Burritos" made like a deep frried burrito but donut style -- glazed. Uncle Joe's always had them. It has been about a year snce I stopped there because several other good donut shops are between me and Uncle Joe's. Every time I drice past there I see they are still popular with a cross-section of the SGV population.

                                    Uncle Joe's Donuts
                                    633 S San Gabriel Blvd #101 (between Mission Dr & Las Tunas Dr)
                                    San Gabriel

                                    1. re: JeetJet

                                      Uncle Joe's sounds like a good post-Babita stop, and they're open around the clock, apparently.

                                      By the way, JeetJet, do you know of anyone who still serves those fruit-filled chimichangas? I had one in New Mexico a few years ago, but I can't think of a local purveyor. If I had to guess, I'd say Chevy's, El Torito, or some other sit-down chain would be the most-likely place.

                                      1. re: sbritchky

                                        I just looked up "Fruit-Filled Chimichangas With Cinnamon Custard sauce." I have to wonder how different that is from the burrito that Uncle Joe's has (A,M Donut sometimes makes them also). A flour tortilla filled with a apple filling then deep fried just a little to make the outside hard. Then it is covered with glaze and cinnamon over that. That would be good after a Mexican dinner -- or after any dinner for that matter.

                                      2. re: JeetJet

                                        There's not enough turnover at Uncle Joe's for the donuts to be good. More often than not you'll get stale donuts.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          Never been, but Jeet and sbritchky piqued my interest--fruit and custard burritos/chimichangas--the devil you say, odd, but intriguing. How is it for taste and texture? I'm of the thinking the apple ones would be the best (not too sure the custard ones sound too appetizing as the "skin" of the "burrito"/"chimichanga" would be awfully thin for a heavy custard I would think. This is novel in the way a deep fried twinkie is novel--a very odd novelty. Anyone tried them?

                                          1. re: b0ardkn0t

                                            I wanted some fruit for breakfast today and so I headed over to Uncle Joe's. I first began going to Uncle Joe's back in the days before they moved to the current location. First thing I noticed was that the parking lot was full. When I walked up to the entrance I could see that all the tables inside where taken and one guy was sitting on one of the folding chairs outside the door with a donut in one hand and coffee in the other. I counted 13 people when I first walked in and maybe half of them left before I got my stuff but they were replaced by another 6 or 7 people just as fast. Every donut in the case appeared very fresh. The powered sugar donuts all looked like they were made at a bakery. The jelly-filled were over filled and very plump. It was good to see that nothing has changed since they moved from the location down the street next to the high school. I had an Apple Fritter and Apple Burrito.

                                            I selected the fritter because it appeared to be perfect. It was a little on the thin side which indicated that the ratio of golden brown crusty outside to the moist inside would be just right and it was. I hate it when some other places make a fritter too thick and it is like eating a ball of bread. I would rate Uncle Joe's fritter to be on the level of Donut's Galore Apple Fritter -- perfect. There were only two burritos in the display and they were hard to find. Although these are not for everyone, they should be tried at least once by everyone. These are made with a giant flour tortilla with some apple filling. After being deep fried until browned they are covered with cinnamon and sugar which almost make them resemble a cinnamon crumb. The final result is a very long flat "Burrito" large enough for two people. The texture is crunchy on the outside and the center is softer.

                                            1. re: JeetJet

                                              Somone post a picture, please! Any place in the SFV for these?

                                              1. re: Brussels Sprout

                                                Sorry I don't have a picture. These burritos were very popular in the SGV 30 years ago and are harder to find now. A.M. Donuts has them sometimes and IMo they do a better job making them. Uncle Joe's version was a little too dark -- almost overcooked. A.M. Donuts version is more moist but either way they are not worth a drive over other donuts. IN the SFV I would think you might find them at a donut shop popular with Mexican-Americans. Like I say, they are hard to see in the display and that is because they are so flat next to taller regular items like raised glaze or jelly-filled.

                                                1. re: JeetJet

                                                  randy's donuts makes an "apple crepe" that sounds pretty similar to these burritos...fried with cinnamon and sugar on the outside..apple pie like filling in the middle...

                                                  pretty tasty in my opinion...and it costs about $1 or something...worth a try if you are there...

                                                  1. re: jaypeezy

                                                    Thanks, you gotta know what your asking for..
                                                    SGV donut "burrito" = Westside donut "crepe."
                                                    I love L.A.

                                                    1. re: JeetJet

                                                      haha...yes...i simply pointed and said..."give me one of those"...haha...delicious nonetheless...

                                                      1. re: JeetJet

                                                        actually ... when i moved to LA back in the early 80's, Randy's Donuts used to call them "burritos" too ... and they came in blueberry and cherry as well. so, i was pretty disappointed to learn on my visit yesterday that they only make apple "crepes" now!

                                                        Randy's Donuts
                                                        805 West Manchester Ave, Inglewood, CA 90301

                                                2. re: JeetJet

                                                  I agree about thinner fritters. A donut shop run by a Vietnamese family in Banning (just before you get to the desert) takes the idea to the extreme and serves almost-flat fritters, which are quite good.

                                                  Donut Man fritters are great, but they're huge, even grotesque, and you're nearly incoherent by the time you finish one. However, they do have a cinnamon-apple-raisin roll -- essentially a regular large cinnamon roll with the fruits embedded -- that is extraordinary for anyone who likes cinnamon, apples, raisins, sugar, and butter!

                                                  I can't wait to try one of those Uncle Joe's fruit burritos. They sound like Southern fried fruit-pies, which can be delicious done right (to state the obvious).

                                                  1. re: Brussels Sprout

                                                    I haven't been there all day ;-), but I didn't see peach donuts on recent visits. The strawberries have been in for weeks (and I hope are still available).

                                                    Let's also hope they get better peaches this year. You may recall that last time the initial crop was beautiful but hard and unripe.

                                                    1. re: sbritchky

                                                      Wow, I just woke up from a nice nap. What were you saying? "..nearly incoherent?" Do you mean like being in a hyperosmolar nonketotic state?

                                                      I may be heading out past Banning soon to see the flowers in bloom so whats the name of that place? Next to what strip mall? Hey, if you really want a burrito call AM donut and ask if they are making them. They really fill them better and also, several days ago I stopped in at AM for one of their great glazed donuts and noticed a apple filled donut that was as crazy big as Donut Man makes those strawberry filled.

                                                      1. re: JeetJet

                                                        I don't "mean *like* being in a hyperosmolar nonketotic state"!

                                                        I can't remember the name of the place in Banning (it might actually be Beaumont -- it's in-between), but I'll check sometime soon and repost.

                                                        1. re: sbritchky

                                                          Did you find the place or at least the exitto the place in Banning/Beaumount? What was good there?

                                        2. Best Doughnuts located on the corner of PCH and Atresia in Hermosa Beach.

                                          The blueberry and honewheats come out around 10:30pm. I once had one while it was still hot and it was out of this world. Everything else is good, but the blueberry is something unique that a lot of other doughnut shops don't have. It's worth it to show up a little early so you can be guaranteed a hot fresh doughnut.

                                          The honeywheats at Randys come out at 12:30am (or was it 1:30am?). Also had one of those hot and it was sensational.

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: young_chower

                                            After complaining recently about stale donuts at Randy's, I had a bear claw the other day, and it was superb. It won't draw me away too often from Donut Man, but I was happy to find that you Randy's lovers aren't totally nuts.

                                            1. re: young_chower

                                              Best Donuts in Hermosa? Really? We tried the donuts there and found them lackluster. Then again, we didn't try the blueberry or honeywheat. Did you mean 10:30 PM or AM? What are the hours? I will stop by at the appropriate time and try out flavors you recommend.

                                              1. re: Nicole

                                                Okay, I stopped by Best Donuts today and got the blueberry and honeywheat donuts. They were pretty good, but I think sku would feel very disappointed if he drove all the way to southbay to sample them. Honestly, I live in the area and I don't think I'll go again...for that calorie count I want more than "pretty good," I want something truly delicious.

                                                1. re: Nicole

                                                  "calorie count" is not allowed in a respectible discussion about donuts..

                                              2. re: young_chower

                                                finally, someone getting to the most critical aspect of doughnut eating! When they are just made and still warm!!!! THANK YOU young_chower!

                                                A slighty crunchy texture on the exterior is also key, especially on the cakes.

                                                To me, even the best doughnuts are just mediocre after a couple hours.That first "golden hour" is when they are at their peak!

                                              3. I am glad the o.p. put Bob's first. There might be other doughnuts that taste ok. But Bob's at Farmer's Market on Saturday or Sunday morning is one of those great neighborhood places that define living in Los Angeles. And there is nothing like a warm Bob's cinnamon bun and a hottle of coffee. My kids have grown up on a steady weekly diet of Bob's doughnuts-- for 17 years.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: coffeebrownies

                                                  I believe those are in lexicographic order, coffeebrownies. Otherwise, Donut Man would have to come first under California law. ;-)

                                                  But I know what you mean. When I was a kid we used to get fantastic donuts that some family made and sold in their home. My grandmother lived just a couple of houses down from us, and I'd go over there for coffee and those wonderful donuts and read the funny papers with her father -- my great-grandfather. Sigh.

                                                2. The USA Donuts on KEster and Burbank has some good stuff-nice old fashioneds, good fritters. A few different twists and a good maple bar. The guy there is nice, and he might toss in a few donut holes when you're not looking.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Brussels Sprout

                                                    I wholeheartedly agree. I love their wonderful cinnamon rolls and chocolate chip rolls. Both tasty, yeasty and sweet.

                                                  2. I must be one of the very few who are unimpressed with Donut Man and Primo's. Not a fan of Randy's and Stan's either. Still have to try Royal.

                                                    If you're in the South Bay area, you should stop by Top Donut. It is in the strip center with the army recruiting thing at the intersection of PV Drive North and Western. My favorite donut there is the glazed twist, but all their raised donuts are very good. I don't like their cakes and such, for cake donuts I go to Mayer's in the Peninsula center in PV. Their old fashioned is really good as are their other cake-y donuts. I don't care for their yeast raised donuts so much though.

                                                    BTW, my parents, who ages ago when they were just starting out owned and operated a donut shop, are usually very dissatisfied with any donut from anywhere but even they say that Top Donuts raised are pretty good(though not even close to as good as theirs!).

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: baloney

                                                      The first words out of your mouth at any donut shop should be, "What's fresh?" According to the late Prof. Einstein, "A great donut is a fleeting moment in the space-time-coffee continuum." Anyone who doesn't mind that principle can get lousy donuts at even the best places.

                                                    2. Try Schwartz's Bakery on Beverly & La Brea. Good donuts.

                                                      1. Yum Yum Doughnuts is so good!! Definitely definitely try it!

                                                        1. the donuts from Huckleberry's in SM are worth a try. very good.

                                                          1. K's has been number one for years. when i lived in Studio City (89) my friend April and her family ran the shop there. They were the best then and still are. I live in Detroit now, but go to L/A every now and again for the sweet memory of K's.

                                                            1. I used to go to Alex Donuts in Hollywood on Franklin near Beachwood. They had a crumb donut which cures all sorts of depression and evil cravings.

                                                              1. Another place that always has a large morning crowd and busy parking lot is Granny's Donuts located almost on the 10 fry next to Cal State, L.A. -- pretty good donuts. Glazed, jelly-filled, maple or chocolate bars, cinnamon crumb, buttermilk bars – get a big box full on the way to work you will have lots of friends. Also, look at the special items on the counter and maybe give one or two of those a try also.
                                                                1681 N Eastern Ave (exit the 10 at Eastern, Granny's is across the fry from that strange McD with the two story drive thru that has a crazy overhead burger delivery system)
                                                                Los Angeles, CA 90063
                                                                (323) 266-6918

                                                                1. I was at Donuts Galore and noticed other donuts in addition to the cinnamon twist and apple fritters I like there. They have some custard filled, and jelly filled, Buttermilk bars – OMG! Also, the chocolate covered cinnamon roll is very good but also very large. Finally, the blueberry turnovers are bakery quality but donut shop price.
                                                                  Donuts Galore
                                                                  1112 Via Verde (VON'S CENTER)
                                                                  San Dimas, CA 91773
                                                                  (909) 599-3848

                                                                  1. i know this is an old thread, but a recent new favorite donut find is Miss Donuts on Robertson Blvd. at Beverlywood... wonderful donuts, and the guys who run it (brothers) are so nice, helpful, and happy to be there... they even remember what you like.... there may be cheaper places, but for the quality and level of service, i don't think the $7.49/dozen is at all unreasonable.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Emme

                                                                      I think this might be a small chain. There are also two Miss Donuts outlets in La Verne and they are also good, especially the location at Bonita and D Streets. The bagels there are also really good.

                                                                    2. Doughnut Hut in Burbank. Try the orange Frenchie,... it exceeded my expectations. Crumb was great too!