YOUR GUIDE TO CALIFORNIA'S MOST INSTA-WORTHY DOUGHNUTS
by Trina Hendry
Donut be shy! We know you love doughnuts as much as we do. While these doughy delights have been around since the beginning of time practically, they have achieved cult-like status more recently, elevating from coffee's best friend to works of art and full-on gourmet deliciousness.
As a photo says a thousand words, we've rounded up our list of the Golden State's most Instagram-worthy doughnuts, with most of them hailing from the City of Angels, the city with the highest concentration of doughnut shops per capita in the United States! Trust us when we say people are dining up by the baker's dozen to take a photo of, and a bite out of, these yummy treats.
3540 W 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA
Hands down, California Donuts reigns supreme when it comes to Insta-worthy doughnuts. Serving Angelenos for 30 years, and open 24 hours a day, it is truly a destination not to be missed, an L.A. right of passage, so to speak. Crowds line up at the take-out window to catch a glimpse, and taste, of the vibrant, eye-catching specialty creations, like the panda bears, unicorns, Care Bears, and Lucky Charms-adorned treats. Picture perfect, indeed!
270 E. 17th Street., # 18, Costa Mesa, CA / 631 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA
Our personal favorite, Sidecar Doughnuts has been serving the "World's Freshest Doughnuts" to Californians since 2012. With inventive, seasonal creations and daily must-haves on the menu, customers line-up for the warm, just-out-of-the-oven, melt-in-your-mouth treats on a regular basis. We recommend you start with the classic Butter and Salt, a vanilla bean cake glazed with brown butter and sprinkled with fleur de sel, and taste you way from there. We bet you can't eat just one!
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MR. HOLMES BAKEHOUSE
Various locations in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Orange County
While it rose to infamy for its croissants and cruffins (a croissant/muffin hybrid), Mr. Holmes Bakehouse makes some pretty spectacular tasting and looking doughnuts too. The bakery itself, from its minimalistic white decor to its neon "I Got Baked In..." signage and stunning gold and white packaging, is an Instagrammer's paradise, but the pastries truly take the cake. Doughnut flavors change daily, giving you plenty of reason to stop by for a regular fix!
DYNAMO DONUT & COFFEE
2760 24th Street / 110 Yacht Road, San Francisco, CA
Dynamo Donuts + Coffee is a boutique doughnut shop in The Mission, San Francisco. Everyone loves a doughnut, but Sara Spearin's confections are well above average. She takes her years in the kitchens of some of San Francisco's top restaurants (Foreign Cinema, Liberty Cafe, Stars, Postrio) to create flavor pairings you'd be more likely to find in artisanal pastries than in the humble doughnut. Seasonal flavors include Strawberry Earl Grey, Pumpkin Nutmeg Chocolate Chip, and Chocolate Rosemary Almond. Tasty and oh so pretty to photograph!
Delivery only in Los Angeles, CA
Donut Snob is, at its most basic core, the elevation of an American classic into something closer to culinary perfection. Each doughnut is carefully crafted in small batches, hand glazed and topped with perfectly balanced flavor combinations, like Pistachio Orange, Pumpkin Salted Caramel, and Campfire (their version of s'mores). The result achieves a “caliber of wretchedly excessive, artistically sumptuous donuts [that] could have started the French Revolution” (USA Today). Let them eat, and photograph, doughnuts!
314 West Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA
The concept at Birdies, located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, is simple: Fresh, fun, all natural food, served fast. Artisanal doughnuts made hourly and free-range fried chicken are the staples on a simple menu of Americana classics reimagined with a modern twist. Flavors include the signature Strawberry Shortcake, Lemon Thyme Pistachio, Strawberry White Chocolate, Cinnamon Nut Crunch, Boston Crème filled Black & White, Candied Bacon Maple and Horchata Twist with Dulce de Leche. #yum!
5107 York Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA
Donut Friend opened in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles in 2014 to long lines and much fanfare. Owned by former by musician and music producer, Mark Trembino, the little shop is famous for its signature compilations inspired punk bands. Customers can also choose their own doughnut adventure by creating their own combo of fillings and toppings. Now, if that isn't an Instagram story waiting to happen, we don't know what is!
8104 W. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA
Baked and/or steamed and never fried, fōnuts replicates the doughnut taste you know and love, but with a modern, shall we say more "healthy" spin, featuring gluten-free and vegan options alongside traditional varieties. With flavors like Rosemary Olive Oil, Red Velvet, and Strawberry Buttermilk, we'll take one of each, please!