20 Best Donut Shops In Los Angeles, Ranked

Of all the treats, desserts, and snacks available around the world, surely there are none more fun and frivolous than the doughnut. Fried balls of dough have existed for centuries across many different cultures, but the doughnut as we know it today — round, holey, and covered with thick frosting — is strictly American.

A simple glazed doughnut isn't too hard to make for yourself at home, but half the fun of eating doughnuts is choosing one from rows and rows of colorful rings behind a glass case. There are thousands of tasty doughnut stores across the country, with some so over-the-top it's hard to believe they're even edible. Los Angeles has its very own doughnut culture from venerated classics that have stood the test of time to charming newcomers, there is a doughnut shop in town for every kind of appetite. We ranked the best shops so you can spend less time hunting and more time eating.

20. SK's Donuts and Croissants

Over in Hancock Park, there's a neighborhood doughnut shop that serves up fried rings of goodness from Wednesday to Sunday starting at 5:30 a.m. There are your classics like maple bars and old-fashioned cake, as well as some interesting varieties like vegan black sesame and strawberry cheesecake. If you're extra hungry, you can also get a savory breakfast sandwich, stuffed with a runny egg, melty cheese, and crunchy bacon.

While the reviews are overwhelmingly positive, there are some complaints from patrons who were upset by the discrepancy between the posted hours online and the store's actual open times. The shop itself is as run-of-the-mill as they come, and the decor leaves a lot to be desired. Though the doughnut selection is wide, you won't find anything completely revolutionary. For a solid pick, this definitely fits the bill and will hit the spot if you catch a doughnut craving.

19. Trejo's Donuts

When you think of Danny Trejo, you don't necessarily think doughnut. The venerated actor has had a long career in Hollywood playing tough guys and seedy characters of all kinds. These days, he has turned his attention towards more tasty pursuits, with a collection of taco restaurants and a doughnut shop. Some of the more inventive flavors tend to sell out early in the day. They aren't the most sophisticated doughnuts in town in terms of artistry or innovation (which is why this shop is so low on the list), but it's made up for that with charming decor and a large dose of local pride.

There's a fairly standard mix of cake and raised doughnuts, with fun flavors like "Da Berry Bomb," that's filled with berry jam and topped with a berry glaze, and the "Lowrider,' a cinnamon-sugar raised doughnut. There is also a fair selection of vegan doughnuts because it's L.A. Expect themed options on holidays and big sports events.

18. Daily Donuts

This next shop may be low on snazzy, Insta-worthy decorations and gimmicks, but it's ultra-high on heart and soul. Daily Donuts is a Los Feliz mainstay, and its tasty, handmade doughnuts attract a steady flow of regulars week in and week out. In a true American dream story, this shop was opened by Cambodian immigrants trying to make a better life. According to the Los Angeles Times, the owners fled their home country during a time of turmoil and ended up in Los Angeles where they began investing in and refurbishing doughnut shops.

On any given day, there are fresh trays of hot doughnuts lined up in the glass case, as well as endless cups of hot coffee served in styrofoam cups and a few savory breakfast sandwich options. You likely won't have a groundbreaking doughnut experience with insanely inventive flavors, but the classic, simple options are made with heart and taste like love.

17. Bub and Grandma's

Los Angeles can give you the impression that everyone that lives here is on a special diet or avoids carbs like the plague. The truth is there are scores of bread fanatics that will seek out the best of the best, and Bub and Grandma's has established itself as this city's go-to place for the best loaves of bread, period. Up until recently, the products were only available at farmer's markets, through the wholesale restaurant, and grocery store customers. Earlier this year, however, Bub and Grandma's opened its own brick-and-mortar store in Glassell Park. Along with this new establishment has come a whole new menu of delicious sandwiches and pastries, along with its famous bread.

Among the daily pastry options are a few yeast-raised doughnuts made by the same skillful bakers that make the famous loaves of sourdough. Though this isn't strictly a doughnut shop, Bub and Grandma's is definitely worth a trip if you have doughnuts on the brain.

16. DK's Donuts

There's a little bit of everything over at DK's Donuts, the Santa Monica doughnut store that's open 24 hours a day. It's one of the most popular bakeries on the west side, and, according to the website, the folks there make "over 120 classic and traditional doughnuts." One of the house specialties is the double-decker "O-nut," a twist on the viral croissant-doughnut hybrid, which comes in a range of flavors (like Oreo or Nutella strawberry swirl).

Unlike many other doughnut stores in town, DK's serves savory breakfast options alongside the doughnuts, with items like a bacon, egg, and cheese burrito or an onion bagel with cream cheese. The store also has six and 12-inch sub sandwiches that are made to order. The drink menu is extensive, with everything from fruit smoothies to Vietnamese iced coffee. If you're a beer fan, Santa Monica Brew Works created a porter based on DK's ube doughnut. This place is fun, but it's not our favorite in Los Angeles.

15. Bob's Coffee and Doughnuts

You can't take a doughnut tour of Los Angeles without including Bob's Coffee & Doughnuts, an LA institution since 1947. Patrons of the Original Farmer's Market have been sidling up to the counter and ordering a fluffy jelly doughnut or maple bar for decades — long before the recent craze of specialty and artisanal doughnuts. Other than the classic glazed and filled options, longtime fans of this establishment love the gooey cinnamon roll, New Orleans-style beignets, and ever-popular jelly filled.

Come early for the early bird special, which is a cup of coffee and any doughnut for just $2.95. If you miss it, don't worry — the shop stays open until 9 p.m. Once you've filled your belly, you'll be full of energy and ready to wander the Farmer's Market, searching for culinary delights of all kinds. It's the perfect excuse to wake up early and venture outside.

14. Randy's Donuts

Some restaurants in Los Angeles are so iconic, it's easy to forget whether they are real places or built for a Hollywood blockbuster. Randy's Donuts is one of those locations and has been spotted in different pieces of media practically since it opened in 1952. Snoop Dogg even once performed a DJ set in the parking lot of Randy's. The original location with the giant donut on the roof is in Inglewood, though the company has now grown to have 21 locations worldwide.

You don't stay in business in Los Angeles for 70 years without doing something right. The options are as classic as they come, with giant glazed raised doughnuts and crisp cake doughnuts showered with sprinkles. These aren't the absolute best doughnuts in the city, nor are they the worst, but it will be worth the journey to try a bite of Los Angeles history by grabbing a couple of doughnuts from Randy's.

13. California Donuts

Down near Koreatown is California Donuts, the 24-hour doughnut shop that's been in operation since 1982. The doughnuts are made fresh every day and there's a little bit of everything available. The doughnut flavors include all the classics, as well as some new and interesting options, like strawberry matcha swirl and lemon-berry crumble. In addition to cool flavors, the bakers at California Donuts get creative with the decorations and whip up everything from pandas to unicorns.

While the majority of the things filling the glass cases are doughnuts, you'll also find a few muffins, croissants, and bagels, along with a full menu of hot and cold coffee drinks. One of this shop's specialties is custom orders for special events and holidays, so preorder a batch for your next celebration. The only real downside to this bakery is the parking situation, which can be a bit of a bear at certain times of the day.

12. Voodoo Doughnut

This Portland-based doughnut bakery opened back when it was the only place to get the ringed treasures in town. Voodoo Doughnut has since expanded to 13 locations in six states, with lines around the block at the opening of each new shop. The bakery is world-famous and attracts legions of hungry fans who line up around the block for a taste of these perfectly fluffy bites of fried dough.

Cheeky designs with wacky toppings constitute the doughnut vibe at this shop, which features mostly yeast-raised doughnuts, but has a few cake options too. Toppings can range from Fruit Loops to thick slices of crisp bacon on top of the house-special maple bar. While some of the flavors are worth the trip alone (hello, guava colada), the designs attract the crowds, which makes it a bit overwhelming. Look out for the iconic voodoo doughnut, shaped like, you guessed it) a voodoo doll, stuck with a pretzel "pin" and everything.

11. Mochinut

This next shop is really out of the box — the doughnut box, that is. Mochinut serves up mochi doughnuts, the hot new trend to come to hit Los Angeles. Hailing from South Korea, Mochinut offers mochi doughnuts, along with Korea-style hot dogs, boba tea, and soft-serve ice cream. There are also cool combinations, and you can get a mochi doughnut or scoop of boba pearls on your soft serve.

The doughnuts are at once crispy and chewy, and you'll want a second one after the first. Flavors are both exotic and familiar. Look for options like black sesame, mango, matcha, banana milk, churro, and yuzu. Most mochi doughnuts are made in a signature shape — eight balls of rice flour-based dough pressed into a ring — and Mochinut doughnuts are no different. There are locations scattered all around Southern California, from the Westfield Mall to Arcadia, so you probably won't have to go far to get your hands on some.

10. Fantastic Donuts

While some doughnut shops set themselves apart by making pastries with premium ingredients or interesting combinations, some pride themselves on decoration artistry. The doughnuts at Fantastic Donuts on an unassuming back street in Koreatown fall under the latter category, with cute doughnuts expertly decorated with pastel animals or cartoon characters. The primary type of doughnut here is yeast-raised, though it does offer cake doughnuts as well. The shop has been open for 30 years, but only recently has the baker sought to extend their creative energy and started creating these addictively adorable doughnuts.

The shop is open 24 hours a day, but you'll have to come early for a specific design or flavor because they can and do sell out. Custom orders keep the bakers at Fantastic Donuts busy, and if you have a certain design for a special occasion, the folks there are happy to accommodate you.

9. Blue Star Donuts

Blue Star Donuts' tagline is "donuts for grownups." This next doughnut shop prides itself on providing its customers a top-notch experience from the moment they step in the door. Founded in Portland, Oregon, this bakery has since expanded to include a location in Los Angeles in the Venice Beach neighborhood. The focus is doughnuts and coffee — so don't expect much else. This singular focus allows the pastry chefs to spend all their energy on creating the most perfect pastries possible.

Unique flavors are the specialty here, and certain flavors are only available in specific areas. Los Angeles-exclusive flavors include matcha lime crumble and strawberry mojito. Company-wide favorites like chocolate bergamot or blueberry bourbon basil have led to scores of devoted fans. The yeast-raised doughnuts are made with a "signature 18-hour brioche" and the buttermilk cake doughnuts are made the old-fashioned way. Don't live nearby? Don't worry — shipping is offered nationwide through Goldbelly.

8. Primo's Donuts

Established back in 1956, Primo's Donuts has been a Los Angeles favorite since the early days, when only a few doughnut shops scattered the city. It's been a family-owned and operated establishment since the day it opened on Sawtelle. Since then, the owners have opened another shop in Westwood with the same commitment to freshness and quality that the original location is known for.

Fan favorite flavors include vanilla sourdough, glazed buttermilk, cherry sprinkles, and the "tiger tail," a chocolate and vanilla twist. There are special options on all major holidays, and there's also a doughnut wall that the staff will cater to your next event. You won't find any savory breakfast sandwiches or other options here. Primo's prefers to focus on what it does best — fresh, high-quality coffee and doughnuts. That's the way the owners have always done it, and we're glad they haven't changed.

7. Dot and Dough

There's a new kind of doughnut on the scene that's making headlines as fast as it's making fans. The mochi doughnut is a totally different kind of doughnut from the cake and raised doughnuts we are used to in America. Invented in Japan, the mochi doughnut is made with rice flour and has a totally unique texture that's at once gummy, chewy, and ultra-crispy. Over at Dot & Dough, the bakers are frying up fresh batches of mochi doughnuts daily. There are the iconic ring of balls like most mochi doughnuts, as well as filled mochi doughnuts and filled malasadas, Portuguese-filled yeast-raised doughnuts.

The flavors are incredible, like banana chocolate and rainbow taro. There are locations in Covina, Carson, Eastvale, Stanton, and Monterey Park, with even more opening soon all around Southern California. The various locations have an ever-changing assortment of deals and discounts, so check the social media page before heading over.

6. Birdies

Most doughnut shops specialize in just one thing, the fried rings of dough that this entire article is about. Some may offer a range of pastries, and a select few may even offer a few savory breakfast sandwich options, as well. Birdies offers a completely different dining experience. Along with a large selection of daily doughnuts, comes a whole host of fried chicken sandwiches, wings, and breakfast sandwiches (some of which also have fried chicken). It's a junk food experience, and one that has to be tried to be understood.

The doughnut flavors range from the basic (like chocolate) to the unique (pistachio thyme) and flavors change constantly. You can find Birdies at one of its locations in downtown Los Angeles, West Hollywood, or Norco. Both the doughnuts and the chicken are fried to order, so you can expect the same quality and freshness no matter what time of day you visit.

5. Holey Grail Donuts

A strong contender for one of the best doughnut shops in town, Holey Grail is bringing a whole new doughnut experience to Los Angeles. With a completely unique recipe made using taro root, the doughnuts at Holey Grail are fried to order — a tradition that stretches back to its first truck on the island of Kauai. Now, it has expanded to multiple brick-and-mortar locations in Hawaii and Los Angeles.

In LA, you can find Holey Grail at its food truck at the Culver City Platform daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., where it's been serving up ultra high-quality flavors like the "Island Chocolate," which is covered in single-estate chocolate grown on Kauai, or the "Hot Single," glazed with local honey and flaky sea salt. There's a full suite of coffee and drink options, as well, like the draft latte, crafted with delicious house-made cashew and coconut milk.

4. Donut Friend

Just because Los Angeles is a city of amazing doughnut shops that have been around for decades doesn't mean that there can't be excellent newcomers. Donut Friend is one of those newcomers, which opened in 2013 by music vet Mark Trombino. He had a passion for great doughnuts and jumped on the chance to fill the hole in the market he saw for top-quality doughnuts made with love and care in every bite.

Did we mention everything on the menu is vegan? Every single item is totally plant-based and handmade in small batches every day. With musically punny names like "Jimmy Eat Swirl" and "Green Teagan and Sara," the menu is fun, fresh, and innovative. Stop by Donut Friend to take a sample of a doughnut the likes of which you've probably never tasted. If you fancy a cooler treat, it has a sister shop called Creamo, serving plant-based ice cream over on Sunset Boulevard.

3. The Donut Man

It used to be that to get a bite of one of the famous doughnuts from The Donut Man, you had to drive all the way out to Glendora. These days, there's an outpost set up in downtown Los Angeles at the Grand Central Market. A classic American Dream story, Jim and Miyoko Nakano opened The Donut Man in 1972 (originally a franchisee of Foster's Donuts). Since then, it's become famous for the fresh fruit doughnuts that change seasonally. The owners believe in strict adherence to seasonality and quality.

While the strawberry is probably the most well-known fruit-filled doughnut here, it has others that revolve around the seasons. In winter, you can expect blueberry, pumpkin, and apple spice doughnuts. At the peak of the summer and for a few short weeks in July, it has peach-filled doughnuts, featuring fresh slices of peach tossed in a gooey sugar syrup. The products are just so fresh and tasty that we had to put this shop in the top three.

2. Colorado Donuts

Doughnuts are a fun food, and any shop that makes them shouldn't take itself too seriously. All the way over in Eagle Rock is a little doughnut shop that's churning out some of the most fun-looking and tasting doughnuts in town. It's Colorado Donuts, the venerable mom-and-pop doughnut shop that attracts people from all over the city, yet somehow still retains that neighborhood feeling.

It has a solid mix of both cake and raised doughnuts, as well as croissant hybrid varieties, cinnamon rolls, apple fritters, filled doughnuts, and more. Favorites include the strawberry shortcake doughnut, which has fresh strawberries and a fluffy strawberry crumb that calls to mind a Good Humor ice cream bar. Vegan and gluten-free Angelenos fear not — it has plenty of options for you as well, like vegan blueberry fritters. It even has some savory breakfast sandwiches if you want a little balance in your day. This shop has the ideal balance of being well-known but still sticking to its roots, has a little something for everyone, and gets the core product (doughnuts) right.

1. Sidecar Donuts

The very top spot of our Los Angeles doughnut roundup has to go to Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee, for its use of peak-of-the-season produce, impeccably balanced flavors, and top-tier freshness (doughnuts are hand-made every hour). We would expect a healthy mix of cake and yeast donuts at any reputable doughnut shop, and Sidecar is no different. With locations in Torrance, Manhattan Beach, Costa Mesa, and Santa Monica, Sidecar is a true Southern California community joint and its core values include giving back to the community that brought it so much success.

The flavors themselves are a revelation. Popular favorites include a huckleberry cake donut and "butter and salt," made with browned butter, buttermilk, vanilla bean, and French sea salt. It's not all about the sweet doughnuts, either. Sidecar is famous for its inventive flavor called the basil egg benedict, a Malasada-style doughnut that's stuffed with a poached egg, ham, and a house-made basil hollandaise. It's a wild taste experience and totally out of this world.