LA is a donut town, and these places are the best of the best.
1. SK’s Donuts
SK’s is sort of the platonic ideal of a donut shop by which I measure all others. It’s open 24/7, operates out of a nondescript strip mall with a parking lot that doubles as a late night plaza, and serves cheap classics. We could debate whether this donut shop has the best fare in the world, but that’s not really the point; instead, it hits so many of the right notes so well that it’s a must visit. Also, it’s unfortunately named “SKronut” (I refuse to say that there and just call it a cronut) is probably the best glazed donut in Los Angeles.
Address: 5850 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036
2. Bob’s Coffee and Donuts
Bob’s isn’t open 24/7 like the other options on this list. But what it lacks in operating hours it makes up in people watching opportunities; Bob’s happens to be part of the Original Farmer’s Market, which is one of LA’s best places to sit and take in the scenery. The donuts are great too — I especially recommend the apple fritters — but get there early for the best selection.
Address: 6333 W 3rd St #450, Los Angeles, CA 90036
3. Donut Man
Way out in Glendora (where, coincidentally, I grew up), this classic stand routinely tops lists of the best donuts in the entire region.
Donut Man gets a lot of love for its fruit-filled confections — they come with strawberries and peaches, but both are seasonal only — however I actually prefer their extra long tiger tails. It’s pretty far out there for anyone in Los Angeles itself, but if you’re heading out to Las Vegas, various mountains, or other eastern locales, it’s very much worth the stop.
Address: 915 E Rte 66, Glendora, CA 91740
4. Randy’s Donuts
Randy’s is known for two things: It’s giant donut-shaped sign, and it’s proximity to LAX. But you can tell that Randy’s is actually a good donut shop, not a tourist trap, right off the bat from a few simple clues: It’s open 24/7, the windows are covered with old photos and handwritten notices, and the surrounding environs are actually really unpleasant (so the donuts must be decent to keep bringing people in). I personally prefer SKs, but Randy’s maple bars are genuinely great.
Address: 805 W Manchester Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90301
5. California Donuts
California Donuts is open all the time and it almost always has a line — a sure sign that it’s consistently good. They offer a handful of classics, but devote a lot of their energy to trendier donuts like bacon maple and fruity pebbles. I recommend their simple green tea glazed donut; it’s a good mix of innovation and tradition.
Address: 3540 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90020
— Jim Dalrymple II