Los Angeles: Donut Capital of the World?

One morning a few months ago I was thinking about donuts. That seems normal right? Thinking about donuts in the morning. Especially if you consider it was me doing the thinking. Well anyway, I was wondering who has better donuts, New York or Los Angeles? So I did what anyone would do, I took to twitter to conduct an impromptu (and non-scientific) poll of the best spots in their respective cities. One place that numerous people called-out in the Greater Los Angeles area (I just like how that sounds, Greater Los Angeles) was Randy’s Donuts in Inglewood. And man, I have to agree. Randy’s makes some tasty donuts. After a long flight in LAX, nothing is better than stopping at Randy’s for a cup of coffee and a donut.

Now this doesn’t mean that Randy’s is L.A.’s best donut spot (but I definitely think it is up there), or that L.A. trumps NYC for donuts. So don’t get all crazy. This isn’t a zero sum game. I’m simply saying that Randy’s is pretty great and that their giant donut signage is an amazing example of Americana. I am also saying that non-chain shit always wins over boring-robot-like-chain-restaurants. Now, please feel free to speculate wildly as to who has the best donuts in L.A., New York or America in general.

Comments on “Los Angeles: Donut Capital of the World?

    Travis on June 14, 2010 12:45 PM:

    Randy’s is one of the best in LA for sure. I live close and don’t go there nearly enough.

    Nate on June 14, 2010 12:54 PM:

    I’ve been to Randy’s and it’s pretty good. The recipe doesn’t really stand out from any other one off donut shop but the large donut makes for a cool atmosphere and seems to make the donuts a little more special than anywhere else.

    kiya on June 14, 2010 1:06 PM:

    I find it hard to believe there is a better donut in the world than what’s available at Doughnut Plant in NYC:

    DP ruined me for donuts, nothing comes close for me..

    edgertor on June 14, 2010 1:12 PM:

    don’t know if it’s still there, but Fosters in glendora (?) was awesome. Fresh fruit donuts!

    Phil on June 14, 2010 1:15 PM:

    Primo’s on the west side was my favorite when I lived in LA. Same couple’s been running the place since it started, over 50 years.


    Rob on June 14, 2010 2:19 PM:

    California Donuts on 3rd and S. New Hampshire.

    JonIndiaâ„¢ on June 14, 2010 2:32 PM:


    Chuck Hatt on June 14, 2010 2:47 PM:

    Round Rock donuts, in Round Rock, Texas, just outside of Austin. Dang.

    Jonas on June 14, 2010 3:18 PM:

    The best ever glazed old fashioned are in Seattle, WA at Top Pot doughnuts (toppotdoughnuts.com). The store in the wedgewood district has a great eating/ reading room there the shelves are 15 feet high and stocked with old library books from the ’40’s and ’50’s. They roast thier own coffee also.
    Best apple fritter or maple bar is at Cle Elum Home bakery in Cle Elum, Washington where the ovens have not cooled off in over 100 years. They also recreated a thing I used to get as a kid in Camden, ME, called a persian bun. a persian bun is basicly a cinamon roll fried like a doughnut and then frosted with a special chocolate frosting. The persian bun is the ultimate doughnut!

    Yorgo Malone on June 14, 2010 3:20 PM:

    The best donuts in LA are actually 30 miles east, in Glendora, at the Donut Man on Alosta (Rt.66). Maybe this is what edgertor was searching for? As a current NY resident I often complain that I don’t like the donuts here (except for Plant- which is amazing). They’re all made too dense, like Dunkin Donuts. Donuts in LA are made with lighter dough that rises more before it is cooked, and ends up being both softer and chewier.

    Andrew M on June 14, 2010 4:02 PM:

    Spudnuts! There used to be one in my hometown and my dad went there religiously every weekend until it finally closed. Dunkin and Krispy Kreme are so nasty in comparison. http://spudnutshop.com/

    Michael Williams on June 14, 2010 4:16 PM:

    Andrew — I grew up going to Sputnuts too (in Mentor, Ohio).


    Paul on June 14, 2010 4:38 PM:

    Best donut I have ever had (and have regularly) come from a bar in Philly.
    The Belgian Cafe makes piping hot old school sour cream donuts made to order. They are covered in cinnamon and sugar and come with an insane hot caramel dipping sauce. Well worth the $5 for an order of three. A Monk’s Flemish Sour Ale goes compliments them perfectly.

    J.P on June 14, 2010 5:00 PM:

    I second KIYA …

    L.A native – but have to give it up to Doughnut Plant in NYC – they are hands down better than ANY other shop.


    aTreasuryOf.com on June 14, 2010 5:02 PM:

    It wasn’t as cute, but the donut shop(s) I miss most from when I lived in L.A. was Winchell’s. Their crullers are the best I’ve ever had.

    J.P on June 14, 2010 5:05 PM:
    tons of land on June 14, 2010 5:19 PM:

    mmmm… donuts.

    Hotch on June 14, 2010 5:21 PM:

    For those living near D-troit the Donut Cutter on Woodward in Berkly is beyond comparison. It’s in a converted gas station on the east side of Woodward just north of Catalpa.

    BTW: any donut shop with friggin website has to be a joke.

    Jarrett on June 14, 2010 5:38 PM:

    This is great I have been in the doughnut business for 10.5 years so I always eat at random doughnut shops when I travel. The best I have ever had was at an apple cider mill in upstate New York close to Watertown. Hot apple cider and doughnuts from fresh picked apples pressed right there. I love it. Best fall treat ever.

    e.s. on June 14, 2010 5:55 PM:

    I’m going to second Top Pot in Seattle.

    Chandi on June 14, 2010 5:58 PM:

    DK’s Donuts on Santa Monica Blvd. & 16th in Santa Monica — excellent!!! Family-owned establishment, 24/7, old-school (for L.A.).The “donut master” was trained as a Dunkin chef (his diploma hangs on the wall), but they’ve taken it way past Dunkin. Was just back East and tried a variety of Dunkin’s, they don’t hold a candle to DK’s.

    ita darling on June 14, 2010 6:11 PM:

    no votes for voodoo donuts in PDX?

    kinda a gimmicky thing in essence, but they’re pretty tasty in their weirdness.

    Scott on June 14, 2010 6:35 PM:

    LA has a better average donut. New York has a few great places like The Doughnut Plant, but for the most part it’s not a donut town. LA wins.

    poorman on June 14, 2010 6:35 PM:

    Randy’s is great. I also like Stan’s Donuts in the UCLA/Westwood area. Fantastic doughnuts! My only experience with NY doughnuts was Dunkin’ Donuts, which was crap. And their coffee was horrible too. Which is odd because when I get the grounds at the store in LA and brew it at home it’s pretty good. Go figure.



    viva la sk on June 14, 2010 6:37 PM:

    Personally, I’d say Donut Prince in Burbank is the place to go… based on this commercial by George Lopez and team: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Su2cp296jeI


    Classics Patriot on June 14, 2010 6:46 PM:

    In Monterey, the best place to find donuts is Red’s (two locations: downtown Monterey and the main store/bakery in Seaside, which abuts Monterey to the north). Family owned for 60+ years.

    Old-fashioned service and counters in both locations. As far as I’m concerned, the go-to donut at Red’s is the unglazed old fashioned, though they also make a mean custard-filled maple bar.

    I gained a pound just writing that last sentence.

    Ryan on June 14, 2010 6:58 PM:

    Donut Pub in Manhattan has the best god damn french crueller I’ve ever eaten. Ambiance is great too, place looks like it hasn’t changed a bit since the 60’s.

    Derek on June 14, 2010 7:08 PM:

    A video I thought the ACL community and Michael would be interested in

    Loopy on June 14, 2010 7:40 PM:

    You are all heathens. The best donuts are not called “donuts,” they are known by the sacred name “beignet” and they are in New Orleans. That is all.

    Andrea on June 14, 2010 8:33 PM:

    Doughnuts are (is?) a religion in Maine; most any local doughnut shop along the coast will set you up just fine and stave off doughnut pangs until you reach the next shop. My favorite was Frosty’s in Brunswick, but Tony’s in Portland is grand.

    And yes, beignets are indeed the apotheosis of fried dough, but darned if I can get to Cafe du Monde and back before work in PDX most mornings.

    Danica Lo on June 14, 2010 8:34 PM:

    The Los Angeles Donut Summit: http://donutsummit.wordpress.com/

    NC Farm Guy on June 14, 2010 9:09 PM:

    Britt’s in Carolina Beach, NC. Open seasonally, glazed only, so don’t ask for sprinkles, chocolate or any other “toppings”. And for that matter don’t ask for any jam, jelly, or other tasteless goo squirted into your nut’ that other places offer.
    And if you don’t like Britt’s then you have to go with the old North State’s best, Krispey Kreme.

    Paul C. on June 14, 2010 9:58 PM:

    Schneider’s Bakery, Cooperstown, NY

    They’ve been around for over 100 years. I’ve traveled far and wide and sampled many a donut. I’m still am looking for one that compares to Schneider’s.
    Best part; they still taste the same as they did 30 years ago.

    dallas on June 14, 2010 10:39 PM:

    in NC gotta go Krispey, but only for glazed, only when the “hot light” is on. otherwise go get a real breakfast somewhere else

    Krispey Kreme, not far from your older post about Cheerwine – both NC treasures

    the_passenger on June 14, 2010 10:48 PM:

    I’ve lived in New England my whole life, and I’ve never cared for Dunkin’s donuts, even when my friend’s sister was in a training program there and got us free ones.

    I will recommend Kane’s, which is in Saugus, MA, a bit north of Boston. Owned by the same family since 1955. They also sell a cinnamon roll the size of a small pie, which is meant to be cut in slices like a pie, but if you’re hungry enough…

    JD on June 15, 2010 12:46 AM:

    The cider donuts at Brimfield from Faddies or Fatties (I have the card somewhere) were actually one of the best damn things I’ve ever had.

    Parker on June 15, 2010 2:42 AM:

    BOB Saggot

    Alohabobs on June 15, 2010 6:34 AM:

    I’m from LA and grew up on Randy’s donuts..then i moved To NY and was hooked on Donut Plant..Its a tough call.. but Randys is a bit more classic.. and alot of people dont realize that you can even find Donut plant in Tokyo, infact there are more locations there than in NY which olny has one.

    chris on June 15, 2010 9:14 AM:

    Peter Pan Doughnuts in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. There was a quote in a recent NY mag from Tina Fey saying something like, “If I had a penis I would put it in this doughnut.”

    Chedoke Parkway on June 15, 2010 9:27 AM:

    Clearly you’ve never heard of Hamilton, Ontario.

    Don Draper on June 15, 2010 11:13 AM:

    Krispy Kreme in Penn Station are the worlds greatest donuts.

    ’nuff sed.

    Thornproof on June 15, 2010 11:18 AM:

    Krispy Kreme … only glazed and only when the light is on … especially from the original in Winston-Salem.

    t on June 15, 2010 2:08 PM:

    portand has http://voodoodoughnut.com/
    better than most.

    seattle has http://www.mightyo.com/
    better than that.

    Brian Miller on June 15, 2010 2:27 PM:

    Poorman is right – Stan’s in Westwood is tops, followed by Donut Star in West LA, then DKs in Santa Monica. Blinkie’s in Woodland Hills is a true neighborhood hub though.

    I hope that doughnuts don’t become precious like cupcakes. They’re best when they’re honest and cheap and not precious.

    TBone on June 15, 2010 2:54 PM:

    I grew up in NY and live in LA now.

    Overall I give the edge to LA. NY is overly dominated by Dunkin Doughnuts. LA has a lot of really good mom and pop shops.

    They are so good here in fact, I made a New years resolution to not eat any doughnuts this year because I was eating way too many. (I have yet to eat one in 2010 but it’s very hard.)

    JD on June 15, 2010 3:16 PM:

    I agree with the beignets. Cafe du monde at the french quarter in New Orleans are the tastiest things ever.

    UYMF.COM on June 15, 2010 3:21 PM:

    Livin’ in KCMO the best we have is Lamar’s. They recently came out with a Cupcake Hybrid Donut that is Red Velvet cake with a whipped icing. Hella good.

    However, like Ita states above- Voodoo up in the PDX is awesome!
    Moving there in a month… oh how I can’t wait!

    Randy on June 15, 2010 6:55 PM:

    guys, you’re too kind.

    Brian on June 15, 2010 10:50 PM:

    The KC comment about Lamar’s is just wrong.

    The place to go for donuts in the Kansas City area is John’s Space Age Donuts – founded in 1967 – John’s worked there part time since 1968 (when he was 17).

    It’s located at 8124 Floyd in Overland Park, KS

    David on June 16, 2010 12:15 PM:

    Randy’s with the drive thru. Apple fritter on the way home.

    Steven Paul on June 16, 2010 1:11 PM:

    “Round Rock donuts, in Round Rock, Texas, just outside of Austin. Dang.”

    I second that they were featured on Man Vs. Food for cryin out loud.

    Adam on June 16, 2010 3:17 PM:

    Greenbush Bakery in Madison, WI. Delicious, and for some reason, kosher!

    Jeff on June 16, 2010 7:04 PM:

    No offense to our beignet fans, but the ultimate in fried dough is actually found offshore. Malasadas — Portuguese in origin but done right in Hawai’i — are the shit. Leonard’s and Champions are both great, but for the right feel, I recommend buying a bag at the Punahou Carnival.

    Peter on June 16, 2010 7:42 PM:

    I second the apple fritter at Randy’s. Maybe their donuts aren’t the best in the world, but they are pretty tasty, and that giant Randy’s donuts sign off the freeway in the middle of Los Angeles is like a beautiful, twisted mirage. It’s a quintessential Los Angeles experience that makes their donuts all the better tasting.

    Emily on June 17, 2010 5:41 PM:

    A Baker’s Wife in SE Minneapolis!

    Derek on June 18, 2010 12:39 PM:

    I agree with Round Rock donuts, it is by far the best donuts in the world. i was born there and there is nothing better than skipping first period of HS and hitting up RR donuts after a wake and bake…

    Edward Furlong III Esq. on June 18, 2010 11:27 PM:

    Randy’s hands down- plus they’re cheap!

    Stan’s in Westwood are not any better than Randy’s and cost a mint in comparison.

    kb on June 20, 2010 6:37 PM:

    I will second an earlier post – Kanes Doughnuts. Who new a choclate frosted doughnut could be a pastry, a meal, and a vice worth more than the cost of a family:


    ep on June 21, 2010 2:31 PM:

    I second Paul C’s vote for Schneider’s donuts in Cooperstown, NY — if they ever change that recipe, I don’t know what I will do. I may have to take over the bakery.

    hated of the world on June 22, 2010 11:11 AM:

    upon my first trip to long beach and l.a. recently, i was blown away by the amount of doughnut shops. seems like they were on every corner!

    yuko on June 23, 2010 5:37 PM:

    what? no close up picture of a donut (apart from the “big” donut)? i was ready to drool……

    RianR on June 30, 2010 7:02 PM:

    I second the comment about Voodoo Donut. “The Magic is in the Hole.”

    And you can get married there.

Comments are closed.