Over the past eight months, I have traveled far and wide to explore 11 of the most well-known donut places in Los Angeles. I often joke that this column might as well be called “How I Gained my Freshman 15,” but that makes it sound like I belong on some TLC show, and I’m not quite there yet. People have begun to associate me with my donut column, however, and often turn to me for recommendations. Without further ado, here is the final review of all of my donut adventures!
- Bluestar Donuts ★★★★★
Whenever I get asked to recommend a donut place, I immediately blurt out “Bluestar Donuts!” As you can probably tell, I’m pretty passionate about this place. It’s in the heart of the trendy Abbot Kinney Boulevard, so they are a bit expensive, but it’s a price I’m willing to pay!
- U Jelly ★★★★★
This place is a little bit closer to my hometown in Orange County than it is to USC, so it’s a little bit harder to access during the school year, but I guess that just means I’ll be visiting it frequently this summer! I was initially attracted to this place because of the slogan in their shop: “Donut Worry, Be Happy.” Seeing this as an “Insta-worthy” opportunity, I got a little carried away with the donut photoshoot — especially since they were decorated with everything from mini flans and cinnamon buns to Oreo crumbles.
- Donut Friend ★★★★★
Donut Friend is definitely a great place to have a donut in hand and a friend by your side! Cheesiness aside, this is a perfect for spicing up your donut plate because they are always changing their menu and you can even build your own donut online. I have yet to try making my own, but this is, without a doubt, one of the top places I would most like to revisit.
- Cafe Dulce ★★★★★
Located in the heart of Little Tokyo, Cafe Dulce has a relaxing ambience that will make you want to indulge in everything from ramen to boba to mini donuts! You might not usually go to Little Tokyo with the intention of getting a donut, but now, you have a reason to.
- Fantastic Donuts ★★★★★
I had a fantastic experience at Fantastic Donuts — mostly because the donuts are so adorably decorated. I usually expect donuts that focus on presentation to lack in points in the taste department, but I was happy to find that the flavors were just as tasteful as the aesthetics.
- The Donut Man ★★★★☆
Ever since I wrote my article for this store, I’ve been referring to it as “The Donut Man AKA The Only Man I Need.” I get a kick out of saying that every time, but I’m even more satisfied when I get to eat their signature flavor — the glazed donut stuffed with strawberries.
- California Donuts★★★★☆
California Donuts is perhaps the most well-known donut place in Los Angeles, and people always ask for my opinion on it. I would have to say that it is a little overrated, but you should still go at least once for the experience — and the Instagram photo, of course.
- Colorado Donuts ★★★★☆
Colorado Donuts was a pretty basic donut place for the most part, but they do make the donut that I considered to be the cutest out of all the ones I tried this past year, which is the cookie monster donut — complete with a Famous Amos cookie, eyes and everything.
- Spudnuts ★★★★☆
If you’ve been at USC long enough, you’re familiar with Spudnuts. Because it’s open 24 hours and within walking distance of campus by the Row, most students like to come here for their late-night munchies. Interestingly enough, it seems almost taboo to go during the day since going past midnight is part of what makes it fun!
- Primo’s Donuts ★★★☆☆
Primo’s Donuts is one of the older places I visited, and it definitely feels like a classic. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything too special about the flavors. Because its style is so traditional, Primo’s seems to be falling behind compared to the up-and-coming trendy donut shops that have opened in recent years, so I probably wouldn’t come here again.
- Randy’s Donuts ★★★☆☆
The quality of the donuts at Randy’s is by far my least favorite. It’s such an old establishment that their menu is not up to date with new recipes. The only reasons I would recommend going here would be 1) if you’re on your way to LAX and need a quick snack via drive-through, or 2) if you’re exploring landmarks around Los Angeles and want to see the giant donut towering over the small shop.
Paulina Ordaz is a freshman majoring in psychology. Her blog column, “Donut Worry, Be Happy,” runs every other Thursday.