With National Donut Day on Friday, we thought now was a good time to explore some of OC’s more desirable doughnut destinations. From La Habra to Newport, we bounce between cities for our alphabetical list. Traditional selections were ranked just as important to us as those overflowing with pretty toppings, so there’s something for all tastes.
We kick things off with one along the outskirts of the county. It may appear pretty vanilla from the outside, but this is classic with a twist. Not only do they serve the ones you’ve come to expect, but their Boston Creme fillings are available in more than one flavor, and mini donuts are also an option. All the pastries are even labeled clearly, so your ordering doesn’t consist of finger pointing. Bonus points for roasting their own coffee and offering retro orange bar stools for those who need to enjoy treats right then and there. 1151 W. Imperial Hwy., La Habra, (714) 992-2561
This no-nonsense shop is a staple for locals, with efficient staff and cheap eats. And those blueberry donuts need no introduction! With a big ‘ol parking lot and abundant seating, we vouch for its after dinner/drinking appeal . Fans also rave about their red velvet, strawberry and creme brulee options. Donuttery’s mastery of the breakfast pastry ranks high on our go-to spots. 17420 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, (714) 847-7000.
We know them best for a certain purple donut they made a couple of years ago. However, this 24-hour joint also produces a slew of cult favorites in addition to old faithfuls. Their cronut is a dossant, and they go off on multi-level and sweet tangents with it. Oh, and yes, they are friendly here. 4442 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, (714) 538-4942.
Our only drive-thru listed, they also carry some unique hours—- opening late in the evening and closing early. We love how large orders are contained in a pizza box. Expect some seriously long waits (minimum 30 minutes to easily over an hour) for those addictive blueberry glazed ones; they’re worth it. The only decision to make is drive-thru or walk-up window. 1614 W Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 490-0718.
This spot upgraded to more creative tastes late last year. While the option to make a customized one is appealing, Poqet’s (pronounced pock-et) got batches of eye-catching flavors to choose from. Creme brulee pistachio, lemon meringue, vegan— you’ll find them here. Pick up a few for your fellow office dwellers and sugar rush through the work day. 17655 Harvard Ave, Ste B, Irvine; (949) 932-0800; www.poqetdonuts.com.
We are down with this 24-hour, old school joint. Kind, quick and affordable, it is how we want to spend our dessert time after every visit to the pier. During peak hours, expect to circle around for parking. But one thing you should also consider: their stuffed croissants! Ham and cheese for the win, or spice it up with their jalapeño version. 2108 W. Oceanfront, Newport Beach, (949) 675-2533
Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee
The brand that reignited our desire for dough, Sidecar’s commitment to preservative-free eats is noticeable with every bite. Do not expect greasy malasadas or holiday sprinkles. We nerd out over butter & salt or huckleberry flavors. And while shelling out $3 and up may cause some to balk, their loyal following is a testament to quality over quantity. Hands down our favorite of the pack. 270 E. 17th St. #18, Costa Mesa, (949) 873-5424; www.sidecardoughnuts.com
Sweet Bubba’s Donut Cafe
Donut may be in their name, but they’ve also got dense fruit smoothies and boba milk teas to tide you over. Explore their fancy pastry flavors like s’mores or peanut butter ‘n jelly. Or go stock up on donut holes and mini versions. Another reason to check out their chewy selection: they give employment opportunities to those in the foster care system. 221 S Magnolia Ave, Ste D, Anaheim, (714) 226-0138; www.sweetbubbas.com.
Part of the new wave of specialty shops, pull out your smart phone for them Instagram photos. Then stick to social media to see what folks are ordering. Expect decadent strawberry shortcake, coconut flan and taro tastes. Their iced tea concoctions also draw a crowd. And don’t forget them croissants! Hot Cheetos or Philly Cheese? We’ll take both. 16051 Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley; www.ujellyujelly.com.
Somewhere between DTF and CSUF lies this riff on Voodoo (which happens to be coming to Universal Citywalk later this year). If you are seeking more traditional tastes, this is not your locale. It’s Walking Dead year-round, with Pepto pink colors and jelly-filled donuts that are ‘stabbed’ with a pretzel stake. Park in their dedicated lot out back and order some decorated delights. 802 E Chapman Ave., Fullerton, (714) 879-1078
A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.