Huntington Beach might be known for a lot of things—the Pier, the surf, the white supremacists, the wacky politics—but the city's best-kept secret is its love of breakfast. Omelet for omelet, no other 'burb in the county is as obsessed with the first meal of the day, with classics such as the Sugar Shack and Harbor House Café and newer spots including Bread Crumb Ohana Cafe and Cafe Cup (note to aspiring breakfast joints: synonyms for café exist). This also explains the continued obsession with HB's most famous doughnut purveyor, the aptly named Donuttery.
Don't get me wrong: This spot is fabulous, not just for its creations (dense blueberry doughnuts, fabulous salted-caramel-and-chocolate wonders, and vegan doughnuts more miraculous than Albert Pujols' comeback) but also for the kind family that runs it. But doughnuts as a trend are so 2012—why the continued popularity? The answer is in its setting: an already-crowded strip mall off Beach Boulevard, with a simple marquee and little other flash. Even when the Donuttery was at its most popular, when lines existed, and Yelpers and Instagrammers brought in people from across the country, the owners never lost sight of what they had: an old-school doughnut shop, where as much care is put into a simple glazed as it is to something pinker than a Hello Kitty T-shirt. It's this perspective that has kept the shop popular among locals, who still fashion themselves a working-class people and gladly support places that promote that ethos.
But enough philosophizing! Let's talk what to get: Flavors go in and out of favor, but I've always loved the dulce de leche, a fluffy chocolate doughnut oozing with the sticky Mexican take on caramel. Red velvet, while clichéd at this point, works; maple bacon, another old trend, is still worth it, with the saltiness of the pig coalescing with the sharp syrupy flavor just fine. A baker's dozen might cost more than at the average doughnut shop, but your office will thank you for the uptick in quality instead of scarfing just half a fritter and leaving the slobbery leftover in the box—look it up!