In honor of National Donut Day, Grace Belle went on an adventure to explore the best donut shops that Orange County has to offer. The team visited 10 shops, tasting the most delicious and the most creative donuts that had everyones’ tastebuds reeling. The shops range in location- some in Huntington, others in Costa Mesa- all delicious. After seven hours of exploring and over thirty donuts for tasting, these are the results. Stay tuned to the very end where we’ll name the most silly donut, the the most beautiful donut, and the most delicious donut, the smallest donut, and the most clever donut. If you want to see more of Grace Belle’s adventures, follow our SnapChat (@GraceBelleBlog) and Instagram (@GraceBelle).
1) M&M Donuts
1614 W Katella Ave Anaheim, CA 92802
M&M is a small shop located on the corner of Katella and Euclid- just minutes away from Disneyland. They’re renowned for their scrumptious blueberry donuts, which sell out early in the morning. Our recommendation: Get there early in the morning- allow yourself plenty of time to choose any flavor you want (including Blueberry) before they run out. Unfortunately, we didn’t get there in time for these mouthwatering pastries but instead tried their other popular flavors- Chocolate M&M and Old Fashioned.
– And now for the Old fashioned. Who doesn’t love a good Old Fashioned? Tried and true, this classic favorite did not disappoint. Crispy on the outside, smooth on the inside. It makes us want to return to donut simplicity.
2) Downtown Donuts
307 W 3rd St, Santa Ana, CA 92701
The second stop on our donut adventure was Downtown Donuts located in Downtown Santa Ana in the business district. It’s a quaint mini-donut shop that celebrates everything mini and all things pink. Fun fact: wear pink on Wednesday on your next trip to Downtown and receive 50% off your donut price! The mini donuts were made right in front of us- warm and gooey. We tried Chocolate Glazed, Powdered, and Maple. All the mini donuts came with an assortment of dipping sauces- Nutella, white chocolate, caramel, raspberry with sprinkles on top.
3) Poqet Donuts
17655 Harvard Ave, Irvine, CA 92614
Poqet Donuts is a small shop located in Irvine. Did we mention they have some of the most gourmet donuts we have ever laid our eyes on? They have flavors ranging from Lemon Meringue, Citrus, and Cherry Red Velvet. The donuts are prepared fresh every morning and have a variety of flavors, fillings, and toppings. You can choose a signature creation, or create our your own. Their fillings consist of creams and butters, jams, and fresh fruit- so many to choose from. We decided to try the crowd favorites- Pistachio Creme Brûlée and Maple Bacon.
– Never have we ever tried a Pistachio Creme Brûlée donut. Not until now. The outside is perfectly crispy and torched like a true creme brûlée. The inside is filled with the perfect amount of pistachio creme. It’s a truly unique donut that exceeded our expectations.
– Maple and bacon together in a donut? Yes, please! This Maple Bacon donut is smokey and sweet. The crispy bacon beautifully compliments the rich, sweet maple flavor for a combination that will make your head spin.
4) Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee
270 E. 17th St., #18 Costa Mesa, California 92627
The fourth stop on our agenda was Sidecar Doughnuts, located in Costa Mesa. It’s a gorgeous shop that makes you want to sit down for a while, snack on a donut, and sip some espresso. The ambience is warm and inviting, with myriads of pieces of Stumptown decor. They are known for such delicious flavors as Country Ham & Egg, Huckleberry, and Madagascar Vanilla Twist. We asked to try their most popular, and here’s what we got: Raspberry, Blueberry Cheesecake, and Saigon Cinnamon Crunch.
– First, the Raspberry. Sweet, a bit tart, and everything nice, this donut is perfect for summertime. This mouthwatering treat consists of raspberry cake and is coated with fresh raspberry glaze.
– Next, we tried their extremely popular Blueberry Cheesecake donut. It’s a sweet blueberry treat filled with cream cheese and topped with a homemade blueberry compote and graham cracker crumbs. It’s a slice of blueberry cheesecake transformed into a donut. Need we say more?
– Lastly, the Saigon Cinnamon Crunch. This is a classic twist on an old favorite. Sweet and spicy cinnamon coats this delicious little donut. Ultimately, satisfying. Grab yours today!
5) Afters Ice Cream
2738 Alton Pkwy Irvine CA 92614
Donuts and ice cream come together in perfect harmony at Afters, a specialty ice cream shop that puts your chosen ice cream inside a donut to create a heavenly sandwich. Afters is known for their unique take on combining both desserts- it’s a match made in heaven. You choose your ice cream (15 flavors) then add a donut bun on top. Toppings to follow. Some of their most memorable ice cream flavors include Vietnamese Coffee, Milk & Cereal, and Jasmine Milk Tea. We decided to try their most popular- Cookie Monster.
– This is a monster of a donut. This donut/ice cream hybrid is filled with vanilla bisque ice cream with chunks of Famous Amos cookies, flecks of fudge, and last but certainly not least- toppings of choice. Which, in this case was fruity pebbles. You do not want to miss out on the gooey deliciousness that is Cookie Monster.
6) Crafted Donuts
18011 Newhope St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708
The sixth stop on our donut adventure was Crafted Donuts located in Fountain Valley. We were in for a real treat at this stop. By far, these were the biggest donuts on average. These ginormous goodies ranged in flavors- from Strawberry Split, Red Velvet, and the ever-popular Homer Donut (which is just as pink and yummy as one can expect). Crafted also offers chocolate milk and Stumptown coffee on tap. What’s not to love? We asked which ones we should try and here’s what we got: Cookie Butter and Banana Cream Pie.
– First off, Cookie Butter. That’s right, we said it. It’s delightfully creamy and tastes just like cookies. It’s topped with an actual cookie and cookie crumbs. It has a strong cinnamon taste that’s sure to win anyone over.
– Secondly, Banana Cream Pie. It’s an old favorite that’s been completely revamped into something spectacular. The banana flavoring is very strong, so for all you banana lovers out there, this is for you.
7) U Jelly
16051 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708
The ambiance in U Jelly is just as cool and pristine as their donuts. They’re known for their fresh flavors- Pandan, Cinnamon Roll, and Peanut Butter Cup. Not only do they serve donuts, but they’re also known for their delicious Poke. This is a place for both the savory and sweet. We decided to try Pandan, Cookie Monster, and Fruity Pebbles.
– We have never seen a donut like Pandan. This donut, inspired by the Vietnamese dessert, comes with its own syringe so you can literally pump your donut full of flavor- and delicious filling.
– Next we tried Cookie Monster. It’s a deliciously sweet, chocolatey, incredibly blue donut that makes us want a cup of milk to down with it. It’s rich and creamy- with tiny chocolate chip cookies on top.
– Lastly we tried Fruity Pebbles. Now, we’re all about cereal in our donuts. This was a major draw. This scrumptious vanilla donut is peppered with whole fruity pebble flakes, which makes for an extremely colorful donut.
8) The Donuttery
17420 Beach Blvd, Huntington Beach, CA 92647
This shop has everything. Literally, everything. The menu is so vast- ranging from lunch items, to drinks, to donuts. They have over forty different types of donuts. So if you’re in the mood to try multitudes of pastries of all shapes and sizes, then this is the place for you. We tried the Chocolate Butterfly, Bear Claw, and Red Velvet.
– The Chocolate Butterfly is to die for. Crispy, sugary, with a flakey crust and coated with chocolate glaze. And let’s not forget the slivered almonds! This classic is making a comeback.
– We next tried the Bear Claw. Oh, Bear Claw, how we love thee. Perfectly sweet and crunchy. This huge donut is for those who love crispy donuts with a thick sugar glaze.
– The third donut we tried was the Red Velvet donut. Who knew that a delicious slice of cake could be perfectly transformed into donut form? Sure enough, this mouthwatering treat is topped with delicious cream cheese icing and 100% happiness. Guaranteed.
9) DK’s Donuts of Orange
3744 E Chapman Ave, Orange, CA 92869
DK’s is a small shop located in Orange. But don’t let their size fool you. They offer a vast array of both donuts and drinks (their iced coffees are delicious!). They’re always trying to create new flavors for their customers. In particular, some of their most noteworthy flavors include Strawberry Cheesecake, Green Tea, and Red Velvet. We asked the owners what we should try and here’s what they said: Smores, Green Tea, and Chocolate Poop Emoji 🙂
– Next we were sent off to green tea dreamland with DK’s Green Tea donut. It’s a powerful green tea glaze covering a soft, scrumptious donut. Green tea candies and whipped cream sit atop this massive donut. Seriously, try it out.
– The next donut made us smile. The Chocolate Poop Emoji is just as cute as it is delicious. It’s a chocolate donut covered with thick chocolate frosting and little candied eyes. It’s adorable.
10) Zombee Donuts
802 E Chapman Ave, Fullerton, CA 92831
Last, but certainly not least, we headed to Zombee Donuts in Fullerton. We were greeted with pink zombie hands and equally sinister donuts. These donuts are not to be messed with. With such flavors as Eyeballs, Black Widow, and Monster, these donuts are not only creatively spooktacular, but they’re absolutely delicious to eat. The Grace Belle team decided to try the classic Zombee donut and the Caramel Apple.
– The Caramel Apple donut is a fan favorite for sure. It’s a donut inspired by the caramel apple lollipops- you know, the ones we’ve all loved since childhood. It has an apple filling, homemade caramel icing, and is topped with chopped nuts.
– Most Silly: Chocolate Poop Emoji from DK’s Donuts
– Most Beautiful: Cookie Monster from U Jelly
– Most Delicious: Blueberry Cheesecake from Sidecar Doughnuts
– Smallest: Downtown Donuts
– Most Clever: Afters Ice Cream Donut
So go out and grab a donut and enjoy #nationaldonutday and be sure to check the shops we listed. They’d love to see you!
We’ve had so much fun on our donut excursion. Stay tuned for more Grace Belle adventures! Be sure to check out our Discover Your City page on our website, where we explore great shops, eateries, and local adventure spots in the LA area.