We would like to celebrate National Donut Day with a look back at some of our favorite donuts. Starting with The Donut Man!
Glendora, “the pride of the foothills,” greatest contribution to humanity is the strawberry donut. Only offered when in season (Yes! they are in season!), The strawberry donut, which has become a thing of legend, is a kind of a cross between a glazed donut and a strawberry pie. A delicate, sweet donut (like those used for jelly donuts) is halved and stuffed with fresh ripe strawberries and a sweet glaze. Jim Nakano, aka The Donut Man, along with his wife and business partner, Miyoko, has been slinging his special fruit-filled delectables for over 40 years along the Western edge of Route 66. The shop is open 24-hours a day and the fruit-filled donuts go for $4.
The Doughnut Hut on Magnolia is probably best known for its retro exterior and its cheesy sign. DOUGHN T HUT What’s Missing? U (Of course!). Even hidden in this sleepy ‘burb, Doughnut Hut has made Saveur’s and Serious Eats’ “best of” lists. It is also known as a mecca for cinnamon roll aficianados, and I can see why.
Order at the window and you will be handed a bag of the lightest, softest doughnuts, carefully risen to have the perfect crumb. They are larger than the average doughnut that is cranked out by cookie-cutter (doughnut cutter?) chains, but they are so fresh that it’s impossible to pick one up without leaving a noticable dent. Besides the cinnamon rolls, I recommend their apple fritters, crullers, and maple bars.
Donut Friend in Highland Park kind of feels like a Ben & Jerry’s with its bright lights and bucolic wall mural. The concept, however, is more like Cold Stone Creamery. There are four basic donuts: Original (glazed), Vanilla Cake, Chocolate Devils Food Cake, and Gluten-free. The Original donuts are vegan. Pick a donut, then choose from countless options to customize it. If you are not a do-it-yourselfer, they have “signature compilations,” The most popular of which is a maple-bacon donut. Any music fan will immediately catch on to the puns, Angry Samoa, Chocolate from the Crypt, Coconut of Conformity, and the GG Almond. If you are vegan or gluten-free, you are sure to become a regular. This is not the place to pick up a dozen donuts for the office at $2.99 a donut and up.
Waylynn Lucas gave us Founts, an overnight sensation that became an instant classic. It seemed like there was a buzz around this place before they even opened. The adorable mini Fonuts are the perfect bite, unbelievably moist and delicate. In a way they are more like moist quick breads or very intense cupcakes. Fonuts are not fried, and there are even gluten-free versions. Me, I’m partial to the pumpkin ones.
Randy’s Donuts may get all of the attention, but they are not the only gigantic donut in town. Donut King II in Gardena has delicious, fresh donuts as well as some that are impressive for sheer size. It makes you wonder how big the donuts must be at Donut King I. Open 24-hours a day, the donuts are made on a rotating basis, so your best bet is whatever is on the fullest tray. The king of donuts at Donut King though, are their humongous double twists, bigger than my entire hand. Any time of day, there is nothing better than a giant donut.
These charming donuts show up at a lot of food events. Known for their adorable pandas and funky cereal and candy-topped donuts, they have been slinging donuts off of 3rd and Vermont since 1982. These are definitely the right donuts for the right kind of fun!
MORE DONUT FUN
OK HERE IT IS PEOPLE, WHERE TO SCORE FREE DONUTS!
Dunkin’ Donuts: Celebrate all day long by stopping at any participating Dunkin’ Donuts to receive a free classic donut with any beverage purchase.
Krispy Kreme: Pick a doughnut, any doughnut, and it’s yours to enjoy for free, no other purchase necessary. Now that’s a pretty sweet, simple deal.