Like any other donut shop worth its salt in this city, California Donuts is tucked away in a random strip mall on an always congested block of 3rd Street where Koreatown, Little Bangladesh and Rampart Village all muddle together. As much of a headache it is to drive over, find parking, and physically get out of the car to pick up donuts during normal waking hours, California Donuts is worth it. Granted, it’s open 24/7, so you could also bypass the headache and go at the wee hours of the night.
There’s a reason why this place is a local favorite. They’ve been in business since 1982, family run and continuously growing in popularity over the decades. The window-service set up is efficient, letting you ogle at the breadth of their donut spread while you wait in line to order. Their specialty donuts are as pretty as they are tasty, with fun flavors (like PB&J or blueberry toast crunch), nostalgic toppings (like circus animal cookies or fruity pebbles) and impeccable decorations (like a made-for-instagram unicorn donut). With the sheer daily variety and seasonal specialties, its no wonder they’ve reached cult-like status.
Go here for: fulfilling your sweet tooth in a photogenic way
Order this: a cute specialty donut for the gram (like their unicorn donut, or panda donut – sure it’s low hanging fruit, but we still love it)
Amount of time to spend: 10 minutes to find parking, 10 minutes to decide what you want to order
When to come: any time, all the time (but maybe avoid the 2am drunk crowd)
Parking: can be a pain, your best bet is probably to try and snag a meter or pull over on Berendo or New Hampshire.
Other things to note:
Last visited: March 2019
Last updated: March 2021