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Where to Eat Doughnuts in San Diego

Calm your cravings for fried carbs at any of these doughnut destinations

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Desert fads come and go. This past decade we saw cupcakes, pumpkin spice, and flourless cake get their time in the spotlight, without many condolences once the novelty went out the door.

The doughnut, an honest-to-goodness favorite since its inception, went through a bit of a phase, but never forgot its humble origins. The staying power of old-school shops and the success of newcomers who are pushing the envelope are proof the doughnut will always have a place in town.

Without further ado, here are 16 of San Diego’s best stops for doughnuts.

Note: entries on this map are listed geographically.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Peterson's Donut Corner

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903 S Escondido Blvd
Escondido, CA 92025
(760) 745-7774
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If you have late night cravings for a maple bar or a classic glazed twist then Peterson’s has the cure for what ails you. Open 24 hours a day, this Escondido doughnut shop has remained one a North County standout for over two decades.

2. Duck Donuts

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1452 Encinitas Blvd
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 452-6849
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Arriving in 2018 to Encinitas’ Village Square, this North Carolina-based franchise dresses up fresh-fried cake doughnuts with your choice of glazes and toppings. Toppings run from classic sprinkles and glaze to fudge, caramel, nuts, graham crackers and many others. Indecisive visitors can also opt for signature items, such as the s’mores and maple bacon doughnuts.

Duck Donuts Donovan Roberts Witmer

3. VG Donut & Bakery

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106 Aberdeen Dr
Cardiff, CA 92007
(760) 753-2400
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A constant namedrop whenever the subject of San Diego’s best doughnuts rolls around, this family-owned shop makes its doughnuts twice a day to please its never-ending flow of customers. VG is as old-school as it gets, with legendary glazed doughnuts and classic buttermilk bars.

vg donuts
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4. Sesame Donuts

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11040 Rancho Carmel Dr # 6
San Diego, CA 92128
(858) 451-6621
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In business since 1988, this round-the-clock doughnut shop remains a Carmel Valley area favorite. A wide assortment of doughnut styles and friendly greetings from owners Chin and Jennifer Kim keep regulars and new customers coming back for more.

Sesame Donuts

5. Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee

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3435 Del Mar Heights Rd d7
San Diego, CA 92130
(858) 847-2019
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Sidecar’s first San Diego location brought to Del Mar the acclaimed small-batch approach which has made the name synonymous with great doughnuts throughout the Los Angeles area. Signature flavors include Saigon cinnamon crumb and huckleberry with butter and salt.

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6. Mary's Donuts & Coffee

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8959 Carlton Hills Blvd
Santee, CA 92071
(619) 749-2871
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Having settled into it’s current location, this Santee institution is known for its gigantic apple fritters. The 24-hour shop also makes custom, platter-sized “Big Donuts” for special occasions and birthdays.

mary’s donuts

7. Rose Donuts

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5201 Linda Vista Rd
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 294-8856
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Many a Mesa College student knows Rose Donuts is the place to get a sugar rush before hitting the books. The crispy cruellers and cavity-causing apple fritters are a must-try, though every doughnut in the display case is as good as it gets. Formerly a 24-hour shop, Rose Donuts closes around Noon once stock has run out.

rose donuts
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8. Great Maple

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1451 Washington St
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 255-2282
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Chances are the bacon maple doughnuts from this Instagram-worthy brunch staple have graced your weekend feed. Like all good things, these come in threes, and dripping in sweet maple glaze and rich bacon grease.

Great Maple

9. Copper Top Coffee and Donuts

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101 W Washington St
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 458-9045
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Housed inside a former Wienerschnitzel drive thru, Copper Top brought the A-shaped building back to life with specialty coffee drinks and fresh doughnuts. Doughnuts are made fresh all day for walk-up customers and those who prefer to order from their cars. Lunchtime visitors can mix it up with any of the menu’s sandwich offerings.

Copper Top Coffee and Donuts

10. Nomad Donuts

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3102 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 431-5000
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True to its vagabond motif, Nomad Donuts takes inspiration from around the globe and isn’t afraid to cross the boundary between sweet and savory. Ube taro coconut, pistachio, and blackberry rosemary are among this shop’s calling cards. Doughnut flavors change based on what the chef is feeling, so a visit these days might hold a surprise for you.

Nomad Donuts

11. Devil's Dozen

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2001 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 780-0914
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Parting ways with a couple bills for a doughnut at this Little Italy shop is a delightfully devilish act. With an in-demand lineup featuring classic doughnuts and limited weekly flavors, Devil’s Dozen’s racks regularly clear out before noon.

Devil’s Dozen

12. Donut Bar

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631 B St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 255-6360
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The first outpost of what would become chef Santiago Campa’s doughnut empire still commands long lines each morning. Consistent quality and imaginative creations, like the Pop Tart doughnut and strawberry split doughnut, keep this shop among San Diego’s favorites.

donut bar
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13. Dark Horse Coffee Roasters

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811 25th St
San Diego, CA 92102
(619) 344-0500
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Dark Horse does more than just roast coffee beans and pull espresso, they also make a great, vegan-friendly doughnut. Sold under the Skinny Donuts label at local Dark Horse locations, flavors include matcha, churro, classic glaze, and cookies and creme.

Dark Horse / Skinny Donuts

14. Panchita's Bakery

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1879 Logan Ave # K
San Diego, CA 92113
(619) 338-9331
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While you can find some of the city’s finest Mexican-style bread at any Panchita’s location, this Barrio Logan panaderia also makes great doughnuts, dense and coated in thick chocolate frosting. Arrive early, a single small batch is made each morning, making these doughnuts among the day’s first sold out items.

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15. KD`s Donuts

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1294 Third Ave A
Chula Vista, CA 91911
(619) 498-4760

A Chula Vista icon, this doughnut shop on the corner of Third and Palomar cranks out some of the South Bay’s best doughnuts during business hours. KD’s superbly moist buttermilk bars play foil to the sweet, airy doughnuts.

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16. Star Dust Donut Shop

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698 CA-75
Imperial Beach, CA 91932
(619) 424-6200

This shop’s glazed cinnamon doughnut rolls and German chocolate bars have been an Imperial Beach attraction for over 40 years now. Located along Highway 75, which shares a long stretch with Palm Avenue, this road stand is the perfect place to pick up some treats before a beach day.

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1. Peterson's Donut Corner

903 S Escondido Blvd, Escondido, CA 92025

If you have late night cravings for a maple bar or a classic glazed twist then Peterson’s has the cure for what ails you. Open 24 hours a day, this Escondido doughnut shop has remained one a North County standout for over two decades.

903 S Escondido Blvd
Escondido, CA 92025

2. Duck Donuts

1452 Encinitas Blvd, Encinitas, CA 92024
Duck Donuts Donovan Roberts Witmer

Arriving in 2018 to Encinitas’ Village Square, this North Carolina-based franchise dresses up fresh-fried cake doughnuts with your choice of glazes and toppings. Toppings run from classic sprinkles and glaze to fudge, caramel, nuts, graham crackers and many others. Indecisive visitors can also opt for signature items, such as the s’mores and maple bacon doughnuts.

1452 Encinitas Blvd
Encinitas, CA 92024

3. VG Donut & Bakery

106 Aberdeen Dr, Cardiff, CA 92007
vg donuts
Facebook

A constant namedrop whenever the subject of San Diego’s best doughnuts rolls around, this family-owned shop makes its doughnuts twice a day to please its never-ending flow of customers. VG is as old-school as it gets, with legendary glazed doughnuts and classic buttermilk bars.

106 Aberdeen Dr
Cardiff, CA 92007

4. Sesame Donuts

11040 Rancho Carmel Dr # 6, San Diego, CA 92128
Sesame Donuts

In business since 1988, this round-the-clock doughnut shop remains a Carmel Valley area favorite. A wide assortment of doughnut styles and friendly greetings from owners Chin and Jennifer Kim keep regulars and new customers coming back for more.

11040 Rancho Carmel Dr # 6
San Diego, CA 92128

5. Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee

3435 Del Mar Heights Rd d7, San Diego, CA 92130
Courtesy photo

Sidecar’s first San Diego location brought to Del Mar the acclaimed small-batch approach which has made the name synonymous with great doughnuts throughout the Los Angeles area. Signature flavors include Saigon cinnamon crumb and huckleberry with butter and salt.

3435 Del Mar Heights Rd d7
San Diego, CA 92130

6. Mary's Donuts & Coffee

8959 Carlton Hills Blvd, Santee, CA 92071
mary’s donuts

Having settled into it’s current location, this Santee institution is known for its gigantic apple fritters. The 24-hour shop also makes custom, platter-sized “Big Donuts” for special occasions and birthdays.

8959 Carlton Hills Blvd
Santee, CA 92071

7. Rose Donuts

5201 Linda Vista Rd, San Diego, CA 92110
rose donuts
facebook

Many a Mesa College student knows Rose Donuts is the place to get a sugar rush before hitting the books. The crispy cruellers and cavity-causing apple fritters are a must-try, though every doughnut in the display case is as good as it gets. Formerly a 24-hour shop, Rose Donuts closes around Noon once stock has run out.

5201 Linda Vista Rd
San Diego, CA 92110

8. Great Maple

1451 Washington St, San Diego, CA 92103
Great Maple

Chances are the bacon maple doughnuts from this Instagram-worthy brunch staple have graced your weekend feed. Like all good things, these come in threes, and dripping in sweet maple glaze and rich bacon grease.

1451 Washington St
San Diego, CA 92103

9. Copper Top Coffee and Donuts

101 W Washington St, San Diego, CA 92103
Copper Top Coffee and Donuts

Housed inside a former Wienerschnitzel drive thru, Copper Top brought the A-shaped building back to life with specialty coffee drinks and fresh doughnuts. Doughnuts are made fresh all day for walk-up customers and those who prefer to order from their cars. Lunchtime visitors can mix it up with any of the menu’s sandwich offerings.

101 W Washington St
San Diego, CA 92103

10. Nomad Donuts

3102 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
Nomad Donuts

True to its vagabond motif, Nomad Donuts takes inspiration from around the globe and isn’t afraid to cross the boundary between sweet and savory. Ube taro coconut, pistachio, and blackberry rosemary are among this shop’s calling cards. Doughnut flavors change based on what the chef is feeling, so a visit these days might hold a surprise for you.

3102 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104

11. Devil's Dozen

2001 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
Devil’s Dozen

Parting ways with a couple bills for a doughnut at this Little Italy shop is a delightfully devilish act. With an in-demand lineup featuring classic doughnuts and limited weekly flavors, Devil’s Dozen’s racks regularly clear out before noon.

2001 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101

12. Donut Bar

631 B St, San Diego, CA 92101
donut bar
Facebook

The first outpost of what would become chef Santiago Campa’s doughnut empire still commands long lines each morning. Consistent quality and imaginative creations, like the Pop Tart doughnut and strawberry split doughnut, keep this shop among San Diego’s favorites.

631 B St
San Diego, CA 92101

13. Dark Horse Coffee Roasters

811 25th St, San Diego, CA 92102
Dark Horse / Skinny Donuts

Dark Horse does more than just roast coffee beans and pull espresso, they also make a great, vegan-friendly doughnut. Sold under the Skinny Donuts label at local Dark Horse locations, flavors include matcha, churro, classic glaze, and cookies and creme.

811 25th St
San Diego, CA 92102

14. Panchita's Bakery

1879 Logan Ave # K, San Diego, CA 92113
Google

While you can find some of the city’s finest Mexican-style bread at any Panchita’s location, this Barrio Logan panaderia also makes great doughnuts, dense and coated in thick chocolate frosting. Arrive early, a single small batch is made each morning, making these doughnuts among the day’s first sold out items.

1879 Logan Ave # K
San Diego, CA 92113

15. KD`s Donuts

1294 Third Ave A, Chula Vista, CA 91911
Facebook

A Chula Vista icon, this doughnut shop on the corner of Third and Palomar cranks out some of the South Bay’s best doughnuts during business hours. KD’s superbly moist buttermilk bars play foil to the sweet, airy doughnuts.

1294 Third Ave A
Chula Vista, CA 91911

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16. Star Dust Donut Shop

698 CA-75, Imperial Beach, CA 91932

This shop’s glazed cinnamon doughnut rolls and German chocolate bars have been an Imperial Beach attraction for over 40 years now. Located along Highway 75, which shares a long stretch with Palm Avenue, this road stand is the perfect place to pick up some treats before a beach day.

698 CA-75
Imperial Beach, CA 91932

Related Maps