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What’s fluffy, delicious and a bit decadent? In Los Angeles, it’s the humble doughnut, which is made every which way for your pleasure. You can have it boozy, swimming in whipped cream or customized to spell out your name. 

We’ve curated the best doughnuts in town, and recommend ordering them for your guests or--because why lie?--yourself. Just remember to post these delectable morsels on social media and watch your “likes” soar.

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Glazed Letters at California Donuts

This open-all-night institution has long lines for its dozens of flavors of filled and cake doughnuts. We like the custom-baked letters (6 letters for $20), which are way better than any birthday cake.

3540 W. Third St.; 213-385-3318 or

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Cointreau Crème Brûlée at Blue Star Donuts

This Portland-based bakery is really proud of its fancy French brioche dough that takes 18 hours to prep and blah, blah, blah. All you need to know is the Cointreau Crème Brûlée version ($3) is injected with booze. And it’s delicious.

1142 Abbot Kinney Blvd.; 310-450-5630 or


Animal Doughnuts at Fantastic Donuts

This nondescript strip-mall spot in Ktown has attracted a lot of attention recently since it started decorating its doughnuts to look like animals--white, pink, blue and choco bears, pigs, chicks, penguins ($2.25 each). Show up early morning to get them before they sell out--and pre-order doughnut holes ($.55 each) made to look like baby animals.

Fantastic Donuts, 1101 S. Vermont Ave.;

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Buche de Noel at Sidecar Doughnuts

The pride of Costa Mesa has just expanded to Santa Monica, with delish Stumptown coffee and monthly special flavors. For December, enjoy the Buche de Noel, inspired by the classic French holiday dessert. It’s a raised chocolate doughnut with house-made Valrhona chocolate glaze, pistachio crumble and a meringue mushroom.

631 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; 310-587-0022 or

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Crullers at Plan Check

Presenting the doughnut as fancy dessert. Here crullers ($6) are fried to order and come to your table crispy on the outside, creamy and warm on the inside, aloft on whipped cream and fruit.

Plan Check, 351 N. Fairfax Ave.; 323-591-0094 or   

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Ghetto Doughnuts at Home

This last iteration is a DIY affair, courtesy of Roy Choi’s fun cookbook-memoir, L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food. Basically, it involves deep-frying Pillsbury biscuit dough in Crisco, then rolling the fried balls in sugar, cinnamon and sesame seeds. We’re bookmarking the page to make for our late-night munchies during holiday-party season.

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