Of all the food holidays, National Donut Day (or what other people call June 5) deserves special recognition—not only to celebrate the deliciousness of vegan donuts—but for its historical significance. The day honors the Donut Lassies of WWI, and it was officially recognized as a holiday in 1938. Today, donut shops around the country rejoice by offering special deals and glazing freshly fried dough as fast as the customers can order the treats. Whether you’re a jelly-filled or cream fan, raised or cake connoisseur, these SoCal vegan donut shops are not to be missed on National Donut Day.
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Highland Park and DTLA
Voted Best Vegan Donut Shop in our “Best Of Los Angeles” issue, this sweet shop is a crowd favorite as much for the donuts as for the ‘gram. Each mesmerizing flavor is filled, frosted, topped, and embellished with picture-perfect care, and the taste makes it impossible to stop at just one bite. Be ready to wait in line—this place is packed on a normal day—National Donut Day is sure to draw a crowd. Again, be sure to wear a mask and practice responsible social distancing in line.
This vegan donuttery parades itself as just another Instagram-worthy gourmet donut shop—nothing in its marketing identifies it as vegan. The only place the word is mentioned is on the FAQ page. We checked, and every single one of these yeasted sweet creations are vegan-friendly—from the heart-shaped Ube to the cakey, sprinkle-topped Homer. Get there early—current hours run from 9am-3pm seven days a week.
Pop-up and Delivery
This Black-owned 100% vegan donut pop-up features flavors like Triple Berry, Piña Colada, and more. They even have cinnamon rolls! Devi's offers free delivery in the Long Beach area.
Trejo's Coffee & Donuts
Following a two-and-a-half-month closure, Machete’s favorite donut shop reopened its doors on Saturday, May 30. The vegan-friendly business is operating on a streamlined schedule: Thursday through Sunday 8am-1pm or until sold out. Luckily, National Donut Day always falls on a Friday!
We love that the first thing customers see when they visit SK’s website is “We’ve Got Vegan Options!” floating in front of a vibrant backdrop of decadently topped fried dough. The old school donut shop is open every day from 6am-9pm. Vegan options include classics such as raised, glazed, and coconut-flaked cake varieties to specialty items like blueberry fritters and Oreo Cream.
This year marks The Donuttery’s fiftieth anniversary, and National Donut Day is the perfect way to celebrate this momentous accomplishment. Social distancing practices will be enforced, but the bakery owners have confirmed that they will continue to offer their annual deal—buy one donut, get a cake donut free. The shop is open 24/7 and they always have plenty of vegan-friendly donuts on hand.
Sweet Retreat Donuts
This Long Beach locale offers vegan cake options every day of operation (Wednesday-Sunday) and raised options Friday-Sunday. On National Donut Day, customers can look forward to the full assortment of flavors—from sticky sweet Tiger Tails to strawberry-topped cake delights.
You have to know what to expect before you take a bite of a Karma Baker donut. It’s really cake in the shape of a donut, but it’s moist and delicious and doused in chocolate. Pro tip: pop it in the microwave for 15 seconds so the chocolate melts over the gluten-free cake.
Beverly Grove & Studio City
Baked instead of fried, this company calls its confections “the enlightened donut.” Vegan-friendly options include Churro, Vanilla, Lemon, and Chocolate Peanut Butter. These cake-based donuts are relatively small, so go ahead and order all four. The bakery is open from Tuesday-Sunday 8am-2pm or until sold out (and they always sell out. You’ve been warned).
Blue Star Donuts
Silver Lake, Venice, & Manhattan Beach
While not all vegan, this Portlandia donut shop has nailed its vegan recipes. From the big, bold, and completely scrumptious options, we have trouble deciding which vegan flavor to pair with our Blue Bottle coffee from across the street (from the Venice location). Favorites include Passionfruit Cake, Blueberry Basil Cake, Orange Olive Oil, Mexican Hot Chocolate, and Sugar n’ Spice.
Photo credit: @ami_park on Instagram
This historic donuttery (we’re talking established in 1956 historic) has finally launched a few vegan options, and we can’t wait to try them on National Donut Day. The bakery has been counting down to the holiday for the past week. The vegan-friendly assortment of frosted cake-based donuts includes cherry, chocolate, vanilla, and blueberry. Plain vegan cake donuts are also available. The bakery opens at 5:30am on the holiday, but owners encourage customers to order online to practice social distancing and avoid walking away empty-handed, as they will sell out fast.
Erin McKenna's Bakery
Larchmont and Santa Monica
Established in 2004, Erin McKenna’s is a culinary pioneer in vegan and gluten-free baked goods. While the unapologetically pink storefronts offer a medley of sweet and savory items, the donuts are an absolute must. Save yourself the worry of indecision—from simple cinnamon sugar to the indulgent Coffee Crunch—and pick up one of each (you can freeze the leftovers).
If you’re in the mood for a unicorn or panda-shaped donut, Zombee Donuts in Orange County has you covered (yes, they also make zombie-shaped pastries). While not exclusively vegan, this small shop does its best to ensure there is a vegan version of almost every non-vegan flavor. From blueberry cake to cream-filled, the variety delights.
Good Town Donuts
This tiny bakery neighboring Seabirds Kitchen in Costa Mesa used to only offer a small selection of vegan options. Now, the split is about 50/50. While you can find a traditional chocolate-glazed raised donut here, the shop is better known for its unique flavors. Order the vegan mini-box of six which includes chocolate, matcha, lemon poppy, berry, pistachio, and passionfruit flavors in two-bite portions.
Feature photo: Donut Friend