12 of the Best Donut Shops in San Diego by Neighborhood

Photo Credit: Nomad Donuts, San Diego
Photo Credit: Nomad Donuts, San Diego

Donuts may not be the most diet-friendly, but damn they are goooood!

In San Diego, where our reputation is more for acai bowls and breakfast burritos, locals know that the sweet fried goodness of our local donut shops is something to treasure.

That’s right, the best donuts in San Diego are as good as you’re going to find anywhere!

Here is a list of our picks of the best donut shops in San Diego in neighborhoods all around the city so you can quickly find the best donuts when you need one!

Del Mar: Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee

Billed as the ‘world’s freshest doughnuts,’ Sidecar makes their doughnuts fresh every hour, and they are damn good! The combo of dense yet light batter that they somehow make happen and their unique flavors (they have an eggs benedict doughnut that has an actual egg inside of it!) make this our weekend regular!

Address: Del Mar Highlands Town Center, 3435 Del Mar Heights Road, San Diego, CA 92130

Escondido: Peterson‘s Donut Corner

As much as I would have loved to, if I had done all my own “research” for this article, they would have had to cut me out of my house… so I took to Facebook to ask my friends which doughnut shops they love and I had an overwhelming response for Peterson’s Donut Corner in Escondido.

Peterson’s is open 24 hours, and no matter what time of day, they always have customers.

Address: 903 S Escondido Blvd, Escondido, CA 92025

Encinitas: VG Donuts and Bakery

You didn’t grow up in Encinitas without meeting up at VG’s for a donut! They have some of the best donuts and pastries and also specialize in cakes.

Address: 106 Aberdeen Drive, Cardiff, CA  92007

La Jolla: Dodo Bird Donuts

Dodo Bird Donuts is a stylish newcomer to San Diego’s donut scene, located in the Bird Rock neighborhood of La Jolla. Far from a ‘hole-in-the-wall’ donut shop, Dodo has design chops galore!

Everything from the donuts to the furniture here is a tasty sensory experience!

Address: 369 Bird Rock Avenue, La Jolla, CA 92037

University Heights: Nomad Donuts 

Nomad Donuts boasts “gourmet donuts inspired by the world yet created with local ingredients.” They even offer vegan donuts.

Of course, they have the classics like chocolate and maple, but they also provide donuts for the more sophisticated pallet.

Try their Vegan Orange Guava Chili or their Vegan Ube Taro Coconut.

Address: 4504 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92116

Downtown: Donut Bar

Donut Bar in Downtown SD has made headlines with its amazing donuts, voted the Number 1 Donut Shop by USA Today, and many more news organizations and blogs.

Donut Bar has also received a San Diego Magazine’s “Best of San Diego” award.

Address: 631 B St, San Diego, CA 92101

Little Italy: Devil’s Dozen

Devil’s Dozen in Little Italy offers more than just the traditional Maple Bar or Chocolate Twist.

Their menu includes Nutella Hazelnut, S’mores, Churro Bites, and their Tres Leches Cake, which is the delicious love child of a cake and a donut; it may be a sin (get it?!) to taste this good!

Address: 2001 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

Mira Mesa: Donut Stop

The Donut Stop in Mira Mesa is a good ol’ fashioned donut shop that offers good ol’ fashioned donuts. I have family in Texas and I thought that was the only place I could get a Blueberry donut… apparently not! Donut Stop offers blueberry donuts, and they are simply amazing!

Address: 9330 Mira Mesa Blvd # E, San Diego, CA 92126

Mission Hills: Donut Star

Donut Star offers the classics but also has some uncommon flavors, like their chocolate-glazed red velvet, and it’s open 24 hours!

Address: 601 W Washington St., San Diego, CA, 92103

North Park | Normal Heights | Golden Hill: Dark Horse Coffee Roasters 

While not a donut shop per se, Dark Horse Coffee Roasters offers Skinny Donuts, which are amazing and vegan!

Dark Horse conveniently has three locations in San Diego, so find the one closest to you and check them out!


  • North Park | 3794 30TH St. San Diego, CA 92104
  • Golden Hill | 811 25th St. San Diego, CA 92102
  • Normal Heights | 3260 Adams Ave San Diego, CA 92116

Carlsbad: The Goods Doughnuts

WARNING: Once you go to The Goods Doughnuts in Carlsbad, you’ll never be able to step foot in the town again without making a stop here! Well, that’s what happened to us, anyway…

We love everything about this place, from the amazing fresh donuts to the vibe. We bet you will, too.

Vegan and gluten-free options are available every day.

Address: 2965 State Street, Carlsbad, CA  92008

See you there!

There you have it—12 of the best donut shops in San Diego, or anywhere for that matter.

If you aren’t craving donuts by now, you have a lot more self-control than most!


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