Donut Friend is an all-vegan donut, ice cream, and coffee shop located in Downtown Los Angeles. They’ve been around for about six years now and also have a location in Highland Park. Their slogan is “Donuts Done Differently” (love the alliteration), and many of their donuts have fun, quirky music-related names such as Bacon 182, Chocolate from the Crypt, and Dag Nutty. They also offer customizable donuts where you can pick from yeast and cake donut flavors and add a whole bar of fillings, toppings, and glazes to your own creation. Customers can order just one donut of their choosing, or they can order a whole dozen, a giant donut—or even a two or three TIER donut CAKE! I have yet to order this, but I do have a birthday coming up soon…
Donut Friend is just over a mile away from my apartment, and let’s just say this was not my first time experiencing the magical flaky goodness of a fancy donut at an odd-hour of the day. Mitchell and I usually walk Downtown and then go back home before eating our donuts. Partially because it makes us feel better about what we’re about to do to ourselves by consuming such a dense and rich dessert.
Their shop is super easy to find thanks to the sleek over-hang sign. It’s basically impossible to walk by their shop without looking in and seeing the clean, minimalistic set-up leading to a case full of colorful donuts.
There are literally endless combinations you can make with the donuts, but just know that the later you come in, the less options you may have for the customizable donut base (cake or yeast and their different flavors) as well as limited options for the signature donuts.
In my experience, you get more bang for your buck by just going with the signature donuts. They have way more experience in how to combine the flavors of their donuts, and there are so many to choose from that there’s always going to be something for everyone. Prices for signature donuts range from about 4-6 dollars a piece while the customizable donuts can get a little more expensive if you go over-board on the goodies.
People have always been super nice whenever Mitchell and I come in. We also have mostly come in around lunch or after dinner time, and we’re usually only one of a few customers there (they’re probably busiest in the morning).
There’s a couple benches to sit on which aren’t super comfortable and also are a little awkward as the employees are just a couple feet away with not much else to do but watch you eat your donut. This is another reason Mitchell and I take our donuts to go usually. (We’re a little socially awkward.)
Our latest donut trip ended without the most colorful of donuts, but they were heavy boys. The top is a yeast donut with brûléed sugar, filled with hefty peanut butter cream. The bottom is the Youth Brûlée complete with brûléed sugar and filled with rich Bavarian cream. Definitely one of my favorites that I’ve gotten before.
I’ve had a couple of the fruit ones, including the Strawberrylab, which was good but not great. Without a filling, the donut fell a little short for my money. I would recommend something with a filling such as jam or cream, as these are more worth the price, and their fillings are BOMB DIGGITY good.
P.S. Their Instagram is super fun and shows cool videos of the employees making donuts. You can follow them @donutfriend.
DTLA: 543 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Highland Park: 5107 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90065
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday: 7am-10pm
Friday and Saturday: 7am-Midnight