Donuts That Don’t Turn Into Muffin Tops

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Sometimes a little knowledge is a terrible thing. Those lovely donuts we scarfed by the dozen as kids now look like mini carb-sugar-fat landmines to be avoided at all costs. However, imagining a donut-free childhood…well, it’s a little sad. But how can you justify putting that nutrition-free morsel into your sweet baby (or yourself)? Lucky for you, we’ve combed the city to find donuts you’ll feed to your kids sans guilt, and with pleasure. Oh, yeah, and they’ll love them too!

So you’ve got a gluten intolerant/lactose intolerant/vegan kiddo. Babycakes to the rescue. Take a deep breath to get through this one: these babies are all-natural, organic, wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, casein-free and egg-free. No refined sugar, either. This NY import took up residence on Larchmont 2 years ago and has been serving baked donuts and other goodies non-stop ever since. As for the taste – they’re amazing, and you’ll never miss what’s missing. Neither will the kids. So get some extras to go. We recommend the salted caramel…they go particularly fast.

236 North Larchmont Blvd.
Los Angeles, Ca 90004
(855) 462-2292

Cool. Guilt free. Unbelievably (we’d say orgasmically, but this is a family website) delicious. All in one small donut.  The donuts come in vegan, gluten free, vegan & gluten free and regular – but even the regular ones are made with top shelf ingredients and are steamed or baked, not fried. Kids adore the sprinkles, red velvet, and PBJ.  Grownups tend to prefer the lemon, chocolate hazelnut, and the out of this world blueberry earl grey. Free valet in the back, awesome coffee in the store, and every box comes tied with a cheery yellow ribbon, which turns into instant lasso/hair ribbon the second you leave the shop.

8104 W. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, Ca 90048
(323) 592-3075

Bob’s Coffee and Donuts
Sometimes you gotta go with location, location, location. And Bob’s has that in spades. (They also have some tasty donuts too; old-fashioned yeast is the pick for nostalgic parents and kiddos go bug-eyed for the dinosaur and the kitty cat.) Located at the Original Farmers Market, this is the donut spot where you can sit with your coffee and relax while kids play hide and seek under the green metal tables and chairs, happily disrupting camera-clutching tourists. When they’re done with that you can bring your now fully sugar-charged dynamo to run around the green. Not the healthiest donuts in the world, but since you’ll have to chase the kids around the fountain, we’re calling it a break-even morning, health-wise. The shop even validates parking for 2 hours if you park in the Farmer’s Market lot.

Bob’s Coffee and Donuts
6333 W. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, Ca 90036
(323) 933-8929

Donut Man
In L.A., we love our donuts. We even have a giant iconic donut (Randy’s) that’s one of the first things you see heading into town from LAX. So we know our donuts. And one place that tops everyone’s “best” list is always, always, always The Donut Man. Famous around the world, he’s in our back yard, and it’s totally worth the trip to Glendora, no matter where you live. He would make our “delicious” list, of course, but why is he on the guilt-free list? The fruit. Fruit! Totally healthy section of the food pyramid. And there’s always a seasonal fruit-filled special to dive into. Right now it’s even the most popular flavor: strawberry. Words cannot even… just look:

Now drive.

Donut Man
915 E Rt 66
Glendora, Ca 91740
(626) 335-9111

This sounds like a strange pick for a donut fix, but hear us out, because this downtown restaurant might be just what you are in the mood for. In addition to donuts that seem tailor made for your toddler (in flavors like blueberry cheesecake, s’mores, and strawberry tomato – which totally counts as a vegetable) they have a full grown up menu and, wait for it, a lovely wine list. So while your kids gorge on treats from the bakery (a bag of warm donut holes comes with dipping sauces), sit back in the red leather seats, sip your glass of wine while you nibble on lobster mac or artichoke pizza (there’s plain pizza, fries and warm pretzels with cheese sauce if you want to get something savory into the kids before dessert) and pretend you’re out for an elegant lunch date. Which you are. And since you’re paying, your date has to give you a bite.

705 W 9th St
Los Angeles, Ca 90015
(213) 623-2366

Where do you go to get a donut fix? Are you deterred by calorie counts, or when it comes to treats do you indulge?

–Meghan Rose

Photo credits: Michael Bentley, Babycakes NYC via facebook, Muy Yum via flickr, fonuts website, The Donut Man via facebook, and Greta via