Donuts to Die for in NB
Donut shops offer up comfort pastry options for locals and visitors alike. Many Newport Beach shops are a testament to business longevity, having zero marketing plans, but steady streams of regulars. Now, ambitious shops are offering innovative ways to keep customers coming back for more. As the donut trend continues to build, you will now find rings and several other shapes on menus at some of your favorite sit down restaurants. Check out our picks for Newport Beach’s top donut spots from A-Z.
Plan a special trip to Crystal Cove for these warm dough balls. The only thing closer to the Pacific Ocean would be a beachfront picnic in front of the restaurant. People travel from all over Southern California for this iconic establishment so it’s best to plan ahead. The warm Beignets can be seen on every table with their own little fan club clamoring for these sweet treats.
This Balboa Peninsula donut shop is steps from the water, and diners flock to this local spot on the block for the red velvet and blueberry donuts. Both varieties are delicious, but my eyes tracked toward a tray of donuts specifically marked “Big Donuts.” Behind the glass case rest donuts wider than an adult’s face. Chocolate, glazed and colored donuts seem to have gone through some kind of “blow up” machine. No matter the flavor, they’re a small child’s donut dream.
Italians have mastered many things, and dessert is no exception. Cucina Enoteca Chef Brent Omeste has an intense culinary pedigree and has brought his stylings to Fashion Island. His classic Italian dishes have a modern twist and that rings true from the stuffed squash blossoms to the PB and J Zeppoles, featuring strawberry and black pepper filled fritters in a peanut butter caramel.
Family traditions carry through many Newport Beach neighborhoods, and especially on beloved Balboa Island. Ties to “the place your parents took you” are strong in a community with so much history, and this little donut shop is all about toppings. Residents and visitors alike line up daily to take a box of Rainbow Sprinkle Donuts home.
Have you heard about the Milky Bun? This national craze started right here in Orange County! A glazed donut stuffed with ice cream is pressed to be warm on the outside and cold in the center. In Newport Beach, Dough Boy’s Ice Nut lets you choose any of their donut creations and stuff them with your choice of vanilla, Neapolitan, or rocky road ice cream, plus a few other rotating classics. Donuts and ice cream had offspring, and the results are delicious.
Photo by: 100eats.com
The Great Maple swooped into Fashion Island in the beginning of its culinary revolution. Owner Johnny Rivera brings a beautiful, woodsy, European dinette to the frequent shoppers. Most diners start with the Portobello Mushroom Fries, but some meals skip right to the famous pies or the Maple Bacon Doughnuts. The doughnuts are made to order and served hot. The sweet maple frosting is just an extension of the maplewood-smoked bacon that is an edible decoration on this delightful dessert.
A donut shop where everyone knows your name? Michelle at Mag’s runs a friendly ship. The customer service is through the roof with big smiles and warm welcomes. The glaze on their traditional selection of donuts has a beautiful honey-like quality that brings an elevated experience to this very humble donut shop. Get a famed Blueberry Donut. You won’t regret it.
Photo by: 100eats.com
Chef Cathy Pavlos tucked a little bit of Napa Valley inside a small shopping center of Newport Beach. In this secret garden restaurant you will walk in to a beautiful, naturally lit dining room that leads to a 1,300 square foot garden patio. This garden provides ingredients in your meal, minutes after they are plucked. Stop in early for weekend brunch, since you want to make sure you make it in time to get the last of the Cinnamon Ricotta Donuts.
The “Cronut” is a trademarked invention of New York pastry chef Dominique Ansel, who decided to layer croissant dough and fry it in a donut shape. These little inventions were then filled and topped with all kinds of sweet accompaniments, and over the past few years have taken the country by storm. Time Magazine referred to it as one of the best inventions of 2013. Now, a form of Cronut has joined Seaside’s signature blueberry glazed donuts, meaning customers have 3 a.m. options beyond the Ham and Cheese and Thai Tea Combo.