While in almost every way I am a savory person more than a sweet, there is one sweet treat that I cannot refuse – vegan donuts. I’m not talking about cake donuts. I have no time for those. (And sadly, they seem much easier to find than the elusive vegan raised, yeast donuts.) I’m all about glazed donuts, especially cream filled, covered in chocolate or vanilla.
So you can imagine how, when I was tallying all of the restaurants I wanted to visit on my trip to Los Angeles, my ears perked up Santa elf-style when I read this glowing review (with video!) of Donut Friend from Kylie at Fellowship of the Vegetable.
Donut Friend is in Highland Park, only blocks away from my former workplace, as my bad timing luck would have it. It’s an adorable shop with murals on the walls, and a long case of donuts with fillings and toppings. Just as you might make a hummus & cucumber sandwich at a deli or bagel shop, here you can make a donut sandwich.
Not all of the donuts and fillings are vegan, but many of them are. (The glazed donuts, apple fritters, and bear claws are vegan.) And there is a list on the wall with asterisks next to the vegan toppings and fillings. If you need help getting started, there’s a menu with compilation ideas, and most of those options can be made vegan too.
I started with a traditional glazed donut, which was then sliced in half. Then it was time to choose the filling(s).
My options included:
- Artisan jams like apricot ginger, baked apple, blueberry bay leaf, blueberry, cherry compote, maple pumpkin butter, raspberry habanero, and strawberry vanilla.
- Creams and butters like vegan chocolate cream, vegan pastry cream, peanut butter, or vegan whipped cream.
- There was also a variety of fresh fruit like strawberry slices and blueberries.
I chose a filling of vegan pastry cream and David had vegan whipped cream.
Next choice, toppings!
- You pick a type of glaze like vanilla bean, chocolate, maple, or lemon, or a sauce like balsamic reduction, chocolate, maple syrup, olive oil, raspberry, strawberry or Sriracha.
- Then they top it with your choice of candies, various kinds of nuts, or creative toppings like fresh basil, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, fresh mint, sea salt, nutmeg, cinnamon sugar, or Phoney Baloney’s coconut bacon.
I chose a vanilla glaze topped with coconut bacon. David went with a chocolate glaze and no toppings (pictured at the top of this post).
We had to pick up a couple more to-go for ourselves and to share with friends. We got two more that were exactly like David’s first donut and two that were in the Compilation section – the Cherry 3 with tart cherry filling, vanilla glazed, and sprinkled with almonds.
The donuts were amazing and so fresh. They were totally soft on the inside with the slightest crunch on the outside. They almost melted in the mouth. I have had terrific vegan donuts at Ronald’s in Vegas and Voodoo in Portland, but Donut Friend tops the list for me of donut greats.
The next time I’m in Los Angeles, Donut Friend will be on my “must visit” list. The staff was friendly and helpful, especially the young woman who was making our donut sandwiches and helping us pare down the wealth of options! There are endless possibilities of donuts to try, and I’ve only just begun…