Kirbie's Cravings

Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee

photo of the outside of Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee

Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee is a very popular doughnut shop in Orange County and one we’ve enjoyed on several occassions.

It’s been a while since our last visit, and over the weekend while running some errands in the area, I decided we had to make a stop after seeing their seasonal flavors, including chocolate budino and mid-summer garden, on their Instagram feed.

Unlike most doughnut shops, Sidecar extends its hours on the weekend, so you can still get a great selection of fresh doughnuts late into the day.
photo collage of different donuts
Doughnuts are made in small batches, and you can watch the bakers while you wait in line to order. This helps ensure that you will almost always get your flavor choices and the donuts are often still warm when you eat them. There’s always a small line when we are here and on this hot day, it was no exception.
photo of the menuphoto of an employee making donuts

After much contemplating, we chose four flavors to try.
overhead photo of different donuts

Chocolate Budino
photo of Chocolate Budino
I know it’s only August, but I’m pretty sure this is going to end up being the best doughnut I ate in 2015 (and if you follow me on Instagram you know I consume a lot of doughnuts). It starts with a raised chocolate doughnut, which I was surprised to find. While I’ve had many raised doughnuts before, they almost always start with a plain base which is then flavored through frostings and glazes. This was the first time I had encountered a chocolate flavored raise doughnut. It was fluffy, light and not too sweet. The doughnut is then filled with a rich, thick, salted caramel sauce It also has some cream and cocoa crumbs on top for garnish.
close-up photo of Chocolate Budino
This doughtnut was so unbelievably good that after taking a bit out of it while sitting at one of their outside tables, we immediately decided we needed another one to bring home, so Mr. K jumped back into the store to order another one.
close-up photo of the toppings on a Chocolate Budino

Mid-Summer Garden
photo of Mid-Summer Garden
I’m such a sucker for flowers and these doughnuts drew me in with their prettiness. I felt compelled to get two because I couldn’t decide if I preferred the ones with the orange flowers or yellow ones.
photo of Mid-Summer Garden with an orange flower
The donut itself is a walnut, zucchini, carrot cake doughnut. It’s then sweetened with a rose water lemon glaze.

Unfortunately, these were a miss for me. I usually like carrot and zucchini cake but for some reason these tasted a bit dry. The rose water glaze was also quite floral. The ensemble did actually taste like I was taking a bite out of my garden, but not necessarily in  a good way.

photo of a Blackberry donut
The blackberry one was a cake doughnut filled with blackberry bits and then covered in a thin blackberry flavored glaze. I enjoyed this one and especially liked the fresh blackberries sitting on top.

photo of a Huckleberry donut
This is one of their regular flavors and one of my personal favorites. Using Oregon huckleberries, it’s the only doughnut shop I’ve come across with a huckleberry flavored doughnut. On this visit, we got especially lucky because the cake doughnut was still warm on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside. We devoured this one very quickly.
close-up photo of a Huckleberry donut with a bite taken out of it
We were quite curious about their coffee selection too, but we’d had already consumed quite a lot of coffee earlier that morning. Next time!

Overall, we had another really great visit. We love the doughnut selection, especially their seasonal offerings. We also like that the doughnuts are constantly being made throughout the day so you don’t have to stress about having to get there first thing in the morning. They are about to open a second location in Santa Monica. I hope they choose to expand to San Diego.

Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee
270 E 17th St #18, Costa Mesa, CA 92627

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10 comments on “Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee”

  1. Can you help us create a Sidecar Donut, Kirbie? We are huge fans too and go there once in a while as treat, but they are pretty pricey. My favorite is the Salt and Butter one. So simple yet rich and satisfying with just the right balance of sweet and salty!

    • Happy to hear you’re a fan of their doughnuts. I don’t have any copycat recipes for their doughnuts at this time

  2. The few times I’ve eaten pansies, I was quite sad that they don’t taste nearly as pretty as they look. They’re in the same family as violets, but since they lack that bitter-floral element, they’re just pretty and won’t kill you to eat! I wonder if coating them in egg whites and powdered sugar (as some do with violets) would add a tiny bit of character to them. I see your donuts also featured hibiscus and marigolds? I think the only truly flavored flowers I know are borage and nasturtium, but they are better suited for a salad than a cake!

    • I love the look of flowers on cakes but I usually don’t enjoy eating them. It was a bit hard to distinguish the individual floral flavors because of the icing and rose water

  3. Their donuts are my absolute favorite. I love that the actual donut is often infused with flavors rather than just piling on frostings and sauces. If they opened in San Diego, they would dominate the donut game here!

    • agreed. I love that the flavors are in the actual doughnut themselves. So few places do that! And I do think they are better than any offerings in SD. Wish they would open one in SD!

  4. i rarely eat donuts but i really want that Chocolate Budino! and those flower ones are so pretty! (first time seeing flowers on donuts for me)

  5. I like their huckleberry donut very much. The garden one does look pretty though.  I wish Nomad made that chocolate budino donut. I’d be there everyday for it ha ha.

    • The huckleberry is always a must-get for me. Nomad reminds me a lot of this place and even though I like Nomad, I think this place is better.