Long live the Long Beach doughnut shop, with its cheap coffee served in beige-patterned paper cups and sticky apple fritters the size of dinner plates. We love those. But we also love the boutique dessert shops steadily popping up around the city—the kind of places that unironically put doughnuts front and center on their menu, such as Do Good Donuts & Treats, a specialized artisan bakery that opened its doors earlier this year.
The shop outside the east border of Retro Row is small, cozy and whimsically decorated with an abstract candy-colored mural splashed across one wall. Despite being a first-time business owner, Tyler Lee has many years’ experience working in small bakeries, not to mention all the time she spent in her grandma’s kitchen as a child. “I wanted to create a space where people could gather and enjoy a fresh, fun take on some classic treats,” she says. “There was nothing like this in LB. This area was always my ideal location for a shop.”
Lee’s doughnut menu is simple and well-curated: four permanent flavors and two seasonal monthly flavors, each for just $1.25 (or $7.50 for a “flight” of one of each). She also offers a weekly selection of soft-serve ice cream, which always includes a vegan option. (Heads up for Halloween: This week features salted-caramel ice cream and vegan chocolate-and-peanut butter. Get the two swirled together for a cool riff on a candy-bar combo.) And, of course, there’s the ever-essential coffee, which may be ordered hot or as a cold-brew latte with fancy syrup options such as almond-rose and caramel. Other staples include tea, hot chocolate and kombucha.
But as popular and photo-op-worthy as the pastel-colored soft-serve is (just check out the Instagram page), Do Good’s doughnuts are the star here. Mini in size, a perfect three-bite treat, you could polish off a dozen (for just $13!) without really hurting yourself. I know because I wanted to eat that many, but I only ate six. Plus, they’re made to order—cooked, then glazed, sprinkled or schmeared while you wait.
The base is a from-scratch nutmeg-and-vanilla-spiced cake that is light and moist. Lee accentuates the sweetness with an assortment of toppings, from the traditional cinnamon-dusted sugar doughnut to the Vanilla Bean & Sprinkles doughnut that’s topped with a delightful glistening glaze (and, for October, Halloween-colored sprinkles) to top-seller Local Honey & Sea Salt, featuring honey from Long Beach-based S&P Honey and a scattering of crunchy salt flakes. Rounding out the regular lineup is the ATGT (“All the Good Things”), which is dipped in cinnamon sugar and coffee, drizzled with honey and Nutella, then sprinkled with Himalayan sea salt and chocolate sprinkles. Good God, would it be obscene if I just smeared this all over my face?
October’s specials include Pumpkin Glaze and Maple Bacon, and while these may not exactly be cutting-edge autumn flavors, each pillowy fried circle is executed with perfectly balanced flavors. They’re decadent and sweet, but not cloyingly so.
And lest you think Do Good is just a clever name, the team likes to partner with other local organizations and small businesses to help spread good vibes. “I’m currently collaborating with the Caffeinated Cork,” Lee says. “They’re doing an inspiring women’s talk series, ranging from topics of the working woman to everyday feminism, and bringing women together to build community and have great conversation, which is easy to do over doughnuts.”
Do Good Donuts & Treats, 2707 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, (562) 588-9328; www.dogooddonuts.com.