Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee – Costa Mesa

Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee - Costa Mesa

The Astronomer and I crossed county lines for a taste of Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee, and boy was the trek worth it.

Located in a “nice” strip mall in Costa Mesa, Sidecar has been wowing Orange County residents with their yeast-raised, cake, and buttermilk old-fashioned doughnuts since debuting just a year ago.

Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee - Costa Mesa

The shop is a collaborative effort between Chef Brooke Des Prez, Sumter Pendergrast (an artist and clothing designer), and Chi-lin Pendergrast (a photographer). It’s no wonder that the space and design elements here are as impressive as the doughnuts!

Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee - Costa Mesa

Our friend and O.C. resident Kat showed us the ropes on our inaugural visit; lucky girl lives down the street.

Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee - Costa Mesa

Between the three of us, we chose five doughnuts to share and handily polished them all off.

Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee - Costa Mesa

In a sea of sweet selections, we weren’t sure how the savory sounding cornbread and thyme ($3) would fair, but we needn’t have worried—it was terrific. The Astronomer loved this one best, especially the herbaceous notes paired with the Yankee-style cornbread.

Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee - Costa Mesa

Kat adored the “butter and salt” ($2.50), a light and lovely cake doughnut that came on rich and sweet to start and finished with a flourish of saltiness. Mmm!

Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee - Costa Mesa

Sidecar’s signature huckleberry ($3) flavor was astonishingly great. With bits of real berries embedded in the dough and glaze, the doughnut tasted genuinely fruity through and through. The cake doughnut, light as ever, really delivered.

Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee - Costa Mesa

While Sidecar’s yeast-raised doughnuts weren’t as exemplary as their cake ones, they were still damn good. The passion fruit glazed doughnut ($2.50) was perfectly balanced, not too sweet and not too tart.

Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee - Costa Mesa

The “p.b. banana chocolate” ($3.50) doughnut—piped with peanut butter cream, accented with banana slices, and glazed with dark ganache—was the most decadent of the bunch and well worth every empty calorie. Unleash your inner fat kid.

Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee - Costa Mesa

I arrived at Sidecar with sky-high expectations, and their doughnuts didn’t let me down. In fact, I can’t recall in recent memory a cake doughnut that impressed me as much as the ones here.

If I had my way, I’d open up an all-star doughnut shop with Fanny Gerson taking care of yeast-raised, Fergus Henderson handling filled, Primo’s on buttermilk bars, and Sidecar on cake. We’d kill it.

Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee
270 East 17th Street, Suite 18
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

I ain’t mad atchoo, just mad for doughnuts…

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2 Responses to “Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee – Costa Mesa”


  • Oh man. Going in with high expectations is tough b/c I always feel like it’s a ‘gimme’ for a let down. So I’m so glad that this place lived up to yours! I’ve heard great things about their doughnuts but not sure if it’s worth the drive from SD.

    The doughnuts looks kinda heavy though – were they truly light and fluffy? And did you think the prices were worthy of what was consumed?

  • Yay! So glad you enjoyed as much as me! The huckleberry was definitely my favorite from my mom and my visit too, but need to explore more options the next time I’m in town. Definitely extra incentive to visit the folks. ;)

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