danny’s donuts / vista
Right next door to Peppertree Frosty is a little place called Danny’s Donuts.
The place is named after Dan Abeyta, who worked in the donut industry for 46 years before he retired… and then went right back to it, opening Danny’s Donuts a few years after he retired. He missed the customer interaction and came out of retirement to open his own shop (after working at Dunkin’ Donuts on the East Coast, among other places). Danny created recipes featured in his shop and ran the store until his passing in January of 2013.
In December 2013, Danny’s Donuts was ranked in a national poll for “America’s Best 25 Donuts” for their Blueberry Cake donuts. A site called The Daily Meal ranked them as #6 in the poll.
We heard all about Danny, his shop and his donuts after Marilyn, Danny’s wife, saw me taking my usual slew of photos and asked where we were from. This started a conversation where she told us about her husband and how he opened the shop and about his passing.
She told us all about the national ranking for their blueberry cake donuts and how she wished Danny had been around to see it when it the ranking came out.
“He would have been so proud,” she told us. She offered to show us the article and pulled out the above for us to look at. You can read the full article here from the Union Tribune. She was so nice in telling us more about the shop and their donuts.
We also asked her about the name Peppertree Corner and she told us that there used to a Pepper Tree behind the restaurant/ice cream stand and in order for them to move in on the corner, they had to include the name “Peppertree Corner”. It was great to hear about the donuts and Danny from Marilyn herself!
Now for some donut photos! When you walk up to the shop you can view all of their donuts in the window.
Twist donuts, bars and cake donuts.
The famous blueberry on the bottom with donut holes and crullers on top.
Old fashioned donuts and chocolate cake donuts.
Plain donuts, more old fashioned, cinnamon buns and apple fritters.
Apple betty’s and yeast donuts.
Off to the side there are a few tables under a covered patio where you can sit and enjoy your donuts. I wasn’t planning on eating the donuts right then and there but we figured we should take a few bites of each after talking with Marilyn.
This is our haul of donuts – all 95 cents each.
(From left to right): Blueberry donut, cruller, apple betty, cinnamon donut and a butterfly donut. The apple betty is one of their signature donuts along with the famous blueberry cake donut. I had never seen a butterfly donut before so figured I needed to try that, too.
The cruller, which is usually my favorite donut ever, was just okay here. The thing about crullers is they need to be super fresh, otherwise they fall a little flat. The crullers were not crisp and were much more on the softer side – a little too soft – for my liking.
The butterfly donut also tasted like maybe it had been sitting around for a bit. It was the very last one and I wanted to really like it but it tasted a bit day old.
The apple betty was a really interesting donut since it looked like it was folded over. There’s a very good amount of cinnamon here – I detected more cinnamon than apple, but I did like this one and I loved the look of it as well. If you don’t like cinnamon, don’t get this one! It almost kind of like a cross between an apple fritter and a bar donut…
The blueberry donut though is really the winner here. It’s not quite like the other blueberry donuts I’ve tried and this donut tasted the freshest of the ones that we tried. It’s made with freeze dried blueberries and has a really tender crumb that stays together nicely. It has a simple, thin glaze on the outside which gives it just the right amount of sweetness. It doesn’t have that “artificial” blueberry taste that a lot of blueberry donuts suffer from, either. It tastes more natural and gets a little sweetness from the blueberries. Truly this is one of the best blueberry donuts I’ve had!
We went back and bought a few more blueberry donuts to take home and share with my parents since we felt they NEEDED to try them because they were so darn good! We’ll have to try and make special trips just to have these tasty blueberry donuts again.
102 Eucalyptus Ave.
Vista, CA 92084