nomad donuts

I think you know by now that I’m kind of a donut fiend. I’ve been to many donuts shops around town and even make it a point to visit donut shops in other towns. I’m slightly wary about the “gourmet” donuts that have popped up in San Diego (for the record, I’m not a Donut Bar fan – sorry) so maybe I was a bit reluctant to try some of the newer places. I finally stopped into Nomad Donuts over the weekend and was pleasantly surprised by no crazy long lines, easy parking, and a wonderful array of choices. Woo!

Nomad Donuts / San Diego, CA

I had read/heard that Nomad Donuts was in North Park so I was assuming it was near University Avenue. But this was a false assumption! It is off 30th Street and is a bit closer to Adams Avenue than University Avenue, making it a bit easier to get to. It’s like North-North Park!

Interior at Nomad Donuts / San Diego, CA

The shop is fairly small. There is only counter service inside where you can gaze adoringly at the donuts.

Donut Wall Art at Nomad Donuts / San Diego, CA

And the donut art.

Donuts at Nomad Donuts / San Diego, CA

Oooo. Donuts. Droooooool.

Display of Donuts at Nomad Donuts / San Diego, CA

I love how the donuts are displayed on tops of stacks of books. This makes me happy inside.

Old Fashioned Donuts at Nomad Donuts / San Diego, CA

Styles of donuts are grouped together with little signs that explain what kind of donut they are (yeast, old fashioned, cake, etc.).

Drink Menu & Donuts at Nomad Donuts / San Diego, CA

In addition to donuts, they also have drinks! Mostly of the coffee variety.

Iced Vietnamese Coffee at Nomad Donuts / San Diego, CA

[small iced vietnamese coffee / $3.50]

I choose an iced Vietnamese coffee. I really wish I had actually read the description of the ingredients beforehand because I would have noticed that this drink barely has any coffee in it. It has sweetened condensed milk, milk, AND half and half. Way overload on the milky ingredients. Luckily I started carrying around some generic “Dairy Aid” chewable tablets that help me digest milk better so I was able to drink this and not have my stomach stage a battle inside of me later. Consensus: too milky. Not enough kick-me-in-the-pants coffee/espresso. I think they should rename this drink to Iced Vietnamese Latte With Hint of Coffee.

Box of Donuts at Nomad Donuts / San Diego, CA

I choose four donuts to try. These babies ain’t cheap so I felt four would be a reasonable number to try out. It was really hard to choose which ones to get!

Coconut Pandan Donut at Nomad Donuts / San Diego, CA

[coconut pandan / $3]

My very first choice was my favorite choice: the Coconut Pandan donut. It is a cake donut – though initially I thought it was a yeast donut because it was so airy, light, and fluffy. But when I peek up at my photos, I see that it is clearly with the other cake donuts! I loved the slightly nutty taste of the pandan and the coconut topping made it feel like eating a tropical vacation (yes, I just wrote that). The dough was also a little chewy as well which made me wonder if they use any potato starch in their donuts. 

Honey Peanut Butter Chocolate Peanut Butter Old Fashioned Donut | Nomad Donuts / San Diego, CA

[honey peanut butter chocolate old fashioned / $3]

The other donut that caught my eye had peanut butter in it. OF COURSE. The old fashioned didn’t have those crispy crunchy little edges that I usually adore in an old fashioned donut but I did like the sweet peanut butter frosting that was drizzled all over it. The donut was dense and soft. I liked it though it’s not my favorite – especially not for an old fashioned donut. But chocolate and peanut butter is always a winning combination!

Dragonfruit Acai Donut | Nomad Donuts / San Diego, CA

[dragonfruit acai donut / $3]

The dragonfruit acai had a nice pop of flavor in the frosting and the yeast donut was nice and airy. It wasn’t mind blowing, though. We didn’t eat it until later so maybe it would have tasted more grand and spectacular had we eaten it sooner rather than later. I bet this would have been great warmed up, if I had thought to do that.  

Cherry Lime Pie Donut | Nomad Donuts / San Diego, CA

[cherry lime pie donut / $4]

T had mentioned this one and it sounded interesting to me. I think the word “pie” is what really got me here. If you want to boil it down, this is a jelly donut, my friends. The filling was slightly tart with the addition of the lime. Cherry isn’t my favorite – I’m trying to learn to like it – so I found it just to be okay. The donut itself tasted fine but the filling didn’t quite catch my fancy.

While I wasn’t 100% in love with these donuts, I’m not deterred! They have so many rotating flavors and I adored that coconut pandan donut so much that I’m sure there are lots more flavors that I will love. I’m all about trying new things!

Maya is a Technically Leased Dog

Later that day we went to watch Thackery play in a summer league baseball game and Maya was with us. Dogs always need to be leashed but I trust her enough to stay close by. I wrapped her leash around her so she’d be “technically leashed”. Doesn’t she look so proud?

Happy Wednesday!

Nomad Donuts
4504 30th Street
San Diego, CA 92116
619-431-5000
Hours: 6AM-4PM
Closed Tuesdays

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Author: Mary

Mary is a San Diego native and has been a food blogger for 12+ years. She is an avid reader, a lover of puppies, and loves trying new food. Foods she loves: sweets, peanut butter, pasta, Triscuit crackers with cream cheese, and extra nuts on top of her sundaes. Food she dislikes: pickles, really spicy food, runny eggs, olives, and too much arugula.

7 Replies to “nomad donuts

  1. We were here on the same day! Though I think I arrived after you left because there were more donuts missing from the display. I’m bummed I missed out on the taro ube. My fav of the ones I got was the coco pandan too.

    1. Hi Kirbie – Ohh! Too bad I missed you! I almost got the Taro Ube, too, but I couldn’t decide on what I wanted. Too many choices for my first time! The coconut pandan was soooo good. I’d just want a box of only those donuts.

  2. I looooove chocolate cake donuts, I must try pb + chocolate one!

    And I think pandan tastes more nutty than minty or herbal at all. I’d compare it to the kind of tropical, nutty taste of coconut but not coconut. Just the same ‘vibe’ as coconut. It’s hard to explain, haha.

    1. Hi J.S. – Mmm, I bet you’d like the chocolate old fashioned then! Pandan doesn’t really taste herbal or minty to me at all. I remember in Portland at Pok Pok they have Pandan flavored water and it tasted like nutty water to me. I know what you mean though – that “coconut vibe” haha. Tropical nuts? Nutty-light? It is hard to explain!

  3. The taro ube coconut donut is pretty darn good and looks pretty too. I’m not into the pandan flavored one. This place kicks @$$ over Donut Bar – their donuts are so boring compared to Nomad. I agree with you about their old fashioneds – they don’t have the crispy edges that iI like breaking off.

    1. I’ll just have to try the taro one next time. Last weekend they had a brown butter popcorn donut I really wanted to try but we just ran out of time. I’ll have to be on the lookout for it. I’m glad they post their menu everyday.

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