Here’s what I love about living in a new city: you get to experience places for the first time as an adult, which always makes me feel like a kid. Had I grown up in Escondido, making a trip to Peterson’s Donuts would have been a frequent occurrence. I would have started young, with a few donut holes after whatever swim practice, and graduated to sneaking home donuts in my backpack after school. But, since I grew up thousands of miles from Peterson’s, I got to experience my very first glazed (and cake) donuts as a full-grown adult. Let me just say, the glee that came from selecting my donut victims (and the resulting sugar high) was no less intense than it would have been multiple decades ago.
My first pick: a gigantic, sprinkle covered chocolate cake donut. This was the only sprinkle doughnut left, and it was at least 20% bigger than any of the other ones. Considering its size (roughly as big as a jaw-breaker) and the fact that it was only 15 cents, I had no choice but to grab it.
From a sugar perspective, it was a winner. The thick coating of sprinkles (and glaze) on top of an already sugary doughnut made my blood sugar immediately spike, along with it pangs of thirst that could not be ignored. Suddenly, the one little cup of water we got looked very small indeed.
Next up: my go-to type of doughnut: a soft and fluffy “yeast” doughnut, or as I prefer to call them, a “squishy doughnut“. This one had all of the hallmark qualities. It was soft, fluffy, and despite being deep-fried, tasted like it was crafted my magical angels and didn’t have any fat in it at all. It was also thoroughly coated in glaze and not nearly big enough. By that, I mean that it was so good, I wanted to continue eating it until I passed out. After resuscitation, I’d still have no regrets.
The glazed chocolate cake doughnut was similarly delicious, but (not surprisingly) a lot heavier. The glaze gave the doughnut some moisture, but the thick crumb of this doughnut made it one that you definitely want to drink with milk. As cake doughnuts go, it was one of the best I’ve ever had.
Just so we didn’t leave Escondido without fully risking adult onset type-2 diabetes, we also tried a coconut chocolate doughnut. If you’re looking for sugar, this is the ticket. It’s a cake doughnut topped with a thick layer of icing and gobs of sweetened coconut. After eating most of the first two doughnuts, this one slowed me down (but held up the best hours later). If you can get to a microwave before eating it, try warming it up for 5 seconds. All of the doughnuts I tried were 95 cents each.
After just missing the last French Cruller, we learned that the best time to visit Peterson’s is 6 a.m., when you’ll be able to get some of the most popular flavors, including chocolate cullers and squishy doughnuts with chocolate icing — the two flavors we were most hoping to try. Even if your #1 favorite isn’t there when you visit, there’s plenty of unusual flavors to try, like cake doughnuts with blueberry and strawberry icing, and non-doughnut treats like macaroons (the coconut kind), cookies, croissants, and ice cream.
Peterson’s Donut Corner
903 S Escondido Blvd, Escondido, California 92025 (760) 745-7774
Open 24 hours