What is the first brand or company name that comes to mind when you hear the word “donut”? Is it Krispy Kreme? Dunkin’ Donuts? Tim Hortons? Or is it a local specialty shop that you absolutely adore? My personal favorites include Donut Farm, Trejo’s Donuts, and Donut Friend, but I REALLY want to try fōnuts, Sidecar Doughnuts, Voodoo Doughnuts, Blue Star, Erin McKenna’s, and so many more. Okay, and I’ll add Whole Foods Market into the faves mix, just because they do have AMAZING vegan donuts in their bakery.
But none of the shop names or brand names that I’ve mentioned above are the first that come to my mind when I think of “donut”. In my head, SloDoCo is the primary name. If you scroll through my Instagram, you will know that I come to this place at least every other week for some of their glorious vegan and gluten free (that just so happen to be vegan) donuts! Sometimes I share them, sometimes I don’t. Really depends on my mood.
For those of you who do not live around the central coast of California, SloDoCo is a popular 24-hour donut shop in San Luis Obispo. Every morning, their freshly baked donuts are sold on the shelves, posing the workers the challenge of selling them all by the end of the day.
Okay, you’re probably wondering: this is supposed to be a blog about health and fitness. In what world would a donut shop fit appropriately into a website centered around eating properly? Here’s my justification. You have foods that are good for your body. You also have foods that are good for your soul. Both, hand in hand, play vital roles in your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It’s important not to be so restrictive where you can’t enjoy your favorite foods ever so often and take a few days off the gym. If anything, balance is so much better for your overall health than any extreme because you’ll be happier. Happiness is the best medicine. Well, after laughter, of course!
P.S. If you search up YouTube videos of cheat days from any fitness channel, you’re bound to see donuts in at least 80-90% of them. Narrow it down to 10,000 calorie challenges, and it’s almost 95%!
Enough with the rambles and all, let’s talk donuts. SloDoCo has a massive plethora of donut categories (seriously, look here for yourself. It’s MASSIVE!), including buttermilk, raised, old fashioned, cinnamon rolls, cake donuts, traditional, fritters, bars, filled donuts, pillows, bear claws, Devil’s food cake, donut holes, croissants, cream puffs, fritter bites, vegan cake donuts, and gluten free donuts. Providing a wide variety of types of donuts already earns SloDoCo a few points, because you’re bound to find a donut that you like.
Flavors are even more overwhelming, as SloDoCo pretty much has a rotational selection of daily flavors that you can find on their website. They have their traditional glazed, chocolate, maple, strawberry, cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar, vanilla, sprinkled donuts, and apple fritters, but they also have cereal-flavored donuts, circus animal donuts, cream cheese-filled pillows, coconut-topped donuts, crumb donuts, apple fritters, matcha donuts, lavender donuts, seasonal donuts, even galaxy and Thai tea! Have you seen any other donut shop that carries a Thai tea donut? Seriously, I would love to know!
My love for SloDoCo pretty much blossomed since day one. I wouldn’t say that it blossomed super quickly, because I rarely found the time to visit. Most of my visits generally came around during club events where my friends and I would stop by the shop for a post-Thai food treat. Despite how sporadic my visits were, I almost always had a positive experience. Every time I come, I still do!
Customer service is always optimistic and energetic. The cashiers and servers are always open to answering any questions or concerns you have, whether about allergens, applications, and other services that SloDoCo provides. When you walk in, you sense an atmosphere that is identical to that of a coffee shop, except with a bit more social interaction. Given that it is a college town, you will find Cal Poly students working and studying there on the daily. Hey, donuts make a fantastic reward for productivity!
Being vegan, I have only tried the vegan and gluten free donuts from SloDoCo’s selection. This isn’t to say that variety is limited. Oftentimes, they have special flavors like galaxy, matcha, lavender, and rainbow sprinkled, along with their standards such as maple glazed, cinnamon sugar, and chocolate glazed. Even this year, they had vegan Valentine’s Day heart-sprinkled donuts (pictured above: maple and chocolate-frosted donuts with pink, red, and white sprinkles) and vegan St. Patrick’s Day donuts (pictured above: green donut with a thick chocolate glaze topped with clover and green-crystal sprinkles)! I would love to see them sell Easter donuts that look like painted eggs or even come out with a vegan carrot cake donut. That would be a DREAM!
My personal favorite flavors are honestly so varied. I have never had a bad donut at SloDoCo, so I truly, truly recommend you try each flavor of their vegan donuts and gluten free donuts at least once. If you want to play it safe, go for a vegan maple-glazed donut or a chocolate donut, but if you want to go crazy, try a gluten free lavender donut and a vegan galaxy donut!
Pro tip: there is a distinctive difference in texture between the vegan donuts and the gluten free donuts. In general, the gluten free donuts tend to be a lot thicker and tend to dry out a lot more quickly than the vegan donuts, which are relatively small and stay soft and fresh for a lot longer. This is because the gluten free donuts are baked and are made with a gluten free flour mix, whereas the vegan donuts are made with conventional wheat flour and are fried.
If you enjoy the consistency of gluten free pastries, you will like the gluten free donuts, but otherwise, enjoy them as soon as possible. If you have to save the vegan and gluten free donuts for later, freeze them and pop them into the oven or microwave when ready to serve. Lastly, if you and/or anyone else you know is allergic to gluten, request the gluten free donuts to be packaged separately from any other donuts if ordering from multiple shelves.
Open 24 hours, pretty much seven days a week, always has a large variety of donuts that almost anybody can find, you won’t go wrong! Each donut is reasonably priced and made with high-quality ingredients that are fresh every single day.
Donuts go away QUICKLY. Be sure to come at a prime time or call to reserve any donuts you’d like. As I said before, being vegan does limit the amount of variety I can have from SloDoCo, though I don’t find this to be a huge issue (however, it may be a problem for other customers).
SloDoCo has been one of my absolute favorite shops for desserts in my college town! I never fail to enjoy excellent donuts, gluten free or not, but all completely vegan. Though they do not have as much variety as their non-vegan donuts, I do appreciate that they are currently broadening their horizon of flavors, especially since they’ve come out with galaxy donuts and seasonal donuts. Even if you are not vegan, you will LOVE the vegan donuts. Please visit SloDoCo as a travel highlight if you ever come up to San Luis Obispo. You will not regret it!