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Sidecar: The Doughnut Is In The Details

Sidecar: The Doughnut Is In The Details


If you have not yet heard of Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee, you’ve been living under a bagel! It’s only one of the most discussed, most sampled, most beloved indulgences in all of Costa Mesa.

The doughnuts themselves, of which we’ll wax poetic in a moment, are truly beyond compare; and the friendly, little location on 17th Street eminates a sugar-infused, retro-yet-modern vibe that makes you want to just grab your favorite coffee cup and move in permanently!


Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee Black Apron

Not A Thread Out Of Place: Even The Aprons Are Pure Perfection! | photo: @byoungforeverphotog


Writers are hardly ever at a loss for words; but finding the appropriate array of adjectives to give you, dear reader, a textual taste of the flavor and fluffiness that is a Sidecar creation is, well… a whole (hole?) lot harder than you’d think!

Really, the only way to understand why we’re dough-nuts for Sidecar is to go eat one yourself, right now.

It’s okay, we’ll wait.


Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee: Huckleberry and Maple Bacon Donuts

Doughnuts Worth A Thousand Words: Maple Bacon and Huckleberry | @byoungforeverphotog


Now that you’ve fully swallowed the magnitude of mouthwatering we’re dealing with, let’s highlight what we think makes Sidecar special.

In our opinion, it starts with the food. (Of course!)

So who do we have to thank, or hug – or name our kids after – for sweet, heavenly, Sidecar bliss? Why, their magical and charming Executive Chef: Brooke Desprez! At any given time, Chef Desprez is serving up a baker’s dozen or so of tasty doughnut options on the menu.


Chef Brooke Desprez Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee Costa Mesa California

The Tremendous Talent Behind The Tastiness: Chef Brooke Desprez | photo: @byoungforeverphotog


Some flavors, like the Huckleberry, Butter & Salt and Madagascar Vanilla Twist – are scrumptious regulars. Others are monthly masterpieces we only get to enjoy for a limited time.

The month of May, for example, boasts such beauties as Mexican Hot Chocolate (topped with a Mexican hot chocolate glaze of cinnamon and Aleppo pepper; and finished with a mound of toasted marshmallows), Pineapple Upside Down Cake (fresh roasted pineapple cake doughnut, topped with a pineapple slice and Bing Cherry), and Coconut Flan (raised and topped with house made coconut flan, caramel glaze, and toasted coconut).

We heart how Chef Desprez plays with her menu. Flan and Mexican Hot Chocolate for the month of Cinco de Mayo? Fun!


Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee Costa Mesa California Gourmet Donuts

I’ll have the Huckleberry. No, wait…the Maple Bacon. No, wait… | photo: @byoungforeverphotog


We asked the Chef about her process. How does she think up such imaginative recipes, month after month? She told us she is always tinkering away in her test kitchen, baking and tasting and translating the flavor profiles of various cuisine into the doughnut versions of themselves. According to Desprez, inspiration can come from any place, at almost any time.

“Ideas are everywhere,” said Desprez. “I could be driving down the street and see something that inspires me. I like to draw from what’s fresh and in season, or whatever holidays are coming up.”

During our visit, we could tell Chef Desprez runs a tight ship: quality is clearly top priority in her kitchen. We were, frankly, floored at how much staff was required to keep the bakery case stocked with piping-fresh doughnuts. (We counted 11 people working on the day of our visit!) But when you are committed to never selling a single doughnut that is more than one hour old, you’ve just got to roll up your sleeves and bake like crazy.


Sidecar Doughnuts Kneading Dough Black and White

It Takes A Lot Of Work To Make Doughnuts That Aren’t Just Delicious, But Inspired: Jon Desprez | photo: @byoungforeverphotog


The doughnuts aren’t the only thing that sets this place apart. The coffee is to die for! Sidecar gets all their coffee beans custom-roasted by Portland, Oregon darling, Stumptown Coffee. You haven’t had a cup of coffee until you’ve had a cup of Stumptown; it’s the good stuff.

And really, the fact Stumptown’s served is just further evidence that quality and refinement reign supreme at Sidecar. There is a golden thread of painstaking attention-to-detail that runs through the experience from start to finish. The beautiful dark wood, sparkling glass and pristine subway tiles radiate class. The friendly, young faces greeting you evoke warm-fuzzies even before you’ve sipped your Americano. And the beautifully-designed logo – along with seasonal custom-stamping of coffee cups and boxes – has permanently embossed “Sidecar” on the hearts of so many Costa Mesans!


Sidecar Doughnuts: Icing Donuts

Taking A Quick Break From Baking To Heart Costa Mesa: Kim Fisher and Yesenia Sicairos | photo: @byoungforeverphotog


So the next time you’re in Costa Mesa and you’re craving something sweet or caffeinated, swerve on over to Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee at 270 East 17th Street, #18. Whichever doughnut flavor you end up choosing, we think you’ll thank us for the recommendation. ❤


Do your eyes want to feast on more photos from Sidecar Doughnuts? Satisfy your cravings in our photo gallery!


About The Author

The Mesa Maven

The Mesa Maven is a writer, entrepreneur, community organizer and - most importantly - Costa Mesa Superfan!!! She's simply mad for this Mesa On The Coast and all the creative, independent, amazing, everyday things happening in our sunny backyard. The Maven lives with her husband, two kids and guinea Costa Mesa, of course!

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