0-2 at Stardust Donut Shop in Imperial Beach - NO DONUTS FOR YOU!

To be completely fair, we were warned - plus, the "Fresh Donuts" sign was not on.  Multiple times, we have been warned that the owners of the Stardust Donut Shop in Imperial Beach (Ed and Cliff Arnold) play by their own rules.  Better yet, they open when they want, close when they want and make only what they want to on any given day.  Heck, they have been in the "ring business" since 1967.   Don't like it?  Then, NO DONUTS FOR YOU!

The last time we biked down from Coronado to Imperial Beach was about 3 years ago.  We made the 8 mile ride in about 45 minutes and worked up an appetite for freshly made cinnamon rolls.   We arrived around 9am on a Saturday and surprised to see it still closed.  We tapped on the window and were told that they were closed and would open sometime today.  Then, he pointed to the sign on the window (enlarged below).



Fast forward 3 years.  We rode out bikes down last weekend in hopes for a Strandworthy experience of enjoying some yummy donuts and cinnamon rolls.  This time, we arrived closer to 10:30am on a Saturday.  Different time, same results.  We were shut out again and when we asked politely when they would open.  The person making donuts (probably one of the owners) stopped, grunted something that we couldn't understand and went back to work.  This time, we laughed it off and went next door to Don Panchos Taco Shop - not quite the same as hot donuts, but it fueled us up for the ride back home to Coronado.

Here is the local tip:  Don't expect to get served there unless the sign says "open" and you see a line.  If you read the reviews on Yelp, it appears to be worth it, but we couldn't tell you that firsthand - hopefully someday we can!  Don't forget, cash only.

If you have been here, and been served a donut or cinnamon roll, let us know how they taste in the comments!


Enjoying a "second choice", but good breakfast burrito at Don Panchos Taco Shop next door. 

Here is an old Union Tribune article from 2006 with more details about the Arnold brothers:  Glazed with sugar, and sass

Here is another story from from the San Diego Reader:  Stardust's Famous Rings

The Arnold brothers reminded us of another owner that plays by his own rules:  NO SOUP FOR YOU!

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Comment by Buzz Fink on December 27, 2012 at 8:42am

I have not had a donut from there in years but they are AWESOME!!!!  They were the only ones I've ever known to make a chocolate glazed donut.  No, not chocolate on top but the donut itself is a chocolate glazed donut.  I'm kinda glad they don't have regular hours or I might be 300 pounds today!!!  :)

Comment by Ashley J on December 27, 2012 at 9:16am
I know of someone who has tried to get one of these donuts multiple times and struck out too!
Comment by Greer Goebels on December 27, 2012 at 11:00am

Never been successful getting one of those donuts, maybe some day...

Comment by Mayor Casey Tanaka on December 27, 2012 at 3:20pm

I was there just a few days ago and I felt lucky to find them open, but they only had two types of donuts left: caramel pecan rolls and buttermilk twists. I gave them both a try and they were superb, as usual. It's definitely a treat to find them open.

Comment by Maria Simon on December 28, 2012 at 9:58pm

My friend and I hit the jackpot there a couple days before Christmas - after a visit to the shell shop in IB. I was a little nervous as I approached the window (having heard some hilarious "Seinfeldesque" stories!), but I smiled and held out my money. They had a huge selection and the owner was very pleasant. I thought I better take advantage of the opportunity and so I bought more than I needed, but it was so worth it!! Best buttermilk donut I've ever had! 

Comment by Erin Grady Brown on December 31, 2012 at 9:11am

We go down there occasionally and I guess I'm just lucky because I usually find them open! They are very tasty and yes, the guys can be quite cranky. I'd been panicky because I'd heard that they don't like having to make change from a twenty, so I dug around so it'd be exact and then there was annoyance because my money was a bit wrinkly. They aren't mean or anything, just what I'd call crotchety, and if you see it as part of the ambiance then it's amusing. We do like those cinnamon rolls! They aren't the big, gooey buns covered in frosting, but regular donut-size and style. Yum!

We usually go on a weekday or a Saturday, maybe lunchtime. I've heard they are closed on Sundays.

Comment by eCoronado on December 31, 2012 at 9:18am

Thanks everyone for the comments, Erin, we think you nailed it.  We are optimistic about getting cinnamon rolls on our next attempt and agree that it's just part of the "ambiance" of Stardust Donuts.  The hunt continues...

Comment by Elizabeth Peterson on December 31, 2012 at 10:16pm

That taco shop is the best in the business...ate there for 15 years, and they never spent a dime on decor...just delicious Mexican food.  Never been a donut person, so I didn't notice the donut shop.

Comment by Pat Cooley on January 1, 2013 at 10:10pm

I was very lucky ONCE and got a dozen glazed, raised.  Yep.  But guess what, go to Clayton's (10th and Orange) donut/coffee window and you will be very happy.  Their donuts are as good as Stardust and they have a great selection.  They are close, delicious, and addictive!  I ride my bike up 9th to avoid the temptation...

Comment by Kendal on January 2, 2013 at 10:53am

I LOVE their cinnamon rolls! I've noticed they seem to be open mid afternoon more often then not/

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