Mary’s Donuts (Santee)


Who needs cronuts when you have Mary’s Donuts!?  With all the food trends going on we needed to find ourselves again.  We needed an old classic to properly give us the perspective to move forward in this trendy, I want everything now world.  There’s a tendency to neglect things that aren’t broke in favor of the new shiny toy someone else got their hands on.  This is where Mary’s Donuts comes into play and will ultimately help us regain our sense of self.  No this isn’t the 100th time I’ve been here.  This is the first time I’ve stepped foot in Mary’s but boy did it seem familiar.  It had everything a neighborhood shop should have: the ambiance, the feel, dozens of fresh familiar donuts, oh and ice cold milk.


I wish I wasn’t camera shy and got more pictures so you get a better sense of the selection and the vibe.  We got the itch on a random Wednesday at 3:00pm.  I guess not that many people stop in donut shops at 3:00pm on Wednesdays.  I did see a man pull up after we left so that made me feel better about myself.  There was an awkward silence when we arrived, not seeing a soul in sight and then suddenly being startled with someone working behind the counter rising out of nowhere like Altered Beast.  At that moment we had to quickly look at the menu and order.  This awkwardness/time limit of course was 100% self imposed and the cashier didn’t give us any weird vibes (that I detected at least).  As you can see they have the classics like chocolate, frosted, maple, etc.  They also have jelly filled donuts, cinnamon rolls, bear claws, and apple fritters.


What can I say?  We left fulfilled and not once did I think about cronuts or the next best thing.  The only thing I could think about was how many times I needed to work out before I could come back to try other flavors guilt free.  The donuts were moist and had just the right amount of sweetness.  The apple fritter was our favorite and it took us over a day to finish that massive one.  I’d certainly recommend that or any other donuts at Mary’s.  Hope you have a great hump day San Diego!

Mary’s Donuts
9031 Mission Gorge Rd.
Santee, CA 92071

Mary's Donuts on Urbanspoon

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About Darren

Fooood! I love it if you can't tell already. I love everything about it. The taste, the smell, the look, the feel, the satisfaction, the gratification, and ultimately: the fun! I've been in San Diego for about 10 years now and it amazes me that there are still places to uncover. Traveling, eating, and taking pictures of food has always been a hobby of mine. So naturally Michael and I thought it made sense to share what we found with all of you. I tend to side with the savory but never shy away from a knock out dessert. If you have a place you think we haven't tried let us know! We're always on the lookout...

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4 Comments on “Mary’s Donuts (Santee)”

  1. Mary’s is 24/7 – the folks in Santee are so lucky! This place is a beloved institution here. The folks working here are so nice too. My fave donut here is the French cruller, made even better when you can get them fresh!

  2. The crullers are hot at 8 pm on Friday and Saturday nights, probably other nights also. Mary’s used to be called Zona’s Donuts and Zona was married to the guy who owned the fuel station (and former drive through dairy and beer store) next door. Don’t be afraid to stop at places; usually the outcome is wonderful, especially if you’ve seen it forever…

  3. Thanks Cathy! It’s not so much being afraid as it is just not taking the time to stop and give it a shot. I think I probably eat donuts maybe once every four months so I don’t typically go out of my way for them. But I’m glad we discovered them so when the craving kicks in we have a go to place now.

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