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8 Great Chicago Doughnut Shops That Hit the Sweet Spot
Few people can resist a good doughnut and with the sweet treat’s sudden boom in popularity, Chicago has suddenly become home to many of the country’s finest shops. Check out eight top picks below to satisfy that doughnut craving. Some places are recent additions while others have been around for decades but no matter where you go, those fried pastries will hit the spot any hour of the day.
1 The Doughnut Vault
Brendan Sodikoff’s shop is not only the de facto standard for doughnuts in Chicago, but quite possibly the entire country. The award-winning spot has garnered praise from critics and eaters alike and it’s easy to see why. The menu features lots of inventive offerings alongside daily specials but the plain glazed doughnut shows you can’t beat the classics. Arrive early because there’s bound to be a line and once they’re all gone, Doughnut Vault closes up for the day. And if you bring a box to the office, well let’s just say you won’t have any trouble making some friends.
2 Stan’s Donuts & Coffee
Los Angeles’ famous shop Stan’s opened in Chicago last year thanks to a partnership with local breadman and restaurateur Rich Labriola. The selection of pastries comes in all shapes and sizes and features everything from buttermilk old fashioned and real fruit fritters to stuffed “pockets.” These specialty donuts are filled with spreads such as Biscoff cookie butter or peanut butter. You know, just in case a regular doughnut didn’t hit the sweet spot.
3 Glazed and Infused
With several locations scattered about, Glazed and Infused has quickly become one of the top doughnut purveyors in town. There are always rotating specials but you can never go wrong with the sweet and savory standby maple bacon Long John or the crème brûlée donut, which brings the famous dessert to pastry form by filling it with vanilla crème and coating it in a brûléed outer crust.
4 Do-Rite Donuts & Coffee
Whether it’s the pistachio-Meyer lemon doughnut or vanilla bean glazed cinnamon crunch, Do-Rite’s assortment of treats doesn’t disappoint. Better yet, the shop carries tons of special options for those who are gluten-intolerant or vegan.
5 Dinkel’s Bakery
This Lakeview institution has been serving piping-hot doughnuts for more than 90 years and there’s good reason people keep coming back. The bakery has a variety of pastries and goods available but the doughnuts are the highlight. Raspberry bismarck donuts are perfectly-filled dough balls while another popular choice is the chocolate-covered cake doughnut that’s an excellent rendition of a classic.
Firecakes offers several unique creations like a maple glazed pineapple & bacon doughnut and a peanut butter cup version, but the most exciting seasonal specialty is the ice cream doughnut sandwiches. The simple yet delicious delight is a doughnut cut in half, packed with scoops of gelato and drizzled over with chocolate sauce. It’s good enough to eat year-round but you’ll only find it during summer so don’t miss out.
7 Old Fashioned Donuts
Go big or go home at Old Fashioned Donuts. Texas doughnuts are large enough to fit around your neck while apple fritters can feed one for days. So definitely bring an appetite (or some friends) because finishing one of the fried behemoths here is no small task.
8 Dat Donut
Ever have a donut craving in the middle of the night? Well the next time that arises, head over to Dat Donut. The South Side spot is open 24 hours and offers a standard variety of glazed, chocolate, buttermilk and cake doughnuts that are “too good to dunk.” The signature Big Dat doughnuts will likely take you more than one sitting to finish though—it’s dat big.