It seems these days that almost every food has a “National Day.” We don’t celebrate them all, but there’s one we can always get behind, and that’s Doughnut Day.
Chicago’s Doughnut shop openings are still on the rise, but a few key players dominate the doughnut game. Every year, we do our due diligence and visit both large and small doughnut shops across the city to provide you with our favorite must-order doughnuts at each. So read on, and make plans this summer to conquer the doughnut scene, one delicious bite at a time.
We’re not mad about the increasing presence of Stan’s Donuts across the city. Stan’s is known for their old fashioned flavored doughnuts, but we opted for a Glazed Pretzel doughnut instead. This size-of-your-face doughnut is perfect for sharing, and tastes like a denser glazed doughnut mixed with a cinnamon roll. Make no mistake, it only has pretzel in its name because of the unique shape. With the variety of doughnut options at Stan’s, and it’s adorable pink interior, you can’t go wrong here. Stan’s Donuts has locations in Wicker Park, Streeterville, Lakeview, South Loop, and River North. For more information about the menu, locations, and contact information, visit here.
Do-Rite Donuts is another delicious Chicago staple, but unfortunately the locations are limited to the downtown area. If you are in Lincoln Park, however, you can place an order online and pick up your doughnut at Summer House Santa Monica (woot!) Some of our favorite doughnuts at Do-Rite are the Candied Maple Bacon and Michigan Apple Fritter. This time, however, we decided to branch-out and ordered the Carrot Cake doughnut. The doughnut was cake-doughnut, glazed in vanilla bean icing and topped with a dollop of cream cheese icing. It was not as sweet as other doughnuts, which can be a nice change of pace in the morning! Do-Rite Donuts has locations in Streeterville and West Loop. For more information about the menu, locations, and contact information, visit here.
As you walk up to the bright blue Doughnut Vault door near Merchandise Mart, you feel as though you’re on a quaint Parisian street. This shop is famous for its long lines and quickly sold-out doughnuts. I soon discovered it’s because the shop itself is the size of my walk-in closet. The line moves quick though with only a few doughnuts on the menu. The Buttermilk Old Fashioned is the Vault’s most popular choice. The crunchy, crackled outside covered in a light glaze gave way to a dense, old fashioned buttermilk cake doughnut. The cute outdoor photo-opp, traveling Doughnut Vault Van and $1 coffee makes Doughnut Vault high on my list of favorites in the city. Doughnut Vault has locations in West Loop, River North, and a doughnut truck. For more information about the menu, locations, and contact information, visit here.
It’s safe to say Firecakes has cemented their spot in the doughnut world here in Chicago. And with the opening of their second location in Lincoln Park, they are fulfilling all of our doughnut dreams in two neighborhoods. The Vanilla Bean doughnut is by far their most popular, but other options like Butterscotch Praline and Malted Milk are high on our list. Firecakes has locations in River North and Lincoln Park. For more information about the menu, locations, and contact information, visit here.
West Town Bakery
It’s not often you encounter an award-winning doughnut. The Blueberry Lemon Almond Doughssant at West Town Bakery was voted the fan favorite at Donut Fest in Chicago. In between the layers of flakey croissant dough (keep in mind, the doughssant is a doughnut croissant hybrid), I discovered a gooey blueberry jelly filling mixed with a thick creamy lemon whip. The doughssant was dusted in sugar and drizzled with a light lemon frosting and shaved buttery almonds sprinkled atop. Operating as a full service bakery, West Town’s doughnut options are limited, but the doughssant is a Bitch-approved fruit-filled favorite. West Town Bakery is located in West Town at 1916 W Chicago Ave Chicago, IL. For more information about the menu, or contact information, visit here.
After lusting over their food truck on Twitter for quite some time, we finally had to get our hands on some Beavers Doughnuts. Aside from the food truck, you can find Beavers Doughnuts at a stand permanently in the Chicago French Market. Beavers Doughnuts reminds us of those state fair mini-doughnuts you got as a kid. They’re messy, they’re doughy, they’re covered in sugar, and they’re amazingly delicious. We opted for a simple coating of cinnamon-sugar, but you can also get flavor toppings on your mini-doughnuts like PB&J, Nutella, Turtle, and S’mores. Trust us, this doughnut truck is worth tracking down. Beavers Doughnuts is located in the Chicago French Market at 131 N. Clinton Street, Chicago, IL. For more information, visit here.
A newbie to the doughnut game, Doodle’s on Wells Street is a brand new, and a unique addition to the doughnut scene here in Chicago. The Pink Lemonade doughnut is one of their more popular, and surprising doughnuts. A sweet exterior, with pink, tart icing on top, and stuffed full of a lemony custard. We’d definitely recommend stopping in and trying one this summer. Doodle’s Doughnuts is located in Old Town at 1419 N Wells St, Chicago, IL. For more information, visit here.
Lovely: A Bake Shop
There is lots to be loved about Lovely in Wicker Park. Their homemade cinnamon sugar doughnut is soooo good. Covered completely in cinnamon sugar, it is simple, yet delicious. When you take a bite, nostalgia sets in and memories of those snickerdoodle cookies we loved as children start flooding back. While this spot isn’t solely a doughnut shop, and doesn’t have a large variety of our favorite decadent pastry halos, the ones that they do have are pretty good, considering. Stop in for the cinnamon sugar doughnut (our favorite!), a classic glazed, a chocolate frosted, or a bacon mini, all made in house at their sister location, Lovely, Too. Lovely: A Bake Shop is located at 1130 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL. For more information, visit here.
Glazed & Infused:
Don’t be mistaken, this pretty sprinkled covered creation is not to be taken lightly. If there was a bad Bitch of the Chicago doughnut scene, Glazed & Infused would be her. They pride themselves on flavorful re-invention of the iconic American doughnut and that is exactly what they do. Whether is is their take on a classic doughnut, or coming up with unique and flavorful new creations, Glazed & Infused is making their mark on Chicago, one bite at a time. We opted for the classic sprinkle cupcake here, but there was nothing “classic” about it. This doughnut is packed with flavor and is nothing like its 7-11 second cousin. Made with vanilla cake, covered in a Madagascar vanilla bean glaze and dipped in sprinkles, it is pure perfection and will satisfy any doughnut lovers craving. Glazed & Infused has locations in Lincoln Park, Streeterville, The Loop, West Loop and River North. For more information about the menu, locations, and contact information, visit here.