When planning for Chicago, Doughnut Vault was one of the first things on my list. Of all the esteemed food experiences Chicago boasts, Vault came up time and time again. In one day, we came across 4 impressive donut-eries (is that the right word for a donut bakery?), all within our mile and a half of each other. Clearly, the people of Chicago love donuts. My type of people and my kind of city…
So, as promised, a list of the top donuts in Chicago!
I think these are the most talked-about donuts of Chicago. The original Vault is on Franklin and is the teeniest bakery I’ve ever been in, which definitely adds to the allure. The space is creatively designed into a cozy, vintage alcove. The donuts are wonderfully and refreshingly classic, the selection kept small with a seasonal rotation. Try the Buttermilk Old Fashioned and Apple Fritter.
This counter-serve shop is another great place to pick up a donut on the go. The smells upon entry overwhelm your senses in the best ways, making it difficult to choose your treat. Thankfully, the selection is limited so you don’t have to spend hours agonizing over a decision. Try a lemon poppy old-fashioned and their fresh-squeezed orange juice.
Glazed and Infused shakes it up a bit, offering the classics as well as experimental flavors. Similar to California Donuts in Los Angeles, they bake a big selection of innovative donuts like banana nutella, maple bacon, and PB&J.
Stan’s is a little cafe connected to Labriola, an Italian food hall off Magnificent Mile. The small chain started in Los Angeles before coming out to the Midwest. So these donuts actually have a bit of 50-something year history. And get this: Stan’s carries over 30 standard and specialty donuts. With a California influence, these flavors range from your classic buttermilk all the way to a Dreamsicle Bar…
Are you really living if you don’t indulge in a donut from a local spot? Do-Rite is a Chicago artisanal donut chain with a substantial selection of vegan donuts. I’m not vegan, but weirdly love vegan donuts (Whole Foods vegan donut holes, anyone?). With 10 rotating varieties and options for alternative dieters, they have something for everyone!