I’m a girl of simple pleasures: 72-degree weather, t-shirt, jeans and any form of fried spherical dough. Unquestionably the most delicious of the pleasures, doughnuts present both an immediate novelty and a never-ending dilemma: How can I manage to try more than the singular doughnut I buy? Well, fellow foodies, I’ve managed to try nearly every doughnut at the most popular shops in Chicago, and the verdicts are in. After five locations and over 40 doughnuts devoured, digested and distributed, I’ve got your guide for the best glazed, frosted and old-fashioned treats. Doughnuts are the new cupcakes, so start munching.
Opened in 2011, this “shop” can barely be called that. Barely a few yards long and not even two yards wide, its name is descriptive of the space: it is literally a vault filled with doughnuts. If you’re looking for a classic, no fuss breakfast pastry, look no further. When it comes to the basics, mainly the glazed and old-fashioned buttermilk options, this location supersedes all. The dough is light and fluffy to the point of becoming addictive, and with the light yeast doughnuts, the seemingly Everest-like pastry won’t end in a stomachache. Only a block from the Merchandise Mart stop on the El, how can you pass it up?
Must Get: Vanilla Glazed, Chocolate Glazed, Buttermilk Old Fashioned
Address: 400 N Franklin St, Chicago, IL 60654
Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri: 8:30am-11:30am, Sat: 9:30am-11:30am, Sun: closed
Glazed and Infused
With a number of locations, the name isn’t the only genius part of this epic bakery. Glazed and Infused, not even a year old, has nailed down the unusual and unique formulas to satisfy every doughnut connoisseur’s desires. Its recent expansion to five Chicago locations, including Wicker Park, Lincoln Park and the Rafaello Hotel (four blocks from the Intercampus’s drop off), have put it all over the map, and its doughnuts have kept them there. Options like the blackberry goat cheese and peach iced tea flavors sound a bit wild but don’t disappoint.
Must Get: Terry’s Toffee, Banana Cream Cheese, Strawberry Rhubarb, Key Lime
Address: 201 E. Delaware Place, Chicago IL, 60611
Hours of Operation: Mon-Sun: 7am-2pm
See link for all 5 locations: http://www.goglazed.com/locations/
When you think of a classic bakery, this vision would closely align with the design of Dinkel’s Bakery. A bit run-down, with colorful cakes lined up in the window display, this charming shop was opened in 1922 by a German immigrant who knew his sweets. Although the bakery’s had almost 91 years to perfect their baked treats, the doughnuts remained a bit disappointing, with ample options but a lack of intense flavors. While we’d suggest you grab some of its chocolate chip butter cookies or order one of its decadent cakes, we wouldn’t recommend the trip to Lincoln Park just for the doughnuts — they’re missing more than just their center.
Must Get: Maple Walnut, Sour Cream Old Fashioned
Address: 3329 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
Hours of Operation: Mon: closed, Tues-Fri: 6am-7m, Sat: 6am-5pm, Sun: 8am-4pm
Currently one of the hottest doughnut spots in the country, Firecakes has a clean and inviting ambiance that urges hungry visitors to order one of each of its specialties. Though the options sound appetizing, the quality of the cakes isn’t quite up to par with that of some of the other Chicago shops. Not all the doughnuts met our high expectations, but there are a few particular winners that make up for the lack of consistency.
Must Get: Vanilla Iced, Old Fashioned Buttermilk
Address: 68 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654
Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri: 7:30am-2:30pm, Sat-Sun: 8:30am-2:30pm
What doesn’t Do-Rite have? With a distinct red awning against the colossal metal-lined skyscrapers, we were as enamored with the space as we were by the doughnuts. The friendly staff, exquisite doughnuts and deliciously rich coffee allow both picky and daring customers to find something to satisfy their craving. Do-Rite’s options are suitable for everyone and anyone, with a selection for vegans as well. It has truly mastered the art of this American confectionary, and a trip downtown to visit the shop would be worth your while.
Must Get: Caramel Crème Brulee (Mondays only), Vanilla Bean Glazed Cinnamon Crunch, Vegan Chocolate Cake Donut with Vanilla Icing
Address: 50 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601
Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri: 6:30am-12pm, Sat-Sun: 7am-1pm