Serving up hot, fresh doughnuts Tuesday through Saturday, The Doughnut Vault is a tiny grab-it-and-go establishment that opens at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday-Friday and 9:30 a.m. on Saturdays. There’s no specified closing time, as the Vault stops selling whenever they sell out. But be sure to get there early, because the line for the Vault forms up to an hour and a half before opening. Yes, their doughnuts are just that good.
The Doughnut Vault has a special doughnut every day alongside its classic flavors, which consist of buttermilk old-fashioned, a gingerbread stack (3 doughnuts), and chocolate, vanilla, and chestnut glazed doughnuts. The special last Saturday was birthday cake, and jelly doughnuts are also offered seasonally. Past specials include dreamsicle old-fashioned, pistachio and horchata, to name a few. The Vault also sells coffee for just a dollar. Each doughnut costs $3 with the exception of the buttermilk old-fashioned, which costs $2.
If you think that those prices are steep for a doughnut, you couldn’t be more wrong. This is not your typical Dunkin’. Each doughnut is hot and fresh, and the glazed doughnuts are literally the size of your face. And with coffee for just a dollar, how could you go wrong?
The gingerbread stack consists of three smaller doughnuts that melt in your mouth. The outside is covered in cinnamon sugar, perfectly balancing the harsher flavor of the gingerbread dough. The glazed doughnuts are all delicious, but the chestnut’s nutty flavor makes it the best of the three. Its comforting contrast between the warm glaze and doughy, satisfying center perfectly complement your morning cup o‘ joe. The vanilla and chocolate glazed are still fantastic, but the sweetness of the chestnut is not overpowering, like the other glazed doughnuts can be. Also, even though the glazed doughnut was as large as my head, eating it was not a problem. The dough was soft and fluffy, making the doughnut less of a challenge than expected.
The true champion of the morning was the birthday cake doughnut, covered in sprinkles and vanilla glaze. With sprinkles running throughout the cake, each bite was like a sweet surprise.
If you’re looking for a fun way to start your morning or weekend adventure in the city, The Doughnut Vault should definitely be your destination. Tucked just a few short blocks away from Ogilvie Transportation Center in downtown Chicago, The Doughnut Vault is just a Metra or “L” ride away from bliss. However, be sure to line up early and be aware that the few tables outside the Vault fill up fast and there really isn’t a good place to sit down and savor your fresh pastries. But, if like me you can’t contain yourself, find a nice stretch of sidewalk to sit on. You’ll only be there for a few minutes anyway – your doughnuts will be gone before you know it.
400 1/2 N. Franklin St.
Chicago, IL 60654
Tuesday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – until they run out of doughnuts
Saturday 9:30 a.m. – until they run out doughnuts