There’s no shortage of delicious sweet treats in Chicago, but today let’s focus on an indulgent favorite: the donut. No, we’re not talking about your standard Dunkin’ Donuts fare—these seven Chicago donut spots break the mold and have the power to convince you to break your diet. They might even convince you to go a little overboard.
401 N Franklin Street
Don’t blink, or you might miss it. The Donut Vault is tucked away at 401 (and ½) N. Franklin Street, close to the Merchandise Mart. They frequently sell out of their old fashioned donuts, so get there early (and expect a bit of a line) if you have your eye on one flavor in particular. They also have a donut food truck that circles around the area—follow their Twitter account to determine its current location.
Donut Suggestion: The best old fashioned donut is the one without a lot of fuss, so I’d recommend trying the buttermilk old fashioned. But as any donut lover knows, one isn’t enough. Go for a glazed donut, apple fritter, or check out their rotating daily specials.
another day, another donut A photo posted by emmy noms (@emmynoms) on
There are almost too many donuts to choose from at Stan’s Donuts, which wouldn’t be a bad thing if everyone had an unlimited stomach and calorie capacity. Unfortunately, you’ll have to pick and choose to get out of here alive. Donuts are split up by Standard fare, Specialties and Dough Boy’s Best Donuts. They also have some gluten-free options! The newest location is in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, but you can also enjoy Stan’s Donuts in Wicker Park, Streeterville, and by the Roosevelt Red Line stop.
Donut Suggestion: If you’ve got some calories to spare (c’mon, we’re talking about donuts here), I’d suggest the indulgent Peanut Butter Banana Pocket, which is a divine gift to us mere mortals. If you still have room left after that (or want a donut for later), try the Captain Crunch Bismark or Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Donut.
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68 W Hubbard Street
Are you ready to take your donut addiction to the next level? Firecakes Donuts offers an Ice Cream Donut Sandwich for the most extreme sweet tooth. It’s currently located in River North, but a new location is opening in Lincoln Park. And if that’s not enough, they also deliver. Be still, our hearts.
Donut Suggestion: Try the Sicilian Pistachio Old Fashioned or any of the Valrhona Chocolate donuts. (On an ice cream sandwich, if you please.)
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Though Glazed and Infused donuts are more than worth going out of your way for, they have a lot of convenient locations in Lincoln Park, River North, Wicker Park, The Loop, and Streeterville. To sweeten the deal, donuts are also available for delivery if you just can’t make it out. For tourists who want a donut for breakfast before going out on the town, Kinzie Hotel and Raffaelo Hotel both feature Glazed and Infused donuts!
Donut Suggestion: The Maple Bacon Long John. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and savory, plus, bacon. If you’re not into that, you’ll probably still appreciate the Sweet Tooth Donut, which is smothered in mini-M&Ms.
131 N Clinton Street
Beaver’s Coffee and Donuts is the perfect donut option for when you’re trying to trick yourself into thinking you have self control—just don’t be surprised when you’ve eaten more donuts than you planned to consume. Their donuts are miniature-sized and usually come covered in a delicious flavored powder. Choose your size (4 mini donuts to 35) accordingly. You can find Beaver’s Coffee and Donuts at the Chicago French Market or you can follow their Twitter account to see where their donut food truck is currently located.
Donut Suggestion: Donuts are a standard flavor, but you have the option to add free sugar toppings or pay $1 extra for their signature toppings. Goombah is a cannoli topping with crumbled pastry shells. Another best bet is the Turtle topping: chocolate sauce, caramel sauce and chopped pecans.
W Randolph Street
You’ll feel like a European when you try this Italian take on the classic donut. BomboBar is a newcomer to the Chicago donut scene, but gets instant accreditation for its affiliation to Bar Siena. Order bombolini as single flavors, or get a dozen to go. For an especially sweet dessert, pair a bombolini with their made-from-scratch gelato.
Donut Suggestion: Try a seasonal flavor or their Maple Buttercream bombolini. Then, pair with a complementary flavor of gelato for a double dose of sweet.
It’s a coffee and dessert kind of Sunday morning || #coffee #dessert #sweettreat #coffeeshoptabletop A photo posted by Katie Niemiec (@katieniemiec) on
2928 N. Broadway
Everyone is buzzing about the newest addition to Chicago’s donut scene—Bunny, The Micro Bakery. Besides being completely adorable, Bunny is the tiny “sequel” to Elizabeth Restaurant. Donuts are just one of the many gourmet offerings of this new foodie breakfast mecca. You can also indulge in foie gras toast, house-made cereal, and other menu items with locally-sourced ingredients.
Donut Suggestion: Go in and see what’s on special! Then try it paired with one of their other gourmet breakfast options.
Are you hungry yet? Between food trucks, locations in many Chicago neighborhoods, and delivery options, these dreamy Chicago donut spots make it almost too easy to indulge!