When I was growing up in a mid-size Midwest town, donut shops were where the old men hung out and drank coffee all day. After years of dwindling popularity, donuts (doughnuts?) have made a comeback in a big way. At some of Chicago’s donut shops, you’ll find a line of hipsters out the door, but don’t let that deter you! These are some of my favorite Chicago donut shops.
The Doughnut Vault
Doughnut Vault started in a tiny hole in the wall (literally) and has grown to include a 2nd location and a food truck! Doughnut Vault is a classic Chicago donut shop, with a small assortment of classic flavors plus one daily special announced on social media every morning. Doughnut Vault is a small-batch operation, so keep an eye out for social posts indicating that they’ve run out of doughnuts for the day. There is usually a line on weekends, so grab a friend and a cup of coffee to wait it out. (Bonus: I always bring my dog along as the Vault is in walking distance of my house – the inside only holds a line of about 3 people, so it’s never been an issue as there isn’t indoor seating)
Beaver’s Coffee + Donuts
Beaver’s Coffee + Donuts is located in the Chicago French Market and also has a food truck. Beaver’s starts with made-before-your eyes mini donuts and you choose from sugar toppings (free) or signature toppings like S’mores, Strawberry Bella or Nutella Dream, which are $1 extra. A $2 Mini order gets you 4 donuts, a $4 Small comes with 9, a Medium is $6 for 15 donuts and a Large is $14 for 35. Beaver’s also serves Metropolis coffee, water juice and milkshakes! As with all food trucks, follow them on social to see where they’ll be and when.
Firecakes has two Chicago locations, in River North and Lincoln Park. Like the Doughnut Vault, they are open until they sell out, which means you know you’re getting fresh doughnuts. They have about a dozen flavors on offer, from the classic glazed doughnuts to Coconut Cream, Red Velvet and Apple Fritters. They are not too far from the Doughnut Vault, so you could technically hit up both and have a taste test!
Glazed And Infused
Glazed and Infused has five Chicago locations, including a walk-up window (dog-friendly!) in River North. Glazed already earns points for their cheeky name from my favorite movie, Dazed and Confused, but their raised sugar doughnut was my favorite of all the doughnuts I sampled to write this post. The simple, sweet taste took me back to the 80’s, when I didn’t know what a carb or a cavity was. While fancy doughnuts can be fun, it’s the simplicity of a sugar or glazed doughnut that really makes me smile. These doughnuts are quite large, though, so they don’t leave much room for sampling multiple flavors.
Stan’s Donuts & Coffee
Stan’s Donuts is an LA transplant, now with 6 Chicago locations plus 1 in Oakbrook. While researching this post, I stopped by their Mag Mile location, tucked in the corner of Labriola cafe. Pasta and donuts…shut up and take my money! Stan’s Donuts are what I think of as class donut shop donuts. Sure, you can get some fancy flavors like Toffee Cake or Buttercream Bismarck, but their glazed donut is exactly what a glazed donut should taste like! Perfectly fluffy and sweet, with a sticky glaze that leaves you wanting more!
Are you a donut fan? Of all the Chicago donut shops, what is your favorite?
This post is also part of the Weekly Postcard. Click here to check out other posts this week!