Chicago’s Donut Shops

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)

Doughnut Vault

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.

Chicago Donut Shop - Beaver's


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!

Firecakes Doughnuts

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.

Glazed & Infused

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!

Chicago Donut Shop - Stan's

Are you a donut fan?  Of all the Chicago donut shops, what is your favorite?


Chicago Donut Shops

This post was written for the 30 Places 30 Days Local Travel Challenge, to encourage local travel, of which I am a huge fan!  Check out the Honeybee Coffee Shop in Knoxville here!

This post is also part of the Weekly Postcard. Click here to check out other posts this week!


Two Traveling Texans
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12 thoughts on “Chicago’s Donut Shops

    • I did not – I had donuts before and after National Donut Day, but I avoided the crowds on the day itself 🙂

  1. Perfect for National Donut Day – These all look so good. Will have to check them out next time I’m in Chicago. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

  2. Okay! I love this post! I’ve been to the Stan’s in Westwood, LA, and had the Peanut Butter, which is I think their signature donut?! I love the name Doughnut Vault and think I would have to go there just for the name! We did a similar post about LA donut shops, last fall! Such fun! Did you know LA has the most donut shops of any city? #theweeklypostcard

  3. I was an adult before I had my first donut 😀 – one of the members of my team brought some to work on his birthday I remember. I was mesmerised by the whole experience!!!! I have shared the love though and my 5 yr old loves them haha! These ones look super yum!

  4. Back in the day, my donut heaven was Puff Fluff donuts at Pratt (6800 north) and Western (2400W) My die for donut was the big fat ones with white stuff in the middle oozing wildly, and chocolate on top. More a Mom and Pop place, no other locations. Anybody know how to make me time travel?

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