SF Bay Area
Food and drink that has us seeing gold
Sure Chicago is known for our deep-dish pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, and even Italian beef, but one area where we are highly underrated is in our doughnut scene. Most Chicagoans can easily rattle off their preferred weekend morning indulgence, with doughnut allegiances being known to spike intense conversation around the office coffee pot. Pick your poison, and there is a Chicago doughnut spot for you, from cloud-like to sinfully sweet, old fashioned classics and never before seen flavors, or even served with a slab of ice cream, be sure to check out the below and let us know what you think! #Chicagoandfood for those Instagram posts!
What would you do if you were a Chicago culinary icon with multiple successful restaurants, and you found yourself in possession of an abandoned bank vault? If you were Brendan Sodikoff, the answer is to open up a doughnut stand. With one tiny serving window and barely enough space to pour your own coffee, the Doughnut Vault is quite susceptible to long lines, but trust us… it is worth it. With countless awards, rotating new flavors, and a menu painted on the exterior wall, you really can’t go wrong. We highly recommend the glazed, but have trouble saying no to their buttermilk old fashioned. While having two locations, only one is open on the weekend. Personally, we suggest arriving around 9am (30 minutes before opening) to grab one of the first spots in line. Be careful if you wait too long, as they are open “til sold out”… which happens every day. Also keep an eye out for their Vault Van food truck, which can be tracked on their Twitter account @doughnutvault.
We have Rich Labriola, leader of a well-known Chicago baking company, to thank for bringing Stan’s Donuts to Chicago. After seeing Los Angeles Stan’s Donuts on TV, Rich partnered with Stan to bring the donut-icon to Chicago, with some Labriola twists. Today you can try amazing flavors such as Peanut Butter Banana Pocket, Glazed Pretzel, Captain Crunch Bismark, and Biscoff Pocket, at Stan’s 6 locations in Chicago. These are some of the sweetest and most indulgent donuts we have tried, and we find ourselves constantly craving their unique flavor combinations that push the boundary of what exactly defines a donut. Be prepared for your eyes to be hungrier than your stomach, but embrace the indulgence and treat yourself… that’s what donuts are for.
A true classic, Do-Rite Donuts makes its donuts in small batches, never more than 36 at a time. Their goal is freshness, and boy oh boy do they nail it. With specials varying by the day, you really can’t go wrong. We love the Valrohna Chocolate Cake and the Michigan Apple Fritter. Oh, and did we mention that Do-Rite also has Gluten Free and Vegan options that are made from scratch? These aren’t throw-away mediocre options either with Gluten Free options such as Birthday Cake or Cinnamon & Sugar. Finally, Do-Rite does an excellent job of delivery and pre-orders to make sure you get your donut-fix in the most efficient manner possible. These donuts are just plain old fashioned (pun intended) good.
Frequently voted one of the “best of Chicago” and having 5 locations across the city, Glazed and Infused Doughnuts are made fresh daily by hand. Glazed and Infused takes great pride in using only the best ingredients, and has some of the friendliest service in town. Founded in 2012, Glazed and Infused has succeeded in its mission to be a fun and casual coffee and doughnut shop. We love their Red Velvet cake doughnut, and their Chocolate4 doughnut is absolutely sinful (Devil’s food cake glazed with Madagascar vanilla bean glaze, dipped in chocolate ganache, then topped with dark and white chocolate curls). Feeling extra crazy? Glazed and Infused offers a Jumbo Doughnut (via special order only) which is a 16” monster capable of feeding 20 people. We have never walked of a Glazed and Infused shop with less than 5 flavors… even if we went in intending to only get one doughnut.
Firecakes has the best of everything, and a little bit more. An ambience that is authentic yet charming, give you a glimpse into the donut making process: check. Classic flavors such as Honey Glazed, Old Fashioned Buttermilk, Vanilla Iced: check. Innovative flavors such as Maple Glazed Pineapple & Bacon or Valrhona Chocolate & Espresso Cream: check. Rotating seasonal specialties including Peanut Butter & Jelly or an Apple Cinnamon Fritter (one of our favorites): check. Firecakes also offers some great coffee and expresso beverages, and while they could have stopped there with all of the basics, they went a step further to create an Ice Cream Donut Sandwich. You did not read that incorrectly. Carefully slicing a Honey Glazed rectangular donut down the middle, Firecakes adds a slab of frozen gelato, and tops it all off with drizzled chocolate. When you are ready to take your donut came to the next level, Firecakes is the place to go.