The 12 Best Doughnuts And Doughnut Shops In Chicago
In the cupcake versus doughnut war Chicago is firmly on Team Doughnut. Here are the places that make the best doughnuts in Chicago.
A pretzel doughnut from Bridgeport Bakery. (Photo credit: Chicagoist/Chuck Sudo)
Maple Bacon Long John at Glazed and Infused
We get that there is some bacon fatigue setting in, with the meat once relegated to the breakfast plate seemingly everywhere. But when placed atop a doughnut the balance of sweet and salty just works. Our favorite rendition of this popular combination is Glazed and Infused's Maple Bacon Long John. A single slice of peppered bacon, cooked to just the right crisp but slightly chewy consistency, runs the length of the long john nestled into the maple frosting. The frosting exudes a real maple flavor and is sweet without being overly so. The long john itself is just the right texture for a yeast doughnut light pastry. While not as dense as a cake doughnut, it's perhaps more substantial than other yeast doughnuts around town.-Benjy Lipsman
Glazed and Infused has locations at 813 W. Fulton Market, 30 E. Hubbard St., 914 W. Armitage, 1576 N. Milwaukee Ave. and 201 E. Delaware Place.
Do-Rite was my first delve into the realm of gourmet doughnuts and I’ve never looked back. Between the candied maple bacon doughnut and the pistachio-Meyer lemon creation, they’ve got sweet and salty completely covered at their unassuming nook along Randolph St. If you’re gluten intolerant or vegan, you’ll especially dig Do-Rite’s daily specials. -Katie Karpowicz
I tend to prefer cake doughnuts to their yeasty cousins and I've enjoyed seeing the resurgence of the old fashioned across town as gourmet doughnut shops have proliferated. But while I long for the crunchy jagged exterior and dense cake-like interior, many are just too sweet. Do-Rite's lemon old fashioned uses a lemon glaze and lemon zest to provide a fresh tart balance to the sweet that reminds me of mom's lemon bars.
Do-Rite Donuts is located at 50 W. Randolph St.
Apple Fritter at Old Fashioned Donuts
There is one doughnut in this world that I am willing to rent a car to obtain, and that special piece of fried dough is the apple fritter at Old Fashioned Donuts. A small bare bones shop located in Roseland all the way down at 113th and Michigan, it is a trek worth making. Bring a bevy of cash (it is a cash only joint), order a variety of doughnuts, be prepared to wait in line and above all else get an apple fritter. I am not exaggerating when I say this fritter is a big as a dinner plate. It is a monster of sweet that can be split between a few people or (my favorite option) munched on throughout a day or two. The gooey apple and teeth achingly sugary sweetness is perfectly cut by the fried dough. It’s the doughnut of your dreams. -Lisa White
Old Fashioned Donuts is located at 11248 S. Michigan Ave.
Chestnut Glazed Doughnut at Doughnut Vault
If someone in your office shows up one morning with a box of Doughnut Vault doughnuts, you need to make a new best friend with impeccable taste. The small doughnut window/doorway stand in Merchandise Mart serves up some of the most classically simple and delicious doughnuts in the city, and depending on who you ask, the country. The lines are long (go on a weekday either a bit early or later) and once they sell out they close up shop, but it is worth getting a taste of such a pillowy subtle melt-in-your-mouth doughnut. They are a bit on the pricey side, but are well sized and just enough satisfaction that you (probably) won’t gobble up more than one. The classic chestnut glazed option is my favorite, a slight nutty sweetness that is the perfect side to a morning coffee to start your day. -Lisa White
Doughnut Vault is located at 401 N. Franklin St.
Sunday Donut Shop at Longman & Eagle OSB
As if Longman & Eagle couldn’t be more perfect, they recently started hosting a doughnut pop-up shop on Sundays at their OSB bar. You’ll find a different rotating cast of characters that they’ll post about on social media, but if you just show up for a surprise we are sure you won’t be disappointed. The doughnuts also show up on the brunch menu, but we suggest grabbing a cup of spiked coffee and some fried dough in OSB while you wait for a table to devour some chicken and waffles. They are doing a seasonal reworking of the doughnut recipe, and the new menu kicks off this Sunday. We are partial to their jelly filled options after savoring a tart apricot filled doughnut dusted with a fine coat of sugar that was as light as a feather. Whiskey and doughnuts go hand in hand, who knew? -Lisa White
Sunday Donut Shop at Longman & Eagle OSB is located at 2657 N. Kedzie and is served on Sundays.
Maple Bacon Doughnut at endgrain
When Chef Enoch Simpson announced he was opening endgrain, the first thing we thought was “will he bring the doughnuts?” Simpson was the guy behind the doughnuts at Nightwood, which were always one of the high points of brunch service there, and when he struck out on his own there just had to be some, right? Luckily, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day you can stop in and get one of Simpson’s awesome confections. They make them from scratch daily in their basement prep kitchen and no matter how many they make, they still sell out fast on weekends. Flavors rotate but the maple bacon (and it’s many permutations) is still our favorite. -Anthony Todd
endgrain is located at 1851 W. Addison.
Beaver’s Coffee and Donuts
Just because their doughnuts are mini, don’t assume they pack any less of a punch. Beaver’s started out as as food truck, then got a permanent location inside the French Market. And if you work near the market you’ve probably scarfed down a half-dozen minis. They don’t add up to many calories, right? Well, they probably do when you top them with turtle sauce, made with pecans, caramel and chocolate. -Anthony Todd
Beaver’s Coffee and Donuts is in the Chicago French Market at 131 N. Clinton St.
Ice Cream Sandwich at Firecakes Donuts
I could talk about how much we love all the doughnuts at Firecakes - the chocolate hazelnut long john is like shoving a jar of Nutella into your mouth and the peanut butter cup is the Reese’s of our dreams - but I’ll stick to one: the ice cream sandwich. It comes in its own little holder, it’s pretty simple (just a glazed doughnut filled with vanilla ice cream) and it’s heaven. I’ll even eat it during a fall rainstorm, it’s that good. -Anthony Todd
Firecakes is located at 68 W. Hubbard St.
Chocolate Cake Doughnuts From Weber’s Bakery
The trip to Garfield Ridge is worth it for a solid dozen of these rich doughnuts. The icing is made from a blend of dark and milk chocolate and the cake is so moist it holds a dunk in some coffee better than any other cake doughnut I’ve tried in Chicago. -Chuck Sudo
Weber’s Bakery is located at 7055 W. Archer Ave.
Sunday Doughnuts at Nightwood
This Pilsen hotspot’s commitment to seasonal cooking and constantly changing menus even extends to its Sunday brunch menu and a rotating selection of doughnuts. Bacon butterscotch is a popular constant offering but recent options have included vanilla custard with a cider glaze and graham cracker crumble, milk chocolate pudding with a raspberry glaze and milk crumble and lemon curd with a blueberry glaze and ginger streusel. They’re filling, come with sugar-dusted doughnut holes and are often meals in themselves. -Chuck Sudo
Nightwood is located at 2119 S. Halsted St.
Maple Bacon and Pretzel Doughnuts from Bridgeport Bakery
One of these doughnuts is shaped to be kid-friendly, the other is made for the kid in you. Bridgeport Bakery’s pretzel doughnuts are light and airy creations topped with a chocolate or vanilla glaze and are probably more fun to eat than actual pretzels. Their maple bacon doughnuts are proof the biggest culinary trend of 2008 still persists today. These doughnuts are already heavy hitters and that’s before adding a maple glaze and topped with enough bites of bacon to cause cardiac arrest simply looking at it. But you have to be an early bird to grab these as they sell out quickly every day. -Chuck Sudo
Bridgeport Bakery is located at 2907 S. Archer Ave. these doughnuts may also be purchased during the week at Jackalope Coffee & Tea, 755 W. 32nd St.
Paczki from Delightful Pastries
There are plenty of places to get the Polish spin on doughnuts across Chicago but only Delightful Pastries produces consistently solid paczki year-round. Here they’re filled with your choice of plum or raspberry jelly, or custard. They’re light, golden brown in color and absolute perfection. -Chuck Sudo
Delightful Pastries has three locations at 5927 W. Lawrence Ave., 1710 N. Wells St. and in the Chicago french Market at 131 N. Clinton Ave.