Chicago Eats: Go Nuts On Donuts

One of my favorite things about Chicago is that there are so many good doughnut spots around the city. My doughnut addiction may be a little out of hand, but I really can’t help myself. There is something about freshly made doughnuts I just cannot resist! Luckily for me, The Around The Way asked me to find the best doughnut in Chicago. This was a challenge I was more than ready to accept. If you can make it through this post without picking up at least a half-dozen doughnuts afterwards you are not human, I do not trust you.

Oh, just casually eat donuts at the bar. No biggie.
Oh, just casually eating donuts at the bar. No biggie.

Do-Rite Donuts:When I walked up to the small shop on Randolph Street, directly across from the Daley Center, there were at least seven other people waiting outside the door in line for some donuts. This was a good sign I thought, and I was right. I opted for the chocolate old fashioned, a classic, and a baked vegan blueberry. Do-Rite offers daily vegan specials as well as gluten-free options for those on the bandwagon.

  • Chocolate Old-Fashioned: Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, but maybe just a little too crispy for my liking. I felt like I could taste the dough more than the chocolate. The chocolate icing reminded me of Duncan Hines. Not bad, but I’ve had better chocolate donuts.
  • Baked Blueberry Vegan: This was so good! Really. Sometimes I’m a little skeptical about vegan baked goods because they tend to be a little more bland than the real deal, but this was amazing! Since it was baked it was a lot softer than the chocolate one I tried. It tasted almost like a bread or cake than a donut. The powdered sugar complimented it well. All I could think about while enjoying this donut is how perfect a glass of cold milk would be with it.

Stan’s Donuts & Coffee:Every time I go to Stan’s I have such a hard time picking out which donut I want because they all look so damn good. I never leave with just one. They also have really good coffee and I hear their gelato is pretty good although I’ve never tried it because to be honest, bag of donuts>gelato.

  • Chocolate  Glazed: This donut was so big and fluffy! Soft, delicious and hard to finish (but you know I don’t let a donut go to waste)! Really good, one of my favorite chocolate donuts.
  • Pumpking Old Fashioned: I was really hoping for a stronger pumpkin taste but it really just tasted like a glazed donut to me. Still good, and very fresh, just not quite what I’d imagine.

The Doughnut Vault:The Doughnut Vault has a store on Franklin Street, but I’ve only ever gotten doughnuts from the Vault Van. I pass the Vault Van on my way to work almost every single day. Do you know how hard it is to fight that temptation five days a week? I give in way too much. But with dollar coffee and awesome daily specials, how could I say no?

  • Triple Chocolate: This doughnut definitely lives up to the name. Chocolate dough, chocolate glaze and chocolate sprinkles, it’s all good. Soft, delicious and one of my favorites!
  • Peanut Butter Old Fashioned: Holy shit this was amazing. This doughnut tastes like a Nutter Butter, but better. Perfect combo of sweet and salty. A nice touch of peanuts on top adds a good crunch. If you never get to experience this because you have a peanut allergy I feel really sorry for you. This doughnut was the daily special at the Vault Van the day I went and I’m thinking I should start a Change.org petitition to make it a regular.

Firecakes Donuts: This small shop in River North serves up some big flavor. They have stepped up the donut game with ice cream donut sandwiches. It may be only 12 degrees out but it is never too cold for an ice cream donut sandwich.

  • Valrhona Chocolate Iced: The chocolate on this donut was so rich and delicious. In some of the other chocolate donuts I tried I tasted more dough and less chocolate, however that was not the case here. This was a serious chocolate donut and I could use another one right now.
  • Vanilla Iced: This donut was pretty. It had pink icing with beads on top. The taste was simple and sweet, nothing extravagant but still delicious. Solid choice for someone who likes to stick to the classics.

Glazed and Infused: Glazed and Infused has a couple of locations around the city. I usually hit up their walk-up window in Wicker Park before a night out in the neighborhood so I can keep a doughnut or two in my purse. Some people like fast food after a night of drinking, I like doughnuts. For this particular challenge I hit up the River North location which is also open late-night, in case you get the after midnight munchies.

  • Chocolate: Take a look at this doughnut and you might think that it may be doing too much, at least that’s what I thought. After one bite though I knew I was wrong. This doughnut was AMAZING. It may look over-the-top with it colorful chocolate coils on top, but the taste was indescribably delicious. The doughnut was so moist and the icing and coils were rich in flavor. I’ll take a dozen of these to go ASAP.
  • Coconut Pineapple: I was hoping this would taste like a piña colada in form of a doughnut but this doughnut was more coconut than pineapple. Although I couldn’t really taste the pineapple it was still a good coconut doughnut at least. You definitely need to wash this down with some milk, it’s a thick doughnut, almost hard to take that first bite.

Beaver’s Donuts: I’ve been curious about this place ever since I started seeing their truck around downtown. They serve mini donuts with regular powdered sugar toppings or you can upgrade to gourmet toppings such as PB&J, Smores and Turtle for just a buck more. Beaver’s also has a location in The French Market, but luckily for me I stumbled upon their truck parked near my job one day.

  • Chocolate Powder: These almost reminded me of chocolate Munchkins. Simple little donut fried to a crisp with a nice, light dusting of cocoa powder on top. Not a super strong chocolate taste, but good. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside.
  • Nutella Dream: These were really good! Can you go wrong with strawberry sauce and Nutella? I don’t think so. I could definitely taste more of the strawberry sauce than the Nutella, which was more of a background flavor, but delicious nonetheless. These mini donuts were nice and crispy. They reminded me of a strawberry churro. So good! I think Beaver’s is a place you’d go to more for the gourmet toppings than for the regular donuts. Dipping my regular chocolate donuts in the Nutella Dream sauce was really good. I definitely will be back to try some of their other flavors.

Dat Donut: Before heading to this Chatham donut shop I already knew that I wanted to try their famous Big DAT donut, a huge glazed donut that can easily be shared with a few people. You’d think a massive donut would be enough, but it wasn’t. I wanted every single donut in their case. They all looked so good. I left Dat Donut with a full belly and a bag of donuts to take home. I really cannot wait to go back to this place and try some more. Also, did I mention that they’re open 24-hours? THANK YOU DAT DONUT.

  • Big DAT Glazed: There are few words to describe this that really do this donut justice. I wish that I could finish this whole thing by myself because it tasted too good to share, but it was honestly so damn big there was no way. This donut melts in your mouth like warm butter. It’s so smooth, soft and delicious. You need to grab a couple friends and try it. Unless of course you can finish the whole thing by yourself, in which case I’d like to meet you and shake your hand.
  • Chocolate: Don’t get me wrong, this donut was good, but after eating the Big DAT it’s a little hard to eat just regular ol’ chocolate yeast donut.

So, do I have a favorite? Well, it’s hard to just pick one. I tried a chocolate doughnut at each place and my favorite would have to be the chocolate from Glazed and Infused. It was so rich! As for the others, aside from the novelty in the Big DAT, at the end of the day it is just a regular glazed donut and I appreciate that such a classic donut could still offer so much flavor and deliciousness. The Big DAT is definitely a favorite as well as the Peanut Butter Old Fashioned from The Doughnut Vault. So good! Now wipe the drool off your mouth and try some for yourself!

XO,

Caity

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