The past few months have been all about doughnuts. It’s been interesting to experience the difference in doughnut culture between Chicago and San Francisco; where in San Francisco, there were lots of small, hole in the wall places with $.75 doughnuts (Bob’s Doughnuts in particular), Chicago is a lot more about gourmet doughnuts and creating an actual culture around them. I was used to getting a dozen for $10 and now find myself spending $5 on two. I was also used to basic flavors - nothing that went beyond a buttermilk bar or apple fritter - two fridays ago I had a caramel apple doughnut. The most upsetting part though, has been the lack of hole-in-the-wall doughnut places. I miss being able to get doughnuts on every other corner but I realize that this has been influenced by the prevalence of Dunkin Donuts, which doesn’t exist on the west coast. I’ve enjoyed my search of great doughnuts though, and am still looking to expand the list. For all of you who might want to try out some culinary, doughy masterpieces, here’s a list I’ve compiled of doughnut places, Chicago style:
- Firecakes: awesome selection. Plus they make gelato ice cream sandwiches out of donuts. Number 11 on Eaters list of Hottest Doughnut Shops in America Right Now.
- Doughnut Vault: not a great assortment, but they do have the best Buttermilk Old Fashioned I think I’ve ever indulged in. Get there before noon, there’s a good chance they’ll be out by then. (Food and Wine and Thrillest put them on their list of the best doughnuts in the country)
- Glazed and Infused: fall is a good season for doughnuts. This place has got a pumpkin doughnut with cream cheese frosting that will blow your mind. (Frosting on doughnuts is a radically new concept for me). Listed on Thrillest’s Best Donuts in America.
- Do-Rite: I read somewhere that their vanilla bean glazed was too fluffy…false, it’s perfect. Also on the list of best doughnuts in country.
Places that are next on the list:
- Dat Donut
- Old Fashioned Donuts
- Food and Wine: Top Doughnuts in the Country
- Eater’s: List of Hottest Doughnut Shops
- Thrillest: Best Donuts in America
- Travel and Leisure: America’s Best Doughnuts (Lists Bob’s and Old Fashioned Donuts
Suggestions are welcome and not restricted to Chicago!