Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Tue January 19 2016

Opinion Home | Far-Sighted Field Notes

  • Rosalind Cummings-Yeates | January 19, 2016 11:00 PM ET

    Sweet Necessity: Chicago’s Top 5 Doughnut Shops

    Sweet Necessity: Chicago’s Top 5 Doughnut Shops

    Photo courtesy of Glazed and Infused

    Chicago boasts many edible experiences that warrant at least one nibble. From deep-dish pizza to caramel and cheese popcorn, visitors line up to taste the flavors of the Windy City. Over the last few years, another culinary classic has been added to the list of must try Chicago eats — doughnuts.

    Yes, the simple round pastry has exploded into a local frenzy of gourmet versions filled with everything from bacon to ice cream. The craze is so serious that many locals follow the inventory of their fave shop on Twitter. Many stores sell out before noon. So skip Dunkin Donuts and check out (the earlier the better) these Chi-town doughnut shops on your next visit:

    Glazed and Infused

    The name alone marks this shop a winner in my book but the offerings include much more than innovative monikers. I head to Glazed and Infused whenever I crave decadent donuts slathered with rich and innovative flavors. There are five locations all over the city, so there’s no avoiding the high calorie deliciousness of a Toffee and Walnut Cake doughnut or the classic Maple Bacon Long John. This shop is consistently ranked Chicago’s fave and one bite of the 12-13 rotating flavors will explain why.

    The Doughnut Vault

    This tiny shop kicked off the fried dough hysteria. On a side street near the Merchandise Mart, you’ll spot a line snaking around the corner and down the block at 7:30 a.m. The people will have desperate, hungry looks and you might witness questionable behavior, like patrons jumping the line or seemingly sane adults cramming sugary dough into their mouths.

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    That would be The Doughnut Vault, a closet-sized bakery that doesn’t open until 8 a.m. and typically sells out by 9. Sure, they have fancy flavors like Dreamsicle and Wedding Cake and daily specials like Passion Fruit Old Fashioned but I think the key is their small batch servings that always arrive warm from the oven.

    Do Rite Doughnuts & Coffee

    Another small space that serves up handcrafted doughnuts, Do-Rite wins its edge by offering gluten free and vegan options. That’s right, doughnut devotees with gluten intolerances can gobble down the signature Pistachio Meyer Lemon cake variety with impunity. You’re on your own with justifying all the other stuff.


    This cute bakery pulls out all stops when it comes to creative flavors. Relive your childhood with Malted Milk Ball or Peanut Butter Cup doughnuts. I personally love the gooey Butterscotch Praline but Firecakes’ claim to fame is the ice cream doughnut sandwich. It’s a seasonal favorite that features a doughnut sliced in half, stuffed with gelato and then topped with chocolate sauce. I suggest sampling it after deep-dish pizza for a true Chicago experience.

    RELATED: 7 Mouth-Watering International Desserts

    Stan’s Donuts & Coffee

    Technically, this LA transplant doesn’t count as a real Chicago doughnut shop but four locations all over the city have won over many Chicagoans. The Stan’s specialty is the doughnut “pocket,” which fills doughnuts with spreads like peanut butter banana and chocolate drizzle pretzel.

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Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Far-Sighted Field Notes

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Rosalind Cummings-Yeates is a journalist, author and blogger who specializes in travel and culture topics. She loves guiding readers through the richness of various cultures and discovering the essence of a destination. Her travel and culture blog, Farsighted Fly Girl, offers travel insights through the music, food, art and history of various countries and cultures. Join her on the journey at www.Rosalindcummingsyeates.
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