Food & Drink

Chicago's 10 must-eat donuts, as picked by donut experts

Published On 07/18/2014 Published On 07/18/2014
Sean Cooley

When it comes to donut selection, Chicago's glazed cup floweth over (remember that time we had a donut festival?).

So we decided to bring in the big guns on this one: pastry crusaders Gehring Miller and Kristin Gehring of The Breakfast Adventures of Coffee Girl & Donut Boy, who sorted through their countless entries and handpicked 10 breakfast rings that should be on your Chicago donut bucket list.

Sean Cooley

Banana Biscoff Pocket

Stan’s Donuts (address and info)
Wicker Park
"Health bonus! The Banana Biscoff Pocket at Stan’s has fruit inside. Actual, recognizable fruit. Sure, it shares its little cave with a sizable dollop of a European cookie spread, and it's housed inside a sinfully sugar-glazed donut, but shhhhhhhhh."

Erin Kelly

Apple Fritter 

Old Fashioned Donuts (address and info)
"Crunchy, sweet, salty, with tender bits of real apple and actual walnuts throughout, this apple fritter is the size of a catcher’s mitt. A delicious, delicious catcher's mitt. Oh, and if you think we're exaggerating, check out the quarter for scale."

Breakfast Adventures

Strawberry Donut

Roeser’s Bakery (address and info)
Humboldt Park
"This is the perfect donut to celebrate a Summer that feels like it would never get here. Beautiful, bright red strawberries atop a classic glazed donut with the kind of solid presentation you've come to expect from Roeser’s."

Breakfast Adventures

Blueberry Glazed Doughscuit

Endgrain (address and info)
Roscoe Village
"So what's a 'doughscuit'? It's like a donut, but it's made with their biscuit recipe, resulting in a decadently moist pastry which, when dripped with blueberry glaze and sandwiched around crème fraîche, melts in your mouth. Close your eyes and you’d swear it’s straight-up cheesecake."


Maple Bacon Donut

Dinkel’s Bakery (address and info)
"You likely know about Glazed & Infused's maple bacon Long John, but don't sleep on Dinkel’s cake donuts -- their dough recipe recalls a nice pound cake, although not quite as buttery. Here, baked bacon bits are stacked on top of a maple bacon glaze that'll awesomely remind you of a stack of pancakes."

Breakfast Adventures

Red Velvet Donut

Bennison’s Bakery (address and info)
Evanston, IL
"The quintessential version of a classic donut. Creamy frosting on top of a crunchy-on-the-outside-but-moist-on-the-inside cake donut. Worth scaling Lake Shore Drive for."

Breakfast Adventures

Jelly Donut 

Abundance Bakery (address and info)
Grand Boulevard
"There are jelly donuts, and then there are Abundance Bakery jelly donuts. If not having jelly in every bite is a concern for you (it definitely is for us), worry no more. Fresh and strawberry-tastic, the jelly here is wrapped in a crunchy, sticky, glazed shell that will leave you licking your fingers all afternoon."

Breakfast Adventures

Lemon Donut

Dunk Donuts (address and info)
Melrose Park, IL
"How do you feel about powdered sugar and lemon custard? Good? Good. Then you gotta try the Lemon Donut at Dunk Donuts (note: it's Dunk, not Dunkin')."


Donut of the Month

Spunky Dunkers (address and info)
Arlington Heights, Palatine, IL
"You seriously cannot go wrong at a place with a donut drive thru. At press time, sources confirm their current Donut of the Month is S’more. So, yeah. Maybe go... right now?"


Passion Fruit White Chocolate Donut

Glazed & Infused (address and info)
Multiple Locations
"Glazed's Passion Fruit White Chocolate Donut caught us off-guard with the tangy sweetness of the forbidden fruit, before lofting us Heavenward with the smooth, white chocolate custard filling, then bringing it on home with a heartwarming, airy, glazed donut exterior. If you're not eating this right now, you're doing it wrong."

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Follow the epic journey of Donut Boy and Coffee Girl at The Breakfast Adventures Blog.

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1. Dinkel's Bakery 3329 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60657 (Lakeview)

Dinkel's is serving up some insanely delicious baked goods, but be sure to hone in on their donuts and specialized cakes.

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2. Abundance Bakery 105 E 47th St, Chicago, IL 60653

In the biz since 1990, the cake-masters at Abundance are serving up creative confections -- from wedding cakes to pecan-covered chocolate numbers and more out of their homey shop.

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3. Glazed & Infused 939 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lincoln Park)

Glazed & Infused is a doughnut-and-dessert eatery with locations in a few places around the city -- and they're serving up treats like the Maple Bacon Long John with maple frosting and a strip of candied bacon. CANDIED. BACON.

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4. Old Fashioned Donuts 11248 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60628 (Far South Side)

Old Fashioned Donuts has delicious, melt-in-your-mouth pastries that include a huge Texas donut and an even bigger apple fritter -- so maybe you should bring a friend.

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5. Stan's Donuts & Coffee 1560 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Wicker Park)

It goes without saying, but Stan most definitely is the man because of his myriad of fresh-baked 'nuts and fresh-made coffee.

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6. Endgrain 1851 W Addison St, Chicago, IL 60613 (Roscoe Village)

Endgrain is a Roscoe Village, farm-fresh restaurant that's turning out innovative cuisine (think fried chicken with PORK GRAVY and bacon/butterscotch donuts).

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7. Spunky Dunkers 3441 N Arlington Heights Rd, Arlington Heights, IL 60004

You really can't beat a donut spot with a drive thru, or one with an always-changing "Donut of the Month", so you're gonna want to head to this Arlington Heights joint ASAP.

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8. Dunk Donuts 1912 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60612

This is perhaps one of the few donut shops that have perfected the art of making these delectable pastries. If you're wondering what to try on a menu that's full of perfection, go for the Lemon Donut with powdered sugar and lemon custard.

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9. Bennison's Bakery 1000 Davis St, Evanston, IL 60201 (Evanston)

Located in Evanston, Bennison's has delicious donuts, cupcakes (try the red velvet), and a slew of other baked goods for you to treat yourself with.

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10. Roeser's Bakery 3216 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Humboldt Park)

This historic family-owned bakery is known for its ultra-creative custom cakes (ie. hot dog, barber pole, and Wonder Woman cakes). They also offer traditional wedding cakes, cookies, tortes, and low-glycemic options.