The best donuts in Chicago, by 'hood

best donuts chicago

The best donuts in Chicago, by 'hood
The best donuts in Chicago, by 'hood

Sean Cooley
Sean Cooley

You know your city is in a good place when tickets for its first donut festival sell out in eight hours. And you know it's in an even better place when you can name the best donut shop in most every neighborhood in the entire city... which we just did.

Here's a handy map of top-tier donut shops across TWENTY ONE different Chicago neighborhoods.

Sean Cooley

Best Donut Shop: Glazed & Infused
(click here for address and deets)
While there're five Glazed shops around the city, this diabolical location always snares us coming off the Armitage Brown Line. The go-to? The trusty Maple Bacon Long John, a yeast-raised, chocolate-coated LJ with a strip of thick-sliced, peppered-bacon that’s been glazed in syrup. Glazed. In Syrup.

Best Donut Shop
: Endgrain (click here for address and deets)
If you haven't had the doughscuit from Enoch's Doughnuts, you should maybe do that. This honey-glazed, cream-layered hybrid pastry will make you forget the word “Cronut”. Also worth mentioning: their Bourbon Vanilla donut is made with Buffalo Trace-infused vanilla beans.

Sean Cooley

Best Donut Shop: Dinkel's Bakery
(click here for address and deets)
This from-scratch bakery is an OG that's been producing killer pastries for 90+yrs. Their yeast-raised bismarck's filled with raspberry jam, making it unbeatable.

Best Donut Shop: Stan's Donuts (click here for address and deets)
This donut shop from LA sports a kitschy, retro vibe, and serves simple donuts with a tchotchke's-worth of flare. Think: Biscoff-stuffed, choco chip-covered "pockets", and twisted cinnamon pretzels.

Sean Cooley

Best Donut Shop:
Beavers (click here for address and deets)
The purveyors of mini-buttermilk donuts make 'em hot off the conveyor belt and cover them with s'mores toppings, or put them into a milkshake, because, Chicago.

Best Donut Shop: West Town Bakery
 (click here for address and deets)
This innovative donut dispensary has been known to put out doughssants (a Long John-style Cronut), candied bacon/whiskey/maple donut holes, and a beer and pretzel 'nut made with 471 IPA from Breckenridge Brewery.

Sean Cooley

Best Donut Shop #1:
Doughnut Vault (click here for address and deets)
Their giant, fluffy glazed rings are irresistible, which is part of the reason why Doughnut Vault is perpetually sold out. The Chestnut Glazed donut? It's really good.

Best Donut Shop #2: Firecakes (click here for address and deets)
The lineup includes a peanut butter cup donut packed with peanut butter cream and drizzled with Valrhona chocolate ganache and peanut brittle crumbles, as well as maple-glazed pineapple & bacon donuts.

Delightful Pastries

Best Donut Shop:
Delightful Pastries (click here for address and deets)
If your insatiable desire for paczki can't wait 'til next Fat Tuesday, fill your Polish donut quota here (or their Lincoln Park and French Market locations) with choice fillings like plum jelly, raspberry jelly, and custard.

Best Donut Shop: Do Rite Donuts 
(click here for address and deets)
The rich old-fashioned has just the right ratio of chocolate glaze to buttermilk donut, with a double-dipped Valrhona option for relapsing (or just flat-out unrepentant) chocoholics.

Longman & Eagle

Best Donut Shop: Longman & Eagle's Sunday Donut Shop (click here for address and deets)
As a companion to the whiskey bar/inn's Saturday sausage shop, the Sunday donut shop pop-up brings with it a random assortment via L & E's Pastry Chef Jeremy Brutzkus, also the winner of The Cooking Channel’s Donut Showdown.

Best Donut Shop:
Roeser's Bakery (click here for address and deets)
In addition to the selection of traditional glazes and sprinkles, their PB&J and coconut cake donuts are the ones you want to get.

Sean Cooley

Best Donut Shop: Scafuri Bakery
(click here for address and deets)
Mixing Nutella and donuts just seems unfair, especially in the case of the Nutella Bomb, which then adds in an espresso glaze and toasted hazelnuts.

Best Donut Shop:
Nightwood (click here for address and deets)
No brunch (or life?) is complete without a bacon butterscotch donut filled with dark chocolate custard and covered in vanilla glaze & pistachio crumble. 

Glazed & Infused /Sol Cafe

Best Donut Shop: Glazed & Infused Pop-Up at Sol Cafe (click here for address and deets)
Because Glazed & Infused could not be contained to five shops, Sol is one of the many independent coffee shops dealing a custom assortment of Glazed's goodness, like the Lucky Charms donut for St. Paddy's Day.

Best Donut Shop: Swedish Bakery
 (click here for address and deets)
This is where you go to get an Ă©clair-ish chocolate custard bismarck -- a fried donut filled with house-made egg custard and topped with sprinkles.


Best Donut Shop: Somethin' Sweet Donuts
(click here for address and deets)
Bucking the artisan trend, Somethin' Sweet offers a traditional spread of donuts that, for less than $1 each, may be the best bang for your buck as far as sweets go in the city.

Best Donut Shop:
Abundance Bakery (click here for address and deets)
Known for their carmel upside-down cakes, this South Side pastry haven houses Krispy Kreme-rivaling glazeds and a sandwich-sized strawberry jelly donut.


Best Donut Shop: Bridgeport Bakery
(click here for address and deets)
Look for the apple cinnamon rolls, powdered sugar custard bismarks, and toasted coconut donuts at this unassuming storefront.

Best Donut Shop: Huck Finn Restaurant
 (click here for address and deets)
This local chain offers up oversized donuts, as well as a vanilla-frosted cinnamon crunch number. Get the former. And... the latter?

Flickr/Erwin Araos

Best Donut Shop: Dat Donut (click here for address and deets)
The South Side's 24hr donut mecca has hand-cut rings frosted with chocolate, caramel, or strawberry, as well as a giant, glazed donut because, again, Chicago.

Best Donut Shop:
Old Fashioned Donuts (click here for address and deets)
With apple fritters that're the size of a small child, and Texas glazed donuts that could fit on a dinner plate, maybe you can reuse their boxes when moving out of your apartment?

Sean Cooley is Thrillist's Chicago Editor, and he lives his life by Anthony Kiedis lyrics. Follow him @SeanCooley.

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1. 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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2. Doughnut Vault 401 N Franklin St, Chicago, IL 60654 (River North)

This wildly popular fried-dough purveyor in River North (it has a second location in West Loop and a "Vault Van" that changes location every day) breaks hearts with its limited amount of fresh-baked donuts. DV only bakes a certain amount of donuts every day, and once they run out, they're gone 'til the next morning. The dense, old fashioned-style donuts come in flavors like buttermilk glazed, toasted almond, and lemon-poppy seed. Stop by on the early side (it opens at 8am on weekdays, 9:30am on weekends) for the best selection and the shortest lines.

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3. Firecakes 68 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654 (River North)

The latest addition to Chicago's coffee-dunking circuit, Firecakes is a small-batch donut shop from the owner of La Madia, rotating a roster of sweetness like Tahitian vanilla glazed, blood orange and raspberry jelly, and Nutella long johns that'll provide a comfortable home for your (hazel)nuts.

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4. Do Rite Donuts 50 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601 (Loop)

Carving out a tiny, counter-service storefront in Petterino's, the chef duo behind DRD includes an L20 vet, who's now cranking out small batches (only three dozen at a time) of fried dough in 10 rotating varieties (maple w/ candied bacon, open-face jellies w/ peanut butter mousse & raspberry jam...), and a proprietary Dark Matter blend designed as the perfect accompaniment to a donut, knocking off previous title holder The Rest of the Donuts.

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5. 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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6. 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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7. Longman & Eagle 2657 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Chicago)

Longman & Eagle has got it going on. The Logan Square restaurant-slash-bar-slash-B&B is a Michelin-starred destination for upscale American fare, craft beers, small-batch wine, and serious whiskey options (there are over 300 varieties). Nearly half of the menu is under $20, including the signature wild boar sloppy joe, which makes the gastropub a no-brainer for quality and value. Longman has a tiny upstairs inn with six furnished rooms, but be prepared for a loud night given the downstairs bar is open until 3am on weekends.

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8. Beavers Coffee and Donuts 131 N Clinton St, Chicago, IL 60661 (West Loop)

Beavers Coffee and Donuts serves up delicious drinks and pastries, and occasionally has been known to combine the two into some crazy Frankenstein milkshakes.

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9. West Town Bakery & Diner 1916 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (West Town)

With its graffiti walls and funky atmosphere, this joint features all-week booze, and menu items from carrot cake waffles drizzled with cream cheese icing and pineapple-caramel sauce, to grass-fed steak benedict with crispy onions and enough Cabernet hollandaise to have you needing a cab to get home.

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10. Swedish Bakery 5348 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640 (Andersonville)

Swedish Bakery's got the goods to keep you satisfied -- try the marzipan, seasonal goodies, or cakes.

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11. Scafuri Bakery 1337 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60607 (Near North Side)

Scafuri is an Italian blessing -- their pastries and treats are that good.

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12. Dat Donut 8249 S Cottage Grove Ave, Chicago, IL 60619 (Near South Side)

Dat Donut is open 24hrs, so you can have their delicious doughy treats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You shouldn't, but it's possible. Also possible -- getting down on a giant doughnut that's roughly the size of your head for about $3.

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13. 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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14. Sol Café 1615 W Howard St, Chicago, IL 60626 (Rogers Park)

Sol Café in Rogers Park is all about locally sourced ingredients and products, and selling donuts from Glazed and Infused is a delicious step in the right direction.

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15. Somethin' Sweet Donuts 5111 W. Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60639

When you are hankerin' for something sweet, isn't it best to go to a place where that's the name? The answer is yes, because these guys sling cheap and delicious 'nuts that are baked fresh every day.

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16. Huck Finn Restaurant 3414 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60608

Huck Finn serves up wholesome breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, in addition to their famous (and scrumptious) donuts.

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17. Delightful Pastries 5927 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60630 (Jefferson Park)

The name pretty much says it all. This Jefferson Park dessert-stop can satisfy any sweet tooth with their donuts, cakes, cookies, brownies and more.

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18. 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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19. Nightwood Restaurant 2119 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60608 (Pilsen)

This farm-to-table eatery is home to all things artisanal and local, and only serves up eats that're in season. Stop in for bites like their house corned beef on rye crouton bread, served with chopped liver and egg.

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20. Bridgeport Bakery 2907 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60608

Would you like fresh-out-of-the-oven breads? How about made-to-order cakes? Even some of Chicago's best donuts? Prepare to have all of your sweet-tooth needs met at Bridgeport, where they're offering up the best in local pastries.

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21. 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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22. 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.