Dining Chicago

The Doughnut Dish

Doughnuts are big business in the Chicago dining scene. From perpetually packed doughnut queues to innovative doughnut desserts, there's no shortage of deep-fried comfort to be had throughout the city. And it's not showing any sign of slowing, especially considering the latest spate of doughnut news, from massive doughnut expansion to whimsical hybrid confections. Here's your latest dish on doughnut details in Chicago: 


Doughnut Vault
(Doughnut Vault)


Doughnut Vault: Brendan Sodikoff can single-handedly take credit for kickstarting the doughnut explosion in Chicago. From day one, his dimunitive Doughnut Vault has been destination number one for deep-fried supremacy in the city. To this day, the tiny takeout-only shop sells out and attracts ceaseless lines. The menu is as small as the space, with only a few glazed doughnuts and a couple cake varieties. Many locals and visitors cite Doughnut Vault as having the best doughnuts in the city, which is why it's huge news Sodikoff has decided to spin-off the brand and open several new outlets throughout Chicago. Starting later this year, the tireless and whip-smart restaurateur will begin rolling out a massive expansion plan, beginning with two locations in the West Loop. Nearly a dozen other outposts are expected over the subsequent months. 


Do-Rite Donuts: Speaking of expansion, Do-Rite Donuts is poised to open another outpost of its own. This one is a little bit more ambitious though, considering they're adding fried chicken into the equation. This summer, Do-Rite will open a new spot in Streeterville, conveniently adjacent to Northwestern Hospital. Because you'll want to be nearby as you dig into everything deep-fried and decadent. 


TWO: In West Town, chef Tom Van Lente has been getting whimsical with his dessert menu, implementing a special doughnut hybrid into his repertoire. The "bisconut" is a biscuit doughnut, a doughnut hole made by deep-frying biscuit dough, achieving a doughnut that is at once crispy and indulgent while retaining the fluffy, buttery soul of a biscuit. They're served with maple ice cream and maple-Templeton Rye syrup. 


Bang Bang Pie Shop: Bonus shoutout to Bang Bang Pie Shop for their recent "bonut," a similar creation to the TWO idea, but more doughnut-shaped. Served for National Doughnut Day and weekend, the pie shop used its incomparable biscuit dough to fry into doughnuts and serve with sweet jam. Fingers crossed for encore appearances. 


- Matt Kirouac

Neighborhoods: River NorthWest TownLogan SquareLoop

Adjacent to Gilt Bar, this daily doughnut shop only offers the sweet stuff early in the morning. Customers line up at 8am for signature sweets that sell out sometimes in...

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There's an emphasis here on Midwestern farm-to-fork cuisine and décor, with a strong beer and cocktail program. TWO is also very neighborhood friendly and has thankfully ditched the small-plates trend...

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The small-batch donut shop is owned by Lettuce Entertain You and serves up a variety of unique sweets every day, including candied maple bacon, cinnamon crunch, Old Fashioned, carrot cake...

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