Chi-town, we love you so. Following closely on the heels of our first Midwestern journey comes the most important, hard-hitting journalism in life, where to scope out the best donuts in the city (after a 3-6mi. jog and walk). We hit up the holiest of holed humdingers in the city and reported back with the best.1. Brown sugar nectarine at Glazed & Infused
We started out our journey with a bang as I stole around the city in the wee hours of the morning, bringing back the Bedfellow an assortment of treats from Little Goat Bakery and Glazed & Infused, knowing that our pizza from the previous night would not be sufficient. We both zoned in on the brown sugar nectarine doughnut, a raised specimen filled with a scoop of homemade jam and coated in salty, sweet brown sugar glaze on top. Old-school technique with a contemporary flavor.2. Old-fashioned donuts (and sticky buns) at Publican Quality Meats
PQM knows meat, but noses in the know know they know donuts, too. Their glistening sticky buns stole the show, visually, but we recommend their technically perfect old-fashioneds. Crispy on the outside, sticky with glaze, and warm and fluffy, arguably the tallest cake doughnuts we’ve ever seen. And it doesn’t hurt that they come with a donut hole for the ride home.3. Coconut creme cake donut, The Doughnut Vault
The Doughnut Vault’s design and doughnut game is strong- when we arrived, they were fresh out of pistachio, a Windy City favorite across town, so we settled in with a coconut creme and a cup of coffee. Doughnut Vault assures that you get enough coconut for your cash- the glaze is coconut-infused, the doughnut has coconut in it, and there’s a blizzard of coconut sprinkled on top for good measure. Underneath all that there’s a solid, craggy doughnut, filling and dense.4. Grape fritter at Firecakes
People come to Firecakes for their maple bacon-pineapple creation, which we picked up, but we also left the store with a massive, delicious grape fritter, an unusual combination with vintage flair made with roasted grapes and a Taleggio cheese glaze- if you’re eating it late, it’s like wine and cheese, if you’re having it for breakfast, cream cheese and jelly. Or doughnut and cheese, your call. Either way you chew it, it’s awesome and arguably one of the more unique edible offerings.5. The world’s hottest doughnut at Glazed & Infused
Yeah, I said unique and edible. Probably because the sucker from G&I is unique, but to the untrained palate, stomach, GI system, and brain, perhaps inedible. To celebrate the conference I attended (The Bedfellow sourced many of these for me as a result of my dutiful servitude) I signed a waiver at 6AM and took a big bite, allowing my tongue to enjoy the quixotic marriage of Chinese five-spice glaze, fresh raspberry jam, and chocolate before my mouth exploded in pain and I ran crying to the bathroom to rub yogurt on my face. I got through a quarter of it. Still better than any wing challenge I’ve ever taken.
Next up, the best non-donut breakfasts in Chicago, and the 25 most scenic places to cry when you’ve eaten too many donuts in the Windy City…