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A box of half a dozen doughnuts with brightly colored glazes on a white table.
2D in Lakeview, notable for its hand-drawn black-and-white design, serves up a colorful array of mochi doughnuts.
Kim Kovacik/Eater Chicago

20 Great Places for Doughnuts in Chicago

Fried dough takes many forms, but these are all delicious

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2D in Lakeview, notable for its hand-drawn black-and-white design, serves up a colorful array of mochi doughnuts.
| Kim Kovacik/Eater Chicago

Is there anything better than a doughnut? In all of its manifestations — a ring, a circle, a rectangle, a stick, filled with cream, stuffed with fruit, dunked in chocolate, buried under a mound of powdered sugar — a doughnut is a perfect pick-me-up, the epitome of a cheap luxury. Here are 20 spots that offer the best doughnuts, and also doughnut holes, fritters, beignets, churros, Long Johns, crullers, paczki, Bismarks, bombolini, and mochi rings in town.

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Peckish Pig

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This English-style pub on the Chicago-Evanston border serves doughnuts for weekend brunch only, but they are particularly delicious specimens, served warm in a paper bag, rolled in cinnamon sugar.

Smack Dab Chicago

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The owners of Smack Dab try to make food that everyone can enjoy, regardless of dietary preferences, and that goes for their vegan mini-doughnuts, made fresh daily. There’s a rotating assortment of glazes and toppings, but cinnamon sugar (“cinny shug”) is always a reliable standby.

Junebug Cafe Portage Park

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Naturally a New Orleans-style cafe would be obligated to serve beignets, and naturally Junebug Cafe obliges. They’re served fresh from the fryer, buried in powdered sugar, and rival anything from the Big Easy. There’s a second location in Noble Square.

2d Restaurant - Mochi donut & Chicken Sandwich

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This new cafe in Lakeview rightly gets plenty of attention for its imaginative hand-drawn decor, but the mochi ring doughnuts are pretty impressive, too. The menu is updated weekly, but the doughnuts are always delicious and sturdy enough to stand up to a dunk in the house phin coffee or a fried chicken sandwich.

Aya Pastry

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Aya Pastry provides baked goods for shops including Passion House Coffee, Intelligentsia, and Gaslight Coffee Roasters. The doughnuts are creative, but the winner might be one based on the Girl Scout Cookie sometimes known as a “Caramel deLite” (but everyone knows it’s really a Samoa).

Liberation Donuts

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Chicago’s first all-vegan doughnut shop, Liberation Donuts is open daily with 12 fried dough options with names associated with animals and their rights. Options include Beach Cow (chocolate cake doughnut, vanilla glaze, flaky salt) and Balaclava (plain cake doughnut, sweet tahini glaze, pumpkin seed baklava). Half of proceeds from the Total Liberation lemon poppyseed doughnut will go to an animal rights or humanitarian organization that rotates monthly.

The churros at XOCO come in large oblong rings and can be ordered glazed or with a side shot of chocolate or cajeta. Either is recommended — they’re served straight from the fryer, so it’s hard to go wrong.

Firecakes

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In addition to a classic selection of doughnuts, Firecakes offers seasonal flavors including apple cider, churro, and Irish creme. Doughnuts also serve as the base for ice cream sandwiches, which come adorned with toppings such as toasted coconut, candied peanuts, and chocolate shavings. Firecakes also has locations in Lincoln Park and suburban Oak Park and Naperville.

Doughnut Vault

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Hogsalt Hospitality’s sweets spot is among the most popular in the city. Creative specials, such as dulce de leche and honey bun cake, are offered daily alongside favorites like the old fashioned. Arrive early because there’s usually a line and once everything is sold out, Doughnut Vault closes for the day.

Brite Donuts & Baked Goods

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The bakers at this West Loop virtual bakery are not afraid to experiment with flavors. The menu changes frequently, but expect the unexpected: lime Tajín, Cool Ranch Dorito, Arnold Palmer. (There are also more conventional flavors, like strawberry shortcake and coffee hazelnut.) The doughnuts are available for pickup or delivery only, or at local coffee shops, including Metric Coffee and Botanical Cafe.

Chef Paul Virant’s restaurant Gaijin is known for okonomiyaki, or savory Japanese pancakes, but the West Loop spot has also earned a following with its mochi doughnuts. Crisp on the outside, fluffy and chewy on the inside, the glazed doughnuts are made with rice flour and come in flavors such as chocolate, matcha-citrus, and padan-coconut.

BomboBar

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DineAmic Hospitality’s dessert window attached to Bar Siena attracts customers with Instagram-friendly treats. The bomboloni — Italian filled doughnuts — are loaded with custard and jam fillings. A popular option is adding house-made gelato to the mix to create a sandwich.

Do-Rite Donuts & Coffee

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Whether it’s pistachio-Meyer lemon or buttermilk old fashioneds, Do-Rite’s got it on the menu. As a bonus, the shop carries gluten-free and vegan options as well. There are seven locations in the city and suburbs.

Don Churro

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This Pilsen spot boasts that it serves the best churros in the Midwest. They come with a variety of fillings — strawberry, chocolate, guava, cajeta, and more — and also in vegan and mini variation. They’re also available frozen for heating up at home.

Abundance Bakery

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Bronzeville’s most beloved bakery has churned out specialty cakes, cookies, doughnuts, and more for almost three decades. The standout of the bunch is the apple fritter, one of the finest in Chicago. It’s large enough to share among several people and is packed with fresh apple and notes of cinnamon.

This Hyde Park newcomer serves some of the best beignets in town. They’re served warm so they have crisp exteriors and soft pillowy insides that melt in the mouth. But even after they’ve had a chance to cool, they’re still excellent.

Racine Bakery

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A South Side staple since 1984, this old-school bakery focuses on Lithuanian and Polish goods. The shop’s cases are lined with dozens of breads, cakes, and other Eastern European delicacies including paczki. These traditional Polish doughnuts are available with fillings that range from raspberry and custard to rose hip jam.

Dat Donut

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South Side spot Dat Donut is stocked with the standard assortment of glazed, chocolate, buttermilk, and cake doughnuts that are "too good to dunk." The signature “Big Dat” doughnuts are behemoths that can feed multiple people.

D&D's Place

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D&D’s Place owners Devell and Lolita Brittmon honed their dough-frying skills under the tutelage of Buritt Bulloch, the founder of beloved South Side spot Old Fashioned Donuts. That influence is apparent when looking at the lineup, which includes Texas-sized glazed and chocolate doughnuts, and golden-brown old-fashioned cake doughnuts. The giant apple fritters are a must-try as well, loaded with chunks of fruit and pecans.

Old Fashioned Donuts

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Go big or go home at the legendary Old Fashioned Donuts. The Texas doughnuts are large enough to fit around an arm while the fruit-studded apple fritters are just as hearty, so bring an appetite or several companions. Owner Buritt Bulloch, now in his 80s, opened the shop with his late wife Mamie in 1972, and he still makes the doughnuts every day in the store’s front window.

Peckish Pig

This English-style pub on the Chicago-Evanston border serves doughnuts for weekend brunch only, but they are particularly delicious specimens, served warm in a paper bag, rolled in cinnamon sugar.

Smack Dab Chicago

The owners of Smack Dab try to make food that everyone can enjoy, regardless of dietary preferences, and that goes for their vegan mini-doughnuts, made fresh daily. There’s a rotating assortment of glazes and toppings, but cinnamon sugar (“cinny shug”) is always a reliable standby.

Junebug Cafe Portage Park

Naturally a New Orleans-style cafe would be obligated to serve beignets, and naturally Junebug Cafe obliges. They’re served fresh from the fryer, buried in powdered sugar, and rival anything from the Big Easy. There’s a second location in Noble Square.

2d Restaurant - Mochi donut & Chicken Sandwich

This new cafe in Lakeview rightly gets plenty of attention for its imaginative hand-drawn decor, but the mochi ring doughnuts are pretty impressive, too. The menu is updated weekly, but the doughnuts are always delicious and sturdy enough to stand up to a dunk in the house phin coffee or a fried chicken sandwich.

Aya Pastry

Aya Pastry provides baked goods for shops including Passion House Coffee, Intelligentsia, and Gaslight Coffee Roasters. The doughnuts are creative, but the winner might be one based on the Girl Scout Cookie sometimes known as a “Caramel deLite” (but everyone knows it’s really a Samoa).

Liberation Donuts

Chicago’s first all-vegan doughnut shop, Liberation Donuts is open daily with 12 fried dough options with names associated with animals and their rights. Options include Beach Cow (chocolate cake doughnut, vanilla glaze, flaky salt) and Balaclava (plain cake doughnut, sweet tahini glaze, pumpkin seed baklava). Half of proceeds from the Total Liberation lemon poppyseed doughnut will go to an animal rights or humanitarian organization that rotates monthly.

XOCO

The churros at XOCO come in large oblong rings and can be ordered glazed or with a side shot of chocolate or cajeta. Either is recommended — they’re served straight from the fryer, so it’s hard to go wrong.

Firecakes

In addition to a classic selection of doughnuts, Firecakes offers seasonal flavors including apple cider, churro, and Irish creme. Doughnuts also serve as the base for ice cream sandwiches, which come adorned with toppings such as toasted coconut, candied peanuts, and chocolate shavings. Firecakes also has locations in Lincoln Park and suburban Oak Park and Naperville.

Doughnut Vault

Hogsalt Hospitality’s sweets spot is among the most popular in the city. Creative specials, such as dulce de leche and honey bun cake, are offered daily alongside favorites like the old fashioned. Arrive early because there’s usually a line and once everything is sold out, Doughnut Vault closes for the day.

Brite Donuts & Baked Goods

The bakers at this West Loop virtual bakery are not afraid to experiment with flavors. The menu changes frequently, but expect the unexpected: lime Tajín, Cool Ranch Dorito, Arnold Palmer. (There are also more conventional flavors, like strawberry shortcake and coffee hazelnut.) The doughnuts are available for pickup or delivery only, or at local coffee shops, including Metric Coffee and Botanical Cafe.

Gaijin

Chef Paul Virant’s restaurant Gaijin is known for okonomiyaki, or savory Japanese pancakes, but the West Loop spot has also earned a following with its mochi doughnuts. Crisp on the outside, fluffy and chewy on the inside, the glazed doughnuts are made with rice flour and come in flavors such as chocolate, matcha-citrus, and padan-coconut.

BomboBar

DineAmic Hospitality’s dessert window attached to Bar Siena attracts customers with Instagram-friendly treats. The bomboloni — Italian filled doughnuts — are loaded with custard and jam fillings. A popular option is adding house-made gelato to the mix to create a sandwich.

Do-Rite Donuts & Coffee

Whether it’s pistachio-Meyer lemon or buttermilk old fashioneds, Do-Rite’s got it on the menu. As a bonus, the shop carries gluten-free and vegan options as well. There are seven locations in the city and suburbs.

Don Churro

This Pilsen spot boasts that it serves the best churros in the Midwest. They come with a variety of fillings — strawberry, chocolate, guava, cajeta, and more — and also in vegan and mini variation. They’re also available frozen for heating up at home.

Abundance Bakery

Bronzeville’s most beloved bakery has churned out specialty cakes, cookies, doughnuts, and more for almost three decades. The standout of the bunch is the apple fritter, one of the finest in Chicago. It’s large enough to share among several people and is packed with fresh apple and notes of cinnamon.

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Roux

This Hyde Park newcomer serves some of the best beignets in town. They’re served warm so they have crisp exteriors and soft pillowy insides that melt in the mouth. But even after they’ve had a chance to cool, they’re still excellent.

Racine Bakery

A South Side staple since 1984, this old-school bakery focuses on Lithuanian and Polish goods. The shop’s cases are lined with dozens of breads, cakes, and other Eastern European delicacies including paczki. These traditional Polish doughnuts are available with fillings that range from raspberry and custard to rose hip jam.

Dat Donut

South Side spot Dat Donut is stocked with the standard assortment of glazed, chocolate, buttermilk, and cake doughnuts that are "too good to dunk." The signature “Big Dat” doughnuts are behemoths that can feed multiple people.

D&D's Place

D&D’s Place owners Devell and Lolita Brittmon honed their dough-frying skills under the tutelage of Buritt Bulloch, the founder of beloved South Side spot Old Fashioned Donuts. That influence is apparent when looking at the lineup, which includes Texas-sized glazed and chocolate doughnuts, and golden-brown old-fashioned cake doughnuts. The giant apple fritters are a must-try as well, loaded with chunks of fruit and pecans.

Old Fashioned Donuts

Go big or go home at the legendary Old Fashioned Donuts. The Texas doughnuts are large enough to fit around an arm while the fruit-studded apple fritters are just as hearty, so bring an appetite or several companions. Owner Buritt Bulloch, now in his 80s, opened the shop with his late wife Mamie in 1972, and he still makes the doughnuts every day in the store’s front window.

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