Chicagoans take their donuts very seriously. Before moving to Chicago and starting school at DePaul, I honestly was not a fan of donuts. While it pains me to admit that, it is the truth. I quickly changed my ways after learning of the many amazing donut (or doughnut, whatever floats your boat) options we have in the city.
One of the greatest things about DePaul is that all full time students receive a Ventra card with their tuition. The Ventra card is essentially a free pass to any place (read: ANY RESTAURANT!) in the city. It allows students to ride both the trains and buses for free, which is a lifesaver. As great as Lincoln Park is, there are so many unique and delicious neighborhoods to explore during your time at DePaul.
If you are looking for a reason to bundle up and venture around the city, I have got the perfect idea: a donut crawl. Pile on your layers, grab your Ventra card, and take a journey to my top five favorite donut shops in Chicago.
1. Glazed and Infused
Where: Lincoln Park. Take the brown line to Armitage.
What: Glazed and Infused has quite a few different locations around Chicago, and you can actually purchase their donuts at the Student Center using your meal plan. Seriously. They bring donuts TO DePaul (perfect if you are reaaaallly sleep-deprived), but you can always visit the friendly Armitage location which is steps away from campus.
What you’re getting: They have a ton of options ranging from a classic Vanilla Glazed to a Nutella Banana Pretzel, but my favorite will always be the Maple Bacon Long John.
2. Do-Rite Donuts
Where: The Loop. Take the red line to Lake.
What: Do-Rite is quite literally a hole in the wall. It is a tiny shop that makes small batches of donuts every morning. They even have curbside delivery, if for some reason you do not feel like walking the extra ten steps to go to the front counter. Even better: they have a daily vegan option!
What you’re getting: I am in love with the Apple Fritter, which is gigantic and amazing, but the Lemon Pistachio Old Fashioned is a close runner up.
3. Stan’s Donuts
Where: Wicker Park. Take the blue line to Damen.
What: This California-based donut shop opened in Chicago and immediately won the hearts of locals and tourists alike. They also specialize in gourmet coffee, so this place is extra helpful when it comes to staying warm during the many months of Chiberia.
What you’re getting: The Biscoff Pocket. Have you ever had the Cookie Butter from Trader Joe’s? If not, you should. If yes, then you will know that this is heaven on earth. It is basically cookie butter in a fried piece of dough.
4. Dinkel’s Bakery
Where: Lakeview. Take the brown line to Paulina.
What: Dinkel’s Bakery has been in Chicago since 1922, making it the oldest establishment on this list. It is also one of the best in Chicago for very good reason: they have classic donut options that consistently taste fresh and lovingly homemade.
What you’re getting: Anything. Honestly, I have loved all of the donuts I have tried. Bonus: if you go on Wednesdays, you can get 6 donuts for $6. You can share with your roommates or eat them all yourself. Nobody will judge you.
5. Beaver’s Donuts
Where: The Loop. Take the brown line to Washington & Wells. They also have a food truck that frequents DePaul’s Loop Campus.
What: Beaver’s makes bite size donuts that come in a variety of options, ranging from cinnamon and sugar to raspberry cheesecake. These donuts are the best because you can eat six of them and not feel guilty.
What you’re getting: The cinnamon sugar donuts. If you order them from the food truck – it usually is on the Loop Campus on Wednesdays – they make them fresh to order. Amazing.
This list is by no means exclusive of all of the fabulous donut options in Chicago. Other great ones include West Town Bakery, Doughnut Vault, and Firecakes. College can sometimes be stressful, but I firmly believe that donuts are the true source of happiness. Now take your Ventra card and conquer the world!