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  • Writer's pictureBobby Wilhelmson


Updated: Nov 16, 2020

Doughtnut Vault is quintessential Chicago in every which way. The shop is small, but the donuts are giants, both in size and taste. Situated in the River North area off of Kinzie and Franklin, Doughnut Vault is a hidden treasure in this old brick building. It’s like walking into a safe-room and inside is a timeless little hall where you escape the cold and hope they have not run out of donut holes. The menu is painted on the brick of the building, reminiscent of the old murals you’ll catch around the neighborhoods. In a city where gourmet donuts are taking over with crazy toppings and gimmicks, Doughnut Vault keeps things simple with a daily menu of their staples: An Old-Fashioned, Buttermilk Bar, and Yeast-Raised (vanilla, chocolate, chestnut). In all honestly, you’d be a fool not to at least order a yeast-raised to see the size of this beast.

But it’s not just the doughnuts that rank Doughtnut Vault in my top 3 Shops in Chicago. Going to this place is an experience. I love making this a morning stop for my family and friends visiting the city. Getting here early is highly recommended because not only do they tend to run out before noon; but people watching in line will help give you an idea of the city you are about to experience. They make all of their donuts in-house and there is an oven downstairs where they start as early as 3 in the morning. Doughnut Vault also has a location on Canal Street, but to really get the experience I highly suggest Franklin Street. It somehow loses its allure being a glorified kiosk in a busy multi-use building on Canal.

Now onto the stars: The Raised behemoths. I have to be honest, out of most of the donuts I try, raised donuts are not at the top of my list. I feel like you get a lot of air in these kinds of donuts, which sometimes makes them feel under-cooked. But Doughnut Vault has perfected their recipe, because these pack a punch, and is the only donut I feel comfortable paying over $3.00. They are big, and one is more than enough for you to go about the day. The glazes are light, and the yeast is not noticeable at all. It’s a perfect pairing, and they also are incredibly camera friendly.

Their old fashioned are gorgeous looking, but check the blog later this week where I will send you for an old-fashioned. Also, Doughnut Vault really knows how to roll out the red carpet during Chicago’s many donut festivals ran throughout the year. This display really inspired me to make my own wall for my wedding! It is just another reason Doughnut Vault will be one of my favorite places around the city!

Doughnut Vault

401 N Franklin Street

8AM - 2:30PM (Or Whenever They Run Out)

Check back tomorrow for another installment of my Donut Redemption Tour!

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