Location:401 N Franklin
Cost: About $2-$3 per doughnut
When it comes to trends with food I feel like Chicago is behind some other major cities. For that matter, when these trends come to Chicago, I’m probably a good deal behind everyone else. I’m pretty happy that people are cooling off on the whole cupcake thing. I was happy to see some pie shops spring up, but I was hoping for more. Food trucks are cool and all, but they’d be better if the city would let them be (but that argument’s been had over and over again).
So lets talk doughnuts. All these places have sprung up to make the tray that your coworker brings in from Dunkin look like a bunch of sugary crap. One of the more popular spots is The Doughnut Vault. They’re open five days a week from 8AM (9:30AM on Saturdays) until they sell out, which is not long after. The issue is that I’m always at work long before they open. Luckily, one day in clinic a whole bunch of patients cancelled in a row, thus giving us (Kyle, my diligent medical student, and myself) enough time to hustle over a check this hot spot out.
The Doughnut Vault is on the Western border of River North. The whole place amounts to a tiny doorway, an old register, and a little serving counter. A line forms outside a few minutes before opening and can really build thereafter. You can buy a doughnut or two for yourself, but it seems like the majority of the business is done by the box. Each doughnut is around $3 or less, and they’re on the larger side. You can also get coffee, but the menu doesn’t go much further than that.
Of note, it’s cash only.
The menu has a few standards, but the glazed flavors seem to rotate on a weekly basis. We tried the Buttermilk Old Fashioned, the Vanilla Glazed, and the Mocha Glazed. The old fashioned had a nice density to each bite with a flaky, sugary exterior. It went perfectly with my cup of coffee that morning. The glazed doughnuts were huge. They were really fluffy on the inside, and the flavors weren’t overpowering. I gave my nod to the mocha, but both were excellent options.
The Buttermilk Old Fashioned
The Mocha Glazed
The Vanilla Glazed
The Doughnut Vault has ruined most other doughnuts for me. No longer will I be able to enjoy my Spunky Dunkers when I head back home. I doubt I’ll be able to get back for some time because I don’t have the luxury of coming into work after 8AM, but for all you fortunate souls out there, I suggest you check it out. I’m giving them 5 out of 5 Pearls.