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The Doughnut Vault

The Doughnut Vault

Donut Shop$$$$
River North, Chicago
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9.1/10
368
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136 Tips and reviews
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  • gingerbread stack
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  • daily specials
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  • Amanda J.
    Amanda JoyceSeptember 19, 2013
    what others said...GO EARLY !! First time we went at 10am, and they were sold out/closed for the day, and that was during the week. They were delicious though, worth the wait! I got the daily special.
    Upvoted Sep 1
  • Jessica T.
    Jessica ToliuszisNovember 11, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    Go on a weekday if possible. The space is crazy small but the donuts are crazy good. If you're lucky enough to be an early bird, order the daily special. Otherwise, get whatever. Music vibe is killer!
  • Andrew C.
    Andrew ChaseMay 11, 2014
    Been here 5+ times
    As of May 2014, they now accept credit cards
    Upvoted Sep 1
  • Julia P.
    Julia ParkAugust 9, 2013
    Get the Jelly-filled Donut (seasonal special). PHENOMENAL. All of their donuts are really good, but the vanilla glazed was a bit too plain (and just like any other glazed donut) for me.
  • Angela
    AngelaFebruary 7, 2013
    The chocolate glazed here is the best I've ever had. Melt in your mouth gooey good. Coffee is only a buck too. Get there before 11 am because they tend to run of doughnuts and then close for the day.
  • Tiffany W.
    Tiffany WongAugust 14, 2016
    old-fashioned has a lot of fans here (get the ones at firecakes!), but their best are actually their jelly filled.
    Upvoted Sep 1
  • DailyCandy
    DailyCandyFebruary 25, 2014
    Tucked inside an old vault, bakers riff on classic recipes to produce pitch-perfect donuts. Go early (it closes when it sells out), brave the lines, order the old-fashioned, and take yours to go.
  • Katie W.
    Katie WatersDecember 23, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    Coffee is Metropolis & only $1. But onto the Doughnuts! The Gingerbread Stack is such a simple breakfast delight so try them out OR try any doughnut that sounds yummy, you will like it.
  • Time Out Chicago
    Time Out ChicagoFebruary 28, 2012
    This shop puts out batches of vanilla glazed, chestnut, buttermilk old-fashioned and other doughnuts of both cake and yeast varieties. And they are marvelous—perhaps the best you will ever have. Read more
  • Jen M.
    Jen MarquezMarch 3, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    Check their Twitter first thing in the morning to find out their specials and to get live updates on item availability. Lemon poppyseed old fashioned is one of the best around.
  • Carmen G.
    Carmen GuzmanOctober 5, 2014
    Been here 10+ times
    Pro tip.. have your order ready when u get 2 front of the line. 6 donuts fit in a box. Tell them if ur going to need a box as soon as u get up to the counter. They accept CC but u pay a lil more.
  • Bitches Who Brunch
    Bitches Who BrunchOctober 23, 2015
    The Buttermilk Old Fashioned is the Vault’s most popular choice. Also, the cute outdoor photo-opp, traveling Doughnut Vault Van and $1 coffee makes this place high on my list of favorites in the city. Read more
  • Time Out Chicago
    Time Out ChicagoApril 17, 2012
    Buttermilk and glazed yeast are staples, but the Twitter feed update dough lovers of daily specials that range from pistachio to birthday cake (cake dunked in vanilla glaze with rainbow sprinkles). Read more
  • Aaron C.
    Aaron CruzMay 14, 2012
    Every morning people get in line hoping to get to the counter before the donuts are gone. Get the chocolate glazed or chestnut donut or the donut of the day. They're big, delicious donuts!
  • Jayson M.
    Jayson MJune 6, 2015
    Unique experience to the Chicago area! Carrier early as they only make so many doughnuts per day and when they are gone they are gone! Harry Potter-ish side entry! Great taste!
  • Time Out Chicago
    Time Out ChicagoFebruary 17, 2012
    Doughnut makers using the noms de plume François and Henri Gras put out batches of vanilla glazed, chestnut, buttermilk old-fashioned and other doughnuts of both the cake and yeast variety. Read more
  • Serious Eats
    Serious EatsMay 21, 2013
    Lines are long in the mornings and on weekends, but after 10 am, its a little easier to slip in. Go for the buttermilk old fashioned or the yeasty glazed doughnut.
  • AskMen
    AskMenApril 14, 2011
    Whips up a limited, ever-changing selection of fresh-baked sweets in flavors like chestnut, buttermilk, carrot cake, & maple-bourbon-bacon. Follow them on Facebook or Twitter for store hours. Read more
  • Karen
    KarenApril 15, 2015
    This place makes me wish I lived in Chicago! Great donuts and $1 coffee that is actually good. Ummm yes.
  • Jessica T.
    Jessica ToliuszisJanuary 22, 2016
    Been here 10+ times
    The best donuts in the city. Any city. Get the double old fashion. Get the daily special. And the massive chocolate
  • Heather W.
    Heather WilliamsApril 2, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    The raspberry old fashioned was worth the trek. I felt like a total bonehead when I ordered and realized I left my wallet at the office. The server was so great about it! I'll be back!
  • Christine
    ChristineMay 27, 2015
    One of the best Donuts place in the world!!!!! Go early for more choices! Take out only except little table outside.
  • Gloria C.
    Gloria ChinJanuary 17, 2013
    super popular in the morning & weekends!! go after 10 am for a shorter line. choose between the buttermilk old fashioned ($2.00) or the yeasty glazed ($3.00) doughnuts
  • Vivian N.
    Vivian NguyenSeptember 21, 2015
    We arrived around 9:30 am on a Saturday morning, and waited about 30 mins. The chestnut glazed, old fashioned, and special filled were great
  • JenKudu
    JenKuduDecember 5, 2013
    Everything they say is true... They are amazing! Buttermilk, Chocolate and Salted Caramel were the three I got. Salted Caramel was my fav.!
  • Catherine P.
    Catherine PunktFebruary 27, 2015
    The old-fashioned buttermilk doughnut is really good! Additionally, try the chocolate doughnut!
  • Chicagoist
    ChicagoistAugust 1, 2014
    The classic chestnut glazed option is my favorite, a slight nutty sweetness that is the perfect side to a morning coffee to start your day Read more
  • Nigel K.
    Nigel KongJune 2, 2016
    There is a donut God. This is it. Paired with a $1 coffees and you're good as gold.
  • Serious Eats
    Serious EatsSeptember 9, 2013
    Despite the high prices and long lines, this tiny takeout shops serves some of the most flawless doughnuts we've ever tried.
  • Christopher F.
    Christopher FlossDecember 12, 2014
    Awesome old fashioned donuts!!! Get there early (especially on the weekend) otherwise they may run out!!! The buttermilk donut is THE BEST!!!!!!!
  • Mark R.
    Mark ReynoldsMay 7, 2014
    Hip Hop, Hipsters and a sugar rush. The best doughnuts you'll ever eat, but beware the gut bomb coma!
  • Ryan O.
    Ryan O'MalleyMarch 30, 2013
    Serves up creative flavors like birthday cake, dreamsicle and chestnut cream doughnuts alongside classic glazed and old-fashioned buttermilk (Eater)
  • Time Out Chicago
    Time Out ChicagoDecember 6, 2011
    Try the Chestnut doughnut from our 100 Best list: It doesn’t get any better, any fresher, any more flavorful, any airier than this.
  • Henry B.
    Henry BirdseyeDecember 7, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    If the line reaches the corner, the wait'll be about an hour. Hit up Do-Rite, Firecakes, or Glazed & Infused instead. Live your life.
  • Fiachra M.
    Fiachra MaguireAugust 20, 2014
    Open till they sell out. Old fashioned buttermilk was a delight. All packaged into a room the size of a hallway.
  • Time Out Chicago
    Time Out ChicagoJune 4, 2012
    Download a podcast. Bring a long-lost friend. Get there at 8:30am. This is the doughnut we’ve been waiting for.
  • Chefs Feed
    Chefs FeedApril 15, 2016
    Huge and delicious, this doughnut melts in your mouth. Only a hot, fresh coffee will slake my thirst after that. Read more
  • Elizabeth K.
    Elizabeth KimOctober 26, 2013
    Cute interior! And delicious doughnut of course
  • Erika D.
    Erika DavisJune 28, 2016
    I should have gotten the glazed or old fashioned donuts. Seasonal jelly doughnut (raspberry is what I got) looked good, but way too sweet + tasted perfume-y.
    Upvoted Sep 1
  • Tammy G.
    Tammy GordonMay 9, 2014
    I liked the classic sour cream and buttermilk donut the most.
  • Vicky K.
    Vicky KujawaFebruary 17, 2014
    Friendly service; excellent coffee! Cash only and get there early or else you're S.O.L..
  • Kevin S.
    Kevin SkobacAugust 28, 2015
    They are only open for a few hours each morning. Go early to get their daily special.
  • David S.
    David StrasserMay 17, 2013
    The buttermilk old fashioned is worth the line up and the calories. Seriously good doughnut.
  • Saif D.
    Saif DiaAugust 7, 2015
    When the person in front of you is asking what's available, listen up to save time.
  • Meg S.
    Meg SkwiatJune 1, 2011
    Pro Tip: tell your boss you have a dr's appointment and go to DV on a Tuesday morning around 10. All of the donut varieties, none of the wait.
  • David
    DavidFebruary 27, 2015
    In winter, get your donuts here and eat them inside of the nearby Merchandiese Mart.
  • Ben L.
    Ben LippertNovember 15, 2014
    You'll probably have to wait in line, but it's worth it. Try an old fashioned.
  • Time Out Chicago
    Time Out ChicagoMay 25, 2012
    Download a podcast. Bring a long-lost friend. Get there at 8:30am. This is the doughnut we’ve been waiting for. -JK Read more
  • Penny S.
    Penny ShackSeptember 15, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    Make sure you say hi to Julie for me...she is the BEST doughnut seller EVER!!!!! You rock Jules :)
  • Andrew V.
    Andrew VioletteApril 11, 2013
    Been here 50+ times
    My two favorite donuts here are the blueberry old-fashioned and the pistachio old-fashioned.
  • jaime g.
    jaime garciaJuly 7, 2013
    Get there early, they only make so many doughnuts and when they are gone, they're gone. Closes between 12:30-2:00ish
  • Courtney R.
    Courtney RuscoFebruary 20, 2015
    Omg sooo good the double chocolate doughnut with sprinkles!
  • will.i.am.not
    will.i.am.notJuly 25, 2012
    Chocolate glazed is my favorite (so far).
  • Rebecca M.
    Rebecca MaldonadoOctober 5, 2014
    If only I lived in Chicago, I would make a faithful weekend trip and read a book while I wait in line! Doughnuts rule!
  • Megan H.
    Megan HollanderJuly 13, 2013
    So delicious. Buttermilk original and vanilla glazed are where it's at!
  • Jake S.
    Jake SmithFebruary 17, 2013
    They sell out. You need to wake up PREEETY early in the morning if you want a doughnut from here.
  • cami j.
    cami j.July 12, 2015
    love the chocolate glazed and the gingerbread stacks!
  • Chicago magazine
    Chicago magazineJune 3, 2011
    The old-fashioned buttermilk doughnut hit dining editor Penny Pollack's cozy button. View a photo here. Read more
  • Bill M.
    Bill MurraySeptember 19, 2012
    Try the Buttermilk Old Fashioned doughnut - Stumbled on this place for dessert.
  • Derek Q.
    Derek QuinnSeptember 19, 2015
    Grab a pistachio doughnut with a double shot of Metropolis Red Line Espresso.
  • ToryBurch
    ToryBurchNovember 17, 2011
    Lots of buzz and long lines at this pastry shop- donuts are the must-have treat.
  • Tim R.
    Tim ReynoldsOctober 11, 2015
    The jelly filled doughnuts are amazing
  • Emily I.
    Emily IsraeliDecember 20, 2011
    It's cash only but if you forget, like me, the merchandise mart has an ATM. Other than that come early and enjoy!
  • Motaz F.
    Motaz FadulFebruary 23, 2015
    Find them on Twitter before you go there @doughnutvault
  • Christy T.
    Christy TidwellDecember 26, 2012
    The gingerbread stack is amazing, especially fresh and warm.
  • Keith M.
    Keith MarranApril 28, 2014
    The buttermilk old-fashioned was amazing, but I found the remaining flavor to be just okay.
  • Danielle N.
    Danielle NashAugust 6, 2013
    Buttermilk old fashioned... Straight up out of this world amazing
  • USA TODAY
    USA TODAYMay 30, 2013
    Follow this shop on Twitter: They'll tell you when they're running out and how many people are online. @doughnutvault Read more
  • Rachel B.
    Rachel BergerAugust 26, 2015
    go during the week after 10 and avoid a rush altogether
  • natalie k.
    natalie kayJune 3, 2016
    Triple Chocolate! Truck goes to the Lincoln Park Farmers Market in the summer!
  • Ed
    EdJune 10, 2015
    Old fashion donut is the way to go!
  • Molly F.
    Molly FriedlichMarch 10, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    The vanilla doughnut is life changing.. Avoid this spot of you're on your way home from the gym!!
  • Sonny G.
    Sonny GillSeptember 27, 2012
    Try everything. I don't care. This place will make your innards scream for joy.
  • benn
    bennAugust 4, 2016
    This place has the best old fashioned I've had anywhere.
  • Joe M.
    Joe MontesOctober 16, 2015
    Buttermilk donut with a black coffee is the best breakfast.
  • Joshua N.
    Joshua NardApril 12, 2013
    The have scientist here. One bite - you'll understand.
  • Riπer
    RiπerMarch 26, 2016
    Been here 5+ times
    Double chocolate yellow cake is doubly delicious!
  • Yaqoob A.
    Yaqoob AlobaidliNovember 12, 2014
    The doughnuts are good
  • Ambo
    AmboApril 6, 2014
    Credit cards now accepted.
  • Heather R.
    Heather RomigJanuary 23, 2016
    Amazing espresso & lemon poppy seed doughnuts!
  • Chicago magazine
    Chicago magazineJune 3, 2011
    CAUTION: Beware of a doughnut coma after eating here. Our dining editor's pick: "The gingerbread stack—light and, uh, gingery." Read more
  • Ryan E.
    Ryan EscobarMay 18, 2015
    Come early for top picks on special donuts!
  • Jeff M.
    Jeff MerchantJuly 16, 2011
    If you're not in line by the time they open, you can forget it. Bleak, I know.
  • Cari S.
    Cari SmallJanuary 22, 2012
    Get there early, bring cash, enjoy donuts!
  • Ron H.
    Ron HsuOctober 2, 2015
    Good donuts. Reminds me of Doughnut Plant in NYC.
  • Alexis Y.
    Alexis YSYJune 8, 2015
    BUTTERMILK! Chester glazed! Must get coffee
  • Marlon
    MarlonAugust 17, 2015
    Tasty. The donut attendant was cordial.
  • autumn N.
    autumn NgDecember 12, 2013
    I came today (Tuesday) at around 10 and it was sold out... Not funny, came all over from Europe..
  • Rebecca M.
    Rebecca MaldonadoOctober 5, 2014
    Its worth the wait! Fantastic doughnuts.
  • Zach P.
    Zach PritchardAugust 5, 2013
    the Vanilla "doughnut" is bomb!
  • Kyle H.
    Kyle HughesOctober 13, 2014
    The munchkins and the chocolate glazed donut 👌
  • ivy t.
    ivy t.July 25, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Gingerbread doughnuts all year? We're meant for each other doughnut vault! I love u!
  • Kelly B.
    Kelly BoneJune 27, 2014
    It is worth the wait
  • The Freehand
    The FreehandMarch 4, 2015
    Pure, doughy goodness in a variety of flavors.
  • Amy R.
    Amy RobertsonFebruary 2
    Extremely tiny but tasty jelly donuts
  • Maya J.
    Delicious donuts!!!!
  • Yaqoob A.
    Yaqoob AlobaidliNovember 17, 2014
    Almond was nice:-)
  • Tony G.
    Tony GreeleyMarch 15, 2014
    Been here 5+ times
    The chestnut is incredible!
  • Justin
    JustinOctober 5, 2013
    Worth the wait.
  • Doug
    DougMarch 18, 2014
    Been here 5+ times
    Open until they are sold out. Check Twitter for status.
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