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The Doughnut Vault

The Doughnut Vault

Donut Shop$$$$
River North, Chicago
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9.1/10
330
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136 Tips and reviews
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  • gingerbread stack
  • coffee
  • daily specials
  • casual
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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.
  • Jessica T.
    Jessica ToliuszisNovember 11, 2012
    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!
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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 H.
    Katie H2ODecember 23, 2015
    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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Carmen G.
    Carmen GuzmanOctober 5, 2014
    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.
  • Jen M.
    Jen MarquezMarch 3, 2015
    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.
  • 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
  • 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 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
  • 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.
  • Jessica T.
    The best donuts in the city. Any city. Get the double old fashion. Get the daily special. And the massive chocolate
  • 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.
  • Heather W.
    Heather WilliamsApril 2, 2015
    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!
  • 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
  • Niki C.
    Niki ConradJuly 20, 2011
    Chestnut. For sure. Ice coffee for a buck. Follow them on Twitter for line updates, special flavors, and inventory. Delicious. Jam to the rap while you wait!
  • Catherine P.
    Catherine PunktFebruary 27, 2015
    The old-fashioned buttermilk doughnut is really good! Additionally, try the chocolate doughnut!
  • 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!!!!!!!
  • 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
  • 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.!
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • Chefs Feed
    Chefs FeedApril 15
    Huge and delicious, this doughnut melts in your mouth. Only a hot, fresh coffee will slake my thirst after that. Read more
    Upvoted Jun 9
  • 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.
  • Chris B.
    Chris BurkeSeptember 13, 2014
    All Hype, The lines are really long and the donuts are IMO marginal. For a better doughnut check out firecakes on Hubbard.
  • Karen
    KarenApril 15, 2015
    This place makes me wish I lived in Chicago! Great donuts and $1 coffee that is actually good. Ummm yes.
  • Tiffany W.
    Tiffany Wong2 weeks ago
    old-fashioned has a lot of fans here (get the ones at firecakes!), but their best are actually their jelly filled.
  • Nigel K.
    There is a donut God. This is it. Paired with a $1 coffees and you're good as gold.
  • Henry B.
    Henry BirdseyeDecember 7, 2013
    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.
  • Tammy G.
    Tammy GordonMay 9, 2014
    I liked the classic sour cream and buttermilk donut the most.
  • Nauman N.
    Go for the classic and wash it down with coffee from Bow Truss coffee nearby 😋
  • Kevin S.
    Kevin SkobacAugust 28, 2015
    They are only open for a few hours each morning. Go early to get their daily special.
  • Vicky K.
    Vicky KujawaFebruary 17, 2014
    Friendly service; excellent coffee! Cash only and get there early or else you're S.O.L..
  • 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.
  • David S.
    David StrasserMay 17, 2013
    The buttermilk old fashioned is worth the line up and the calories. Seriously good doughnut.
  • Penny S.
    Penny ShackSeptember 15, 2011
    Make sure you say hi to Julie for me...she is the BEST doughnut seller EVER!!!!! You rock Jules :)
  • Andrew C.
    Andrew ChaseMay 11, 2014
    As of May 2014, they now accept credit cards
  • David
    DavidFebruary 27, 2015
    In winter, get your donuts here and eat them inside of the nearby Merchandiese Mart.
  • 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
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Erika D.
    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.
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