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These days, Chicago foodies are throwing around terms like “seasonal jellies” and “yeast-risen.” If those mean nothing to you, then there’s important work to be done--work that includes visiting hottest doughnut spots (not a bad gig). Here are five of the best doughnut shops in the city.

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Kari Skaflen

Doughnut Vault

If you can judge a doughnut by the number of people waiting in line to eat it, consider Doughnut Vault’s the best in town. Behind a periwinkle door in River North, the Vault whips up the treats in flavors like chocolate-glazed, coconut cream and old-fashioned buttermilk. Get there early--weekday hours are: “8 a.m. ’til sold out.”

401 ½ N. Franklin St.; 312-285-2830 or doughnutvault.com

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Stan’s Donuts & Coffee

Stan’s Donuts

So, Stan’s originated in California. But that was then (1963, to be exact). Now no best-doughnuts-in-Chicago list is complete without a mention of the adorable, diner-style shop. It’s not just that the pastries are delish, but it has concoctions you only dreamed about as a child, like a doughnut ice cream sandwich. You’re not dreaming. You’re at Stan’s.

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Bunny, the Micro Bakery/ Facebook

Bunny, the Micro Bakery

There is an acceptable way to ingest whiskey before 9 a.m. At this teeny, red-hot spot, Bunny makes a whiskey-maple-glazed confection that’s getting all kinds of buzz among doughnut lovers (i.e., the entire city of Chicago).

2928 N. Broadway St.; bunnythemicrobakery.com

firecakes
Firecakes

Firecakes Donuts

The menu here rotates frequently to include flavors like Sicilian-pistachio and peanut butter and jelly. And if you take birthdays seriously at all (and you should), Firecakes has a Giant Birthday Cake Donut.

68 W. Hubbard St.; 312-329-6500 or firecakesdonuts.com

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Do-Rite Donuts/Facebook

Do-Rite Donuts

The unassuming Do-Rite has three specialties: coffee, chicken and doughnuts. But there’s more: Those fluffy rings come in flavors like vanilla-bean glazed, pistachio-Meyer lemon and Valrhona chocolate cake. And don’t worry, we got your back--it also has a handful of gluten-free options and daily vegan specials.

Locations here.  

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