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“Fun, hidden spot popular with locals” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Doughnut Vault

Doughnut Vault
401 1/2 N. Franklin St., Chicago, IL 60654 (Near North Side)
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Ranked #2 of 340 Bakeries in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $0 - $3
Cuisines: Coffee Shop, Dessert, Bakeries, Donuts
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dessert, Outdoor Seating
Neighborhood: Near North Side
Description: Born from a strong desire to produce and serve the finest doughnuts and coffee, the doughnuts at The Doughnut Vault took years to develop. We are proud to offer them hand-made in downtown Chicago. Handcrafted in age-old techniques using the finest ingredients, our doughnuts are made in small batches to ensure quality. Each of our shops has a unique menu with additional specials everyday that are available until we sell out.
Troy, Michigan
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Fun, hidden spot popular with locals”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

This postage-stamp-sized donut joint is tucked away in the financial district area inside the Loop, just south of the main downtown attractions. Nice spot to grab a coffee & donut to sooth a weekend morning hangover. FYI: cash only & the closing time is "until sold out."

Visited November 2012
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135 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    92
    34
    9
    0
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Chicago
Top Contributor
225 reviews 225 reviews
98 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 98 cities Reviews in 98 cities
238 helpful votes 238 helpful votes
“Worth the wait”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

there aren't many places that would justify standing outside in the cold for over an hour in line...and for doughnuts? Doughnuts that cost $2-3 each? Yes. And trust me - it's worth it. This place does the classics plus a few specials (birthday cake and strawberry jam filled when we went). We ordered a bunch of different donuts to share so that we could take everything. Favorite was the buttermilk old fashioned - melt-in-your mouth goodness. Vanilla glaze was a close second. But really, everything was delicious.

Tiny place, cash only, no seating inside- and they only make a limited amount every day, so be sure you get there early enough (I got there around 9:40am on a Saturday and there was plenty of everything when we got to the counter around 11am, but just to be sure you might want to try to get there even earlier).

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Wow”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

After arriving in Chicago and hearing endlessly about this doughnut oasis, I decided I had to try it for myself. Thinking there might be a lineup, my girlfriend and I got up bright and early one morning to try it out. At ~$3 a pop, I was a little nervous. Got a chocolate glazed, a chestnut glazed, and a jelly (apricot) and my GOD were they amazing! And huge! Best doughnuts I ever had. And the $1 coffee to go with it was awesome. The perfect combo. There's a reason this place has the reputation is does in Chicago! Just one note - it's TINY and can be a little difficult to see at first. Keep looking though, it's worth it!!

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indiana
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Crazy giant doughnuts!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

My husband was told that we HAD to make this a stop while we were honeymooning in Chicago. We did, not really knowing what to expect. It was, as with many other Chicago cultural icons, as much about the experience as the product (in this case - baked goods). We had a general idea of where it was and wandered around a bit until we found a menu painted on the side of a building. A door looked like we were sneaking into the back of a restaurant. We came in right at the end of the line that could fit inside. People behind us had to wait outside in the chill. It felt like an enclosed alley. Just wide enough for a line going forward and a line of people exiting. They served doughnuts. There wasn't more than 4 or 5 choices and they weren't cheap but they were huge and delicious in the way that only fresh baked can be. I could barely eat one! It will be a staple of any future stays.
Location: Near the Merchandise Mart on the north side of the river
Staff: One poor guy who managed to stay chipper while packaging everyone's orders and ringing us up.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Hampshire
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Came from NH”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

Travel to Chicago several times a year from New Hampshire to visit our college-attending daughter. Weekends are always centered around food. So our First stop off train from Midway Airport is Donut Vault, luggage in hand, waiting outside even when snowing. Jelly donuts, chocolate glazed, gingerbread - ate them in cab on way to hotel. Can't wait to go back.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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