It was only a matter of time before Chicago's obsession with doughnuts turned into a festival. Donut Fest, held yesterday at 1st Ward and run by Alyssa Erickson and Rebecca Skoch (who ran last year's Poutine Fest and also writes for our dining section), celebrated fried rings of dough with 15 samples, coffee tastings from Half Wit, Bow Truss and others, and a judging panel that determined the top doughnuts. Proceeds benefitted Un86'd, a nonprofit organization that helps hospitality professionals in need.
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Attendees picked their favorites, too, and the crowd winners were West Town Bakery for its beer and pretzel doughnut, Endgrain for its honey-glazed doughscuit and Donut Den for its French toast doughnut. The judges crowned Endgrain the winner, with Doughnut Vault taking second for best classic doughnut for its vanilla glazed and West Town taking third for most creative.
We sampled every last one (and then promptly went home and collapsed in bed in a sugar coma), and we also liked the orange cake with chocolate icing from Reuter's Bakery and Glazed and Infused's maple bacon long john.