Made with everything from pizza dough to steam buns, many of the most unique doughnuts at Chicago restaurants can’t be bought by the dozen. We headed to a pizza restaurant, a ramen spot and elsewhere to turn up unexpected spots for these sugar-coated, doughy treats.
RECOMMENDED: The best donuts in Chicago
Unexpected places for great doughnuts
Bohemian House serves up Bohemian-inspired fare, which thankfully also seems to mean these ethereal ricotta doughnuts ($9). The only thing better than dipping doughnuts into coffee is dipping doughnuts into a ridiculously smooth, rich coffee gelato, which is made with Bow Truss coffee and sprinkled with hazelnut brittle for crunch.—AC
This popular Logan Square pizza joint does a playful take on the Italian classic fried dough dessert zeppole ($6). The same dough used to make the large New York-style pizzas is reimagined after dinner into a trio of chewy doughnuts. The tiny puffs of dough are fried-to-order and coated with cinnamon sugar. Served warm alongside a creamy cup of delightfully buzzy vanilla-and-Jameson soft serve, you’ll wonder why you don’t have pizza for dessert more often.—RS
Each weekend Longman & Eagle's back space, OSB, serves doughnuts, breakfast sandwiches, cocktails and coffee. The doughnuts ($3), made by Longman & Eagle pastry chef Jeremy Brutzkus, change each weekend, so all I can tell you is get the glazed grapefruit if that's available. If not, well, anything is worth trying.—AC
There’s more to the menu than just ramen at this tiny Japanese spot in Wicker Park. The steam buns (bao) aren’t just savory and make a reappearance deep-fried for dessert. Bao are made with lots of milk and sugar, which makes them an ideal choice for these delicate treats. Rolled in cinnamon sugar, the bao are served with crème anglaise frosting for dunking, and the sugary-sweetness is balanced with an unusually tart drizzle of balsamic vinegar.—RS
A welcome new addition amid the sports bar monotony of Division Street, Pub Royale sparkles with an inviting space and modern Indian menu. The doughnut here is made from risen dough and deep-fried to a crispy brown, with a soft and chewy interior ($5). The pillow of dough is served swimming in a pool of milky dulce de leche, spiked with peppery chai tea. It’s so good you’ll have to restrain yourself from scraping the sticky remains off the plate with your fingers.—RS