Mmm Mmm Monday: The Doughnut Vault

Since we've arrived, I've heard rumblings about Chicago's Doughnut Vault (400 1/2 N Franklin St., River North). Legend tells of warm doughnuts baked in limited supply and so tasty that people will line up around the block to get one (or 12) along with a $1 cup of coffee. Last Wednesday we made our way to the near North side to see and taste for ourselves.

The Doughnut Vault - Chicago

Chef Brendan Sodikoff's artisan doughnut shop may be an itty bitty space but it has quickly earned an enormous reputation. I mean, being named America's best doughnut shop by Food / Wine Magazine isn't such a bad way to celebrate a first birthday, right?

The Doughnut Vault's chandelier

We arrived 30 minutes after the shop opened and thankfully the line wasn't too bad. When we made it inside I was momentarily stopped by the heavenly aroma in the air. It stopped me dead in my tracks and immediately my tummy began to rumble. Finally nearing the finish line and anxiously awaiting our doughnut prize I was struck by the decor of the small store front. Its crystal chandelier, hand painted mirrors, antique cash register and heavy brick interior seem to promise, "You are waiting for a quality product." I was impressed.

We each ordered a glazed doughnut from their daily rotating selection (pistachio for me, chocolate for the hubby), 2 old fashion buttermilk doughnuts, and coffee. Bringing our treats back outside we snatched up two chairs at the long rustic but chic picnic table out front. My pistachio doughnut was, simply put, divine. It was light and airy with a sticky, sweet mint green (color not flavor) glaze and topped with pistachio shavings. Somehow it stayed on this side of the "too sweet" line in spite of itself. Perhaps it was its pairing with the rich, dark, french press coffee that is served. We decided it was well worth the wait.

Pistachio doughnut at Chicago's Doughnut Vault

As we enjoyed every bite, we watched the line outside the shop continue to grow and snake down the block. Even though the sky threatened rain and it was a Wednesday, people lined up hoping to get one of Doughnut Vault's tasty treats. These puppies are a hot commodity. But I would classify them as a special occasion treat. The glazed doughnuts are 3-4 inches in diameter and at $3 per doughnut, they are definitely a splurge, both calorie and budget wise. But sometimes, you have to treat yourself, right?

The Doughnut Vault branding

The Buttermilk old fashion doughnuts came with us as we offered up our seats to the waiting crowd. Later that afternoon, I'm pretty sure I moaned when I took my first bite. It was perfect. I'm generally more of a cake doughnut fan, and this was unlike any other cake doughnut I've had. There was a fantastic crust to protect the moist perfection that was inside. It was practically creamy! My mouth is watering as I remember its deliciousity. And, yes, it deserves a whole new word because of how incredible it tasted.

A line outside The Doughnut Vault

The Doughnut Vault opens Tuesday - Friday at 8:30 and Saturday at 9:30. But get there early, because once the daily batch has been sold the doors close. And I can now attest, all the legends are true. These doughnuts are something special and undoubtedly worth the splurge.

Do you have a favorite doughnut?

{I promise I am managing to eat things other than just sugary treats.}