By Mason Johnson
It wasn’t until 1994 that I understood the importance of the donut.
The Lion King set me straight. At 29, I was just young enough to really get it, ya know? Meaning finally entered my existence when one of the most famous songs in Disney history came on: The Circle of Life. Sure, literally, according to the movie screen, the circle of life was a matter of nature. The reciprocal magic of life and death. But nothing is ever what it seems, my friends. I saw the circle of life for what it really was: an allegory for donuts.
Ever since then, I’ve devoted my life to the consumption of life, the consumption of donuts. Please, let me share my experience with you…
Dinkel’s has been in Chicago so long, it’s practically been absorbed into the concrete, brick and steel that this great city is composed of. It’s the bakery your parents went to, and their parents too.
All of their offerings are good. You won’t go wrong with one of their cakes, and their bread is superb. Their donuts live up to the same quality as everything else they have.
Check them out on Wednesday, when you can get three donuts for $3.99.
A popular neighborhood delight, you have to get to Bridgeport Bakery nice and early if you want to choose from the best of the best (especially on the weekends). While my favorite is their chocolate donut (I’ve always had plain tastes), everyone else will tell you to try their bacon buns. And not because they’re bad. Because they’re good. Why would people tell you to try something bad? Unless they’re your enemy. In which case, why are you taking food advice from your enemy?
Old Fashioned Bakery Inc.
The process of finding the right donut shop for you is kind of like the amazing, animated movie Cinderella. You’re the Prince (sigh) and you’re trying to find your one true love. You met her once and, for whatever reason, stole her shoe. To find her again, you go around the country fitting young ladies with your stolen shoe, hoping beyond hope that there’s only one size five in the entire kingdom.
In this analogy, the shoe isn’t a shoe, but a donut. Personally, my shoe is Old Fashioned Donuts. If you want a donut that’ll fit just right, this is the place to go.
Their selection will change with the season (to fit your mood perfectly). I can’t wait till summer comes around so I can have one of their blueberry donuts. Their specialty is the apple fritter though. Gigantic and always pipin’ hot, you’ll wonder how anyone can go through life without ever having had one.
Dirty Betty’s, the Dr. Jekyll to Cookie Bar’s Mr. Hyde, has a large selection of gourmet donuts that are crazier than your wicked stepmother (seriously, she’s insane, bro). Their baked donuts, which harbor “all natural” claims (whatever, who cares, they taste great), come in such flavors as (my favorite) cinnamon sugar, as well as the wilder espresso glazed and the fresh banana with a chocolate nutella glaze. They even offer a bunch of vegan selections! Crazy, right?
To find out more about Dirty Betty’s, read “Difficult Decisions At Dirty Betty’s.”
The Doughnut Vault
While it seems like the natural way to go, I’m not going to make any vault puns or jokes about heists. Sorry.
I will say this: Doughnut Vault’s doughnuts whisper to me in the middle of the night. Not literally, of course. That’d be insane. I’m just saying, they’re really good, and sometimes when I lay awake at night underneath my Aladdin comforter, I crave their tasty treats.
Though I’m the kind of guy to have the same thing over and over, that’d be a waste at the extremely popular Doughnut Vault. They’re like mad scientists who are too bored to do science so they bake donuts instead; they’re always messing with new flavors and recipes. One of my favorites, thus far, has been their red velvet cake doughnut. Made for Valentine’s Day, it was truly love.
Will I ever taste perfection again?