Westward Wanderings: Coffee & Doughnuts in Chicago

So you’re craving a doughnut in Pittsburgh (where I happen to live and crave doughnuts)?

Fullton Market District, Chicago // www.WithTheGrains.com

Fullton Market District, Chicago

Option 1: You buy the popular gluten free “doughnut’ from one of several coffee shops, but it’s really just a muffin parading as a doughnut. Pleasant little treat that it may be, it in no way fulfills those deep doughnut desires. win-lose. 

Fullton Market District, Chicago // www.WithTheGrains.com

Fullton Market District, Chicago

Option 2: You eat an adorable mini doughnut, a legitimate fried ring of dough. Your doughnut craving is satiated for the time being, BUT (and it’s a big BUT), you hate yourself because your dollars just supported the owner, a known homophobe who sees gay marriage as the dissolution of family values, and Barak Obama as the torch bearer for the demise. Win-LOSE! 

(For the record: After learning about the owner, I stopped supporting his business)

Fullton Market District, Chicago // www.WithTheGrains.com

Fullton Market District, Chicago

Option 3: You start frying up more wholesome versions at home and coming up with some real novel doughnuts (if I do say so myself!)! However, these doughnut sessions are a bit labor and time intensive, so they require a fair bit of preparation. Win-win… lose. 

Fullton Market District, Chicago // www.WithTheGrains.com

Fullton Market District, Chicago

So?

Glazed and Infused Doughnut Shop in the Fullton Market District of Chicago // www.WithTheGrains.com

Glazed and Infused Doughnut Shop in the Fullton Market District of Chicago // www.WithTheGrains.com

Option 4: None of the Above. 

You go to Chicago!

Win-Win-Win!

Glazed and Infused Doughnut Shop in the Fullton Market District of Chicago // www.WithTheGrains.com

You go to Chicago, one of the cities fortunate enough to have been hit by the artisanal doughnut scene (Pittsburgh typically lags behind the zeitgeist, but thanks to the internet, at least our lag seems to be decreasing!). You prioritize eating good quality doughnuts and exploring the kind of coffee shops that most definitely serve latte art.  Or at least that is what the Urban Farmer and I did as part of our Westward Wanderings.  

Glazed and Infused Doughnut Shop in the Fullton Market District of Chicago // www.WithTheGrains.com

The punniest, yummiest doughnuts:

Glazed and Infused
813 W Fulton Market Chicago, IL 60607 

The West Loop’s Glazed & Infused not only serves as the flagship store, but it also acts as the production kitchen, transferring over 8,000 (!!!) freshly made doughnuts daily to locations throughout Chicago. 

Glazed and Infused Doughnut Shop in the Fullton Market District of Chicago // www.WithTheGrains.com

Doughnuts sampled:
Pumpkin Spice & Cranberry Orange Toffee

Glazed and Infused Doughnut Shop in the Fullton Market District of Chicago // www.WithTheGrains.com

Established in 2012 by acclaimed Chef and Restaurateur, Scott Harris, Glazed & Infused doughnut and coffee shops focus on artisan technique, local sourcing, and quality flavors, thus appealing to my deep donut cravings and my sense of ethics. WIN WIN! Their re-invention of Americana is reflected in the decor. I would have bought the Rosie the Donut Riveter poster off the wall if it had been possible!

Glazed and Infused Doughnut Shop in the Fullton Market District of Chicago // www.WithTheGrains.com

A little pep talk from a shared work space in the Fullton Market District in Chicago // www.WithTheGrains.com

A little pep talk from a shared work space in the Fullton Market District in Chicago.

…then a coffee break…

C.C. Ferns Coffee Bar & Spirits in Chicago, IL // www.WithTheGrains.com

C. C. Ferns
2806 W Augusta Blvd, Chicago, IL 60622

C.C. Ferns Coffee Bar & Spirits in Chicago, IL // www.WithTheGrains.com

I can’t tell you much of the story behind C.C. Ferns, other than it’s a part of a stylish restaurant group who causes my Chesterfield envy to spike, and they serve Coffee AND Booze and cigars. Unfortunately, it was a little early in the morning for us to be hitting the bottle, but in the meantime, how about this decor? Not a bad place to kick it with an espresso drink, eh?

C.C. Ferns Coffee Bar & Spirits in Chicago, IL // www.WithTheGrains.com

Though I will say my espresso drink tasted burnt (over roasted?), the atmosphere was worth the trip. 

C.C. Ferns Coffee Bar & Spirits in Chicago, IL // www.WithTheGrains.com

C.C. Ferns Coffee Bar & Spirits in Chicago, IL // www.WithTheGrains.com

C.C. Ferns also serves dougnuts from The Doughnut Vault (their sister company apparently), but we went straight to the source, the very space efficient micro source!

The Doughnut Vault in Chicago, IL // www.WithTheGrains.com

The Doughnut Vault
401 N Franklin St, Chicago, IL 60654

The Doughnut Vault in Chicago, IL // www.WithTheGrains.com

I would have loved to chase down/commandeer The Doughnut Vault Van (the cutest vintage food truck I have “seen” to date!), but our time was limited, so we ventured to this sliver of a storefront filled with the smell of fresh doughnuts. We made it just in time as mid-morning is already “late” in the world of doughnuts, and the options were thinning.

The Doughnut Vault in Chicago, IL // www.WithTheGrains.com

A Chestnut Glazed pillowy cloud and a caky Buttermilk Old Fashioned (made with a buttermilk powder for a bit of tang) hit the spot! 

The Doughnut Vault in Chicago, IL // www.WithTheGrains.com

then more coffee…

Gaslight Coffee Roasters
2385 North Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Gaslight Coffee Roasters in Chicago, IL // www.WithTheGrains.com

Gaslight Coffee Roasters occupies a corner reminiscent of a Rockwell painting, and the interior is enough to make me want to shell all my money out to move into an industrial loft somewhere. 

Gaslight Coffee Roasters in Chicago, IL // www.WithTheGrains.com

Gaslight Coffee Roasters in Chicago, IL // www.WithTheGrains.com

Gaslight Coffee Roasters in Chicago, IL // www.WithTheGrains.com

Gaslight Coffee Roasters in Chicago, IL // www.WithTheGrains.com

The Urban Farmer returned from the bathroom and said, “you have to go back there!” Not quite sure what I would discover, I followed his advice with a bit of caution. “Back there” turned out to be the true coffee nerdery- coffee roasting and precise note taking. It explained the standout beverages we consumed. This would probably be my regular haunt if I lived in the windy city. 

Gaslight Coffee Roasters in Chicago, IL // www.WithTheGrains.com

It was an all too quick, sweet, caffeinated exploration of an incredible city, but had it been longer, we may have been too jittery and bouncing off the Bean. Hopefully, we’ll return again real soon to explore some other themes or maybe a cornet mission will be next? 

Where are your favorite new wave doughnut spots?

Quelcy Signature 

 

 

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