Hey donut lovers, this self-guided donut walking tour was made just for you! Those sweet, cake-like pastries make it plausible for everyone to enjoy dessert for breakfast.
I still remember the handle on the Dunkin Donut, It was specifically designed for donut lovers to dunk it into their beverage. How genius was that idea?
It is quite satisfying to start the day with a moist, sweet cake dripping with a hot, medium roast coffee. Since then, doughnuts have been created to offer some incredible flavors and ingredients like pistachios, Oreos, and maple bacon!
And downtown Chicago has some of the best neighborhood hot spots to please your sweet tooth. Foodie fans should also sample some classic eats in Chicago.
But in the interim, go ahead … live your best donut life! And don’t worry, there will be plenty of steps to help you walk off the calories!
Self-Guided Chicago Donut Walking Tours
Chicago Self-Guided Donut Tour #1
Do-Rite has an impressive array of donuts that lives up to the hype. The cakes are moist and very tasty. You’ll love the crumb topping on the Blueberry donut.
The Pistachio Lemon is exactly what you’ll need to get you through a Monday morning. The pistachios add a wonderful texture to the cake, it’s absolute perfection. Early mornings are a rush for locals to get their Do-Rite fix and a cup of coffee.
By 10 AM a lot of flavors will already be sold because they get snapped up by the dozens by office workers. Gluten-free options are available and they are just as delicious, you would hardly know that they didn’t have gluten.
BomBar is a west loop favorite. Locals stop at the bar to order sweet treats like Bombolonis, gelato, shakes, or something for the fur-baby (yes, it’s ok to bring your dog). From the menu, it’s hard to choose just one thing. The Bombolini is light, fluffy, and full of flavor. You also get a bottle filled with a topping of your choice makes it an engaging experience.
The donuts at the Doughnut Vault are delicious and decadent. It may look like a hole in the wall, but their donuts do not disappoint.
We couldn’t help but love the chocolate-covered donut with peanut butter creme at Firecakes. The combination of flavors and ingredients is awesome.
Try the Tahitian Vanilla Iced. The seasonal donuts flavors like Cinnamon Rolle with Cream Cheese Icing, Mexican Chocolate Old Fashioned, and Churro are amazing!
This itinerary starts in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago and ends in River North. It is comprised of four stores where you can sample the freshest donuts in the area! This route is more scenic and there’s a lovely river breeze!
Total distance: 1.6 miles / 2.41 km
Donut Walking Tour Duration: Allow 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on how long you plan to stay at each shop.
TIP: You can arrive by the Elevated trains (also called the “L”). Take the Green Line to the Morgan stop. You can also transfer to the Green Line from all other train lines at Clark & Lake stop at no additional cost. The first donut stop on this donut walking tour is 2 minutes away.
- Start this walk in front of Do-Rite (181 N. Morgan St.)
- Head south on Morgan St. and turn left on W. Randolph.
- You will arrive at BomboBar (832 W. Randolph St) in 5 minutes. The entrance is to your left on Green Street, when you reach the intersection.
- Head east on Randolph (crossing the interstate bridge) and turn left on Wacker Drive.
- Turn left on Wells St (crossing the bridge), and make another left at Kinzie St.
- Then turn right at Franklin St.
- You will arrive at Doughnut Vault (401 N. Franklin) in about 20 minutes.
- Head north on N. Franklin and turn right on Hubbard St.
- You will arrive at Firecakes Donuts (68 W. Hubbard) in 7 minutes.
Chicago Self-Guided Donut Tour #2
Krispy Kreme is a beloved sweet eat with their classic glazed donuts. It’s too bad that the factory on the south side of Chicago closed, it was fun watching the donuts come down the conveyor belt as a robe of hot glaze drizzed on every bite.
At Stan’s Donuts, you’ll find more than a dozen reasons to be happy! Stan’s donuts are as beautiful to look at as they are to eat. Varieties include flavored old-fashioned donuts, gluten-free donuts, vegan donuts, beignets, and “Le Stan” their signature croissant donut.
We recommend the Glazed Orange Old Fashioned and Chocolate Pocket with Nutella.
A donut in both hands is our idea of a well-balanced diet!
Do-rite Donut & Chicken is the only place in Chicago that does donuts and chicken right! Glazed, sprinkled, frosted, filled…every doughnut is special. Nothing is richer than the chicken sandwich with a glazed donut bun!
This place smells amazing. Try the spicy chicken sandwich which comes with mayo, pickles, and lettuce, and then pay the extra $1 or so difference to put it on a glazed donut.
If you are a donut lover who loves beautiful cakes or donuts with a twist, this itinerary was created with you in mind! It starts in the Loop and you can spend the end of your self-guided walking tour exploring in the Streeterville neighborhood.
Total distance: 1.2 miles / 1.93 km
Donut Walking Tour Duration: Allow 1 hour, depending on how long you plan to stay at each shop.
- Start this walk at Krispy Kreme in (108 N. State) in 5 minutes. It is located on the lower level of the Block 37 building.
- Continue east on Washington St. towards Michigan Ave and turn left to head north.
- Stop at Stan’s Donuts (181 N. Michigan Ave).
- The last stop is about a 20-minute walk to Do-Rite Donuts & Chicken (233 E. Erie St.)
Donut stop us now! We are on a roll and we can’t finish without telling you about one more donut shop (see what we did there?).
It is not on the donut walking tour because it is a far distance from downtown Chicago, but you should add Dat Donuts (8251 S Cottage Grove Ave, Chicago) to your list. Located on the south side of Chicago, this donut shop has been serving the community for decades and is black-owned.
Sorry, there are no gluten-free or vegan varieties served here, but who cares. This one donut can bring happiness to many people!
We recommend the lemon cake, just like a lemon cake, it is very moist and super tasty. Dat also serves breakfast egg sandwiches, which is nice because you can say you ate healthy …and then have a donut.
Warning! They are massive, soft, and delicious and they come in several flavors — Caramel, German Chocolate, Strawberry, Boston Cream, and Pineapple to name a few! And they’re open 24 hours a day, except Sunday.
Final Thoughts About the Self-Guided Donut Walking Tours
I am obviously a fan of sweets if I took the time to write a post about walking around Chicago and stopping for donuts. There is no shortage of places to find sweets to eat in the Windy Cindy. I created this donut walking tour because the sweet shops are conveniently located in the downtown area and would be easily accessible if you are on the tourism routes.
One of the advantages of the first donut walking tour is that you’ll have an opportunity to explore the Fulton Market neighborhood a bit.
The nice thing is that you can walk off the calories and sugar because donut walking tours are almost a mile. So if you’re trying to get 10,000 steps in for the day, these tours will help a lot!
I’m curious to know if you tried any of the self-guided donut walking tours and whether you found it difficult. I’ve lived in the area for so long, I am used to walking a lot so it doesn’t feel overwhelming or scary to me.
Let me know what you think.