In my 20-plus years in Chicago, I've had many donuts. I'll never forget conversations at the defunct Dunkin Donuts at Clark and Belmont with musicians coming in after a late night set or the anticipation waiting for Krispy Kreme to open when it swept through the city with its deep fried goodness in the late 1990s.
A few of my favorites are still around and here's a few for you to try.
Dat Donut: The Pride of Chatham
I remember taking the South Shore Line with a friend who grew up in Chatham, Ill. one fateful Sunday many years ago. We walked a few blocks down 83rd Street and there we were: face to face with a sign that read "Too Good to Dunk." True enough, I didn't dunk that day. If you're feeling ambitious, pick one of the "Big Dat" doughnuts, which I heartily recommend. They also have croissant sandwiches and a selection of juices and other morning delights. Definitely a special trip, no matter where you're coming from in the city.
Stan's Donuts: A Donut Comes East
Stan's started in Los Angeles back in 1963 and they planted their sweet treat flag here a few years back. With over three dozen donuts, there's a bit of flavor for everyone. I'd suggest the double chocolate old-fashioned or the Nutella banana pocket. They're also known for their speciality donuts, including past versions that have celebrated Blackhawks Stanley Cup victories. I'd hit up the Wicker Park store as the people watching from the windows is excellent.