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Aug 12, 2011 02:26 PM

Doughnut Vault

OK, I had to do it. I have this deeprooted hatred of waiting in lines for things always thinking is this going to be worth it. Living just a few blocks away, I've gone by and seen the lines of people at 8:15 AM (before it opens) and always thought, really, waiting in line for a doughnut?

I will admit, I wait in line at Hot Doug's once a quarter or so. But Doug's specials change so there's always a shot at something off the hook.

Back to the doughnuts at the vault. On the way to work at 8:15, the line was only 15 people long and up to the corner, so I figured what the heck, I'll stand and read the paper. The line continued to grow around the corner and down Kinze 25 feet by the 8:30 opening time. By this point I've decided on the order--there are only 5 variations and at $2-$3 each no need for many more.

Now you're thinking, $3 for a doughnut, 25 minutes in line that goes around the corner, a sign that says cash only, and store hours of 8:30 until sold out . . . is this really worth it?

I slowly snake to the counter and finally I order 2 chocolate glazed with some sprinkles, oh sh!t, just give me 2 of each--10 total doughnuts. I admit it, only 9 made it to the office as I tucked into one of those old fashioneds on the way down Franklin.

This is not Dunkin or Hortons and the sugar bomb Krispies don't hold a candle. These are great doughnuts -- not greasy that I found to be more cakey than a croissant but more flaky than your corner Donut. You should try these, it's worth a little detour and a wait in lne. These delicious breakfast treats turned my office into a convenient stop by my colleagues on the way to get coffee all morning.

Hot Doug's
3324 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

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  1. Thanks for the headsup. I've also heard good things about them.
    I work very near there but have never gone because my workday begins at 6am and I can't just leave. Perhaps they could open up at 5:30 instead?

    1 Reply
    1. re: hoppy2468

      Their site indicates that they start making the doughnuts fresh each morning around 1:30am, so pushing the opening time up 3 hours might be hard.

      It takes three days to make a doughnut from start to finish!

      From here:

      Day 3: First, we remove the dough from the cooler and begin the doughnut shaping process. This takes around three hours.

      Next the dough enters a proofing phase, whereby we reactivate the yeast. To do this, the doughnut shaped dough is moved to an environment of controlled heat and humidity. Once the shaped dough has risen to its ideal height, it’s time to fry.

      We fry small batches of just a dozen doughnuts at a time. After frying, we glaze the robust doughnuts. And then they get a final quick rest to let the glaze set before we turn the key and open the vault.

    2. I would be interested to know how these compare to Kirschbaum's cake donut...which is the best I've ever had. I refuse to waste my time on anything from the grocery, DD or KK since experiencing a Kirschbaum's donut. Too bad I live in the city and they are far away. Perhaps Donut Vault is worth the short trip and wait in line.