Everyone’s got their top-5 donut list, so I thought I’d craft one for myself.

Meyer Lemon Pistachio Old-Fashioned

from Do-Rite Donuts at 50 West Randolph, Chicago, IL

Meyer Lemon Old Fashioned

Do-rite Donuts’ old-fashioned donuts, fresh out of the fryer, are pure heaven (crispy on the outside, warm and moist on the inside). But, the topping on their Meyer lemon pistachio cake donut, is my favorite topping. So why can’t I have both? As it turns out, a simple request made over social media with 2 hours advance notice is all it takes to get a Meyer lemon pistachio old-fashioned (at least for me, since I have Klout!). Behold it in all its glory.

Do-rite pro-tip: The shop on Erie also makes amazing fried chicken sandwiches (that are available all day including the morning).

Chestnut Raised Donut

from Donut Vault

Doughnut Vault Chestnut

The original Doughnut Vault at 401 ½ N. Franklin, is the only Doughnut Vault location that serves their signature raised donuts, which are the finest raised donuts I’ve ever had. These donuts come with chocolate, vanilla, or chestnut glaze. The chestnut glaze, is by far my favorite. The donut itself is billowy and topped with just enough glaze to make it sweet. Because of its large size and stickiness I actually eat it with a knife and fork like a sophisticate.

Donut Vault Pro-tip: While they are famous for their raised donuts, they only have them at the original location (presumably because they donut transport well). Their old-fashioneds, however, keep really well, and seem to last a whole day w/o becoming stale.

Cinnamon Sugar Dusted Mini-Donuts

from the Beaver’s Donuts food truck

Beaver’s Donuts was the first food truck I had in Chicago that actually cooked their stuff on-board the truck. They make one flavor of carnival-style, mini donuts and allow you to add a variety of toppings. You can get really fancy and have carmel, chocolate, marshmallows, and nuts, but I prefer them with just cinnamon and sugar. They are cooked fresh to order, and I would eat them right away as they do not keep well (always have your Beavers warm!).

Beavers Pro-tip: If you’re ever around their brick-and-mortar location when they do the The Roost Truck collaboration, get it. This donut consists of the normal beavers donuts, with a layer of glaze, then topped with fried chicken cracklin’. Amazing.

Chocolate-Covered and Cream-Filled

from the Dinkel’s Bakery, 3329 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL

Dinkel's Bismark

Photo courtesy of Tessa Groll

My favorite cream-filled donut is the bismark from Dinkel’s. Chocolate ganache on top, perfect texture, with a custard-like filling inside. I don’t quite know how to further describe this donut without digressing into innuendo. Get it, it’s delicious. Then, eat it with a fork and knife, since it can be messy.

Bacon Jam Hush-Puppies

from the Boo Coo Roux food truck

Hush Puppies

Every list has to have its outlier, so here we are. While one would traditionally consider hush-puppies a savory item, these are certainly not. They are deep-fried corn-meal batter covered with sweet bacon jam. Like the Beavers, they are best when consumed right after they are made.