Building a Better Donut: Will the World Eat the Path to Your Door?

But this can't happen here, right?

But this can’t happen here, right?

Building a Better Donut: Will the World Eat the Path to Your Door?

By Alexander Pancoe


Like so many other food items once considered pedestrian by the culinary elite, donuts have come a long way from the bane of Dunkin’s mustachioed baker/indentured servant. Today, they’re artisanal rock stars, compelling Manhattanites to line up at the crack of dawn in freezing conditions for a taste of Dominique Ansel’s glorious cronuts. While we tend to do our own thing in Chicago, food-wise, donut hybrids spent the past year sweeping the globe, with few places left untouched. Their titillating aromas now waft in and out of the Windy City’s trendiest eateries.

At Waffles Café in Lakeview and Near Southside, sweet-toothed foodies can pick from any one (or more) of nine wonuts, deep-fried hybrids of the waffle and donut. From red velvet to green tea, wonuts begin with several possible types of batter before crisping inside an array of waffle irons and landing in bubbling vats of vegetable shortening. Dipped in icing and covered with a series of toppings, the wonut assumes its final form, which goes for $2 to $3, depending on the flavor.

Not to be outshone by its neighbors to the Southeast, Roscoe Village’s Endgrain offers patrons the doughscuit, a donut/biscuit mashup that proves as engorging as it is sweet. With German chocolate, blueberry, honey, and other varieties, the doughscuit comes filled as well as coated in glazes and toppings. Stay tuned for the donut/deep-dish pizza crossover, Chicagoland. For more: