One of my favorite things in all of this world is the donut (or doughnut). It is one of the greatest creations to me; I am a sucker for donuts; I love them. I feel I cannot get enough of them…until of course I indulge and then an hour later my stomach is about to explode and I am functioning at 20% normal productivity. The donut can be overlooked as a nice treat. I mean think about it, practically on every street corner in a big city or even a few miles apart in smaller cities, there is a donut shop. Confession time: almost every donut shop looks great to a donut-holic like myself. The donut has a general stereotype as they are fairly easy to produce and you can practically buy them anywhere.
I fully admit there are many donuts out there produced by people that are giving donuts a bad name. They are not very good and after you eat them you are thinking “Why did I just waste 600 calories on a sub-par donut?” But let me tell you something, when I have a donut that is good, it is just a thing of beauty.
Why all this talk about donuts? Because Chicago, known for amazing baked goods and donuts, has an awesome donut shop that is making handcrafted specialty donuts that will blow your socks off. The place is known as Glazed and Infused. Everyone now is channeling their inner Matthew McConaughey and his “Alright, alright, alright,” from the cult classic Dazed and Confused.
As we were walking around downtown one day, I came across this awesome sign with a donut and a catchy name. Immediately, I told Rachel we have to go. Since it was late and we were trying to run to catch a train, it wasn’t the right time. But I made sure we hit it up the next time we were in the city. Glazed and Infused has six locations around Chicago with one in Elmhurst/Western Springs; each have varying hours with some offering donuts late into the night.
Glazed is a favorite of mine because they focus on using high quality ingredients that are locally sourced and they provide unique combinations. They do a good job of rotating flavors based on the seasons and you will probably find something different almost everytime you go. While it is an artisan shop, it is just a cool place to go that offers great donuts, coffee, and service. It is constantly ranked as one of the best donut shops in the city and was named best donut of 2014 by two different magazines. Graham Elliot even added the maple bacon Long John to one of the ten defining dishes of Chicago in Food & Wine.
Now enough of the kudos, let’s get to the donuts! While there are a number of seasonal flavors, there are a number of “standards” that are always offered. The aforementioned maple bacon Long John is always a favorite and one that needs to be tried. Even if you don’t like Long Johns, know that they added maple and bacon: the taste is amazing. Other standards are a vanilla bean glazed, a chocolate (with chocolate shavings on top), a red velvet, sprinkles, and an old fashioned. They do offer a fruit fritter of the day which is a personal recommendation. I’ve had one with apple that was absolutely dynamite. The dough was perfect and tasted great with the right amount of apples and sweetness. The glaze on top brought the donut to another level of sweetness and taste. If you enjoy a standard donut, the chocolate donut is phenomenal. The chocolate glaze with either sprinkles or shavings are great. The chocolate donut served at Glazed and Infused is a cake donut that has some weight to it but somehow light when eating it; every bite is delightful and you can taste the effort that went into it. That is true about all their donuts actually. The quality of ingredients and the effort can practically be tasted in every delicious donut.
Make sure you check out the specialty donuts because these creations are also fantastic. Whether it is a lemon-blueberry donut, or a peanut butter and jelly, or even a cajeta fried ice cream, the specialty offerings are great.
Glazed and Infused also offers several other options like donut holes and various specialty donuts for those special occasions. A 16” Jumbo donut can be had for any party as well as a donut specially made for gender reveals. For those extra special occasions, check out their doughnut fondue platter. They used to offer a gluten-less donut which was another reason we loved this place but you will have to check to see if it is offered at whichever store you visit.
Some other special items to note: The customer service has always been great, the servers are very helpful if you have any questions. The donuts do warm up nicely as well which is always an extra perk because the last thing you want to do is get an extra donut for the road and when you heat it up, it taste like old milk and garbage, not to mention the texture is all messed up. Because it is a specialty shop, the price for donuts are two to three times more expensive than a normal donut you will get from a place like Dunkin Donuts. So it can get expensive fast and if you’re budget minded like myself, will mainly be for special occasions.
Glazed and Infused can get very busy in the early morning hours as expected but you definitely don’t want to wait too late in the day in case they sell out of certain flavors.
If you are looking for a place to go while visiting Chicago or you live in the city, this is a must try!