Time Out Chicago Donut Festival Review – Go Nuts for Donuts!

Who knows exactly why it took Chicago so long to hold a donut festival? The city is obsessed with donuts, and it was about time we paid homage to this wonderful dessert. The first annual Time Out Chicago Donut Party was held at the Park West Theater on Sunday, June 12th, 2016. Donut lovers indulged in samples from some of the best donuts in Chicago, such as Stan’s Donuts, Beavers Donuts, Pub Royale, Glazed and Infused, and Roeser's Bakery and the restaurant, Longman & Eagle. Besides the glorious selection of donuts to stuff your face with, there was also complimentary hard apple cider, provided by Strongbow, a lovely, crisp and refreshing beverage to drink along with the donuts.


Donut Party 2016 donut cake!


Park West was a great choice for the 2016 Donut Party. Located at 322 West Armitage, this venue is one of Chicago’s best-equipped multimedia facilities. It is the premier concert location for nationally recognized entertainers, and a popular meeting place for top corporations. It has been an historic theater since the 1920s. It began as a theater building, became a movie house that remained until 1977, and finally became what is it today, Park West. 


The venue worked very well for the Donut Party, considering its many levels and round shape. All of the donut kiosks were well spread out. The only disadvantage for me as a reviewer and sampler was the dim lighting. It was fairly dark and hard to see and take photos of many of the samples.


2016 Timeout Chicago Donut Party


I had an amazing experience sampling as many different donuts as possible-it was a pure sugar coma but worth it! There were some exotic donuts offered for tasting such as Stan’s Donuts (lemon pistachio old fashioned), Longman and Eagle, Roeser's Bakery, and Glazed and Infused’s triple coconut. Beloved donut classics were also available from a wide variety of vendors such as red velvet, buttermilk, old fashioned, vanilla and chocolate with sprinkles. I personally always enjoy trying out new recipes, but classic recipes have been around for generations for a reason.



Stan's Donuts (lemon pistachio old fashioned) and buttermilk bar donuts


Platters of donut samples


Among my favorites were the lemon pistachio old fashioned from Stan’s Donut’s (interesting additions to an old fashioned) and the buttermilk bar (perfectly glazed and lovely), and the Glazed and Infused’s fruit fritter. I also highly enjoyed Beavers Coffee and Donut’s light, fluffy, and wonderful sugared cinnamon donut holes. It may have been a simple recipe, but the texture, taste, and consistency, outshone many of the more “exotic” recipes seeking to impress donut-tasting attendees that day. I always believe that simplicity is best; this donut was a perfect example of this mantra.



Glazed and Infused volunteer assisting a taster.


Glazed and Infused old fashioned and chocolate/vanilla sprinkles donut options


Pub Royale samples


The Roeser's Bakery mascot


Now that Chicago finally has an established donut festival, I hope that it is kept running for years to come. It was high time that the city established a festival that pays homage to the wonderful dessert that is the donut.



Photos: Jennifer Lunz


For more information on the 2016 Donut Fest, and for information on future events, please visit the Eventbrite  website.


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