My fondest memories of Chicagoland’s doughnut shops that are no longer around.


Amy Joy Donuts. Once located at 7246 N Milwaukee Ave in Niles, IL.

Hello everyone. Today I will be writing about one of my favorite treats. Doughnuts have been around for many years and are still one of the popular desserts. They are delicious with coffee and milk. You can eat them at breakfast, lunch, midnight snack, anytime. Everyone has a favorite kind of doughnut, plain, chocolate, vanilla, and glazed. You can have them stuffed with jelly or custard. Frosted and topped with sprinkled candies are scrumptious. My personal favorite is coconut. A lot of people I know don’t particularly like them. My second favorite is chocolate. All of them are delicious; it is so difficult to choose when anyone purchases them.

I started eating donuts when my family and I lived in the Roseland neighborhood in Chicago. It was in the early 1970s and, the best place to buy them was at Gately’s Peoples Department Store. It was at 11201 S Michigan Avenue. The donuts were made and sold in the basement of the store. Everyone who visited the store was thrilled to see the donuts made there. The conveyer belt where the donuts were placed and dropped into the fryer was the most entertaining thing I have ever witnessed. We bought them occasionally when my mother was doing her grocery shopping there. Anyone who lived or visited Roseland said that watching the donut machine was everyone’s favorite memory.

The donut shops that I do remember growing up were well-known to many people in the Chicagoland area. There was Amy Joy Donuts, Puff Fluff, Bosa Donuts, Winchell Donuts, Yum Yum Donuts, Mister Donut, Entenmann’s Donuts and, Dunkin Donuts. Dunkin Donuts is still around and, a few that I mentioned are in other parts of the world. Bakeries in Chicago that are no longer around had delicious donuts too. Burny Brothers and Dressel’s were wonderful. Another place that is still around is Huck Finn Donuts. I go there sometimes and, their donuts are better than Dunkin Donuts.

Amy Joy Donuts is another place that people in Chicago have cherished memories. I never went there, but I have heard of the donut shop mentioned by many people on social media. Many people wished it would make a comeback. One store-bought donuts that I remembered a long time ago was called Sap’s Glazed Donuts. When I lived in the Ashburn neighborhood as a teenager, my mother did some shopping at a grocery store called Wise Way Foods on West Columbus Ave. It was the only store that carried them. Packaged by the dozen and, they were delicious.

Dunkin Donuts has been selling for a long time, and now they have expanded their menu in recent years. First, Dunkin Munchkins went on sale and are snackable donut hole treats. Those are good and, they come in many flavors. Muffins, bagels, and breakfast sandwiches are now on the menu. Coffee comes now in different flavors. Tea, hot chocolate, lattes, and iced drinks are also on the menu.

To me, donuts tasted much better when I was younger. Ingredients have either changed or been removed for health purposes these days. I know they are bad for your health and I have been careful in recent years. I still get a craving for them sometimes. They are one of life’s guilty pleasures and, you are entitled to indulge yourself from time to time. Just don’t tell anyone. Thank you. Pete Kastanes. Admin for Vanished Chicagoland Facebook Page.


4 thoughts on “My fondest memories of Chicagoland’s doughnut shops that are no longer around.

  1. I doughnut know why there are so few independent doughnut shops these days, but I miss them. A cup of coffee, a doughnut, and a newspaper was a wonderful way to spend a quiet hour. I think Stan’s makes a good doughnut, but the idea of a gourmet doughnut defeats the purpose. I’m not interest in dining on “doughnuts Rockefeller,” but I do love a good, sugar-frosted, deep-fried heart attack.

  2. I used to work nights on Fullerton west of Pulaski, and when I’d leave work I’d stop at the Winchell’s on Pulaski before I got on the bus going south. I don’t think there are any Winchell’s in Chicago anymore, are there?

    My aunt (and later my brother) lived at Clark and Thome on the north side, and there was a Mister Donut there. That was the only one I knew about. I guess most of them are Dunkins now…

  3. I started working with dunkin donut in 1967. I was 15 years old and was trained to bake after 2 weeks of being hired. The owner was tired of the bakers not showing up for work. I eventually got to be the training manager, for new franchise owners. I have seen many different people and things that would take forever to tell you. Most of the best times were the people that I met.

  4. don’t know why they have gone by the wayside either. I guess everybody has decided they want to live FOREVER and an occassional donut might Kill them. I used to be a baker and i think with the advent of all the big grocery stores Moms wanted to get as much as possible at one store. Time saving also because more Mom’s started working.

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