Alright, let’s get one thing out of the way. Stan’s Donuts, a poppy pink franchise seen all over downtown Chicago, is the same Stan as the old school donut shop at the corner of Broxton and Weyburn in the heart of Westwood in Los Angeles. Trust me, as a UCLA alum who moved (briefly) to Chicago, I know.
The original Stan’s is in a tiny space with a mismatched sign, takeout only (with a few tables outside), sharing an entrance with a Flame Broiler. It carries in its no-fuss atmosphere the nostalgia of Westwood’s heyday, a constant (since 1965!) in a neighborhood that continues to struggle to evolve. Ironically, the unassuming shop has a much more glamorous location than all the shiny new locations that popped up around Chicago since 2014. The original is stationed right across from the Westwood and Bruin theaters, in a hectic intersection regularly closed off for movie premieres.
But this entry is for Chicago, the adopted city that loves this donut shop like their own child. Stan’s in Chicago is a whole different story. The signs are well branded, very pink, and very curated to evoke a slightly too polished nostalgia of old school soda shops. The stores range from comically spacious for a donut shop (like what kind of donut shop needs this much seating??) to equally well-branded take-out spots. The donut selection stays true to the favorites, or rather… has pretty much every iteration imaginable stuffed into a shiny case of colorful fried dough. Think: fritters, cronuts, filled, glazed, old-fashioned, etc. Oh, and they officially made it full service with an equally extra coffee selection. And milkshakes.
Thank you, Chicago, for your rendition of this Westwood legacy.
|Address||multiple locations around the city|
|Hours||most locations open at 6 or 7am and close around 9 or 10pm|
|Price||$$ – standard donuts are $2ish, specialty ones run up to $5ish, coffee is pretty standard at $2.50-5|
|Aesthetic||in-your-face chic and pink, hilariously glam for a donut shop|
Go here for: donuts and coffee, duh 💁🏻♀️ or go all out with a milk shake and crazy topped croissant donut, I won’t judge!
Order this: go with your gut, but you can never go wrong with a fritter or a seasonal old fashioned with your favorite tap cold brew (they have plenty of options)
Amount of time to spend: kind of strange to have for here or to go as an option for a donut place but here we are, so sure, indulge yourself with a sit-down sweet brekkie. Or catch up with a friend over late night dessert.
When to come: whenever. They might not be open 24/7 like my favorite LA donut places, but they have good hours, and though they are quite popular, it never gets over crowded. Ok maybe avoid the ones on Michigan Ave.
Getting here: pretty much all of the locations are within a stone’s throw (or a short walk from an L station (yay for winters?)
Other things to note:
Last visited: August 2019
Last updated: November 2019