LINCOLN PARK — Tucked into an alley off Halsted Street and Armitage Avenue is one of Chicago’s newest and most Instagram-worthy doughnut shops.
Beacon Doughnuts, in the alley behind 810 W. Armitage Ave., is so hidden anyone passing quickly might miss the shop if it weren’t for the line of eager customers that sometimes spills out, which was first reported by the Chicago Tribune.
Since Beacon Doughnuts opened in April, the shop’s whimsical selection of vegan doughnuts has quickly made it a neighborhood staple and social media sensation on apps like TikTok and Instagram.
“We just like getting creative with our doughnuts and create different seasonal things throughout the year to keep it interesting,” said co-owner Peter Womack. “Some of our stuff is time-intensive, but it’s all made with love and care.”
The handmade doughnuts come in five flavors — vanilla, chocolate, orange, lavender and a yeast-raised — with creative toppings to create treats like Beacon’s Roasted Caramel Apple or Double Chocolate and Sea Salt doughnuts.
Everything is served fresh, so the kitchen staff comes in at 2 or 3 a.m. to start making doughnuts for the day, Womack said.
“We don’t sell day-old doughnuts or fry them overnight and let them sit until the morning,” Womack said. “Every morning we fry them and decorate them so everything is up to par.”
Womack said because all the doughnuts are vegan, they use various techniques to create the same quality and consistency of non-vegan treats.
For example, the Campfire S’more doughnut has a vegan Italian meringue that’s made every morning and the Blueberry Pancake doughnuts are mixed with fresh blueberries and lemon juice, Womack said.
Other popular doughnuts include the Chocolate Brioche and Lavender Vanilla, which is topped with white frosting and candied lavender and is blue when bitten into.
Customers are encouraged to mix and match when ordering. A half-dozen doughnuts is $15.99 and a dozen is $27.95.
Womack said the shop sells 1,000-2,000 doughnuts a day, so customers are strongly encouraged to pre-order their doughnuts online to secure their desired flavors and skip the line when picking up.
Before opening the Beacon Doughnuts storefront, Womack and co-owner Andrew Catrambone spent the last two years selling their vegan doughnuts at local farmers markets.
Beacon Doughnut still sets up shop at the Wicker Park farmers market every Sunday for their fans in the neighborhood, Womack said.
Beacon Doughnut’s Lincoln Park storefront is open 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday-Sunday.
Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.