Where to Snag Sweet Sufganiyot for Hanukkah in Chicago

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Like death and taxes, one of the immutable truths of the universe is that Jewish holidays are always early or late. It’s a frequently inconvenient quirk that stems from a reliance on the lunar calendar, and in 2023, Hannukah is on the early side of the spectrum, with Jewish people around the world lighting candles for the first of eight nights on Thursday, December 7.

The Hanukkah story is centered around a miracle — a small cruet of oil, enough for just 24 hours of light, that kept the eternal flame in the Temple of Jerusalem burning for eight days. In celebration of that miraculous occasion, Jews fill their Hanukkah tables with foods fried in oil, including latkes, arguably the most famous of Jewish holiday foods. But sufganiyot — jelly-filled doughnuts with roots in North African pastries called sfenj and European desserts (think packzi, Berliners, krafne, and bombolone) — also check that fried-in-oil box, with a serious dose of sugar to boot.

In recent years, Chicago bakers and delis have upped their sufganiyah game, bestowing the city with sweet submissions that range from contemporary to traditional. Below, check out Eater Chicago’s roundup of six spots offering sufganiyot that locals can really sink their teeth into.

Firecakes Donuts: This popular local mini-chain has returned with its annual smattering of sufganiyot, available with raspberry-blood orange jelly or lemon curd filling. Place orders online for individual sufganiyot, a dozen (six of each flavor), or a party tray of 24 mini versions from outposts in River North, two Lincoln Park locations, Oak Park, and Naperville. 68 W. Hubbard Street, Open 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, 6:30 a.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday; 2453 N. Clark Street, Open 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily; 1001 W. North Avenue, Open 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; 104 N. Maple Avenue in Oak Park, Open 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; Main Street Promenade Shop 136 on Van Buren in Naperville, open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Liberation Kitchen: Vegan and nut-free sufganiyot aren’t easy to find, but Liberation Kitchen is here to light the way for those who’d rather enjoy Hanukkah without a side of Lactaid. The team is filling theirs with strawberry jelly and dusting them with powdered sugar. Place orders for a four-pack via Tock. 2054 W. Grand Avenue, Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

Once Upon a Bagel: A staple Jewish deli institution with multiple suburban locations in Highland Park, Northbrook, and Winnetka, Once Upon a Bagel is playing all the classic hits this year with a selection of raspberry jelly, chocolate custard, and vanilla custard sufganiyot. The team kicked off pre-orders in late November and will continue to fry, fill, and serve the sweet delights through the end of 2023. Place orders online for pickup in Northbrook, Winnetka, or Highland Park. 2774 Dundee Road in Northbrook; 1050 Gage Street in Winnetka; 1888 1st Street in Highland Park; Open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

A plate of jelly doughnuts. Once Upon a Bagel

Schneider Deli: Chicago’s mid-century-style Ohio House Motel began a new chapter in 2023 with the debut of Schneider Deli, a nostalgic tribute chef and owner Jake Schneider to the food he grew up devouring with his family. The deli is marking its first festival of lights with sweet and sticky sufganiyot, available with raspberry jelly and chocolate fillings. Place orders via Toast. 600 N. LaSalle Drive, Open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.

Steingold’s of Chicago: Chef Aaron Steingold, one of Chicago’s best-known evangelists for Jewish deli food, is having fun with contemporary sufganiyot filling flavors this year with options like salted caramel cookie butter, chocolate halvah, and honey custard. For those seeking a more familiar style, strawberry-raspberry jam is also available. Order via Toast from Thursday, December 7 through Friday, December 15. 3737 N Southport Avenue, Open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday; 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Zeitlin’s Delicatessen: A virtual deli and farmers market regular that’s now on its way to a permanent home, Zeitlin’s has a rebellious streak (giardiniera focaccia, anyone?). Nevertheless, the team is a champion of tradition for Hanukkah this year with sufganiyot stuffed with strawberry and apricot filling. Place orders online for pickup or delivery from Thursday, December 7 through Saturday, December 9. 3331 W. 26th Street.

A white plate of jelly doughnuts. Zeitlin’s Delicatessen


2453 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614 (773) 666-5277

Liberation Kitchen

2054 West Grand Avenue, , IL 60612 (312) 872-7838 Visit Website

Zeitlin’s Delicatessen

3331 West 26th Street, , IL 60623 (240) 274-4011 Visit Website

Steingold’s of Chicago

3737 North Southport Avenue, , IL 60613 (773) 661-2469 Visit Website

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