We love apple cider in any form-everything from the drink to the doughnuts version and even apple cider pancakes. Unfortunately, the apple cider craze is only here for a few months while the apples are fresh-and we tend to go a little overboard to stuff ourselves silly while the apples are around. So we scoured Chicago to find the best apple cider the Windy City's got. And boy, do they have some great variations on the classic fall drink.
Apple cider doughnut
3329 N. Lincoln Ave.
They pull out the big guns every fall at Dinkel's when they release their limited edition apple cider doughnuts. The flavor of the apple is subtle, and when it's rolled in the cinnamon sugar, the two flavors blend together and a burst of fall explodes in your mouth. The doughnuts are fresh, thick and soft.
Classic apple cider
3800 N. Clark St.
They get their cider from a local apple farm, and serve it hot or cold. Depending on their mood, you may get yours with a cinnamon stick, some caramel or an apple garnish. It's exactly what you remember from childhood: sweet, a tiny bit spicy and super cozy.
Crisp apple cider
Lincoln Square Apple Fest
4700 N. Lincoln Ave.
This year marks the 25th year that the festival will take place at the end of September. They've got everything from apple cider to apples and even a haystack to play in and set the mood. Enjoy the crisp fall air while you warm yourself up with this hot drink.
Original Pancake House
multiple locations throughout Chicago and the surrounding suburbs,
Their massive (order one for the entire family) apple pancake is baked in the oven instead of the grill, and it's topped with tons of fresh granny smith apples and a cinnamon glaze. Sure, the Pancake House has dozens of other items on the menu. But this one is so good that it's served year-round, and will satisfy your apple cider craving even if you desire it in the middle of the cold Chicago winter.
Apple and ginger pannenkoeken
4757 N. Western
Pannenkoeken are Dutch or Belgian pancakes which are very thin and huge (some are up to a foot long). They typically contain flour, milk, salt and eggs. At Pannenkoeken, theirs are topped with sliced apples and a homemade ginger marmalade and are sprinkled with powdered sugar. Or, go for the apple, raisin and cheese pannenkoeken. They cook golden raisins into the pancake, and top it with sliced apples and havarti cheese.
Danielle Braff lives with her two daughters and husband in downtown Chicago.
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