Pastry chefs and bakers have fed Chicagoans a dazzling array of treats for years, and their skills keep getting better. Yes, there are secret baker societies, and the city has said fond farewell to institutions like Dinkel’s and Swedish Bakery, but in their places, new arrivals like Justice of the Pies and Cake N Bake have both dampened the blows while testing boundaries on what customers could expect. Creative offerings like a cake doughnut inspired by a Girl Scout cookie, Italian beef galettes, and more have Chicago entering a new era of carb wonder. Check out this list of Chicago’s best. Note, that pie shops aren’t included on this list. Pie lovers can check out the separate dedicated map.Read More
The Hottest Bakeries in Chicago
Where to find bread, pastries, and more
Located in Evanston, this rustic shop makes its products from scratch using organic flour and grains. Hewn’s bread selection rotates daily and ranges from challah, which is available every Friday, to beer bread baked with local brews. Get there early in the day for the most options; there are limited quantities available and the bakery’s pastries and most popular items sell out quickly.
Lost Larson is helmed by Bobby Schaffer, a pastry chef who’s worked at acclaimed restaurants including Grace and Blue Hill at Stone Farms in N.Y. This bakery-cafe sports some of Chicago’s best breads, sweets, and sandwiches. Among the highlights in Andersonville is a cardamom bun. It’s one of the best bites in the city. There’s a second location in Wicker Park.
Loba Pastry + Coffee
Loba Pastry’s return is much needed with truly unique pastries that Chicagoans can’t find anywhere else. Customers will find a variety of sweet baked goods drawing from international inspirations. There is also delicious bread and coffee.
Loaf Lounge is a new bakery cafe in Avondale with baked goods from Sarah Mispagel (Sepia, Proxy. The breads are spectacular and power the sandwiches. The English muffins are wonderful. There are also cookies and other sweet treats. Then there’s that little matter of The Bear chocolate cake.
This cute Logan Square bakery is off the beaten path but is pure Chicago. The chocolate chip cookies are can’t miss, addicting with the ability to transform the most rotten day into a win. The savory pastries, there might be some giardiniera or Italian beef involved, make for a game changing snack. The neighborhood may not want this secret out in public, but Sugar Moon is destination worthy.
Pan Artesanal Bakery
Sisters Lizette and Marisol Espinoza opened Pan Artesanal in July 2018, a Mexican bakery serving regional specialties. Find pan de elote, conchas (including vegan options), and more. The Hermosa bakery is open on weekends and quickly sells out, so get there early.
The relocation of this Logan Square favorite has given space for partner and bakery Leigh Omilinsky to unleash vegan cream pies, cookies, croissants, and more. During the day, there might not be a better place to work thanks to the coffee and pastries.
Floriole Cafe & Bakery
What began as a stand in the Green City Market is now one of the most acclaimed destinations for baked goods in Chicago. Stop into Floriole for chef-owner Sandra Holl's array of sweets and breads, notably the kouign amann (caramelized layered croissant dough), her outstanding passion fruit tart, and the savory cafe dishes.
Mindy Segal left the restaurant world behind after closing HotChocolate, and now the acclaimed bakery has opened a takeout oriented spot full of cookies, cakes, bagels, and more. The display case at Mindy’s Bakery is full of treasures. Get there early, or get burned.
One of Chicago's oldest food purveyors, venerable Roeser's Bakery has been in business in Humboldt Park for more than 100 years. Beautiful custom cakes and tortes are a specialty, but don't miss the cookies and holiday items at this long-running local institution.
Tous Les Jours
Chicago is fortunate to have two locations of this Korean chain, which offers French pastries and boba tea. The pastries including hot dog buns, macaroons, and croissants. There’s also a full line of cakes (also slices!). There’s also a bevy of suburban locations.
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It should come as no surprise that Alliance Bakery is serious business when it comes to cakes. The shop proudly displays its creations — superheroes are so hot right now — in the window and they taste as good as they look. In addition, there are also plenty of other French delicacies for sale such as macarons, croissants, eclairs, bombes, and tarts, plus a newer location downtown in River North.
Kasama is the only Michelin-starred Filipino restaurant in the world, a tribute to the fantastic tasting menu Tim Flores and Genie Kwon serve for dinner. That’s quite an accomplishment, but it’s just might be unfair to other restaurants that Kwon also wakes up early to bake astonishingly great pastries, from tarts, cookies, unique savory croissants, and more. Kasama is the ultimate all-day restaurant, stuffing a lot of wonder into a small space.
Spinning J Bakery and Soda Fountain
This Humboldt Park treasure is known for its pies, but the cookies and stellar English muffins are also noteworthy; get a breakfast sandwich for proof on the latter. The retro space is charming, and staff is kind. Ordering online is easy, but for the full menu, check out the space in person.
Aya Fukai’s West Town bakery supplies baked goods to coffeeshops around town. But the freshest items are available on premises. They include great cakes, doughnuts, and bread. The take and bake items are also notable, particularly the pizza dough. Look for seasonal specials, including a Father’s Day special centered on barbecue.
A Chicago classic, this old world bakery produced Italian breads, cookies, cakes, and more. The bread alone is what has made D’Amato a city legend. Everything else is literally icing on the cake. They’re been around since 1970. And don’t forget about the cannoli.
Publican Quality Bread
One Off Hospitality was quiet during the pandemic, but this was the esteemed group co-founded by chef Paul Kahan’s first big splash. Baker Greg Wade, a James Beard winner, finally has his space for top-notch breads, seasonal pastries, and a cute grab and go. Publican Quality Bread in West Town allows Wade to really show off his skills, and customers will often have to wait in long lines to taste his efforts.
This Fulton Market bakery is run by the owners of Moneygun, Thalia Hall, and Salt Shed and neighbors Mondelez International’s headquarters. The pastries are tasty, and there’s also a nice savory menu. The chocolate program also shines. Great of small events and spending a day working from a coffeeshop.
Kristoffer's Cafe & Bakery
A landmark in Pilsen, Kristoffer’s Cafe & Bakery has been serving coffee and Mexican desserts for years. Though the original owners have gone on to open a cafe in McKinley Park, the customers continue to flock for the bakery’s famous tres leches cakes. They’re a favorite among chefs, including Rick Bayless.
A cute bakery near the South Loop, find delicious cakes, muffins, cookies, and more. TeaPotBrew is about celebrations, so know the bakers relish the chance to bake a cake for birthdays, anniversaries, and more.
Chiu Quon Bakery & Dim Sum
The oldest bakery in Chinatown has been at it for more than three decades. Peruse the cases to discover rows and rows of Chinese pastries that include barbecue pork buns, egg custard tarts, and butterfly cookies.
A Southwest Side staple, Weber’s Bakery has been pleasing Chicagoans for decades. Eaters might have to wait in line but it’s worth it for a taste of the European-inspired breads, cakes and pastries. To celebrate the holiday season, customers can choose specialty goods like gingerbread houses, Christmas cookies, fruit cakes and more. It's also a great spot for paczki, the popular Polish doughnuts.
Brown Sugar Bakery
Baker Stephanie Hart has Brown Sugar Bakery locations in Chatham, Austin, and Navy Pier. The desserts are Southern style with standout cakes like caramel and German chocolate. Vice President Kamala Harris has even visited the bakery.
Justice of the Pies
Maya-Camille Broussard’s remarkable story has been chronicled locally and nationally, as the Chicago native has starred on Netflix’s “Bake Squad” and is the author of a cookbook. Her new bakery finally gives her a shop where customers can sip coffee, try a quiche, grab a cookie, and do something else. Oh, there’s plenty of pie — this is Broussard’s signature with plenty of flavors.
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CAKE N' BAKE
Journey to the Southwest Suburbs along Harlem Avenue — which links towns like Bridgeview and Palos Hills — draws from a large Arabic population. For years, those communities have hired bakers to make halal cakes for their private events (for example, these cakes wouldn’t have gelatin). Now baker Wasfia Shalabi, a French-trained baker has opened up her own shop where she leans into trends like spiral croissants and brings a touch of Arabic flavors to her puff pastries and more.
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