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A rectangular pastry with a pile of ham on top.
A ham danish at Michelin-starred Kasama.
Garrett Sweet/Eater Chicago

Where to Find Savory Pastries in Chicago

Try croissants and danishes filled with cheese and onions and pork and so much more

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A ham danish at Michelin-starred Kasama.
| Garrett Sweet/Eater Chicago

Aside from pies and breads, Americans associate pastries with sweetness. And it is true that many pastries come with sugary fillings — which is what makes them so delicious. But lately some bakers in Chicago have been taking their cue from the Asian pastry tradition, where savory ingredients commonly mix with the sweet. Here is a list of a dozen bakeries where pastry lovers can find ingredients like cheese and scallions, sausage, and smoked salmon inside their croissants, danishes, and cookies.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Sugar Moon

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This Logan Square upstart boasts decadent tahini chocolate chip cookies. Customers can also find croissants with interesting fillings including Italian beef, plus galettes, savory rolls, and more.

Hewn specializes in bread, but baker Ellen King has a sizable pastry operation as well, including cheesy gougeres and savory takes on brioche and croissants, including the Everything Croissant, sprinkled with everything bagel seasoning and filled with cheese.

Au Levain Bakery

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For those who hate sweets first thing in the morning, Angel Chavez has created savory breakfast brioches that he sells at his virtual bakery that pops up at Bistro Campagne in Lincoln Square every Sunday. Sample feta and spinach or bacon, egg, and cheese.

Brite Donuts & Baked Goods

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The seasonal doughnuts and pastries at Brite change every week, but the lineup always includes at least one savory option. Past entries include an Everything croissant filled cream cheese bacon jam, Funyun croissant, and a hot dog bouquet stuffed with pieces of Viennas and topped with poppy seeds, relish, onions, tomatoes, sport peppers, and mustard.

Taste some of Genie Kwon’s work and you’ll understand why Kasama now has a Michelin star. The pastry chef has been experimenting with savory flavors, including a decadent black truffle croissant and beautiful and unusual flaky danishes topped with things like serrano ham and raclette, fois gras, and salmon confit and cream cheese.

Lost Larson (Andersonville)

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Swedish bread is heavy and hearty, and some of that heartiness finds its way into Bobby Schaffer’s pastries, particularly the spelt chocolate chip cookies and seasonal danishes filled with cheese and vegetables. But also keep an eye out for tebirkes, a marzipan-flavored croissant covered with poppy seeds. There’s a second location in Wicker Park.

Aya Pastry

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The team of bakers at Aya Pastry in West Town is always experimenting, and it seems like every week there’s some sort of new treat, like a corned beef and sauerkraut croissant or kimchi bacon breads, but customers can always count on the ham and cheese croissant and the cheesy scallion biscuit, which is at its best when served with a crispy fried egg.

Floriole Cafe & Bakery

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Since reopening last fall after a remodel, Sandra Holl and her crew of bakers at Floriole have been experimenting with different kinds of pastry, including vegan, gluten free, and bake at home — and also savory. Though the selection varies from day to day, the team has perfected a ham and cheese croissant and a hearty buckwheat scone made with oats.

Bridgeport Bakery 2.0

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For its first 50 years, Bridgeport Bakery was a Polish bakery, and in many ways, it still is — it has one of the largest paczki selections in town — but since owner Can Lao took over in 2020, it’s added Chinese and Mexican items to its lengthy menu, including pork buns, as well as savory coffee cakes in flavors like pizza and pretzel.

sugargoat

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At Sugargoat Sweets, Stephanie Izard combines sweet and savory flavors in a Cheez-It crunch cake, chocolate french fry pie, and spiced pecan brown butter cookies drizzled with soy. Take it one step further by adding cheesy caramel ice cream.

Tous Les Jours

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This French-Asian chain with five Chicago-area locations incorporates the flavors of both traditions: savory fillings like taro and red bean and kimchi, but always surrounded by lots and lots of butter.

Chiu Quon Bakery & Dim Sum

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One of Chicago’s most beloved Chinese bakeries sells buns and pastries in dozens of flavors, including barbecue pork and ham and green onion, plus classics like pork sung buns — where a thin layer of mayonnaise adhers pork to the top — and sesame pork cookies. There’s a second location on Argyle Street in Uptown.

Sugar Moon

This Logan Square upstart boasts decadent tahini chocolate chip cookies. Customers can also find croissants with interesting fillings including Italian beef, plus galettes, savory rolls, and more.

Hewn

Hewn specializes in bread, but baker Ellen King has a sizable pastry operation as well, including cheesy gougeres and savory takes on brioche and croissants, including the Everything Croissant, sprinkled with everything bagel seasoning and filled with cheese.

Au Levain Bakery

For those who hate sweets first thing in the morning, Angel Chavez has created savory breakfast brioches that he sells at his virtual bakery that pops up at Bistro Campagne in Lincoln Square every Sunday. Sample feta and spinach or bacon, egg, and cheese.

Brite Donuts & Baked Goods

The seasonal doughnuts and pastries at Brite change every week, but the lineup always includes at least one savory option. Past entries include an Everything croissant filled cream cheese bacon jam, Funyun croissant, and a hot dog bouquet stuffed with pieces of Viennas and topped with poppy seeds, relish, onions, tomatoes, sport peppers, and mustard.

Kasama

Taste some of Genie Kwon’s work and you’ll understand why Kasama now has a Michelin star. The pastry chef has been experimenting with savory flavors, including a decadent black truffle croissant and beautiful and unusual flaky danishes topped with things like serrano ham and raclette, fois gras, and salmon confit and cream cheese.

Lost Larson (Andersonville)

Swedish bread is heavy and hearty, and some of that heartiness finds its way into Bobby Schaffer’s pastries, particularly the spelt chocolate chip cookies and seasonal danishes filled with cheese and vegetables. But also keep an eye out for tebirkes, a marzipan-flavored croissant covered with poppy seeds. There’s a second location in Wicker Park.

Aya Pastry

The team of bakers at Aya Pastry in West Town is always experimenting, and it seems like every week there’s some sort of new treat, like a corned beef and sauerkraut croissant or kimchi bacon breads, but customers can always count on the ham and cheese croissant and the cheesy scallion biscuit, which is at its best when served with a crispy fried egg.

Floriole Cafe & Bakery

Since reopening last fall after a remodel, Sandra Holl and her crew of bakers at Floriole have been experimenting with different kinds of pastry, including vegan, gluten free, and bake at home — and also savory. Though the selection varies from day to day, the team has perfected a ham and cheese croissant and a hearty buckwheat scone made with oats.

Bridgeport Bakery 2.0

For its first 50 years, Bridgeport Bakery was a Polish bakery, and in many ways, it still is — it has one of the largest paczki selections in town — but since owner Can Lao took over in 2020, it’s added Chinese and Mexican items to its lengthy menu, including pork buns, as well as savory coffee cakes in flavors like pizza and pretzel.

sugargoat

At Sugargoat Sweets, Stephanie Izard combines sweet and savory flavors in a Cheez-It crunch cake, chocolate french fry pie, and spiced pecan brown butter cookies drizzled with soy. Take it one step further by adding cheesy caramel ice cream.

Tous Les Jours

This French-Asian chain with five Chicago-area locations incorporates the flavors of both traditions: savory fillings like taro and red bean and kimchi, but always surrounded by lots and lots of butter.

Chiu Quon Bakery & Dim Sum

One of Chicago’s most beloved Chinese bakeries sells buns and pastries in dozens of flavors, including barbecue pork and ham and green onion, plus classics like pork sung buns — where a thin layer of mayonnaise adhers pork to the top — and sesame pork cookies. There’s a second location on Argyle Street in Uptown.

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