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A chocolate pot de creme
The chocolate pot de creme at Floriole is a popular choice
Courtesy of Floriole

11 Pastry Chef-Approved Sweets in Chicago, Mapped

Our esteemed panel adores the following sweets the most

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The chocolate pot de creme at Floriole is a popular choice
| Courtesy of Floriole

Fact: Chicago's pastry elite adores many of the same sweets that you do. In honor of Sweets Week, Eater Chicago reached out to many of the city's top pastry chefs, best bakery owners and acclaimed frozen treat shop owners—including James Beard Award finalists (Dana Cree, One Off Hospitality; and Meg Galus, Boka), Jean Banchet Award winners (Sandra Holl, Floriole; Genie Kwon, Oriole; and Leigh Omilinsky, Nico Osteria), and a Food & Wine Best New Pastry Chef (Sarah Jordan, Johnny's Grill)—to find which Chicago sweets they love to eat the most when they're outside of their own establishments.

Representing an array of acclaimed bakeries, neighborhood frozen treat spots, and desserts at full restaurants, many of their picks may or may not surprise you. But given the esteem of the people involved, you should probably try their favorites soon—if you haven't already.

Below, behold the 11 dessert spots that garnered the most answers from this award-winning panel, beginning with the places with the most votes.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Bang Bang Pie Shop

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2051 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 276-8888
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The Logan Square (and Ravenswood) acclaimed pie and biscuit eatery is not only a favorite of the general public, but also a multitude of Chicago's sweets royalty: Sarah Jordan, Jennifer Jones Enyart, Jessica Oloroso, and Anna Posey. Enyart's Dos Urban Cantina is around the corner so you can spot her there often, while Jordan says its vaunted key lime pie "has the right level of sweet and acidic."

2. Floriole Cafe & Bakery

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1220 W Webster Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 883-1313
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The award-winning Lincoln Park bakery has acclaimed fans in Meg Galus, Leigh Omilinksy, Jessica Jones Enyart, Sarah Jordan, and Kevin McCormick of Beacon Tavern. Jordan highlights the chocolate pot de creme, Enyart the shortbread, and Galus for "all things pastry."

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3. Portillo's

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100 W Ontario St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 587-8910
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True Chicago sweet heads know that the iconic local chain is not just for hot dogs and Italian beef. Sarah Jordan and Jennifer Jones Enyart know this as well, as both love its chocolate cake. "Outstandingly moist and delicious," Enyart says of it. "I used this as my wedding cake."

4. Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

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1505 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(872) 802-4668
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The Ohio-based chain entered the Chicago market with a bang and plentiful lines for its creative ice creams. Anna Posey, Jennifer Jones Enyart, and Frontera Grill pastry chef Jennifer Melendrez are among the acclaimed pastry chefs that love its scoops. "I get inspired by all of the awesome flavors and have two or three different scoops in a waffle cone," Melendrez says. "And let’s be real, who doesn’t love ice cream?"

5. Garrett Popcorn Shops

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26 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60601
(888) 476-7267
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People travel far and wide for the addictive caramel and cheese popcorn at iconic Garrett Popcorn Shops—or get it shipped nationwide—and pastry chefs love it just like you do. Black Dog Gelato's Jessica Oloroso calls the Garrett mix "addicting and delicious" and Sarah Jordan also drops the a-word, saying "this sweet salty combo is highly addictive."

6. Scooter's Frozen Custard

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1658 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 244-6415
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The summer custard hotspot in Lakeview has admirers in award-winning pastry chefs Meg Galus and Leigh Omilinsky. "They have really fun flavors, and it's just really good," Omilinsky says. "I'm a sucker for ice cream with Oreos, but the pumpkin ice cream is delicious."

7. Spinning J Bakery and Soda Fountain

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1000 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(872) 829-2793
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Spinning J in Humboldt Park is a new-ish under-the-radar gem, as evidenced by many of Chicago's sweets royalty's praises. Dana Cree says "I love everything there, especially the hazelnut meringues, but I almost always order a milkshake. Their old fashioned soda fountain vibe is my favorite place to be—I think I wrote half my book at their tables." Michael Ciapciak is also a fan.

8. The Bakery at Fat Rice

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2951 W Diversey Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 661-9544
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Multiple pastry chefs extol the virtues of the Portuguese egg tarts at Macanese stalwart Fat Rice. The Fifty/50 Group pastry chef Chris Teixeira describes them as "like eating a creme brûlée custard inside a flakey puff cup" and that the "textures balance each other perfectly," while Floriole's Sandra Holl says she "can't get enough" of them.

9. Lula Café

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2537 N Kedzie Blvd
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 489-9554
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The Logan Square farm-to-table trailblazer is acclaimed for many reasons, including the desserts. Baker Miller's Dave Miller says it serves his favorite restaurant desserts, calling them "always innovative but not overthought; also not overly sweet." Floriole's Sandra Holl is also an admirer.

10. Maude's Liquor Bar

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840 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 243-9712
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The food at Brendan Sodikoff's restaurants has drawn much praise, and one dessert — the creme brulee at the sultry Parisian-inspired Maude's Liquor Bar — is drawing praise from the local pastry elite. Kym DeLost of The Gage and Acanto says "it has the perfect caramelized crunch to creamy custard ratio," and Jennifer Jones Enyart echoes that, saying "the proportion of crunchy caramelized sugar to custard is incredible."

Kevin Miyazaki

11. Giant

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3209 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 252-0997
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Jason Vincent's smash-hit first restaurant is not only making waves for its savory food, but also the underrated desserts. Bang Bang Pie Shop owner Michael Ciapciak says the vanilla cajeta ice cream with butter pecan and strawberries "brings me right back to growing up and summers spent eating Good Humor strawberry shortcake dessert bars," while Anna Posey also loves the dish.

1. Bang Bang Pie Shop

2051 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

The Logan Square (and Ravenswood) acclaimed pie and biscuit eatery is not only a favorite of the general public, but also a multitude of Chicago's sweets royalty: Sarah Jordan, Jennifer Jones Enyart, Jessica Oloroso, and Anna Posey. Enyart's Dos Urban Cantina is around the corner so you can spot her there often, while Jordan says its vaunted key lime pie "has the right level of sweet and acidic."

2051 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

2. Floriole Cafe & Bakery

1220 W Webster Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
Courtesy

The award-winning Lincoln Park bakery has acclaimed fans in Meg Galus, Leigh Omilinksy, Jessica Jones Enyart, Sarah Jordan, and Kevin McCormick of Beacon Tavern. Jordan highlights the chocolate pot de creme, Enyart the shortbread, and Galus for "all things pastry."

1220 W Webster Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

3. Portillo's

100 W Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60654

True Chicago sweet heads know that the iconic local chain is not just for hot dogs and Italian beef. Sarah Jordan and Jennifer Jones Enyart know this as well, as both love its chocolate cake. "Outstandingly moist and delicious," Enyart says of it. "I used this as my wedding cake."

100 W Ontario St
Chicago, IL 60654

4. Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

1505 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

The Ohio-based chain entered the Chicago market with a bang and plentiful lines for its creative ice creams. Anna Posey, Jennifer Jones Enyart, and Frontera Grill pastry chef Jennifer Melendrez are among the acclaimed pastry chefs that love its scoops. "I get inspired by all of the awesome flavors and have two or three different scoops in a waffle cone," Melendrez says. "And let’s be real, who doesn’t love ice cream?"

1505 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

5. Garrett Popcorn Shops

26 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601

People travel far and wide for the addictive caramel and cheese popcorn at iconic Garrett Popcorn Shops—or get it shipped nationwide—and pastry chefs love it just like you do. Black Dog Gelato's Jessica Oloroso calls the Garrett mix "addicting and delicious" and Sarah Jordan also drops the a-word, saying "this sweet salty combo is highly addictive."

26 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60601

6. Scooter's Frozen Custard

1658 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657

The summer custard hotspot in Lakeview has admirers in award-winning pastry chefs Meg Galus and Leigh Omilinsky. "They have really fun flavors, and it's just really good," Omilinsky says. "I'm a sucker for ice cream with Oreos, but the pumpkin ice cream is delicious."

1658 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60657

7. Spinning J Bakery and Soda Fountain

1000 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Spinning J in Humboldt Park is a new-ish under-the-radar gem, as evidenced by many of Chicago's sweets royalty's praises. Dana Cree says "I love everything there, especially the hazelnut meringues, but I almost always order a milkshake. Their old fashioned soda fountain vibe is my favorite place to be—I think I wrote half my book at their tables." Michael Ciapciak is also a fan.

1000 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

8. The Bakery at Fat Rice

2951 W Diversey Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Multiple pastry chefs extol the virtues of the Portuguese egg tarts at Macanese stalwart Fat Rice. The Fifty/50 Group pastry chef Chris Teixeira describes them as "like eating a creme brûlée custard inside a flakey puff cup" and that the "textures balance each other perfectly," while Floriole's Sandra Holl says she "can't get enough" of them.

2951 W Diversey Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

9. Lula Café

2537 N Kedzie Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647

The Logan Square farm-to-table trailblazer is acclaimed for many reasons, including the desserts. Baker Miller's Dave Miller says it serves his favorite restaurant desserts, calling them "always innovative but not overthought; also not overly sweet." Floriole's Sandra Holl is also an admirer.

2537 N Kedzie Blvd
Chicago, IL 60647

10. Maude's Liquor Bar

840 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
Kevin Miyazaki

The food at Brendan Sodikoff's restaurants has drawn much praise, and one dessert — the creme brulee at the sultry Parisian-inspired Maude's Liquor Bar — is drawing praise from the local pastry elite. Kym DeLost of The Gage and Acanto says "it has the perfect caramelized crunch to creamy custard ratio," and Jennifer Jones Enyart echoes that, saying "the proportion of crunchy caramelized sugar to custard is incredible."

840 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60607

11. Giant

3209 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Jason Vincent's smash-hit first restaurant is not only making waves for its savory food, but also the underrated desserts. Bang Bang Pie Shop owner Michael Ciapciak says the vanilla cajeta ice cream with butter pecan and strawberries "brings me right back to growing up and summers spent eating Good Humor strawberry shortcake dessert bars," while Anna Posey also loves the dish.

3209 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

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