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10 Great Italian Bakeries to Get Your Zeppole Fix

Local bakeries trot out the sweet pastries one time a year.

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Similar to its Polish cousin the paczki's ties to Fat Tuesday, many bakeries roll out the Italian pastry zeppole (similar in look to a French cruller) once a year in time for the St. Joseph holiday (Thursday, March 19).

Containing more egg to create a lighter, fluffier interior than paczki, zeppole are deep-fried, cooled, then often sliced in half and stuffed with a limited number of fillings. Standards are vanilla custard or cannoli cream, but as you will see in the map below, other options include French cream or chocolate custard. All zeppole get dusted with a shower of powdered sugar, and are usually topped with more filling and a variety of fruits (cherry being the most popular).

Here are 10 local bakeries to grab a zeppole before they disappear on Friday.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Sicilian Bakery

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4632 N Cumberland Ave
Chicago, IL 60656
(773) 589-2602
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Family owned and operated since the 1950’s, this Chicago institution serves up a wide variety of focaccia, panini, sandwiches and pan pizza along with their bread, pastries, cakes and cookies. For St. Joseph’s Day they offer traditional custard and cannoli filled zeppoli for $2.25 each.

2. Bennison's Bakery

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1000 Davis St
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 328-9434
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Using sweet ricotta cheese topped with a cherry or custard filled with a glazed strawberry on top, this North Shore bakery (opened since 1938) has a deep list of European-style pastries, breads, cookies and more.

3. Ferrara Bakery

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2210 W Taylor St
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 666-2200
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Owned and operated by the same family since 1908, Ferrara Bakery is one of the oldest, still running bakeries in Chicago’s Little Italy. In addition to a litany of pastries, breads and cakes, this Taylor Street classic also offers a full menu of sandwiches, salads and entrees. They stay simple with their zeppole, using sweet cream topped with a piping of cherry gel.

4. Palermo Bakery

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3317 N Harlem Ave
Chicago, IL
(773) 777-5957
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Take a scroll through Palermo Bakery’s product page and you can see the deep baking history owner Joe Greco mines here. For zeppole, they offer only custard and cannoli filled options.

5. Chicago Pastry

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142 N Bloomingdale Rd, Bloomingdale
IL, 60108
Owned by the Turano family, Chicago Pastry has deep roots in local baking. They offer three different zeppole: custard filled topped with a cherry ($2.09), cannoli cream with chocolate chips topped with pistachios ($2.29), and French cream (custard mixed with whipped cream) topped with fresh strawberries ($2.89).

6. Impallaria Bakery

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2952 South Wallace Street
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 842-2146
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This bakery, open for 65 years, keeps their zeppole simple: custard filled and topped with a cherry for $2.25 a piece.

7. Allegretti's Bakery

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7717 W Lawrence Ave
Norridge, IL 60706
(708) 453-4412
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Open since 1947, Allegretti’s Bakery in Norridge packs in customers who wait in line to make sure they get their daily bread, doughnuts and pastries. For St. Joseph’s Day, they fill the zeppole with a sweet pastry cream that is topped with cherries, pineapple, chocolate, cannoli filling or strawberries before getting rained on with powdered sugar.

8. Reuters Bakery

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7177 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL
(866) 471-3434
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Open for nearly 90 years and started by Leo Reuter and his wife Hanna, this Chicago bakery offers zeppole with sweet pastry cream and toppings including peaches, blueberry and pineapple for the holiday.

9. D'amato Bakery

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1124 West Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 733-5456
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This long-standing bakery uses coal to fuel its ovens and sells an astonishing amount of cannolis per week (over a thousand) and for St. Joseph’s Day they serve zeppole filled with custard topped with cherries, as well as cannoli filled that are topped with pistachios for $3.50 a piece.

10. Il Giardino Del Dolce, Inc.

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2859 N Harlem Ave
Chicago, IL 60707
(773) 889-2388
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Started as a gelato café in 1986, Il Giardino has become one of the city’s biggest Italian bakeries. Their zeppole are filled with vanilla or chocolate custard, ricotta cheese with chocolate chips and then topped with a cherry and dusted with powdered sugar.

1. Sicilian Bakery

4632 N Cumberland Ave, Chicago, IL 60656
Family owned and operated since the 1950’s, this Chicago institution serves up a wide variety of focaccia, panini, sandwiches and pan pizza along with their bread, pastries, cakes and cookies. For St. Joseph’s Day they offer traditional custard and cannoli filled zeppoli for $2.25 each.
4632 N Cumberland Ave
Chicago, IL 60656

2. Bennison's Bakery

1000 Davis St, Evanston, IL 60201
Using sweet ricotta cheese topped with a cherry or custard filled with a glazed strawberry on top, this North Shore bakery (opened since 1938) has a deep list of European-style pastries, breads, cookies and more.
1000 Davis St
Evanston, IL 60201

3. Ferrara Bakery

2210 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60612
Owned and operated by the same family since 1908, Ferrara Bakery is one of the oldest, still running bakeries in Chicago’s Little Italy. In addition to a litany of pastries, breads and cakes, this Taylor Street classic also offers a full menu of sandwiches, salads and entrees. They stay simple with their zeppole, using sweet cream topped with a piping of cherry gel.
2210 W Taylor St
Chicago, IL 60612

4. Palermo Bakery

3317 N Harlem Ave, Chicago, IL
Take a scroll through Palermo Bakery’s product page and you can see the deep baking history owner Joe Greco mines here. For zeppole, they offer only custard and cannoli filled options.
3317 N Harlem Ave
Chicago, IL

5. Chicago Pastry

142 N Bloomingdale Rd, Bloomingdale, IL, 60108
Owned by the Turano family, Chicago Pastry has deep roots in local baking. They offer three different zeppole: custard filled topped with a cherry ($2.09), cannoli cream with chocolate chips topped with pistachios ($2.29), and French cream (custard mixed with whipped cream) topped with fresh strawberries ($2.89).
142 N Bloomingdale Rd, Bloomingdale
IL, 60108

6. Impallaria Bakery

2952 South Wallace Street, Chicago, IL 60616
This bakery, open for 65 years, keeps their zeppole simple: custard filled and topped with a cherry for $2.25 a piece.
2952 South Wallace Street
Chicago, IL 60616

7. Allegretti's Bakery

7717 W Lawrence Ave, Norridge, IL 60706
Open since 1947, Allegretti’s Bakery in Norridge packs in customers who wait in line to make sure they get their daily bread, doughnuts and pastries. For St. Joseph’s Day, they fill the zeppole with a sweet pastry cream that is topped with cherries, pineapple, chocolate, cannoli filling or strawberries before getting rained on with powdered sugar.
7717 W Lawrence Ave
Norridge, IL 60706

8. Reuters Bakery

7177 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL
Open for nearly 90 years and started by Leo Reuter and his wife Hanna, this Chicago bakery offers zeppole with sweet pastry cream and toppings including peaches, blueberry and pineapple for the holiday.
7177 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL

9. D'amato Bakery

1124 West Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60642
This long-standing bakery uses coal to fuel its ovens and sells an astonishing amount of cannolis per week (over a thousand) and for St. Joseph’s Day they serve zeppole filled with custard topped with cherries, as well as cannoli filled that are topped with pistachios for $3.50 a piece.
1124 West Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60642

10. Il Giardino Del Dolce, Inc.

2859 N Harlem Ave, Chicago, IL 60707
Started as a gelato café in 1986, Il Giardino has become one of the city’s biggest Italian bakeries. Their zeppole are filled with vanilla or chocolate custard, ricotta cheese with chocolate chips and then topped with a cherry and dusted with powdered sugar.
2859 N Harlem Ave
Chicago, IL 60707

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