I have a serious baked goods addiction. It started with breads, moved onto bagels, now its about anything that I can get my hands on. I love trying bakeries of all different cultures and have started doing quite a bit of baking myself. Since many of us end up in Chicago, below are our favorite bakeries to hit in all of Chicago!
The oldest bakery in Chinatown, this is our number one place to hit. It helps that it is relatively close to us, too. The goods are amazing, and a little overwhelming, so it helps to know what you want when you get there. They are usually pretty busy, too. Of course, try a variety, but my favorite are the sesame balls made with a rice flour and stuffed with red bean paste. Yeah, I know. Doesn’t sound that good, but it has all the wonderfulness of a toasted peanut butter sandwich without being near so dry. Jen and Calder love the ham and eggs buns, the curry, and the custard. I also recommend the BBQ stuffed.
San Juan Bakery
This is probably my second favorite in town. If you haven’t tried Puerto Rican baked goods, you’re missing out. They frequently pair guava and cheese which is an amazing combo. I also highly recommend the alcapurria, if they ever happen to have them in stock. The empanadas are alright, but the sorullos are awesome. The staff is always friendly and also patient when I hem and haw over my order!
Guess what kind of baked goods they serve? Yeah, Sicilian. This one is a little out of the way for us, so we don’t hit it often, but totally worth swinging by when you’re in the area! They have a tremendous selection of breads and cannolis. You can also pick up pizza by the slice, which has honestly been a little hit or miss. Definitely recommend the cartocci, though, which was much softer than I anticipated. They use a ricotta stuffing as opposed to some other places I’ve been that opt for a butter frosting. Tons the sweetness way down and makes the items much more palatable and delicious. They also have iris, which are fried breads stuffed with meat and/or cheese. Totally worth it.
We had a favorite in Pilsen, but they are no longer open. We’re looking for one!
If you can make any suggestions for a Mexican bakery, or for a bakery of any other culture – we want to hear from you! What baked goods can you suggest?