15 Fantastic Chicago Bakeries 

Embrace the carbs at these standout spots

May 14, 2024 6:21 am
chocolate croissant with pickle on top
The Chicago-style croissant at Daisies
Streeterville Productions

Whether you’re looking for sustenance to start your day, a midday sandwich to take on the fly or a sweet treat for dessert, these Chicago bakeries — from century-old stalwarts to hot newcomers — offer stellar options that showcase baked goods from around the world. Many of them have constant, long-winding lines and sell out of popular items quickly, so plan ahead. Once you try the caramel cake from Brown Sugar Bakery or the black truffle croissant from Kasama, you’ll be glad you did.


Wicker Park and West Town 

This Wicker Park mainstay has been creating elaborately decorated cakes for Chicagoans since 1923. (Chance the Rapper famously had a Harold’s Chicken Shack-themed cake made by Alliance for his birthday several years ago, complete with likenesses of hot sauce-drenched wings and fries.) To celebrate its centennial last year, the bakery opened a second West Town location, doubling the opportunities to purchase cakes and other European-inspired baked goods including croissants, macarons and Danish.

1736 W. Division St. /1837 W. Grand Ave.

two roll-shaped pastries
Aya Pastry
Kouign Amann


West Town

Aya Fukai is a Michelin-starred, James Beard-nominated pastry chef with a loyal following for globally-inspired baked goods including French kouign amann, Italian focaccia and specialties from her native Japan — think such as shokupan (milk bread) and chewy matcha mochi cake which happens to be gluten-free. There’s a drive-up window for coffee and breakfast pastries that’s a gift on cold mornings and bake-at-home treats for purchase, including mini-croissants, cookies and pizza dough. 

1332 W. Grand Ave.

Brown Sugar Bakery

Grand Crossing

It’s the famous, ridiculously delicious caramel cake that will bring you to Brown Sugar Bakery: four layers of yellow cake between thick, buttery caramel frosting. But don’t stop there: self-taught baker Stephanie Hart makes lots of other fantastic treats, too. Vice President Kamala Harris was wowed by the German chocolate cake on her visit to the shop, and other standouts include turtle cheesecake and pineapple-coconut cake. Many of the cakes are available whole, by the slice and in cupcake form.

328 E. 75th St.

D’Amato’s Bakery & Subs

West Town

Try to walk out of D’Amato’s with only what you came for — we dare you. While you wait in the near constant line at this bakery that’s been a Chicago fave since 1970, it’s impossible not to be tempted to overindulge after seeing the orders of customers before you. You’ll leave with no regrets and armfuls of delights: crusty loaves of Italian bread, crunchy biscotti, freshly baked pizza and, if you’re smart, a sandwich to eat on your way home.

1124 W. Grand Ave.

Kouign Amann and coffee at Daisies
Kouign-amann and coffee at Daisies
Mara Faye


Logan Square

The restaurant everyone flocks to for homemade pasta has a bakery with an equally loyal following, thanks to executive pastry chef and partner Leigh Omilinsky’s laminated-dough masterpieces, including ham and cheese croissants and kouign-ammans. A recent pop-up collab with beloved hot-dog stand The Wiener’s Circle was so popular that the Chicago-style croissant — a croissant-wrapped char dog with all the traditional Chicago fixings (mustard, relish, onions, sport peppers, tomato, pickle and a dusting of celery salt and poppy seeds) — is now a menu fixture.    

2375 N. Milwaukee Ave. 

oatmeal cream pie
Defloured’s oatmeal cream pie



This is the bakery for gluten-free baked goods that don’t make you feel like you’re missing out (there are lots of fantastic dairy-free and vegan options, too). Bestsellers include oatmeal cream pies, lemon bars, classic brownies, chocolate chip cookies and chocolate zucchini mini bundt cakes. We think the carrot cake might be the best we’ve ever tasted. 

1477 W. Balmoral Ave.


Ukrainian Village

Scoring reservations for dinner at this Michelin-starred modern Filipino restaurant may be next-to-impossible, but a box (or two) of pastries from the walk-up counter is a pretty amazing consolation. Must-tries include the black truffle croissant, Boston cream brioche, passionfruit meringue tart and black sesame coconut macaroon. Sit down for breakfast if you can get a first-come, first-served table: house-made lumpia and the longanisa, hashbrown, egg and cheese are standouts.

1001 W. Winchester Ave.

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Loaf Lounge

Logan Square

Luck would have it that pastry chef Sarah Mispagel-Lustbader opened Loaf Lounge just as the TV show The Bear made her chocolate cake a viral sensation. But the truth is, she didn’t need the good fortune. That rich, perfect cake — as well as loaves of caramelized onion and country sourdough bread, chocolate crinkle cookies and cinnamon rolls — are sensations in their own right. Don’t miss the mind-blowing breakfast sandwiches, from bacon, egg and cheese to cured salmon with herby cream cheese topped with roe. 

2934 N Milwaukee Ave.

Lost Larson

Andersonville and Wicker Park

Traditional Scandinavian pastries are the star of the show here, an homage to the original Andersonville location’s roots. Come hungry and pick from standouts like the cardamom bun, tebirke (a croissant-like pastry filled with marzipan and topped with poppy seeds) and princess cake, a layered confection of sponge cake and pastry cream covered in whipped cream and then marzipan. 

5318 N. Clark St. / 2140 W. Division St.

Mindy’s Bakery


Mindy Segal’s dedicated followers were over the moon in 2022 when she opened this storefront a few blocks from her beloved Mindy’s Hot Chocolate restaurant, which closed in 2020. There’s a rotating selection of baked goods each week, and they’re always mouthwatering — think several types of coffeecakes like banana with hot fudge, halvah cheesecake, sweet and savory Danish, quiche, cinnamon rolls and bagels. There’s always a good gluten-free selection among the offerings, with the bagels being particularly top-notch.

1623 N. Milwaukee Ave.

loaves of bread on a rack
Publican Quality Bread loaves
Madeline Cox / Yancu.co

Publican Quality Bread

West Town

This One Off Hospitality bakery headed by James Beard Award winner Greg Wade provides bread for more than 50 restaurants around town with its wholesale arm. You can get in on the goodness on the retail side, with loaves of malted rye and ”1979” bread, made with five grains and five kinds of seeds. There are also amazing pastries: chocolate orange morning buns, olive oil cake, cardamom monkey bread and lots more. Later in the day, there are sandwiches, including a popular jambon beurre, made with rosemary ham, comte and butter on a demi baguette. 

1759 W. Grand Ave.


Humboldt Park

Roeser’s has been baking for Chicago since 1911, and its long-time specialty has been Cake Boss-style custom special occasion cakes. There are countless classic pastries and desserts to choose from, too: coffeecakes, donuts, kolachy, Napoleons, cream puffs, eclairs, the list is endless. Whatever your sweet tooth desires, it’s likely here. 

3216 W North Ave.

pink key lime pie with whipped cream and berries
Spinning J Key lime hibiscus pie
Spinning J

Spinning J Bakery & Soda Fountain

Humboldt Park

There’s a retro vibe and decidedly modern spin on classic baked goods at this popular spot, where sourdough cinnamon rolls with malted vanilla icing, matcha almond tea cake and savory pesto rolls are among the daily fresh selection. Quiche, stratas, and breakfast and lunch sandwiches are also on the menu (the roasted beet reuben is a vegetarian delight), but be sure to save room for pie. The selection changes seasonally, which is a perfect excuse to keep returning. Favorites include s’mores, Key lime hibiscus with blueberry compote and and blackberry lime merengue.

1000 N. California Ave.

Sweet Mandy B’s

Lincoln Park and Streeterville

It’s all about the buttercream at Sweet Mandy B’s. The iconic frosting that slathers its cakes and cupcakes in a rainbow of hues is a favorite of kids of all ages. There are loads of other sweet treats to salivate over, too: snickerdoodles and confetti cookies, brownies and all kinds of bars, and even puddings. Try the dirt cake cups that combine vanilla pudding, chocolate cake crumbs and gummy worms for some throwback fun. 

1208 W. Webster Ave. / 254 E. Ontario St.

three kinds of savory pastries on an aluminum baking sheet
Savory pastries at Sugar Moon
Sugar Moon

Sugar Moon

Logan Square

Know before you go: Sugar Moon is only open Friday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There’s always a line before it opens, and the tiny bakeshop usually sells out before closing time because owner Dina Cimarusti’s rotating selection is off-the-charts amazing. Among the many favorites are the tahini chocolate chip and espresso cornflake cookies, chai spice rolls with brown butter cream cheese icing and a poblano, caramelized onion, cheddar and egg brioche. 

3212 W. Wrightwood Ave


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