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Aug 4, 2007 01:33 PM

Homemade Cream Cheese in Chicago

Does anyone know of a place in Chicago that not only has great cream cheese, but MAKES their Cream Cheese in house?

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  1. I know not of a single "place" in Chicao that makes & has it's own cream cheese.
    There is however a great little cheese shop that may be able to direct you.
    Out of sheer curiousity, when, where & under what circumstances have you ever had house/home made cream cheese that would make you search it out here?
    The Cheese Stands Alone
    4547 N. Western Av
    Chicago, IL 60625

    12 Replies
    1. re: louweezy

      louweezy--thanks so much for the response. I've been pulling teeth trying to get some sort of lead. It all started when I was reading Calvin Trillin's 1974 book, "America Fried". In the essay entitled "A Sunday Morning Tale", Trillin describes his grief when a place in NYC called Ben's Dairy started closing on Sunday's, therefore dooming his weekly trip to Houston Street to assemble ingredients for the world's greatest bagel and lox--a trip that necessitated three stops--one for bagels, one for smoked salmon, and one for Ben's housemade cream cheese.

      So I got to thinking, there has got to be a place in a city as great as Chicago that does their own cream cheese. I'm making my own this afternoon, but I also want a place that will be at the ready for any gluttonous cream cheese needs that may arise in the future. Plus, they would be sure to do it better than I could any day.

      It's tough. Homemade products are hit or miss these days--by which I mean to say it is all or nothing--it is done or it isn't. This cream cheese quest is one of the more formidable ones I have faced in recent weeks; there has to be someplace out there!

      Thanks for the lead!


      1. re: htamano

        >>>So I got to thinking, there has got to be a place in a city as great as Chicago that does their own cream cheese.

        You would think so, but it's not so easy to come by. I wish there were better bagels/cream cheese in Chicago...but.

        There are some places in the suburbs that make their own cream cheese, though. I'm thinking Skokie?

        1. re: rubinow

          I'm pretty sure that New York Bagel & Bialy on Touhy makes their own. I've got some of their scallion cream cheese in the fridge, at any rate, and the base cheese sure doesn't taste like any commercial product that I am familar with.

          Simply call and ask to be certain. Besides, this is your destination for bagels if you are indeed searching for the best retail source in the Chicago area.

          New York Bagel & Bialy
          4714 W Touhy Ave.
          Lincolnwood, IL


          1. re: Erik M

            Their cream cheese is homemade. And man-o-man is it good.

            1. re: Erik M

              I was going to mention New York Bagel, but I wasn't sure if they made their own or not. I'm glad you confirmed it.

              IMO: they make the best bagels in the area.

            2. re: rubinow

              Kaufman's makes their own cream cheese.

              1. re: gleam

                Yes, I just bought some there yesterday. They have several types: plain, with chives, low fat, etc.

                Also, all the usual deli foods, including meats (hot pastrami! also corned beef - you can get regular corned beef, lean corned beef, or special trim corned beef, I think that's what they call it), smoked fish, homemade knishes, etc. I think their bagels are just as good as New York Bagel and Bialy.

                Kaufman's Bagel & Delicatessen
                4905 Dempster St
                (847) 677-9880

                  1. re: htamano

                    Today, I think I died and went to heaven, and I have you guys to blame (well, in part, I guess). I went to NY Bagel and Bialy; indeed they DO make their own cream cheese, and indeed it is sublime. Thanks for the tips!

                    1. re: htamano

                      That's great, but it raises the question, did you also get a bagel, and, if so, what did you think?

                      As I suggested above, I think that they offer the best commercial bagel product in the Chicago area, and I'm hardly alone in that opinion.


                      1. re: Erik M

                        Indeed I did get a bagel. I thought it was better than most I've had here; perfectly chewy on the outside, brazenly crunchy on the outside...and I love the caraway on the everything bagel. But it was so satisfying to sit in the car eating the cream cheese with my finger...mmmmm....oh, and their rugula isn't bad, either...

            3. re: htamano

              Sorry 4 such a late response. Skokie & Kaufmanns & NY B&B? Who knew? They're not that far from me, I will have to make a stop. I haven't been to K'manns in 4-ever. Shame on me.I guess I have just been happy with Philly & cheap store bagels & lox from Hagens. Obviously I didn't know what I was missing. thanks from me too.