Bakeries in the Loop or nearby?
- scharffenberger Jan 2, 2008 06:17 PM
I am curious as to whether there are any bakeries in the Loop, or closeby. We are going to Chicago, and I have scoured this board and gotten great ideas, however this was one question I wanted more information on.
could try Cafe Bom Bon on Washington, between Wells and LaSalle. It's the Loop outpost of a Mexican bakery/cafe which has other locations in Pilsen and La Villita. They've got a small but interesting selection of baked goods, as most of their business is related to their cafe.
Until a few years ago Chicago had bakeries in every neighborhood. Since then, most have disappeared; all that remain are lunch shops that sell a few very expensive pastries. Otherwise, I am not aware of a single real bakery between Roosevelt Road and North Avenue. However, remedies exist. You mention that you are "going to Chicago" so I assume you don't live here. From the Loop, take the Red Line (subway) going north toward Howard. At either Fullerton or Belmont, get off and transfer to a Brown Line train headed for Kimball (same platform; a train may actually be waiting). Get off a couple of stops later at Paulina. Walk south on Lincoln just half a block to Dinkel's, an old German bakery that's been there since this was a long-ago German neighborhood. Dinkel's will be the bakery of your dreams. They also have tables and coffee if you need sustenance before returning to the Loop. The train part of this journey will take you about 20 minutes. (Or, if you drive, Dinkel's is at 3329 N Lincoln, just above Belmont.) If you absolutely can't leave the Loop, Macy's has a bakery counter in its basement-level food court; any Corner Bakery sells (not-so-great ) pastries; and someone already posted on the Cafe BomBon. If by "Loop" you mean also north of the river, both the Jewel supermarket (State & Ohio) and Trader Joe's (Ontario between Rush and Wabash) have baked-goods departments adequate to the demands of an emergency.
BomBon is a great suggestion for the Loop. Fox & Obel (a gourmet grocery store in the Dean & DeLuca mold) is also a good mention. It's less than a 10-minute walk from Ohio St. and Michigan Ave. I would avoid Corner Bakery, which is really just a corporate, fast food chain that no longer sells any top quality, hand-crafted baked goods (although they did years ago when they opened). You might find some pretty good breads at Pastoral on Lake between Wabash and Michigan, although they do not make the breads themselves.
My very favorite bakery on the north side (and maybe in the entire city) is Pasticceria Natalina in Andersonville. This is an upscale, small Sicilian bakery where so much attention is put into turning out absolute perfection that you can't help but be impressed. For instance, they import sheep's milk ricotta from Italy. Get there early before the sfogliatelle run out, although everything is outstanding -- I can pretty much eat their vanilla-pine nut pound cake in one setting. But everything is amazing.
And if you head to Argyle St., head to Patisserie P for excellent croissants and many delicious French and Asian baked goods.
Please note that both Pasticceria Natalina and Patisserie P are well north of the Loop, but easily accessible by public transportation -- Patisserie P is less than a two-minute walk from the Argyle Red Line El stop. Pas. Nat. is a longer walk from the El.
Actually, the El stop for Pasticceria Natalina would be the El stop just north of Argyle (i.e. Berwyn). It's then about a 10 or so minute walk west to Clark St., and PN is on the west side of Clark, just north of Balmoral (about 1/8 of a mile north of Berwyn). It's in the heart of Andersonville along a strip of Clark St. loaded with shops and restaurants. And from the Argyle El stop or Patisserie P, it's only about a 20 minute walk to PN. Check out transitchicago.com if you want a map of the El (and buses), and here's a link to pictures of PN's goods which will make it hard to resist a trip: http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?...
There's quite an extensive discussion about Chicago-area bakeries in the topic at www.chowhound.com/topics/459457 It was originally about where to buy cheese, but morphed into bakeries. You'll find lots of good suggestions there, including places not yet mentioned in this topic, such as Vanille for French pastry ( www.vanillepatisserie.com ), Swedish Bakery just down the street from Pasticceria Natalina ( www.swedishbakery.com ) , and D'Amato's Bakery for bread.
Also, if you're particularly interested in croissants, check out the discussion at www.chowhound.com/topics/367903
If you see any places mentioned in those topics and you're interested in directions, let us know. You can also find transit information on the following websites:
CTA (subways/buses in the city and close-in suburbs) - www.transitchicago.com
Metra (suburban commuter trains) - www.metrarail.com
Pace (suburban buses) - www.pacebus.com
RTA (umbrella organization for all of the above, includes system-wide map) - www.rtachicago.com
Thanks for all the info. So little time so much to do, I did not get to visit as many bakeries as I would have liked to: in fact I feel as if I am a pseudo chowhound, favoring a second day at the Art Institute or another walk in Millenium Park rather than a pilgrimage to a bakery.
Be that as it may, I had plenty of delicious food that is not easily available in my locaIe. I did get to a bakery in Oak Park, that was excellent. Also we had a breakfast pastry at Lou Mitchells.There was also a trip to Chinatown, to the Seven Wives, and trip to Greektown.Chicago is a great town to vacation in ! I will just have to come back to Chicago for the opening of the modern wing of the Art Institute..