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Best French-style patisserie in Chicago?

baird Jul 16, 2009 01:40 PM

Does anyone have recommendations on the best patisserie in the city?

Used to live in Paris and loved the eclairs, tartes aux fraixes, tartes aux pommes, religeuses, pain au chocolat, etc., that one could find on virtually every street corner.

For the life of me though I cannot find a place in Chicago that does these right (and by right of course I mean Parisian style). "Sweet Thang" had an awful name but the pastry chef there wasn't too bad, but unfortunately it closed. And Medici Bakery is not bad either, but it's not authentic.

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  1. l
    Lenzo Jul 16, 2009 02:11 PM

    Try Vanille Patisserie

    2229 N Clybourn Ave
    Chicago, IL 60614-7553
    (773) 868-4574

    Bon chance!!!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Lenzo
      BRB Jul 17, 2009 11:39 AM

      I agree that Vanille is your best bet, but their selections are limited. It is pretty sad that there are no French-style patisseries near downtown or north.

      I just read about Bonjour Cafe Bakery, however, on lthforum and a couple of people had very positive things to say about their selections, including macarons. I am hoping to give it a shot one of these days.

      Bonjour Cafe Bakery
      1550 E 55th St # 52, Chicago, IL

      1. re: BRB
        nochownohow Sep 4, 2009 03:15 PM

        Bonjour is still excellent for many things but the restaurant changed hands within the family since the original post was written

    2. j
      jasonkc99 Sep 4, 2009 08:01 PM

      I like the pastries at Bittersweet in Lakeview.

      It's also a great place for lunch.


      1. p
        Pete Oldtown Sep 6, 2009 02:42 PM

        Work of Art Cakes at 1332 N. Halstead is amazing, but the selection is usually whatever the owner, Wah, baked extra. She mainly supplies upscale hotels, but runs a small lunchtime retail business. Everything there is incredible.

        1. m
          missdia Sep 13, 2009 12:51 PM

          Try Fritz Pastry at 1408 W. Diversey. He makes Gateau Breton, Macarons, Pithivier, etc. I think you'll be pleased!

          2 Replies
          1. re: missdia
            uhockey May 28, 2010 06:07 PM

            Get the Almond Croissant - it is quite impressive.

            1. re: missdia
              CulinaryWoman Jun 4, 2010 03:42 PM

              another vote for Fritz. It's very authentic French pastry but modern. They also have bostok, which you don't find many places (almonds, almond paste, a sweet dough).

            2. sidecar Sep 13, 2009 09:06 PM

              This is a limited reply, but I've been very impressed with the croissants at New Wave Coffee in Logan Square, which are the best I've had outside of Paris (and better than many in Paris!). They also have pain au chocolat, which you mention, and croissant aux amandes, along with other less traditional (for the French) fillings.


              1. m
                mikeandanna May 27, 2010 06:50 PM

                In my opinion the best thing about paris is patisserie. Believe it or not, if you come to Milwaukee, Le Reve has a fabulous although limited array. Everything is ultra fresh and made with real cream, butter, no shortcuts. Their tarts, macarons, opera, are fantastic. The cafe also serves food. I ate lots of patisserie in paris and worked my way through making many of Bo Friebergs recipes in his professional patisserie baking book.. This place saves me the time and energy and does a perfect job.

                1. nsxtasy Jun 2, 2010 11:52 AM

                  There's a comprehensive discussion of most of the best places for French pastry in Chicago at:

                  What's the best bakery in Chicago for sweets? - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/542316

                  I've ranked them based on their pastry, with Fox & Obel and Vanille Patisserie the best places in the city (yes, even better than Fritz, although Fritz is good too) and Three Tarts and Gourmet Frog the best places in the suburbs. Vanille and Gourmet Frog, in particular, offer authentic French atmosphere as well as an emphasis on French-style pastries.

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