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Aug 24, 2009 03:30 PM

Best for Desserts open late

Hey all, I'm going to Chicago this Labour day and was wondering if you knew any dessert places open late....a place to kinda mull about after dinner.

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  1. In my opinion, the best spot for dessert is Hot Chocolate on Damen (in Bucktown) and they are open until midnight on weekends.

    There's also the chocolate bar at the Peninsula and the dessert tasting menu at Tru, both of which will be much pricier but are much closer to the Michigan Ave. hotel area.

    10 Replies
    1. re: BRB

      i've not been to Hot Chocolate personally, but can say without hesitation that the dessert tasting at TRU is something everyone should experience once (or more!)

      1. re: uhockey

        Hot Chocolate definitely sounds very good...any other places that specializes in desserts? kinda like Serendipity in NYC

        1. re: mehesoft

          I only know of Serendipity from my brother who lives nearby, but Hot Chocolate is fancier than that - Hot Chocolate serves dinner although many people go there just for dessert. But I wouldn't feel comfortable there in anything less than nice jeans and a decent shirt b/c the evening crowd tends to be stylish.

          Mindy Segal, the owner, is a pastry chef by background and was at Charlie Trotter's and MK before finally opening up this restaurant (and is a James Beard nominee). Her desserts are very creative but typically more whimsical than extravagant. The hot chocolate is phenomenal. I don't believe I have ever had better desserts than what she offers . . . anywhere!

          In terms of more casual offerings, nothing strikes me as filling the Serendipity role. There's a Ghiradelli place near Michigan Avenue, but don't expect to find anything but average ice cream and hot fudge there. There are some cupcake shops and an ice cream/cake place on Clark St. in Andersonville which is open late but it's average at best and there's not much room to sit.

          For a bit more nostalgia, there's Margie's Candies, a very old school soda fountain which offers very good ice cream sundaes and house made chocolates. It's very casual and they have two locations but none downtown.

          By the way, if you do go to Hot Chocolate, you might want to make reservations as it does get crowded.

          1. re: BRB

            Hot Chocolate gets my vote. The resturant just got their first James Beard nomination this year. The savory side of the house isn't too shabby either. When you make reservations, make sure to tell them if you are going for dinner or dessert.

            The chocolate stout and caramel milkshake is To Die For!

            1. re: BRB

              If you go to Margie's, you can make it a double header: Irazu followed by Margie's. These are places a lot of locals go to, super-cheap, very casual, and tasty too!

              1. re: fooddoggie

                I just checked the sites for Margie's, it looks really good with all the variety. Any particular recommendations? Is this place a sitdown kinda place or is it only take out?

                  1. re: mehesoft

                    I like the Turtle Sundae with everything on it. Personally, I wouldn't say that the ice cream is all that special, but I love the toppings (hot fudge and caramel). Also, everything is huge. And, part of the fun is seeing the huge sundaes people order. Most everything gets served in a large white conk shell dish. It's a local crowd, lots of families and teenagers, few if any tourists. As far as sitting down, if the place is crowded expect to squeeze into pretty small booths - red vinyl. Another part of the fun is the doll collection and other random displays, including music memorabilia. Don't expect anything slick or trendy here, just good old-fashioned fun.

                1. re: BRB

                  Ms Segal was also the pastry chef at Aubriot when i first moved here. Her souffle is insane. BTW, what's happened to Eric Aubriot?

                  1. re: ms. chow

                    DH here corrected me that it was Cindy Shuman at Aubriot. Oh well, is the mind the second or first thing to go? I don't remember...

          2. i'm going to jump onto the "hot chocolate" wagon. i've never had their savories, but the desserts are quite good! the executive chef has been named to oversee the dessert section of the restaurants in the Elysian hotel in downtown.