Best of Chicago: Dessert and Pastry Shops

Best of Chicago: Dessert and Pastry Shops

Let’s admit it, when you have got a sweet tooth, you need to satisfy your craving. From savory carrot cake to traditional churros con chocolate to macarons that come in an array of colors; there is a dessert place for everyone. Whether you are the one to share with friends or indulge by yourself, here are some of Chicago’s best dessert and pastry shops to go out and explore.

1) The Goddess and the Baker (Downtown locations include: Wabash, Navy Pier, and Wacker & LaSalle) Whether you are in a sweet or a savory mood, this place has something for everyone. When you are there I would recommend the carrot cake with the perfect proportion of cream cheese frosting, crushed walnuts, and guaranteed moist cake. With Chicago’s unpredictable weather, this restaurant comes in clutch with a variety of hot chocolate, coffee, and tea drinks to satisfy your cold hands and warm you to your belly. I would personally recommend either the Goddess Almond Joy Frappe (which tastes like you are drinking an Almond Joy bar) or the Rishi Marsala Chai Latte (the perfect combination of spice, cream, and quality tea). Depending on your food mood: breakfast, lunch, and dinner is also served. (

2) Xoco (location: Clark Street) From world renowned chef Rick Bayless, Xoco is the place for torta, guacamole, and churros alike. But, for me, the dessert is the best part of this culinary experience. There churros are freshly fried with just the right crunch on the outside and softness in the inside. However, no churro is complete with its counterpart, authentic Mexican hot chocolate. For those who enjoy a more traditional, more bitter taste (like eating a dark chocolate bar), I would recommend getting the authentic. Those of you who would enjoy a creamier, fuller taste, I would recommend the classic (which has milk instead of water). If you are not into churros or want something additional to sink your teeth into, I would recommend their seasonal tres leches (a variation on a three milk cake) or their xocoflan (chocolate cake with a traditional Mexican vanilla egg custard on top). (

3) Vanille Patisseries (locations include: Lincoln Park, French Market @ Ogilvie Station, Lakeview) If you want to have a gastronomic splurge, this is the place for you. Compared to the other places on this list, Vanille is an upper-scale dessert/pastry shop. Each pastry is small but decadent and is to savored with every bite. However, unlike most places, the dessert here is sweet but not overtly sweet. Some pastries I would recommend while you are here: a full bodied tiramisu and manjari (a flourless chocolate cake). Each of these would pair nicely with a hot cup of their signature teas. I would save this place to go on special occasions. (



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