Sweet Spots: Hunting the Best Desserts in Chi-TownBy Amber Gibson
Sipping Chocolate at Katherine Ann (Photo: Ten Photos)
In a culinary capital like Chicago, there’s always room for dessert. Whether you’re craving an old-fashioned doughnut, flaky pastry or a deconstructed twist on a sweet classic, the city has got you covered.
From Michelin stars to local favorite bakeries, here are five ways to satisfy your sweet tooth at some of the best dessert restaurants in Chicago.
Chocolate Mousse with Coconut Ice Cream and Black Walnut Dacquoise Cake (Photo: Amber Gibson)
Pastry Chef Dana Cree has two James Beard nominations for Outstanding Pastry Chef, and she won a Jean Banchet Award for her frequently changing array of adventurous desserts.
You might try an avocado sherbet sundae, a teff flour crepe with chicory and coffee mascarpone or chocolate mousse with coconut ice cream and black walnut dacquoise cake.
Blackbird is just a few minutes from Chicago’s theater district, so come by for dessert after a show at the Goodman Theater or Oriental Theatre.
Doughnut Assortment (Photo: Amber Gibson)
This family owned Bavarian bakery has been serving the best stollen in Chicago ever since it opened in 1922.
Along with its fantastic glazed, cinnamon sugar and sour cream doughnuts, you can also start your morning with decadent bear claws, brownies and cheesecakes.
Four generations later, warm service and a commitment to local and organic ingredients still set Dinkel’s apart.
Passion Fruit Tart With Whipped Cream (Photo: Amber Gibson)
Locals love this dessert restaurant in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, where fast Wi-Fi and delicious sweet and savory treats mean it’s easy to spend the whole day working upstairs under the skylights. (Look for the vegan flourless dark chocolate hazelnut cookies, pineapple upside down tarts and almond croissants!)
Each month, the kitchen creates a new pastry of the month, like a ricotta orange almond tart or a coconut strawberry layered cake.
Bad Wolf Coffee (Photo: Ten Photos)
Bad Wolf Coffee’s dessert selection is small but on point. You’ll enjoy the shop’s muffins, kouign-amaan, madeleines and raspberry bars. But owner Jonathan Ory’s canelés — bite-size French pastries with a custard center and a caramelized crust — are what made the scruffy chef famous.
He only bakes a dozen each day, so they sell out quickly. (They come out of the oven at 10 a.m. on weekdays and noon on weekends.)
Truffles at Katherine Anne (Photo: Ten Photos)
Katherine Duncan started out selling hand-dipped chocolate truffles at the farmers market in 2006.
By 2012, they became so popular that she opened her own shop in dessert shop in Chicago’s Logan Square, expanding from truffles, caramels and marshmallows to serving the thickest, most decadent hot chocolate in the city.
Melt a porter hazelnut truffle or whisky banana caramel marshmallow into one of 10 sipping chocolate flavors for an intense cacao paradise.