The 16 Absolute Best Bakeries In Chicago, According To A Local

Whether you're a lifelong Chicagoan, a recent city transplant, or you have visited in the past, it's no secret that the Windy City offers up some of the absolute best food in the world. Now, many people hit the streets of Chicago in hopes of scoring the perfect Chicago-style hot dog or indulging in the latest and greatest fine dining — either way; it's easy to overlook an important and bustling sector of Chicago's food scene, which is the city's bakeries.

The beauty of seeking out a baked good in a city as large and diverse as Chicago is that there will be something for everyone, whether you're looking for a plain croissant, savory galette, moist slice of cake, or a perfect loaf of sourdough. As someone who will never turn down a baked good and has lived in the city for years, I can attest to these bakeries being some of the absolute best that Chicago has to offer. 

I selected them based on a couple of key factors, with the most important one being how good the goods are. I also took care to include bakeries that span over the entirety of the city, from South-side favorites to ever-popular Ukrainian Village shops. Pastry lovers rejoice because your sweet tooth will be more than satisfied if you visit one or several of Chicago's finest bakeries.

Chiu Quon Bakery

A Chinatown staple since 1986, a single trip to Chiu Quon easily proves why it's had such success over the years. The pastry cases are lined with egg tarts, mooncakes, red bean pastries, and a selection of savory buns that will leave you fretting over which to choose. (When in doubt, go BBQ pork). 

With affordable pastries in mind, Chiu Quon is the type of bakery to visit when you want to stock up on baked goods for the week or you need a sweet treat in a pinch. The bakery's famous Chinatown location doesn't currently offer much seating, so plan to take your tarts and buns on the go. And make sure to be stocked with cash beforehand, as this is a cash-only bakery. There is an ATM on sight.

(312) 225-6608

2253 S Wentworth Ave, Chicago, IL 60616

Sugar Moon Bakery

Nestled somewhat nondescript in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood, Sugar Moon is the type of bakery for folks who answer "all of the above" when asked what their favorite pastry is. Indeed, this gem of a bakery not only offers a plethora of baked goods, from banana pudding croissants to focaccia bread to cookies, but it also offers some of the best of the best, making it an absolute must-stop for Chicagoans and anyone who visits.

It's important to note that Sugar Moon's hours are pretty limited — as in, you can only grab pastries on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays until 2 p.m. or until all the goods are gone. You don't want to risk it by showing up at 1:30 p.m. You'll want to get there sometime in the morning to ensure that you have the best number of options to choose from and be prepared to wait in line.

3612 W Wrightwood Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Loba Pastry + Coffee

Bright, airy, and full of can't-miss baked goods, Loba Pastry + Coffee is a small but mighty Roscoe Village/Lakeview-adjacent bakery that happens to serve exceptional coffee as well. Though Loba's pastry case might not be quite as stacked as some other bakeries on this list, it's absolutely worth checking out for the staples that it does provide on the daily, which include goodies like pineapple sourdough muffins, oat bars, scones, biscuits (currently cacio é pepe), and if you're lucky, French canelé-esque emmies adorned with sesame seeds.

If you really want to experience the best of the best that Loba has to offer, then it'd be a good idea to check out the shop on days when it offers specialty baked goods — like Sundays. For example, mole-laminated croissants are on the menu.

(773) 456-9266

3600 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60613

Jennivee's Bakery

We love croissants and bread just as much as the next person, but sometimes the heart wants a sweet, moist, delicious cupcake, and that's where Jennivee's Bakery delivers. You'll find this cake and cupcake place in Lakeview, and you certainly won't be limited on options when you walk through the door. Jennivee's stands out from other bakeries for a few reasons, one being that it specializes in cakes and cupcakes, offering a refreshing switch-up from your typical croissant or cinnamon roll. 

The other reason is that these are some of the most creatively flavored cupcakes you'll come across. What do we mean by creatively flavored, you may ask? Well, picture vibrant purple ube and earthy-sweet-sour yuzu matcha cupcakes. If you're more of a classic cupcake lover, then fear not. You'll find chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla options here as well, but they're still aptly decked out and likely more exciting than any cupcake you might make at home.

(773) 697-3341

3301 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago, IL 60657

Aya Pastry

Tucked conveniently in Chicago's West Loop, Aya Pastry is a small bakery that doesn't offer seating in its main storefront but does offer a mouthwatering selection of decadent pastries. There are rich chocolate tarts and meat-stuffed croissants, simple but luxe chocolate cookies, and no shortage of pastries, breads, and baked goods available at Aya Pastry. Maybe the love abundant options for both sweet and savory are why it's a perennial hit with foodies.

It's easy to pop into Aya Pastry and grab a few pastries to go — the store is conveniently open every day — though if you need an even more on-the-go option, the bakery also offers a daily morning drive-thru, with goods like chocolate croissants and scallion cheddar biscuits on the menu.

(312) 846-6186

1332 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

Good Ambler

 is an area of Chicago that's absolutely bustling with a , and Good Ambler is a great example of the lively culinary scene that is Fulton Market. You'll find classic pastries expertly executed at this bakery, including chocolate croissants, kouign amanns, coffee cake, earl grey scones, and blueberry muffins.

Even if the thought of a pastry seems a little too heavy on a given day, perhaps the fact that Good Ambler also functions as a chocolatier might help (literally) sweeten the deal. You can't go wrong with whatever you try at Good Ambler, but when in doubt, be sure to select some variation of a croissant to experience the bakery at its best.

(312) 872-7165

216 N Peoria, Chicago, IL 60607


Before anyone gets up in arms about what areas do or don't qualify as being in Chicago, we'll be the first to admit that Hewn is not located in Chicago proper — you'll find it in the northern suburb of Evanston (there's another location in Libertyville, too). Despite being a Chicago-adjacent bakery, we still find Hewn's vast assortment of breads to be impressive enough to earn it a spot on this list. 

We love Hewn because it proves that bread baked well really is worth the fuss, and for Chicagoans, worth the drive north. Moreover, you'll find a vast assortment of breads —like caramelized onion rye and roasted heirloom potato rosemary bread — much of which is made with grains sourced from Illinois and Wisconsin farms. Pastry lovers, fear not — Hewn also offers a plethora of other baked goods.

Multiple locations


Even if you've never visited Chicago, there's a good chance you've at least heard of Kasama regardless. Perhaps you keep up with the world of Michelin dining and know that Kasama is the first Filipino restaurant to have a Michelin star; perhaps you've watched "The Bear" and watched with hungry eyes as Kasama made a noteworthy cameo in season two of the hit show. Or, perhaps you haven't heard of Kasama at all, in which case we recommend that you check out the cafe-by-day, fine-dining-restaurant-by-night soon.

Though it would be technically inaccurate to call Kasama a bakery, as it does offer a reservation-only tasting menu by night. Still, the popular Ukrainian Village spot offers up some of the best baked goods in the city during the day shift. The longanisa sausage breakfast sandwich is a must-try, and as for the pastries themselves, you can't go wrong with a fresh fruit tart, ham and cheese danish, or ultra-luxe black truffle croissant.

(773) 697-3790

1001 N Winchester Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Panaderia Nuevo Leon

Pilsen-based Panadería Nuevo Leon was founded in 1973. It bakes a vast assortment of affordable goods from cookies to tortillas, as well as other Mexican treats like conchas and churros. While there's no denying that the bakery's conchas are a selling point for most visitors, you'd be remiss if you didn't load up your tray with an assortment of chocolate chip cookies or sugary bigote. 

Another great part of Nuevo Leon is that you can pop in pretty much any time of day and get your hands on something good. It's open every day from morning to 8 p.m. and is a great stop if you happen to be in the Pilsen area and want an inexpensive snack or treat.

(312) 243-5977

1634 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608

Mindy's Bakery

Mindy Segal — the mastermind behind the beloved Wicker Park-based Mindy's Bakery — has a long history of serving excellence in Chicago, as proven by her former restaurant, Hot Chocolate, which closed in 2020. Luckily, Mindy's Bakery opened up just two years later, dishing out bagels, bialys, coffee cake, tarts, and stromboli.

When it comes to selecting a pastry (or several) at Mindy's Bakery, there's really no way to go wrong. But you may need to plan ahead to be able to snag exactly what you're after. Since the bakery operates on a first bake/second bake schedule, you'll want to get there plenty early (and possibly be prepared to wait in line) if you're looking for something like a bagel, croissant, or donut. Second bake goods include cookies, bars, and brioche tarts. Instead of limiting yourself to just one pastry, we strongly recommend nabbing several so you can understand the truly breadth of Mindy's offerings.

(773) 489-1747

1623 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Brown Sugar Bakery

Cake lovers of Chicago can unite on one thing: Brown Sugar Bakery serves up some of the best cake slices and cupcakes in the entire city, and has been doing so steadfastly for over 20 years. The Greater Grand Crossing bakery — which is so popular that even Vice President Kamala Harris visited in 2021 — is bursting with classic, Southern-style cakes, puddings, cupcakes, and cheesecakes with just about any flavor imaginable. 

It's not just that Brown Sugar has exceptionally tender cakes with a sheer vastness of flavor options that makes this Chicago bakery a staple, but also that its a pillar of the community. The bakery set a milestone by becoming the only Black woman-owned chocolate manufacturer in the country, and you can taste the success in a slice of turtle cake, German dark chocolate cake, or more.

(773) 224-6262

328 E 75th St, Chicago, IL 60619

Lost Larson

If you go to bakeries looking for the perfect croissant, then Lost Larson is the place for you. With an original location in Andersonville and a second location in Wicker Park, Lost Larson's pride is in using freshly-milled, whole grain flour, a thought that shines through nicely when you try any of the various croissants that the bakery has to offer. 

You can't go wrong by trying out a classic butter croissant. If you're feeling more adventurous, we'd recommend trying a chocolate hazelnut one or a poppyseed-covered tebirke, which has an irresistible almond filling (and it's something that you won't find at the other bakeries on this list). In case croissants aren't your thing, there's still plenty of reason to check out Lost Larson, if only for the cinnamon roll.

Multiple locations

Justice of the Pies

Justice of the Pies isn't exactly new to Chicago — in fact, baker and owner Maya-Camille Broussard has operated under the name since 2014, but finally opened up a brick-and-mortar store in mid-2023. Since then, this Chatham-based bakery has been sending quiches, cakes, lemon-lavender cookies, and shokupan cinnamon rolls out the door. However, he star of the show, is, unsurprisingly, pies. 

Exactly what kind of pies you'll find at the bakery may change from time to time, but you can expect classic flavors and refreshing twists. Justince once had a popular strawberry basil key lime pie, but is now on to a more recent strawberry balsamic cheesecake, which perfectly balances creamy and sweet flavors with an welcome sharpness. The crusts on its pies are perfection, so it's not really a matter of choosing the right slice, but rather how you could possibly just limit yourself to one or two.

8655 S Blackstone Ave, Chicago, IL 60619

Weber's Bakery

If you close your eyes and try to conjure up the image of an absolute classic bakery — a neighborhood place, old-school approach, maybe its been around for nearly 100 years — there's a good chance you'll picture something similar to Weber's Bakery. This southern Chicago staple has been around since 1930 and, much to its customers' delight, has continued to serve the same type of baked goods for several decades.

So, what kind of traditional baked goods are we talking about? Buttercream-iced cakes, cannolis, bear claws laden with icing, coffee cake, and, if you're lucky enough to visit at the right time of year, paczki. Despite the load of staple baking, Weber's still frequently switches up its menu and adds seasonal options, keeping a visit to the nearly-century old bakery fresh and fun.

(773) 586-1234

7055 W Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60638

Bang Bang Pies & Biscuits

Tucked compactly in Logan Square, Bang Bang has a small variety of pies that are available on the regular — a must-try key lime pie — but the only way to truly experience all that the little bakery/cafe has to offer is to show up on a first come, first served basis to see what delights are available per day.

Said daily menu is ever-changing; an earl grey tea-flavored London Fog pie, pandan pie, or a malört pie are the type of flavors Chicagoans love to try. Get to Bang Bang early and you can balance the sweet with the salty by following up with the excellent biscuits. They're pillowly perfect under a menu of smothered toppings.

(773) 276-8888

2051 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Loaf Lounge

Based on the name alone, you might expect to find loaves of bread at Loaf Lounge — and, you'd be correct, but you'll also find a whole lot more at this Avondale bakery. Pastry-wise, you'll see curry danishes, morning buns, and chocolate croissants, though you'll also find a very special chocolate cake sitting in the pastry case: the chocolate cake from season one of "The Bear," actually. Ideed, one of Loaf Lounge's owners, Sarah Mispagel, worked as a consultant on "The Bear," so you try the featured cake in real life.

Famous chocolate cakes aside, Loaf Lounge is a great option for grabbing a loaf of bread or stopping in for a breakfast sandwich. (Capicola and Muenster is a nice twist here.) The self-proclaimed "all-day cafe" is considerably cozy and does offer seating for whatever primo good you pull from the case.

(773) 904-7852

2934 N Milwaukee Ave Suite E, Chicago, IL 60618


When putting together this list, I considered the quality of the baked goods that each of these bakeries has to offer as well as a variety of baked goods that might suit various preferences. For example, the selected bakeries cover a large span, including croissants, danishes, galettes, bread loaves, cakes, and pies, so no matter what your pastry preference is, there is a place on the list to find said pastry in Chicago.

I also considered bakeries that span across the city and aren't limited to any one area. Many of these bakeries first came to mind based on personal experiences. I made sure to visit and taste test the bakeries I haven't covered before, after conducting further research in conversation other area locals, as well as Chicago-based food media and review sites. The iconic and staple Chicago bakeries helped fully shape the list.