Old Bakery, New Tricks

Two new reasons to revisit Sweet Cakes

It's all too easy to take an old favorite for granted, bypassing it for the new and shiny.

It would be a mistake to do so with Sweet Cakes, the nearly four-year-old Ukrainian Village bakery known for its cookies, pastries and bostock.

The shop moved to a larger, airier building last year, and a stream of new weekday offerings from baker Emily Smith is an excuse to visit the bakery regularly.

Her Tuesday-afternoon tea service is a steal, offering a pot of Rishii tea (choose from eight varieties) and a plate of sweet and savory bites for $10. On a recent visit, mellow White Peony tea was an excellent companion for crumbly whole-grain-rosemary scones, ginger-bourbon cookies and goat-cheese finger sandwiches with onion jam. We then used the accompanying sugar cookies as a tool for scooping up Smith's silky lemon curd and deep, dark strawberry preserves.

A new weekday lunch-box deal–a savory item, a small greens-and-herbs salad and a cookie ($10)–is also available Tuesday through Friday. Go Tuesday for Smith's new spinach croissant, a popover stuffed with spinach, cream cheese and garlic, and Wednesday for a slice of quiche. Find miniature pizzas on Thursday, and Kalamata olive rolls with cheese and house-made grainy mustard on Friday.

The best part: The menu is always changing, so Sweet Cakes never gets stale.

Sweet Cakes Bakery, 901 N. Damen Ave.; 773-772-5771 or sweetcakeschicago.com