Keeping kosher is important to many, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some delicious treats during the Jewish holidays, even during Passover. Keeping kosher during Passover does mean that no unleavened wheat can be consumed. That in itself means a lot of cakes aren’t allowed. Even so, Jewish kosher bakeries in and around the city — especially in Rogers Park — get creative for the holidays and come up with a sweet dessert that everyone is sure to love during Passover Seder.
Zelda’s Sweet Shoppe
4113 Main St.
Skokie, IL 60076
With everything made from scratch in this Skokie-based shop, you know you can’t go wrong with any dessert item (or savory bites) that you pick. When it comes time for Passover, Zelda’s features a specific menu that is certified kosher for Passover and Pareve by the cRc. The options range from cakes — including a chiffon orange cake — and Mandel Breit to Matzah Crunch. Boxes of chocolate goodies that are kosher for Passover are also available, including chocolate frogs and chocolate locusts, perfect treats for the kids.
North Shore Kosher Bakery
2919 W. Touhy Ave.
Chicago, IL 60656
No matter what the time of year, this Rogers Park bakery offers a wide assortment of kosher breads and pastries. But come Passover time, you’ll still find an array of delicious sweets. The bakery is Kashrus certified, and serves more than just the local neighborhood. You can find many of its desserts and baked goods in bakeries throughout the city.
2856 W. Devon Ave.
Chicago, IL 60659
Located and operating in Rogers Park for over 80 years, Levinson’s is an institution. It offers a range of decadent desserts, and while you can pick up a slice of dessert or a cookie at any time, if you have a bigger order for Passover, you’ll want to call ahead to place a specific order to guarantee you’ll get exactly what you want.
2776 Dundee Rd.
Northbrook, IL 60062
Perhaps best known for its Cinnamon Kiddush as well as its coffee cakes, Leonard’s Bakery on Chicago’s North shore also makes cookies for every occasion — especially Passover. Whether you choose its signature smiley face cookies is entirely up to you. Other Passover desserts will also be available; just be sure to bring cash, as Leonard’s doesn’t accept credit cards.
Tel-Aviv Kosher Bakery
2944 W. Devon Ave.
Chicago, IL 60659
Also located in Rogers Park, service at this bakery comes with a smile, often from the owner Julie. Tel-Aviv Kosher Bakery’s offerings run the gamut from breads and bagels to sweet desserts, although ask any of the regulars and it’s often the breads that they’re coming for. But the baked goods are just as delicious, and Tel-Aviv offers an enormous assortment of traditional dishes. Throughout the year you’ll find such items as challah, rugelach and babkas. No matter what the holiday, the bakery serves kosher desserts. For larger orders, be sure to call ahead.
Related: Passover Recipes From A Chicago Chef
Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not writing about food, she’s working part-time at a culinary vacation company, The International Kitchen, based in the Windy City. Some of her work can be found at Examiner.com.