Quality baked goods can be the key to any kind of get together. People love their sweets, and in Chicago bakeries have taken it to the next level. Each place may have a special pastry, cake, or pie, and it’s important to know what to get from where. – Jeff Pearl

Elyce from Alliance Bakery. (credit: alliance-bakery.com)

Alliance Bakery

1736 W. Division St
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 278-0366

Creativity is the name of the game at Alliance Bakery. They’ve won quite a few awards from food competitions, and when you step inside it becomes clear why. Marvel for a while at the artistry of their pastries. Once you’re done gawking you’ll find that the flavors match the looks.

Some sweets from Artopolis. (credit: artopolischicago.com)

Artopolis Bakery and Café

306 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL
(312) 559-9000

The stuffed pastries are delicate and heavy on the fillings. The baklava is flaky, sweet, and perfect. Everything is pretty big, pretty cheap, and very tasty.

Macarons from Floriole. (credit: floriole.com)

Floriole Bakery

1220 W Webster Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 883-1313

Floriole sells all of their scrumptious pastries and sandwiches at Chicago’s Green City Market, but they’ve recently upgraded to a permanent location in Lincoln Park as well. The farmer’s market mentality still rings true with a mantra of a seasonal menu and fresh ingredients. Therefore, you’ll have to stop in often to check for any changes that may peak your interest.

Pie from Hoosier Mama. (credit: hoosiermamapie.com)

Hoosier Mama Pie Company

1618 1/2 Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 243-4846

Handmade pies are the calling card of Hoosier Mama Pie Company. Everything has a very homey appeal to it while still holding on to the fine touches of a gifted pastry chef. Fruit pies from the classics to the funky can be found here. It’s not just sweets though: if you like quiche or chicken pot pie, then Hoosier Mama is a must.

Cookies from Letizia's. (credit: superyummy.com)

Letizia’s Natural Bakery

2144 W. Division St
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 342-1011

All natural is the real focus at Letizia’s. It’s go big or go home in a good way. You won’t find any sugar substitutes or bleached flour, but you will find a lot of flavor. When you don’t cut corners on ingredients it shows. If you’ve got a hankering for a panini you should give Letizia’s a try.

A refreshing ice cream cone. (credit: David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

Sweet Mandy B’s

1208 West Webster Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 244-1174
No website

Whenever I walk by Sweet Mandy B’s I get hypnotized by the smell of baked goods and inevitably walk in. Although they are mostly known for their cupcakes, you’d be missing out if you didn’t try the pies, the cakes, or the ice cream. Also worth special mention is anything with their buttercream frosting.

Jeff Pearl has lived in the Chicagoland area his whole life and is currently a medical student at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Food has always been a passion of Jeff’s. In his free time, Jeff enjoys either cooking for his friends, going out to a new restaurant, or training for his next triathlon. Check out his blog, Jeff Eats Chicago.

The author. (credit: Jeff Pearl)