The confectioners at Sweet Ali’s whip up a dazzling menu of gluten-free treats using natural ingredients with no preservatives whenever possible. Flavorful muffins wake up weary tongues with sugar-laced taste sonnets ($2.49+), while their frosting-festooned cupcake cousins soothe overworked uvulas with comforting flavors such as red velvet, german chocolate, and carrot ($2.99+). Eradicate cravings for breads and savory fare with a mouthful of spinach and cheese quiche or a tummy-full of focaccia bread ($2.79+). Many of Sweet Ali’s treats are available in dairy-free versions to accommodate nibblers eschewing lactose, and a select posse of cows overindulging in PTO days.
Though many fro-yo shops have sprung up in recent years, TCBY is no newcomer to the scene. Since 1981, its shops have been scooping, swirling, and topping their lower-fat treat in crunchy candy and fruity sprinkles—but that doesn't mean they've been coasting. They're still innovating, whether it's tweaking standby flavors or developing their signature honey-vanilla Greek frozen yogurt that dishes out protein and fiber without any fat. Fro-yo artisans blend up Beriyo smoothies in flavors such as mangolada and purely peach or infuse Shivers with a choice of sweet topping options. To celebrate a birthday or a jury-duty-selection-pool reunion, you can opt for frozen yogurt cakes and pies. The piece-accommodating treats are layered with frozen yogurt and rich toppings to forge flavors such as chocolate decadence and peanut-buttery fudge pie.
Labriola Bakery Café's owner and namesake, Rich Labriola, began baking artisanal breads at his Oak Brook store in 2008. The son of a pizza maker, Rich knows exactly what makes a perfect bun or baguette: the crackle of the crust, the large crumbs, the earthy flavors trapped inside. Everything that comes out of his oven—from the wood-fired pizzas to the flaky almond croissants—is a work of art that began back when Rich learned the secrets of bread making from masters of French, Italian, and German traditions. Chicago magazine has hailed his bakery as a destination for gelato made fresh daily in seasonal flavors, which include fruity summer selections and a cold variety that celebrates winter.
Founded by cake connoisseur Diane Eenigenburg, La Petite Sweet tempts treat-seekers with a whimsical array of baked goodies, candies, and rivers of sugared bliss. Style a box of moist delicacies in cake flavors that typically include lemon, strawberry, carrot, and french vanilla. Traditional chocolate cupcakes bake into coco-rich puffs, enrapturing palates without waxy additives or scary Dracula lips. Those needing a more specific brand of sweet can mix and match cookies from La Petite's unrestrictive list of gluten-free offerings such as cranberry white chocolate, snicker doodle, and chocolate coconut macaroons. For either option, mix and match flavors, or take home a prepackaged box.
Every morning, the dough masters at Aracely's Bakery rise before dawn to craft house-made cupcakes, pastries, and sandwiches to bejewel their display cases. Confectionary artists transform dreams into fondant-covered reality by crafting custom cakes for birthdays, baby showers, and Eat a Portrait of Your Boss day. Meanwhile, traditional Mexican recipes lend sweetness to cakes and spice to 11 kinds of sandwiches, whose ingredients include avocado, chihuahua cheese, and secret sauce, and pack flavor into handheld meals.
The multitalented chef behind Daisy Cake Boutique cut her sweet teeth studying confectionery at Kendall College and the French Pastry School, where she worked beside internationally acclaimed pastry chefs Jacquy Pfeiffer and Sébastian Canonne. Soon after graduating, she founded her own gourmet bakery, which rocketed to popularity as soon as locals began to stop in and sample her beautifully wrought desserts.Today, the artful swirls of buttercream and fondant icing that top Daisy Cake Boutique’s handcrafted wedding cakes and pastries continue to earn new fans. Each of the bakery’s creations boasts a distinctive and elegant design; signature flourishes include vine-like icing, whimsical polka dots, and functional hiding spaces. Guests flock to wedding or party cakes for second helpings, and boxes of cookies, cannolis, and other sweets sate appetites between desserts. The bakery’s selection of gourmet cupcakes includes flavors that range from german chocolate to peanut butter and jelly.