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.
In the kitchens of Blueberry Hill's five suburban outposts, cooks forgo lazy morning lounging to pull together homey assortments of timeless brunch fare. Pancakes infused with fruit or sweets are made from scratch, much like hand-knitted socks or hand-painted report cards. French-toast slices get stuffed with apple and cream cheese, smothered in fruit, or rolled in Cap'n Crunch. Fresh meats and veggies take cover under eggs in savory skillets, and a selection of sandwiches quells cravings in handheld form.
Encyclopedic in its generational stock of goodies, Sweetness satiates sweet teeth with row after row of throwback bounties. From Pop Rocks ($0.95), to Charleston Chews ($1.25), to a wide variety of PEZ dispensers ($2.25), the shop stocks edible memories for all ages and personality types. Uninhibited hands can hoard individual items such as theater-sized boxes of Raisinets and Lemonheads ($2.25 each), while foresighted foragers shovel sweets such as Atomic Fireballs, Smarties, and Jolly Ranchers ($5.25/lb.), as well as Gummis in the chewable form of bears, berries, butterflies, and marmocoons ($3.25–$4.25/lb.). Sweetness’ creative candymen can also create custom-poured chocolates. No matter what sticks to the palm, a single swing through Sweetness can easily fill the heart, stomach, and pillowcase of any autumn enthusiast.
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.
Juicy-O Pancake House’s kitchen serves up an inexhaustible menu of breakfast and lunch fare ranging from syrup-slathered flapjacks to savory egg specials. Named for its fruit juices, which run the gamut from classic orange to exotic pomegranate, Juicy-O also prides itself on its donuts, which are crafted from a secret house recipe and "fried before your eyes on a little donut maker,” according to ABC Chicago’s Steve Dolinsky.
Juicy-O’s locations each exude cheerful vibes, with dining rooms that are flooded with natural light and walls that are covered in framed anecdotes, such as, “Every family tree always produces nuts!” and “Time is money! Stop reading these stupid signs!”
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.