A talented pastry chef can whisk ingredients together quick enough to bend time and space, creating a black hole capable of sucking down pies, cakes, and British children eating pies filled with cake. Taste the sweetness of an "event horizon" with today's Groupon: for $5, you get $10 worth of sweets, café cuisine, and more at Lutz Café and Pastry Shop in Ravenswood.
Founded by Mr. and Mrs. Fred Lutz in 1948, Lutz Café was the first German pastry shop, or Konditorei, in Chicago. Using all-natural ingredients and traditional European recipes, Lutz serves strudels, cookies, candies, and cakes, including the chocolate-covered Baumkuchen cake, which is baked in successive layers over several hours, showing faint rings that determine its age ($32.95). Classic sugar-glazed cheese coffee cakes ($10.95) pamper tongues, and rich Belgium and Swiss truffles ($19 for a half-pound assorted box) melt in your mouth like chocolate ice cubes.
Lutz's café menu also offers comforting and hearty lunch options. Lightly butter your taste buds with individual-sized flaky ham-and-cheddar-filled quiches ($7.95) or try the mouth-melting spinach crepes finished with hollandaise sauce ($8.95). Homemade, creamy tomato bisque ($3.95) stands confidently on its own or battles loneliness with the addition of a half-sandwich for an extra $5. If sitting and sipping, relax with an individual European pot of coffee served Viennese-style with whipped cream ($3.75) in a quaint, indoor café and pastry shop.
WTTW's Check, Please! reviewed Lutz Café and Pastry Shop and gave it three forks out of five. Centerstage reviewed it. More than 100 Yelpers give it an average of 3.5 stars, and 85% of Urbanspooners recommend it:
- It's a Wonka-worthy site: cakes and tortes piled high with fresh fruit and swirling white frosting, cookies sporting sprinkles and chocolate, butter cream coffee cakes, marzipan and more. If you want just a nibble, sample the Swiss chocolates with a gourmet coffee. – Generva Gallo, Centerstage
- The stussel [sic] was amazing!!!! So good with my coffee, with a donut and bread like texture, and almond brown sugar weaving throughout. MMMmmmm so good. – Rebecca B., Yelp
Lutz Café & Pastry Shop
Since opening as the first konditorei, or German pastry shop, in the city of Chicago in 1948, Lutz Café & Pastry Shop has collected praise from the New Yorker, the Food Network, and generations of sweets-savvy mouths. Beneath the curve of a wood-and-glass display case, strudels, cakes, and candies crafted from traditional European recipes preen in the light of pendant lamps. Pristine tablecloths and delicate china crown tables in the flower-filled dining room and private, outdoor garden (open Mother’s Day through October), where a blue reflecting pool mirrors yellow deck umbrellas. Individual pots of Viennese-style coffee energize guests for flurries of typing over the complimentary WiFi network or climbing expeditions to the peak of a towering chocolate-covered Baumkuchen cake.