The summer months are the best times to visit the lively city of Chicago, and this summer there was a wide selection of sweets to indulge in. I found several spots for food, drinks, and phenomenal desserts you must try on your next trip to the Midwest summer or not!
Dine with Dessert:
Upon entering this West Town restaurant, you’re immediately taken on a Mediterranean escape through the elaborate light fixtures, vintage parasols, and high sunroof ceilings. For brunch, dinner, or happy hour, their menu of hand-crafted cocktails and New American dishes makes for an indulgent and refreshing experience.
To start the day on a sweet note, order a skillet of their Chai Cinnamon Rolls. A unique twist on the classic brunch dish brings together the complementary flavors in a gooey, doughy creation and is topped with the perfect drizzle of cream cheese frosting.
After a tasty tapas-style meal of Smoked Baba Ganoush, Smoked Salmon Toast, and Halloumi Cheese, we naturally had to finish off with a sweet. Beatnik’s Hummingbird Bread Pudding is a dish you should be sure not to miss. Beautifully plated is a serving of the melt-in-your-mouth pastry, filled with brown sugar pineapple and banana, and topped with a dollop of mascarpone whipped cream and a slice of dried pineapple.
After a morning stroll on the Chicago Riverwalk, head one block North on State Street for a boozy brunch! Known for their wide selection of beers and menu-wide recommended pairings, Public House doesn’t disappoint on the sweet side! Start off your brunch with a sweet stack of Confetti Pancakes. The 5-cake tower is filled with rainbow sprinkles and topped with a dollop of sweet whipped cream, maple syrup, and more sprinkles! It will bring back your inner kid and be the perfect appetizer for a delicious meal to follow.
After a brunch filled with stacked Bloody Mary’s, beautiful Avocado Toasts, and a Build-your-Own Skillet, you can’t resist trying one of their famous Cake Shakes. The beer experts take care of the pairings for you here, as each flavor shake they offer is a mix of ice cream and stout! Each month they bring in a special seasonal flavor, but no matter the time of year you are in town you can order the Vanilla Stout Cake Shake. In a frosting and sprinkle-coated glass in a blend of vanilla ice cream and JP Casper White Stout, all topped with a slice of their Confetti Buttercream Cake. I guarantee you’ll have a smile on your face when it is brought to your table, and fall in love even more after first bite (and sip)!
Spending all day shopping on Michigan Avenue and in the Gold Coast can sure work up an appetite. Head over to the Waldorf Astoria hotel and make your way to their upstairs French restaurant for a classy, relaxing, and delicious dining experience. After being greeted by the welcoming staff, you’ll find yourself seated in a European-inspired dining room in front of an extensive menu with classic and new takes on all of your favorite French dishes. Start off the evening with Hours d’oeurves, such as the Duck Wings a L’Orange, Warm Tomato Tatin, and their Heirloom Beets and Local Apple salad. For the main course, their irresistible Dry-Aged Rohan Duck Breast entree, paired with Michigan Cherries and cognac jus, and Green Circle Chicken Roti with Parisian Gnocci entrée, are complemented extremely well with sides such as their Roasted Corn and Shishito Peppers (deconstructed take on Crazy Corn), and their Macceroni Gratinée.
Pastry Chef Ashley Torto will not disappoint you with her beautifully-crafted dessert menu. You can never be full enough to try one, two, or three of her deliciously creative dishes. For the chocolate lovers, try the Valrhona Chocolate Grand Macaron- A sandwich of milk chocolate crèmeux and fresh raspberries that is drizzled with a tableside pour of chocolate ganache. If you like something fruity, don’t pass up on the Banana Tarte Tatin. This take on an upside-down cake beautifully layers warm puff pastry and caramelized bananas with miel de provence ice cream and a drizzle of citrus caramel sauce. No matter your mood or preference of dessert, you can’t leave without trying her Baked Alaska. An exciting pour of flaming Chartruse toasts the thick layer of marshmallow meringue. Cutting through the layers leads to an exciting find- a brick of coffee ice cream that is crusted in a cacao nib and hazelnut crumble crust completes the irresistible flavor combination.
For a quick sweet tooth satisfaction, be sure to swing by these walk-up windows!
Just around the corner from the restaurant Bar Siena is the adorable window, BomboBar. Famous for their Bombolini, a homemade Italian hole-less donut, the shop also has expertise in hand-crafted ice cream sundaes and sweet drinks.
In honor of the favorite childhood sweet, try the S’mores Bombolini. These donuts come with a “Squeeze Me” bottle for a fun way to customize the pastry with your choice of filling. Topped with a toasted marshmallow and a chocolate drizzle, this treat brings back all of those nostalgic memories!
In the winter months, BomboBar is a popular stop for their elaborate Hot Chocolate treats. When it is warm and sunny out, they offer a twist on the warming treat- their Cooler Chocolate! Continuing the s’mores theme, order the Chocolate S’mores flavor to sip on the chilled chocolate beverage and dive into the layers of whipped cream, chocolate and caramel drizzle, and a mini Bombolini, of course!
In the mood for a classic scoop of ice cream? BomboBar has a selection of creative Gelato flavors with a wide-array of toppings to choose from. Create a new combo, like this waffle cone cup of Charcol Oreo and Cookie Monster Dough gelato topped with rainbow sprinkles, Nutella drizzle, a Haribo gummy-topped Bombolini!
If you’re in the West Loop, be sure to make a restaurant hop down West Fulton Market street and end at the walk-up counter on the side of Duck Duck Goat. BaoBing offers sandwiches and wraps for lunch on the go, but also serves up delicious Asian-inspired treats! A beautiful take on a classic flavor combination is their Blue Blue Lemon- Blueberry soft serve ice cream topped with lemon snow ice, and sprinkled with sweet blueberries and candied lemon peel. The sweet and tangy cold treat is sure to cool you down on a hot day!
For the adventurous sweet tooth, try BaoBing’s savory dessert creation- the Jian Bing Thing! A savory crepe wraps around layers of cruncy chili oil, a drizzle of hoisin caramel, crispy wonton pieces, and refreshing soft serve ice cream. It is a unique take on a merge of dinner and dessert!