Four restaurants with bakeries
At these spots, you never have to ask “Is this made in-house?”
Café Selmarie You might have stopped into this bakery for a croissant to go and missed the dining room hidden in back. The first-come, first-served policy means you might have a half-hour wait for brunch, but a cup of coffee and slice of coffee cake will tide you over. For the main event, don’t miss the corned-beef hash: heavy on the smoky-salty beef, easy on the potatoes, flecked with fresh herbs and topped with two perfectly poached eggs. The next best bet is the savory tart jammed with leeks, mushrooms and goat cheese or the baked chilaquiles crusted in bubbly cheddar. 4729 N Lincoln Ave (773-989-5595). El: Brown to Western. Bus: 11, 49, 81. Mon 11am–3pm; Tue–Thu 8am–9pm; Fri, Sat 8am–10pm; Sun 9am–9pm. Average main course: $13.
HotChocolate Don’t let the name fool you—it’s not just desserts here; the seasonal, savory menu is just as tempting. Chef Mindy Segal is a stickler for seasonality, so expect an ever-changing assortment of dishes like pan-seared trout with citrus, radishes and fennel. Segal shines with finales like banana brioche bread pudding and brunch standouts such as duck confit and apple-butter croissants. No time to have dessert? Pick up cookies from the bakery case up front. 1747 N Damen Ave (773-489-1747). El: Blue to Damen. Bus: 50, 56, 72, 73. Brunch (Sat, Sun), lunch (Wed–Fri), dinner (closed Mon). Average main course: $20.
Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant Thinking of spending your Sunday morning at this classic Chicago diner? Better check the weather: The line snakes out the door and onto Lou Mitchell Way well into the afternoon. Customers are treated to fresh, sugar-dusted doughnut holes (and, if you’re a woman, Milk Duds) while they wait, but the real feast starts when you sit down. Stacks of “meltaway” pancakes are perfectly browned, omelettes come in hot skillets (try the sweet, rich apple-and-cheese variety), waffles are light and crisp, and bagels, doughnuts, muffins and more are baked fresh daily. 565 W Jackson Blvd (312-939-3111). El: Blue to Clinton. Bus: 7, 60, 124, 125, 126, 156. Breakfast, lunch. Average main course: $9.
The Big Easy Though it’s classic New Orleans food at this Hyde Park restaurant—jambalaya, catfish po’ boys, fried okra, gumbo, shrimp étouffée—there’s also a full-service bakery pumping out everything from cheesecakes to muffins to bagels. Appetizers like the voodoo black bean soup and stuffed crab cakes are served at the bar, but patrons with bigger appetites should try the stuffed jambalaya: a massive, crispy chicken breast overflowing with the traditional meaty stew. 1660 E 55th St (773-643-5500). El: Red to Garfield. Bus: 6, 28, 55, 171. Breakfast, brunch (Sat, Sun), lunch, dinner. Average main course: $12.