Subway: Brown to Montrose(773) 275-0697 sweetsensationspastry.com41.961601 -87.676840 1918 W Montrose Ave (between Wolcott and Winchester Aves) Ravenswood, Chicago
Breakfast, lunch (closed Mon)Average pastry: $2
Sharin Nathan’s American-style bakery traffics in the stuff of childhood: lemon bars, brownies and, of course, cupcakes. Streusel-topped blueberry muffins have a soft, homey crumb; individual fruit tarts sport crisp, cookielike crusts; and chocolate-chip cookies have a good dose of salt. Sometimes the baked goods taste too much like childhood—a cream-filled cupcake emulates the Hostess version too closely to taste special. But for the most part, these pastries are able substitutes on days when you’re too busy to make something of your own.