5 Best Bakeries on the North Shore and the Delicious, Sticky and Sweet Reasons to Visit

bakeriesBennisons_macaronsThe best neighborhood bakeries make desserts and cookies so good they transport you—to your childhood or to the fabulous week you spent in Rome.

Forget the mass-produced, trans-fat-laden baked goods wrapped in cellophane. Go for fresh.

Tiramisu cupcakes, fresh filled cannolis or a peach tart that tastes like peaches and almonds. Only better. Here are our top 5 bakeries and the best treat (and close runners up) that each has to offer.

Bennison’s Bakery
Evanston

Worth a splurge: Parisienne Macaroons
The closest you’re going to come to Ladurée’s famous macaroons without hopping on a jet. Crispy egg white and almond cookies sandwiched together with ganache or cream. Délicieux.

Also try: Award-winning raisin rye bread and the peach-honey shortcake.

Il Mulino Bakery/Maria’s Bakery
Highwood

bakeriesIlmulino_cannolis
Worth a splurge: Filled-to-order cannolis

These sweet ricotta-cheese filled cannolis decorated with crushed pistachios are a classic combination of sweet crispiness and creaminess. Textural and taste heaven.

Also try: Sfogliatelle, a lemon- and almond-filled pastry, is a croissant that’s been to Milan for finishing school. Italian cookies are fresh and buttery, with a huge number of varieties.

Maier’s Bakery

Morton Grove

bakeriesMaiers_chocolatewalnutcake

Worth a splurge: Cakes

Call Maier’s when you need a birthday, wedding or anniversary cake. Decorator Cheryl Brady can replicate Wrigley Field or your child’s favorite storybook character. And the cakes are delicious! Our favorite: a classic chocolate with buttercream. These cakes are fresh and moist, and you’ll wonder why you ever wasted a calorie on a supermarket cake.

Also try: Doughnuts (fried fresh each morning and made from scratch) and the Holiday Fruit Cake that the original owner, 90-year-old Mr. Maier, still comes in to make each year.

Three Tarts Bakery and Café
Northfield

bakeriesthreetarts_peachfrangipantart

Worth a splurge: Tarts, which change seasonally

Lemon Curd with Raspberries, Peach Frangipan or Mocha Mousse with Espresso Bean. How’s a girl to choose? The toppings are fresh and inventive on a light, flaky crust. Perfect with a cup of tea.

Also try:
Banana Cake with Chocolate Ganache and the Rosemary Bread Sticks

Wildflour Bakery & Café
Lake Bluff

bakeriesWildflour_kitkatishbar

Worth a splurge: Kit Kat-ish Bar

Made with crushed crepe cookies, hazelnuts and milk chocolate, this puts the original candy confection to shame. One bar is big enough to share with your girlfriends, but you won’t want to be generous.

Also try: Inventive, fun cupcakes like Pink Peppermint and Tiramisu. Cinnamon rolls are a weekends-only treat.

 

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