Some people are more Betty White than Betty Crocker. More Julia Lewis-Dreyfus then Julia Child. And that’s ok, that’s what bakeries are for. These are the best bakery bites to grab for your next brunch, no assembly required.


Photo by Amanda Gajdosik

A quality piece of fried dough can make everything better. And Bennison’s Bakery does doughnuts best. A few offerings: classic raised cake, red velvet, Boston cream filled or, the crowning jewel, a maple bacon long john that’ll make vegans question their lifestyle choices. Pick up a dozen (or two) so everyone can share and swap flavors.

1000 Davis St  Evanston, IL 60201


Photo by Amanda Gajdosik

There’s something naughty about this delightful French treat. It’s probably the butter. Ok, it’s definitely the butter. With choices like classic butter, almond, chocolate and pistachio Floriole Café is putting out particularly sinful pastries. Paired with simple fried eggs or a strong cup of black coffee, croissants are flaky and light, yet filling enough to hold diners over until lunch.

1220 W Webster Ave, Chicago, IL 60614


Photo by Amanda Gajdosik

The size of softballs but far more flavorful, the scones from Great Harvest Bread Company are meant to be shared. With dozens of flavors to choose from it’s best to buddy up and split a few. Bonus: go in early enough and these baked-from-scratch treats will still be warm.

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Cream Puffs (Sweet or Savory)

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The sweet and savory puffs put out by Puffs of Doom are handheld delights. The savory chipotle chicken adobo is a justifiable entrée…and an argument can be made for the chocolate bacon puff too.

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Photo by Amanda Gajdosik

Forget the foil wrapper and unpronounceable ingredients; Fritz Pastry is doing the childhood treat right. From crust to filling to icing, every part of these tarts is made from scratch. So go on, let your inner kid out. (Their vegan blueberry muffin gets a heartfelt honorable mention for fooling us carnivores.)

1408 West Diversey Parkway, Chicago, IL 60614


Photo by Amanda Gajdosik

Trying to be healthy (or battling a nasty hangover)? The granola from Bittersweet Pastry & Café is equal parts sweet and satisfying. A hearty collection of oats, nuts and seeds are held together by sweet coconut, honey, and a touch of sugar.

1114 W Belmont Ave #8,  Chicago, IL 60657


Photo by Amanda Gajdosik

A pie shop putting out the best biscuits this side of the Mason-Dixon Line? You betcha. ¡Bang Bang! Pie Shop is cranking out biscuits that are crunchy and crumbly on the outside and impossibly fluffy and buttery on the inside. With house-made jams like cherry rose and flavored butters, made on-site, like honey and black pepper or Dijon and chive are better toppings than sausage and gravy could ever dream to be.

2051 N California Ave, Chicago, IL