Most people don’t know of Chicago’s rich chocolate and candy history. In fact, it’s been said the Charles F. Gunther was responsible for introducing caramels in America and would sell them from his Clark Street candy business before it burned to the ground during the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. During Prohibition, when alcohol was banned across the country, Chicago turned local taverns into ice cream shops and confection parlors.
While bars have since begun serving booze again, Chicago still offers a generous helping of delicious bakeries, pie shops and confiseries that serve decadent desserts as well as quaint coffee shops where you can spend hours reading a good book or chatting with friends.
If you fancy a glass of champagne or wine with your exotic truffles, head to Vosges Chocolate in Lincoln Park where you can pair the two in the boutique. Katherine Anne Confections has the most decadent hot chocolate (complete with homemade pillowy marshmallows) we’ve ever tasted.
For coffee, Intelligenstia started here and has several outposts throughout the city that serves up its own roasted blends. First Slice gives back as part of its pie sales.
Fancy being able to make some of those desserts? Places Chocolat Uzam Sharif in Pilsen offers regular classes to pastry chef wannabees.
Dietary restrictions don’t need to hold you back. Places like Rose’s Wheat Free Bakery & Café caters to people with dietary restrictions.
Chicago’s coffee and dessert history is rich, just as the city likes its decadent vices.