BBE Editor's Pick
714 N. Wells St., Chicago (River North)
This River North bakery is named after owner Fabiola Tyrawa, but the “fab” could just as easily describe her affordable baked sweets, sandwiches, and rainbow of lattes. Tyrawa doesn’t rely on gobs of frosting or pounds of chocolate to make desserts shine; instead, she swaps in lots of fruit, a small dollop of Nutella or a sprinkle of powdered sugar to do the trick. The results are a fresh spin on breakfast or lunch that will leave you feeling satisfied, not sedated. Savory teeth are also welcome here; come for lunch and order the Zapiekanka, a French bread melt topped with mushrooms and gooey cheese and you won't be sorry.
French toast bagel with cinnamon spread
miniature Nutella bread pudding
view full menu here
Though it’s a full-service café and bakery, a lunchtime crowd treats it like a neighborhood coffee shop, with Macbooks open and plenty of solo eaters. Young, friendly staff aren’t rushed, meaning they can steer you towards the day’s tastiest offerings.
... on the side
Because a café is only as good as its coffee and tea, Fabcakes uses locally-roasted Ipsento coffee and Rare Tea Cellars loose leaf tea. Cool syrups kick up lattes with flavors like pepper-fig and white chocolate-raspberry.
eye on design
While other cafés squish tiny tables so close together that you’re practically sharing your neighbor’s biscotti, Fabcakes’ tables are quite the opposite. Some seat up to four people with room, making them a comfortable location for a meeting or just a multi-dessert sampling.
Mon–Fri 7 AM–6 PM; Sat 9 AM–6 PM (closed Sunday)
$2 (small coffee) to $5.50 (French bread melt)
714 N. Wells St. (between W. Superior St. and W. Huron St.), Chicago, IL 60654; 312-397-3300