North Shore Bakery Tour

Fancy a bagel and a schmear first thing in the morning? Maybe you’re on a quest to find the perfect scone. Or, your dinner menu needs an organic artisanal country loaf to compliment the meal. Chicago’s North Shore bakeries offer an impressive range of savory and sweet goodies. Gourmet donuts, custom cakes, and pastries of all shapes and flavors, some filled with … you-name-it. Map out your route for a bakery tour that legends are made of.

See a full list of Chicago's North Shore restaurants offering carryout, delivery and outdoor dining here.

Kneads & Wants Artisan Bakery
8042 Lincoln Ave., Skokie
When the house specialty is Sticky Buns, you know you’re in the right place for top-notch pastries, sweet treats, and brunch goodies. This small batch bakery and café not only gets high marks for their fresh-baked scones, croissants, cookies, and cakes, but for full brunch and lunch options with quiches, salads, and sandwiches — on bread made fresh daily, too — like You Had Me at Bacon on honey wheat or Eat Your Veggies on a demi baguette. (Sandwich lunchbox includes chips, a jumbo cookie, and drink.)

Kneads & Wants Artisan Bakery, Skokie
Kneads & Wants Artisan Bakery, Skokie

Hewn
1733 Central St., Evanston
Hewn takes its “hand-forged artisan bread” seriously. Every 100% organic bread is hand-mixed, hand-shaped, and naturally fermented fresh daily with grains, produce, and diary ingredients sourced from local farmers. The daily selection consists of a country loaf, blonde country loaf, and four or more rotating specialty loaves, like Caramelized Onion Rye or Polenta, Pumpkin Seed, and Rosemary. Their selection of pastries and lunch items will dazzle your tongue, too. That gorgeous Morning Bun is a must!

Hewn Bread, Evanston
Hewn Bread, Evanston

Sweet Ali’s Gluten Free Bakery
1107 Waukegan Rd., Glenview
No reason why those with food sensitivities or allergies can join the fun. Sweet Ali’s certified gluten-free bakers have elevated the category with sensational tastes. In addition to a variety of delectable sweet, savory, and special occasion baked goods—all gluten-free—they create dairy-free, vegan, and other allergen-free options, too. A highlight is the dazzling array of Cupcakes of the Week like the Strawberry Colada cupcake, Mimosa and Chocolate Raspberry cupcake, or Peanut Butter Pie (vanilla cupcake with peanut butter whipped cream frosting and a peanut butter drizzle).

Sweet Ali's Gluten Free Bakery, Glenview
Sweet Ali's Gluten Free Bakery, Glenview

Great Harvest Bread
2126 Central St., Evanston
Next stop? Bread heaven. Crafted from scratch every day using carefully selected wheat grown in Montana's Golden Triangle, the wheat is freshly milled onsite. Their signature Honey Whole Wheat is a perfect blend of five pure ingredients — freshly-ground 100% whole wheat flour, pure honey, filtered water, salt, and yeast. The 100% whole grain Superfood is made with simple and nutritious quinoa, freshly-ground whole wheat flour, flax, oat bran, hemp seeds, extra virgin olive oil, honey, salt, yeast, and water. Sweets and breakfast/lunch sandwiches use the same tasty and wholesome approach.

Great Harvest Bread, Evanston
Great Harvest Bread, Evanston

Kaufman’s Deli
4905 Dempster St., Skokie
You could be forgiven for getting distracted by the legendary sandwiches at Kaufman’s Deli. But the bakery section is pure gold. Named a top 10 bakery by USA Today and best bagel by AOL’s Kitchen’s Best, those bagels require a generous spread of Chive, Lox, or Vegetable, or the yummy Strawberry or Cinnamon Raisin cream cheeses (all made fresh). Only the finest ingredients (pure diary, real vanilla, whole grains) make the grade for specialty Eastern European breads—dense ryes and pumpernickels with a wonderfully fermented flavor; traditional bagels boiled and hearth-baked for a great crust and chewy interior. Save room for more from their sweet shop!

Kaufman's Deli, Skokie
Kaufman's Deli, Skokie

Beth’s Little Bake Shop
1814 Central St., Evanston
Made from scratch, locally-sourced, fresh every day, the European-inspired pastries, intricately-decorated cakes, and famous French Macarons await you in the heart of Evanston’s Central Street. Grab a cup of Intelligentsia coffee with your morning Danish, muffin, or Babe Sandwich (thick-cut bacon, soft-fried egg, white and sharp cheddar cheese on a butter croissant). You can also create your perfect cake combination of flavors, fillings, and design for a wedding, birthday, and other events.

Beth's Little Bake Shop, Evanston
Beth's Little Bake Shop, Evanston

Max & Benny’s Restaurant, Deli and Bakery
461 Waukegan Rd., Northbrook
A family restaurant serving up classic favorites (matzo ball soup and Ruben sandwiches) and full custom catering, the adjacent deli at Max & Benny’s lets you take the boiled and baked daily bagels, fresh rye bread, or Challah bread home. Custom cookie creations are one of their specialties with sports teams, superheroes, and seasonal themes. Their DYI Emoji Cookie Kit is a hit for your kids to decorate their own sugary creations. Kits include four cookies dipped in yellow icing and red, white, and black pre-filled icing bags.

Max & Benny's Restaurant, Deli and Bakery, Northbrook
Max & Benny's Restaurant, Deli and Bakery, Northbrook

DB3 Donuts
1704 Central St., Evanston
Who knew such a simple ring of sweet fried dough could rise to such heights? DB3 fashions donuts into  indulgent gourmet bliss. Ranked in the 10 Best Donut Shops in Chicago by Make It Better, this small batch bakery nails the basic Chocolate Glazed, Vanilla Sprinkle, and their cousins. Ramp things up with their “Fancy” options like Fruity Pebbles, The “Dude” Goo (maple and BACON!), or gluten-sensitive and vegan options. New, rotating flavors every month make them a destination (Irish Coffee Filled? Red Velvet? Nutella Chocolate Mousse?). Or spell out a message with DB3 Custom Donut Letters!

DB3 Donuts, Evanston
DB3 Donuts, Evanston

 

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