Olive-oil cake and other treats at Scafuri Bakery | Bleader

Olive-oil cake and other treats at Scafuri Bakery



Do you see a heart here?
Around since 1904 and reopened on Taylor Street this spring, Scafuri Bakery exudes cozy. The walls, hung with family photos, are a warm shade of ochre. Midcentury-style chairs clustered around a faux-wood Formica table could transport you to a nonna's kitchen. Visiting late one Sunday morning, we saw neighborhood ladies shopping, coffee drinkers in for a pick-me-up, a family making a pit stop for pizza, pans of focaccia-like Roman-style pies sold by the square ($3.50 and huge) or by the sheet ($12.95; order ahead).

We, however, were there for baked goods, like a truly delightful almond croissant—the very last one, it turned out. Rich and satisfying, it was well worth $3.99, especially paired with a perfectly brewed iced coffee. My companion went for an equally good espresso brownie, dense with chunks of chocolate, doubling down with an iced mocha. There are other sweets to choose from: pies, pastries, decorated cakes, cannoli filled to order.

Fresh breads range from Italian and whole-wheat to a loaf with figs, walnuts, fennel, and rosemary.

Providing daily bread since 1904
  • Courtesy Scafuri Bakery
  • A gamut

Among the Italian specialties are biscotti, cuccidati (fig cookies), and pignoli (almond macaroons with pine nuts).

  • Courtesy Scafuri Bakery
  • Pignoli

I was intrigued by the bomboloni, filled Italian doughnuts, and tried a couple with a filling of mild goat cheese and honey, a steal at $1.25 apiece. Another lure was a family recipe, a lemon-glazed loaf cake made with zucchini and olive oil (there's a whole spread of olive-oil cakes and recipes here). It's not exotic; in fact, it reminded me a bit of carrot cake. But like the place itself, it summons home—which is where we polished off it off later, a la mode.

Olive-oil zucchini cake, from a Scafuri family recipe

If you need more than that to tempt you, this Sunday, July 14, Scafuri Bakery hosts live jazz and swing dancing beginning at 11 AM; it's free.

Lace-curtain Italian
  • Courtesy Scafuri Bakery
  • Lace-curtain Italian

Scafuri Bakery, 1337 W. Taylor, 312-773-8881, scafuribakery.com; Sunday, Tuesday-Saturday 6 AM-3 PM