Best Bakery With a Cute Patio | Best of Chicago 2012 | Food & Drink | Chicago Reader

Best Bakery With a Cute Patio

Fritz Pastry

Critics' Picks

The bar patio may be the go-to summer destination for all right-drinking people, but you'll find a runner-up in the bakery patio, where it's more socially acceptable to loiter early in the day. (It's 8 AM somewhere!) Fritz has got a cute one: a long, narrow pocket between buildings, with tables, good light, and attractive people working on laptops. It's a fine spot to enjoy the embarrassment of killer pastries the bakery churns out. When I visited I overlooked the fact of a croissant filled with goat cheese, raspberry jam, and rosemary (regrets, I've had a few . . .); the plain croissant, more bready than flaky, was rich and satisfyingly buttery. Chef James Gray also does right by vegan doughnuts, which are dense and chewy and topped with things like a bright raspberry jam glaze or a crust of crushed fruity cereal (on Saturdays there's a version with bacon, as well as a fearsome-sounding Samoa doughnut), and a deeply flavorful chocolate cake with salted caramel glaze. Fact: there is nothing wrong with eating cake at 8 AM.

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