If you’re reading this, you probably already know that in Chicago, we know how to eat. But it doesn’t stop after the last bite of pizza. If your idea of a nightcap is a sweet treat to balance out your deep dish, you’re in luck. We rounded up some of Chicago’s best desserts and where to find them.
Pie from Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits
Logan Square favorite Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits serves pie in many forms: breakfast quiches, warm pot pies, and, of course, dessert pies. You can choose from a variety of decadent flavors, like rainbow sherbet, milk and cookies, and key lime. And we know – mint chocolate can be a divisive flavor. But if anything could convince you, it’s Bang Bang Pie & Biscuit’s mint chip with Fernet (a liqueur) pie, a refreshing chocolatey-mint delight atop a chocolate graham cracker crust.
You can order a single slice and dine on the open-air patio, which is typically full of locals enjoying a sweet or savory bite. If you’d rather share with family and friends, you can pre-order a half-size or full-size pie to take home. Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits is open Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends. The restaurant is located at 2051 N. California Ave.
Chocolate Cake from Formento’s
You’re never far from a delicious bite in the West Loop, and dessert is no exception. One of the most beloved slices of cake in Chicago, the chocolate cake from Formento’s is a must-try dessert for a Windy City foodie. The cake boasts ten layers of dark chocolate mousse and decadent glaze, plus touches of crunchy hazelnut praline. And looks aren’t everything, but Formento’s doesn’t skimp on the presentation, either. A shiny coat of chocolate glaze sits on top and drips down the side of the slice and onto your plate.
One slice is big enough to share, but who could blame you if you want your own? Formento’s is open Monday through Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. It’s situated on one of Chicago’s hottest strips for eating and drinking at 925 W. Randolph St. in the Fulton Market District.
Pudding from Virtue Restaurant
For a sweet treat you’ll be dreaming of for days, visit Virtue Restaurant, a lauded Hyde Park restaurant serving Southern American fare. Try the beloved Millie’s puddin’, a sweet banana pudding with wafers and freshly made whipped cream. If you’re in the mood for something sweet and tangy, consider the lemon pound cake, which blends lemon and marshmallow flavors for a richly refreshing experience. And, of course, it’s hard to go wrong with red velvet cake, especially paired with its signature cream cheese icing.
If you love Virtue Restaurant, you’re not alone. The spot earned a place on the prestigious Michelin Bib Gourmand list in 2022, known for naming some of the city’s best restaurants. You can find Virtue Restaurant at 1462 E. 53rd St., and it’s open Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Cupcakes from Sweet Mandy B’s
Okay, so you ate so much pizza that you can hardly rise from your seat. But you didn’t eat so much that you can’t squeeze in dessert. Here’s an option that’s right around the corner from us at Pequods: local favorite Sweet Mandy B’s. This Lincoln Park staple delivers nostalgic American desserts, and none are as beloved as the cupcakes. It’s hard to resist the classic yellow cupcake, a moist, sprinkled vision with thick chocolate buttercream frosting. There’s also a long list of cookies, bars, cakes, and pies, with a few options for vegans, too.
You can grab one of the iconic cupcakes from Sweet Mandy B’s every day in Lincoln Park from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m at 1208 W. Webster Ave. And if you are in the mood for a trip downtown, there’s a second location in Streeterville at 254 E. Ontario St. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Ice Cream from Scoops
If you’re looking for some of the best ice cream cones on Chicago’s South Side, look no further than Scoops in Bridgeport. Usually the ice cream is the most important part, but at Scoops, the party starts with the cone. You can pick from a wide range of decorative and delicious cones with chocolate-coated rims coated in candy, sprinkles, cookie crumbs, and nuts. If you’re brave enough to risk a brain freeze, sip your ice cream with a retro-inspired milkshake or malt. Plus, there are plenty of frozen treats like sundaes and splits to share with friends or family.
While you’re there, consider checking out their ice cream cakes, which they can make fresh for your next family celebration. This neighborhood staple is open from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends. You can find Scoops at 608 W. 31st St.
Cake from Jennivee’s Bakery
When it’s time for a post-dinner sweet treat in Lakeview, stop at Jennivee’s Bakery, a quaint shop with a vast selection of rich cupcakes, cakes, and baked goods that blend Filipino and American sweets. With charmingly ornate decorative touches, the shop’s atmosphere is as sweet as its menu items. Available items may vary, but consider trying the traditional Filipino purple velvet cupcake, which gets its rich color from purple yams, or a slice of Brooklyn Blackout Cake, an extra-chocolatey cake with pudding on the inside and a hint of chocolate buttercream.
Jennivee’s Bakery is open until 11 p.m. most nights, so it’s a great spot for a late-night snack when you want something a little special. You can also order a custom-made cake for a special occasion, complete with detailed artwork and personalized details. When you’re ready to head over, check their website to learn what’s in stock. Jennivee’s Bakery is at 3301 N. Sheffield Ave., and it’s open 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday, and 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Monday.
We hope you and your sweet tooth enjoy this tour of Chicago desserts. If you have recommendations as additions to this list, contact us so we can do a taste test.