Bittersweet Pastry Shop1114 West Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL.  773.929.1100

Bittersweet Pastry Shop is an extraordinary bakery/café that has graced Belmont Avenue for 20 years.  Hopefully my cousins at Tenenbaum Hardware were welcoming neighbors - having been a few doors down for decades themselves.  The street has seen tremendous growth and change, and these businesses have anchored the way.

Bittersweet’s original storefront was a fraction of the size, as was the menu.  Happily, the flavored shortbread cookies are still a staple.  Once upon a time, my friend Karen would stop at Bittersweet before work, arriving at Gelick Associates to announce she had “treats” for us to share.  Always the shortbread cookies, and always, indeed, a treat.

When I asked veteran store supervisor, Zaida, what the biggest sellers are today, she couldn’t be pinned down.

“We have so many signature cookies, pies, and cakes.  The linzers.  And the almond strawberry brulee.  The chocolate raspberry,” she said motioning toward the end of the case.  “For Dine Around we featured the clafouti.  The name is hard to remember, but it was popular because it can be for breakfast or dessert.”

And there you have it.  A fresh slice of history awaits you on West Belmont Avenue.

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