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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Friday, March 1

Gapers Block

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Andrew / February 13, 2006 12:10 PM

You know, since it's Valentine's Day tomorrow and all.

Mine is Bon Bon, up in Andersonville. They kick Vosges' ass.

printdude / February 13, 2006 12:14 PM

Johnny's Red Hots on S. Western

The Dogs is as sweet as can be!

winediva / February 13, 2006 12:23 PM

I LOVE Vosges! But Ethel's is a close second.

carrie / February 13, 2006 12:24 PM

Does Cold Stone count? The oatmeal cookie dough ice cream is to die for. Simply amazing. I think it's a summer-only flavor, but mark my words- I'm stocking up on it this summer. No more of this going in for only a cup, no no, I'm bringing some home with me so I can eat it all the time- breakfast, lunch and dinner- all ice cream, all the time.

Anon / February 13, 2006 12:32 PM

Bon Bon is excellent. I'll be stopping by there tonight after work. Perhaps I'll be buying chocolate for YOU!

Lody / February 13, 2006 12:50 PM

Anderson's in Richmond, IL... they've been around since 1919 and the family has the cutest little store and the BEST chocolate. Definitely worth the drive! (I drive up from Iowa when I'm home in Chicago to visit the family).

Weetabix Werner / February 13, 2006 1:04 PM

Any sweet shop where a big vat of Gummi bears sits for a long time, because stale, hardened Gummi bears turn out to be twenty times better than fresh ones!

Of course, you can always age your own bears at home, but you (and everyone passing through) need serious willpower for it to work.

Eamon / February 13, 2006 1:19 PM

Here's a random one: there's a Swedish deli in Andersonville that sells tons and tons of absolutely amazing cookies and candies, from marshmallow soft gingerbread cookies to tongue-shriveling extra salty licorice. Unbelievable stuff if your significant other isn't a huge chocolate fan. I think it's Wikstrom's.

karen / February 13, 2006 1:21 PM

I too enjoy Bon Bon.
Elizabeth the owner is awesome.
She makes her own chocolates.

Sonya / February 13, 2006 1:36 PM

Margies Candies in Humboldt Park makes the best ice cream I've ever tasted.

For birthday cakes, my favorite is Lutz Continental Cafe and Bakery in Ravenswood.

hey missy / February 13, 2006 2:06 PM

I was excited to try Vosges for the first time but ended up greatly disappointed. The chocolate is good, sure, but not good enough to warrant paying $2+ per small chocolate or $6 per bar. I think the flavors are too subtle (or more accurately, non-existent) even though the combinations are inventive and sound good in theory.

I'll have to check out this BonBon place. Pierre's bakeries are good for some tasty cakes!

Really? / February 13, 2006 2:12 PM

There's a Margie's in Humboldt Park now? I heard they were expanding to Ravenswood in addition to the original WP/Bucktown location on Western and Armitage, but it seems odd to open two new locations in such quick succession.

Staci / February 13, 2006 2:19 PM

I'm not from Wheaton, but I have a friend who is and when I visited her she always would treat me to a trip to The Little Popcorn Shop. It is a tiny store built into a breezeway between two buildings in downtown Wheaton. The walls are lined with bins of delicious candy and chocolates -- you squeeze through, taking what you want until your bag is full. At the back of the store you pay for your candy and can get delicious, hot, fresh-popped popcorn. It's the best place to get your sugar and salt fix.

Ann van Moxie / February 13, 2006 2:25 PM

BonBon in Andersonville is completely new to me. I will have to look this up. Back in the day, I had a job where I would get boxes and boxes of free Vosges because she was first starting out and she wanted a shop in the property I represented. I enjoyed them a great deal, but I don't think I could actually bring myself to pay for them at the prices they charge, because two bucks is a lot to spend if you're not sure you'll like a particular flavor.

These days I do a little candy making at home. Some truffles here and there, for which I use that stuff from San Francisco - the name escapes me at the moment. Or the nice organic stuff I find at Trader Joe's.

And I go nuts for bakeries. Poppyseed Coffeecake at Alliance, the chocolate bread at Red Hen, Sesame and Red Bean paste buns from the bakery in Chinatown whose name I never remember. Bakeries!

Robin / February 13, 2006 2:34 PM

Sweet Mandy B's
in Chicago
Pix Patisserie
in Portland
Magnolia Bakery in NYC

sparky / February 13, 2006 2:38 PM

Mitchell's Candies & Ice Cream
18211 Dixie Hwy.

Happen to know it's a fave of at least one WBEZ personality...

bam / February 13, 2006 2:45 PM

Belgian Chocolatier Piron on Main in Evanston. Yum!

toffeejunkie / February 13, 2006 2:46 PM

Terry's Toffee on Grand is my favorite...

Hal / February 13, 2006 2:50 PM

Windy City Sweets on Broadway in Boystown. Handmade chocolates and fudges, ice cream in the summer, and all sorts of candies. Mmmmm...

Deb O. / February 13, 2006 2:52 PM

1114 W. Belmont Ave.
Tel: (773) 929-1100

Leah / February 13, 2006 2:55 PM

For two years, I managed a sweets shop and really had a finger on the pulse of Chicago sweets. Now I just want a Snicker's bar.

However, a place I'm dying to try is Moonstruck on Michigan between South Water and Randolph.

amyc / February 13, 2006 2:58 PM

I'll second Bittersweet and third Margie's. I also love the bundt cakes and brownies at Taste of Heaven, and their wedding cake with fresh berries is out of this world.

getting fat just reading this / February 13, 2006 3:05 PM

For candy, I like it all.

For dessert, Taste of Heaven - Morningfields - Caffe Gelato - Original Rainbow Cone - Hot Chocolate - and if someone else is paying... Tru.


Naz / February 13, 2006 3:06 PM

Ditto Sweet Mandy B's. I've loved that place for years.

Alliance Bakery (on Division in Wicker), Sweet Thang (on North in Wicker), Sensational Bites (on Southport by Grace).

I'm more of a pastry/brownie/cake/ice cream person so I don't quite go in for the chocolate type stores. But that doesn't mean I don't like it.

I still haven't been to Bittersweet. Gotta remedy that.

jp / February 13, 2006 3:07 PM

To second Staci's recommendation: Yes, the Popcorn Shop in downtown Wheaton! Total childhood memories. We'd go down there as kids, rifle thru the wall of candy bins (the styrofoam-like UFOs filled with candy beads were my favorite) and then catch a movie at The Wheaton.

And for my adult, city-living sweets: I third Bittersweet.

practical / February 13, 2006 3:08 PM

Cost Plus World Market
- plenty of candy (and look over there, it's wine!)

- Cadbury's! I can see the candy aisle layout in my head...

- $1 8-packs of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups... and Cadbury's!

slb / February 13, 2006 3:19 PM

I also love bittersweet. for ice cream, i really like bobtail on broadway.

jtrain / February 13, 2006 3:24 PM

I go to the Treasure Island on Broadway to satisfy my cravings for British biscuits and lots of other cookies and chocolates from 'round the world.

I'd die without my Hob Nobs.

yum / February 13, 2006 3:27 PM

hazelnut apricot brownies from Alliance bakery are the best!

and moonstruck on Michigan is awesome, I recommend the cinnamon bun bonbon, it's not cheap but it's high quality, better than Vosges (to my unrefined palette)

also dessert crepes from La Creperie 2845 N Clark are always good.

duke / February 13, 2006 3:29 PM

The Bleeding Heart Bakery on Chicago, just west of Damen.

Yummy stuff made with organic/sustainable/regional/another buzzword here/etc. ingredients and a healthy does of that good ole DIY spirit!

eliina / February 13, 2006 3:32 PM

Mmm, I'm also a Bon Bon fan. The relatively new Sweet Occasions in Andersonville is also great if ice cream is your thing.

hey missy / February 13, 2006 3:34 PM

I forgot these:

-Letizia's in Wicker Park
-Pastry Hippo in Arlington Heights and montblanc across the street
-Bleeding Heart Bakery near Chicago and Damen (treats for vegans, too)
-Sweet Occasions for ice cream
-Feed for the best homemade pie ever
-Jewel for Nerds ropes

e_five / February 13, 2006 3:38 PM

The Nike shoe factory in Myanmyar.

Oh wait, you said SWEET shop...

Andrew / February 13, 2006 3:44 PM

I wondered how long it would take for that joke to show up, e_five. :)

appopt / February 13, 2006 3:54 PM

And we all wondered how long it would take Andrew to wonder how long it would take for that joke to show up. Guess some things are worth waiting for.

Shylo / February 13, 2006 4:24 PM

You know, I don't really dig the Moonstruck at Mich and Wacker. It's very cute inside, but the chocolate isn't fresh-fresh like is is from Vosges or (even better) bon bon. Plus, it's just not as interesting as Vosges. But if you need a place to take out-of-towners between Mag Mile shopping and the Art Institute, Moonstruck would be a good place.

Kitchen Chicago (at the Francisco Stop) has a good selection from Blue Cat, a new chocolatier. KC also just has a good selection of yummy things from many area caterers.

fluffy / February 13, 2006 4:41 PM

I like the cakes at Bake for Me, I love it when River North smells like a giant brownie, thanks to Blommers, and I plan on getting my boyfriend a little something from Alliance Bakery for Valentine's Day.

And I love Dulcelandia!

no one in particular / February 13, 2006 4:43 PM

Only one mention for Piron in Evanston?!

This is the place I head to for quality chocolate. The truffles are just simply wonderful. Worth the long wait in line during every holiday (even in the cold).

kate / February 13, 2006 6:04 PM

I'm not really into chocolate but I do love me some cupcakes. Anyone have a mind-blowing cupcake joint (this might be called "a bakery" to some) to recommend?
As far as candies: I highly recommend the big chewy Sweet Tarts. My lord - they are perfection. Sour Skittles, Smarties, Spree, Shock Tarts... I could go on and on here...

Bill / February 13, 2006 6:11 PM

i like dinkels on lincoln

Cudas24 / February 13, 2006 6:33 PM

There is a local joint down the street and around the corner, ASHBY'S. They have some really good ice cream. We go there after the kids YMCA soccer games. It's great !!!

WholePaycheck / February 13, 2006 6:53 PM

--Whole Foods' bakeries
--Taste of Heaven has a nice interior, but I find their baked goods to be overrated

Megan H / February 13, 2006 8:13 PM

Bennison's in Evanston has the best black-and-white cookies west of the Big Apple... "Two races of flavor living side by side in harmony!"

All their other stuff, made under the auspices of World Baking Championship team member Jory Downer, is pretty great too.

John / February 13, 2006 10:26 PM

In the 1960s there was a tiny penny candy store on 63rd and Hamlin called Kelly's, owned by elderly Irish immigrants Mr. and Mrs. Kelly. Though 98% of their business was schoolchildren, they didn't like kids, and if you gave them guff Mrs. Kelly showed you the door at the end of a broomstick.

daruma / February 13, 2006 11:26 PM

Nobody said The Fudge Pot on Wells St in Old Town? I know that's what I'll be getting for V-day!

spook / February 13, 2006 11:43 PM

Old Man Brand who use to sell Fun Dip, "Nah laters aka Now and Laters, Lemon heads, Wine Candy aka Jolly Ranchers,Blow Pops, Bubble Yum, etc,out of his basement apartment back in the day

Carlotta / February 14, 2006 1:10 AM

Haven't been there in several years, but yes, Piron in Evanston is truly wonderful.

Proximity counts for a lot, though, so I'm voting for House of Fine Chocolate on Broadway near Barry. Delicious butter cookies, and very affordable slices of tortes which can be carted over to Intelligentsia, just a few doors north.

YAJ / February 14, 2006 6:39 AM

My favorites are anywhere I can get Blue Cat chocolates!

Lil Graham / February 14, 2006 8:55 AM

My brother beat the hell out of a guy behind Piron one weekend. he's from rockford

dragonflypurity / February 14, 2006 9:43 AM

It's a tie between Margies on Armitage & Grand and Roeser's Bakery on North Ave and Kedzie.


Naz / February 14, 2006 9:48 AM

Kate - for cupcakes, check out Sensational Bites, a swell little bakery and desert shop on Southport at Grace (next to the Music Box). Thay have winter hours right now so they're not open too late (I believe they're closing at 7 these days).

paul / February 14, 2006 10:18 AM

Evanston wins sweet points for Piron, Bennison's (Chocolate croissiants!!) and Tag's bakery on Central. Ethel's on Davis just can't replace what was Marly's (fancy expensive chocolate replaced by a Starbucks-style, chocolate cafe).

Sad that the old bakery on main closed though.

Emerson Dameron / February 14, 2006 10:23 AM

I'd be untruthful if I didn't umpth Margie's, but Bon Bon gets my seal, too. The treats are fantastic and the owner is effortlessly funny. I'm surprised no one's mentioned Ann Sather. You won't see Daley's face on a dartboard there, but I always dug the baked goods.

jonn / February 14, 2006 11:00 AM

Windy City Treats.

NSH / February 14, 2006 1:05 PM

Cupid Candies on 95th & Cicero

STINKSTAR / February 14, 2006 3:26 PM

Unrelated but this comment is about the HB4907 AKA The Boub Bill
WTF? Weren't the roadways/highways/tollways constructed for automobiles? if some dumbass wants to ride his bike in traffic and gets hit then it should be the bike riders responsibility for fixing the damaged car caused by his own stupidity.

methinks / February 14, 2006 4:19 PM

...Someone is trying to troll Andrew into starting a new Fuel topic.

albert / February 14, 2006 5:44 PM


Nothing beats Little Debbie.

National J. / February 14, 2006 5:45 PM

OK, I second the Terry's Toffee on Grand by Aberdeen. Lavender Vanilla? Sweet Jesus! I cleaned out my valentine's box of it today at work. We also plan to use it as favors for our upcoming nuptuals -- they can print custom designs on the candy with colored cocoa butter.

Also, Terry himself is quite the charming fella.

Jaye / February 14, 2006 5:56 PM

honestly, the place where i enjoy the chocolate (and the price) the most is aldi's - i am nibbling on some milk chocolate w almonds at this very moment.

a second is runner up is wholefoods.

but really, i like vosge's for the experiment in flavors, godiva because it's just very traditional.

but as far as actual shop..ethel's on michigan ave is cool ..its a great place to sit and chill when the tourist and suburbanites are not taking over the place

cory / February 15, 2006 8:43 AM

Must second Sweet Occasions on Clark near Charlie's Ale House in Andersonville, and near the Damen Brown Line stop in Ravenswood. And I think one in Wrigleyville, too. Owners Andy and John are just really nice people.

meg-0 / February 15, 2006 9:34 AM

Cafe Selmarie in Lincoln Square...a fun little secret that will help you beat the crowds and save a little cash is that you can get a day old pasty or cake from the fridge (just as tasty) for about 2 dollars less and eat it at the counter (they will give you utensils) while people wait (and wait...) to sit down at a table.
In the summer, it is nice to take your treat outside into the plaza and eat it with your fingers just like all the little kids are doing.

Ann-Marie / February 15, 2006 10:00 AM

A secret place called "Flavors on Avers" is the last old time sweet shop in this town. It is run by some people with Irish accents. They sell candy and ice cream. It is right across the street from a school, so it gets very crowded around 3 o'clock. It is very simple, warm, well decorated; a good treat place. On Avers b/w Montrose and Wilson.

If you are in the northern suburbs during the summer, do not miss the chance to eat Homer's home made peach ice cream. If you are there on 4th of July, stop by our table and say hello.

Peggy / March 29, 2009 10:35 AM

Sweet Escapes Eats & Treats located on the southwest side of Chicago...great tasting chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes...Wedding cupcakes too!!

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