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A Gorgeous Space and Sumptuous Pastries at Floriole

By Anthony Todd in Food on Oct 25, 2010 6:00PM

We've been delinquent in visiting Floriole's new space, but during the summer we tend to visit Lincoln Park only on Saturdays for Green City Market. Since they have a booth at GCM, it seemed less important for us to visit the actual storefront to get our fix. Now that market season is winding down, and we needed a spot for a North Side lunch date, we stopped in to check things out.

The only word that comes to mind is wow. They have created one of the friendliest, airiest spaces of any cafe in Chicago. The 2-level space has plenty of seating, and giant windows let patrons get a view of the bakery in the back. Chalkboards abound, and viewing the pastry case is a religious experience. We dare you to read the menu without a strand of drool falling out of the corner of your mouth.

At first, we tried to hold back and only ordered a hot chocolate. We'd almost stopped ordering hot chocolate in cafes, after so many disappointments, but this one was surprising. Made from their homemade ganache, and with a dollop of fresh whipped cream on top, we downed the small size cup in about 4 gulps. After that, we had to go back for more.

Don't assume they only stock sweets. The sandwiches at Floriole are simple but well executed, and we're excited to try the quiches. All of your farmers market favorites are available in the pastry cases, and they offer the full spectrum of coffee and tea drinks. Chicago Mag named them the best bakery in Chicago, and the award is well deserved. Maybe if we're lucky, we'll get a chance to take pictures in their kitchen, but no matter what, we need to make up for lost time. Don't be surprised if you see us sitting right in front.