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First Look: Loretta's Bake Shop And Cafe

By Molly Durham in Food on Mar 5, 2012 10:00PM

The newest bakery on the block is Loretta's Bake Shop and Cafe. Open since Feb. 21, they're only in their third week and are shelling out pastries, cakes and other baked goods in the West Loop.

Small-batch, single-serving pastries and desserts make up the majority of the options behind the counter, all of which can be paired with coffee. Some offerings on the rotating menu include: cinnamon rolls, brownies, crumb cakes, pies, bundt cakes, mini cookies (we saw peanut butter, oatmeal craisin and chocolate chip oatmeal), croissants with a side of jam, caramelized banana bread and hand pies (we saw blueberry, cherry and apple).

We tried their blueberry hand pie, which somehow tasted like it was stuffed with 3 times as many blueberries as could fit in it, as every fruit pastry should! Intensely fruity with a great thin, crisp crust, it's a great bargain at about $2.

The walls of the shop are lined with photos of the owner's mother, Loretta, the source of the bakery's name. Behind the counter is an open view of all of that baking, which makes it seem like you're visiting a kitchen rather than a store. Add to this the tiny interior of the bakery and you've got a very laid-back atmosphere.

Seating is very limited, with only about a dozen chairs. We recommend buying a treat from Loretta's then heading a few steps over to La Colombe and grabbing a cappuccino and a seat there.

Loretta's Bake Shop and Cafe is located at 939 W. Randolph St.