Chicago >Food & Dining >
Bakeries >Bittersweet Pastry Shop & Cafe
1114 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL | Directions 6065741.939971 -87.657271
Tuesday To Friday From 07:00 AM To 07:00 PM Saturday From 08:00 AM To 07:00 PM Sunday From 08:00 AM To 06:00 PM
Neighborhoods: North Side, Lakeview
A dizzying array of sweets and a cute little cafe. Try the croissant.
A beautiful and tasteful creation! – Last week was our 25th wedding anniversary; I had placed an order with another bakery I had used for 23 years. Saturday morning that bakery called and said they had dropped the cake and wouldn't be able to replace it.
I called my son, Eric, whose girlfriend Lisa, uses Bittersweet frequently. He made a 3 way conference call to the owner who promised that by 5PM I would have an anniversary cake.
She created a beautiful cake, fresh spray of flowers adorned the top. The cake was chocolate, with creme brulee filling and white butter cream frosting.
Our anniversary dinner was aboard the dinner cruise ship the Odyssey at Navy Pier. Our dinner guests and those seated near by ooh'd and aaahh'd as the cake was wheeled to the table. The cake was not only beautiful, but the flavors blended beautifully as well, truly a taste sensation not to be forgotten.
I want to thank the owner and staff for personally rescuing our anniversary dinner party. Without you it would have just been dinner.
Thank you again for your hard work; you are the best of the best.
Bittersweet is great treat! – I'm finding some of the negative reviews of Bittersweet---at least with regards to the bakery goods--- to be quite off the mark. Bittersweet is one of those small bakery/cafe's that make you feel as though you've just walked into Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory! There are just so many different, decadent treats to choose from! We got our wedding cake from Bittersweet---and guests still comment about how fresh and scrumptous that cake really was. As a result---I've been getting all of our family birthday cakes from Bittersweet for the last four years! Not to mention the various selections of cookies, brownies, custards, breads---and any type of sweet treat that one's heart desires. I recommend Bittersweet Bakery to any and all seeking a place to satisfy a sweet tooth!
Bitterseet Bakery and Cafe dissappoints – This cafe/ bakery is very clean and pleasing to the eye, however we went there for dinner and ordered a roast beef sandwich and they substituded the multigrain bread that was supposed to be served in with day old white bread without even a word or choice in the matter. For a bakery that is really bad, we had high expectations. Won't go back
Avoid the French Macaroons! – After spending the last few years living in London and becoming addicted to the macaroons in the London branches of Laduree and La Maison du Chocolat and the numerous patisseries that sell them in Paris, I decided to look for them upon my move to Chicago. I tried them at Bittersweet and they were the WORST macaroons I have ever had. I also tried some of their tarts. awful! They need to send their pastry chefs to France to truly learn the art of making this extremely difficult pastries. However, there is a silver lining for Chicago, I then went to Vanille Patisserie on Clyborne and tried them there. They were phenomenal!! The chef is french and has brought the art of french pastries to Chicago. I wish this store had a more visible location and seating like Bittersweet, because it would then have the atmosphere that Bittersweet has but would have the wonderful pastries that Bittersweet lacks.
NOT recommended for cakes – I ordered a birthday cake here and I agree while the cake was very pretty on the outside, it was very dry and tasteless on the inside. The icing tasted like paste, it had no flavor. The chocolate cake was dry and not enjoyable. I asked for fresh strawberries on the inside of the cake and I was disappointed when I got little chunks of strawberries in the strawberry gel, exactly what I didn't want. We ended up throwing most of this cake away and eating a deliciously moist cake from Jewel. Very disappointed and I would not go back here.
, florist, etc.) but when we received a peach tart from Bittersweet, i found my new sweet supplier...since then have ordered cakes for special – Suburb to city without recommended sources, (dry cleaner, florist, etc.) but when we received a peach tart from Bittersweet..i found my new sweet supplier...since that first tart, i have ordered over the phone and in person , pastries for all occasions...the wait staff is very knowledgeble and always come up (patiently) with good ideas when i start to hem and haw over decisions...to my great joy they even serve in a lovely cafe, wonderful tasting and creative meals....no more suburbs..hello Bittersweet
Dissappointing – Cake was beautiful at first glance but after specifiying that I was looking for a dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate frosting, I learned that they have to coat the cake with some gooey white stuff in before adding the dark chocolate ganache icing and the white showed through the icing. Plus the cake was very dry and tasteless. The dark chocolate filling between the layers was pretty good but not worth the effort to maul a piece of cake just to get to the small sliver of "good stuff." It was dissappointing. to say the least, to pay $130 for a cake with the bulk of it ending up in the trash.
Numerous guests said it was the best cake they?ve ever had – Everything from the tasting to the last bite went really well. We had a quick scare when they called us to tell us the original icing we had was having a problem, but they sorted things out and it looked perfect when it arrived. We requested a slightly different cake with a light yellow (I forget the name?wife would know) cake on top and a cheese cake layered under. We had numerous people tell us it was the best cake they?ve ever had. Thank you VERY much!
Delicious – I decided to visit Bittersweet (it's close to where I'm visiting friends) after a good review in Chicago magazine. I was a little concerned by some bad reviews I read here, but actually I had a really nice experience. I was there around 2 pm, when there were about five others at the counter also. It's a nice shop, though not in the most upscale neighborhood (for example, I passed a lot of ummmm . . . "adult" shops and "We Call the Police" signs in store windows on the way there). I spent a few minutes looking around -- lots of delicious pastries. They have a system where you can take numbers and wait your turn, but no one was doing that as there were (as I said) only a few of us in line. A previous reviewer here mentioned the tables being close together. I'd estimate (eyeball) the table spacing as being almost two feet apart. It didn't seem cramped to me. My server was excellent: pleasant, patient with me the newbie, and friendly. In fact she seemed like she'd just read a nasty review on here about service and was DETERMINED to prove it wrong. She even brought up the weather (it was a lovely day) when there was a slight lull in my asking her questions about the food (which I did a lot of, though a little worried I was taking too much of her time). I got the pistachio French macaroon and a burned baked butter custard with incredibly fresh raspberries on top -- both absolutely delicious. The ice cream wasn't particularly outstanding (they had a roasted banana ice cream and then just ordinary flavors). Here's my recommendation: get pastries to go, and definitely sample the fruit tarts. Also, don't go during peak times. There are tables inside, but also benches outside (though again, not the nicest neighborhood). The #77 Belmont bus stops almost right outside Bittersweet. This is not the best bakery I've ever been to, nor is it an indispensible "Chicago experience," but I certainly recommend going if you're nearby and looking for something sweet.
Bad tasting experience – I had high expectations from Bittersweet, after reading glowing review upon glowing review about their wedding cakes. After going in for a tasting, I feel fairly disappointed. I think perhaps they are getting to the point of having so much business that they don't need to provide friendly and helpful customer service anymore? It seemed to me that they really didn't want our business. Upon being greeted by the woman who was facilitating our cake tasting, we were told (AWKWARDLY) that I was the first pregnant bride she had ever dealt with. Nice opening, huh? With little fanfare, we were left with a pile of photo albums of cakes, a couple plates of plain cake squares, a platter of fillings, and instructions to taste different combinations and decide what we liked. Now, I'm not one for sales pitch, but the assumption seemed to be that we were there, therefore we had already decided we wanted a cake from Bittersweet, therefore we could be processed like cattle (and sure enough, there were two other tables of cattle going through the same experience while we were there). No discussion of the bakery, what they felt distinguished them from other bakeries, what made their cakes special or unique... And when we took more than 10 minutes to discuss the combinations of flavors that we liked, we felt very much like we were wearing on the woman's patience. Now, in her defense, we had shown up 10-15 minutes late (we called ahead to warn them), and perhaps by doing so, we really threw off their schedule; however, we feel we gave a consistent impression that we were willing to wait as long as was needed for service, in order to avoid inconveniencing others by our lateness. There was no mention of free delivery of the cake, which was quoted at more than $400 (for a cake to serve 70) plus tax and $35 delivery. I don't know, though the cake and fillings were good, and some of the example photographs were stunning, the whole experience really left a bad taste in our mouths.
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of Bittersweet Pastry Shop & Cafe on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.