Cheesecake

Not that we needed an excuse, but July 30 is National Cheesecake Day, which means we're diving into baked cream, eggs and sugar with added enthusiasm for the rest of July. Would you like to join us? Of course you would. If you're in Chicago and have an unabashed passion for dessert, follow us towards some of the city's best spots for cheesecake.

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Eli's Cheesecake (Multiple Locations)

Eli's Chessecake, Turtle

You can't go wrong with pecans, caramel and chocolate. Go ahead and try, we dare you. The Totally Truffle Cheesecake at Eli's is slice of confection coated bliss that - when consumed - lights up your brain's pleasure center like a Japanese firework festival. Eli's is celebrating National Cheesecake Day with a week's worth of activities at Eli's Cheesecake World, the Eli's Cheesecake Kiosk at O'Hare Airport and with Eli's Cheesecake Mobile. For more information, click here.

Mindy's Hot Chocolate (1747 N. Damen Ave.)

Hot Chocolate

With a name like Mindy's Hot Chocolate, the sweet stuffs gotta be good - and this restaurant's dessert menu reads like a final meal request from the Cookie Monster. While it's only July, the Pumpkin Cheesecake is always in season and the chocolate soufflé, made with salted caramel ice cream, is pretty worthwhile too, obviously.

Sweet Mandy B's (1208 W. Webster Ave.)

Sweet Mandy B's

Sweet Mandy B's is Chicago's scrumptious precursor to the gourmet cupcake fad, opening in 2002 and, 11 years later, becoming the city's go-to spot for dessert. This joint is a staple in the wedding planning process, but their cakes are just as good sans matrimony. In fact, you'll probably fall deeper in love with their Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake than that guy you're sharing a futon with. If you like it, then you better put a ring on it. Beyoncé's words, our sentiment, so bring a diamond to the bakery.

Bittersweet Pastry Shop & Café (114 W. Belmont Ave.)

Bittersweet Pastry Shop & Café is the best bakery in the Chicago that you (probably) don't know about. The storefront's unassuming and its Lakeview location is a bit off the beaten path, but their Red Velvet Cupcakes are worth the coronary and the cheesecake is so deliciously dense that a single slice weighs as much as a truck wheel. Forget mugs or t-shirts, the best souvenir you can bring home from Chicago is a box full of pastries. If you have space in your luggage, this place will happily fill it out with the good stuff.

Bang Bang Pie Shop (2051 N. California Ave.)

Bang Bang Pie Shop

The smells of Bang Bang Pie Shop are a welcomed greeting when stepping off of the California Blue Line stop. It's basically melted butter meets warm filling, with a touch of diesel from a passing truck. Perfection. We recommend going with a group and trying a bit of everything, but the biscuits - while not cheesecake related - are a must. We're only looking out for you.

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