Like cupcakes? Between food trucks and traditional bakeries, Chicago has nearly fifty places that specialize in creating these tasty treats. If you're in Chicago for a few days, it can be hard to track down the mobile versions or trek to the famous-to-locals spots. Fortunately there's a concentration of outstanding cupcakes within Chicago's Loop.
Sugar Bliss (115 North Wabash Avenue) is tucked away among the shops on Jeweler's Row. If I saved my pennies I could probably afford diamonds from the neighboring stores, but I spend my money on sweets here! Sugar Bliss features a daily menu of five cupcake flavors as well as stand-by favorites that appear every day. My week goes something like: Monday's = Strawberry Dream, Tuesday's = Cinnamon Carrot, Wednesday's = Lemon Drop...you get the idea. Go early in the day so you have the best selection!
Crumbs Bake Shop (303 West Madison) is a relative newcomer to the Chicago cupcake scene, and one of the first national chains to make an appearance. They offer a smörgåsbord of cupcake choices to customers. Since it can be hard to settle on one, I recommend the twelve-pack of mini-cupcakes that features their best-selling flavors. However, if one is all you can handle, then I say go for red raspberry!
The Cupcake Counter (229 West Madison) almost fades into the background along this stretch of Madison, but keep your eyes peeled for this tiny store. In the mornings this family-run store operates like a coffee shop, but don't be fooled! They're all about the frosting. In fact, if you can handle an infusion of sugar, buy a shot of the sweet stuff. They have typically offer around five flavors and only rotate one or two. I have fallen hard for their carrot cupcakes, though I've enjoyed them all.
This is only the frosted tip of sugary options available in the Loop. Keep an eye open for a cupcake truck or store-within-a-store cupcake spots to get your fix. Great cupcakes are not hard to find!