Kid-friendly cupcake shops

More Cupcakes

Critics' pick

No cupcake has ever tasted quite like the BLT concoction at this tiny Gold Coast cupcakery: Sweet cake is filled with salty pieces of bacon, smeared with a savory ranch “icing” and topped with fresh tomato. It’s jarring at first, but it works so well that it’s perhaps the most convincing proof that cupcakes can swing both ways. Showcased in a glass display, the rotating selection (including classics like red velvet and chocolate) looks like art—because it is.

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Gold Coast

Sweet Mandy B’s

They had us at hello, those dreamy, creamy cupcakes. (Us and every other Chicagoan with taste buds.) This sweet-as-can-be little bakeshop may have cornered the local market with its simple little chocolate and yellow cakes slathered in a colorful array of buttercreams, but there’s much more to salivate over here. We like the puddings (butterscotch, chocolate, banana with Nilla wafers), the crispy, big-as-your-head cookies, the seasonal fruit crisps, the whoopie pies. We haven’t found a dud here yet.

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Lincoln Park

Cookie monsters?

An Andersonville bakery welcomes kids, but not their childlike behavior Follow us           In this age of Nanny 911, everyone has an opinion about how kids should behave in restaurants, grocery stores—even their own homes—and how much parents are to blame for wanderers, screamers and headbangers. One Andersonville bakery owner, fed up with childish antics in his shop, posted a sign earlier this year on his door that has sparked controversy. Positioned at kid height and decorated with playful kid-sized handprints, it reads: Children of all ages have to behave and use their indoor voices when they come to A Taste of Heaven. "Kids were out of control—climbing the pipes, running in circles," says Dan McCauley, who moved his 14-year-old bakery/cafe to a heavily family-trafficked stretch of Clark Street two years ago. "I saw couples and singles leaving because of the noise. I know it isn't easy being a parent—I'm one of seven—but parents don't seem to want the job of parenting." The sign has created a gulf filled with resentment and ill will between patrons with kids and those without. McCauley says more than 30 calls have come in since the sign went up in January from people complaining it conveys an attitude that is antifamily and anticommunity. Other customers have been pleased with McCauley's willingness to take a stand. "It is a kid-friendly place," insists Lise Helene, an architect who lives in the neighborhood and does not have kids. "Parents just need to monitor their kid

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Black Dog Gelato

After peddling her gelato all over town to the city's best chefs and markets, Jessie Oloroso found a fitting home for her first storefront—the Ukrainian Village space that previously housed gelato shop Piccolo. There, she lures folks with boundary-pushing scoops of gelato such as avocado-cinnamon and sesame-fig-chocolate chip. The mish-mash of tattooed bike-peddlers and stroller-pushing locals tends to sample plenty before settling, giving you more time to decide between a simple cup or a cone with a refreshing iced Turkish coffee on the side.

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Ukrainian Village

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