The L.A. Times called Sprinkles “the progenitor of the haute cupcake craze” after it set up shop in Beverly Hills in 2003. While a business that’s only eight years old might not qualify as an O.G. in most circles, consider that the cupcake boom didn’t erupt until a couple of years ago. But does first really mean best? In the eyes of the people (that’s you), apparently yes. There’s no shtick, no wacky flavors, no punk-rock vegan slant going on at Sprinkles—just fluffy little frosting-topped cakes in classic combos. Chicago is biting. 50 E Walton St (312-573-1600).
Other nominees Cookie Bar, Floriole Cafe & Bakery, La Boulangerie