Our first stop was Sensational Bites (located at 3751 N. Southport Ave), and yes, it actually was sensational. The cupcakes at SB (yeah, we're on that kind of basis) were my second favorite in all of Chicago. The shop was super cute and perfect for the freezing cold (um, it was 0 degrees) snowy weather. SB had a huge selection of all kinds of baked goods, including tons of cookies and cupcakes. Beth and I sat in the shop for a while, eating cupcakes, sipping on coffee, and warming up. The cupcakes were perfectly sweet and the presentation was beautiful. Amazing start to our crawl.
Sensational Bites on Southport.
Vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting $1.65
Chocolate peanut butter cupcake $1.75
And they get extra points for having Patriots cookies
Our next stop was Southport Grocery (located at 3552 N. Southport Ave.), an adorable little gourmet store/cafe/bakery. We spent a while just browsing the store, which is filled with gourmet food, books, and prepared foods. The cafe looked like a great place to lunch, but we only had cupcakes on our mind. So we picked up two and brought them home for later. They only had vanilla and chocolate, so if you are in the market for variety, Southport Grocery probably isn't the cupcake place for you. Also, they're not fancy-looking; just your basic cupcake. They tasted good, but weren't our faves; the cake tasted a bit too much like corn bread and the frosting was super sweet.
Southport Grocery and Cafe
Chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting $2.00
Saturday was a new day and we had renewed appetites for cupcakes. Our first stop was Swirlz (located at 705 W. Belden). This shop is tiny and has a huge case just filled with all kinds of cupcakes. I love the fact that the cupcakes say "happy" on them. Swirlz also has lots of cupcake merchandise and I snagged an over-sized coffee mug that says, "Cupcakes make people happy." Yes, they do. I'm still mad at myself for not getting a t-shirt, too. Again, the cake part of the cupcake was a little too much like cornbread, but I would definitely go back to Swirlz. They have a huge selection, including a daily "surprise" cupcake. We tried the mint grasshopper and it was delicious.
Image from Planet99
Vanilla with vanilla buttercream frosting $3.00
Chocolate with vanilla buttercream frosting $3.00
Mint grasshopper surprise cupcake $3.00
While en route from one cupcake place to the next, I happened to see a giant blue and orange sign out of the corner of my eye. "Cupcakes...cupcakes...." I started stuttering. "Why isn't that on our list??" Adam swerved the car over, parked (much easier to do in Chicago than in Boston) and thus we found my favorite cupcake place in Chicago. Molly's Cupcakes (located at 2536 North Clark St.) has a fun, youthful atmosphere. It's a pretty big shop and has vintage toys decorating the walls and retro board games for you to play while you eat your cupcakes off of grandma's mismatched china with real silverware. There's a bar area where you can sit on giant wooden swings. And there's even an area where you can add toppings and decoration to your cupcakes. The cupcakes were the PERFECT amount of sweet and the frosting just melted in my mouth. The kind of cupcake that just makes you smile with every bite. They definitely weren't the prettiest of cupcakes, but maybe we could have remedied that if we added more decorations on our own.
Vanilla with vanilla buttercream frosting $2.00
Swing Seats at Molly's
Your cupcake crawlers loving Molly's
Image from Cookie magazine
Warning: after completing our cupcake crawl, I didn't even want to think about cupcakes for a month straight, so be prepared. It was so worth it, though. And I think I'm finally ready to gear up for the Boston cupcake crawl (as soon as Beth and Adam get here). Boston, get your cupcakes ready for us.