At the Julius Meinl Patisserie on Southport and Irving Park you are welcomed with the mouth-watering scent of cookies, croissants, and cakes, and the sight of these beautiful, intricate pastries being constructed!
Julius Meinl, the Austrian coffee roaster, opened on US soil (exclusively in Chicago) seven years ago. This European coffee house makes all their pastries. The Patisserie on Irving Park is responsible for creating all the tasty treats for all three Chicago locations.
There is a wide variety of pastries in the Patisserie. This is a great place to stop on the way to work or an early weekend morning to get coffee and a wonderful breakfast pastry. The Danishes which they make in-house are flaky, buttery and amazing. They feature a raspberry-topfen Danish (topfen being a sweetened cheese) and a blueberry-almond Danish (filled with their unbelievable almond cream). Aside from danishes there are scones and countless croissants. Check out their almond croissant – it is outstanding.
As for cakes, you are encouraged to pre-order whole cakes, though they usually have a few on-hand if you’re in a bind. They always carry many slices available to eat at the front bar or take with you for an after dinner treat. The Esterhazy served at room temperature is mind blowing! This is a very traditional Eastern European cake consisting of hazelnut cream layered between hazelnut dacquoise. There are usually some delicious chocolate cakes as well, like their chocolate-hazelnut tart and the super rich chocolate decadence cake.
If you are looking for something savory and more substantial the Patisserie also serves a few sandwiches. They have a ham and cheese croissant, a bacon-cheddar scone, and two baguettes. The turkey and Swiss cheese baguette is fantastic. Their turkey is fresh roasted in-house. The second baguette is a roasted tomato, also very tasty, and adorably packaged. The baguettes come wrapped delicately in white parchment paper and tied with cooking twine.
With full pane glass windows to the street you can watch these chefs assemble each of these treats! There is also a window inside the Patisserie coffee bar that peaks into the kitchen. So make sure you stop by for a quick treat when you’re on-the-go or sit at the counter and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the Julius Meinl pastry chefs hard at work.
*Carolyn Minor is a server at Julius Meinl in Chicago