Ever since I came back from abroad, life has been a bit hectic, but Andrew and I have managed to find a quick and delicious place for brunch in the heart of Chicago. In fact, we loved Hendrickx Belgian Bakery so much that we’ve been going back every single weekend! First, let me tell you about their bread.
This is the best part about the bakery in my opinion. The crunchy crusted and spongy centered country bread they make in gigantic loaves is definitely worth the short trek up Michigan Avenue. The bread is used for their wide selection of simple yet delicious sandwiches (Figure 1).
And even better, they give you bread when you order a soup or salad (Figure 2)! The salads are fresh greens with sides that consist of European ingredients, and the vegetable soups (zucchini/squash, asparagus, etc.) leave you wanting more as a result of their light and creamy textures.
Aside from their bread, Hendrickx Belgian Bakery produces some of the best European pastries in Chicago.
Word on the street is that the best chocolate croissants (Figure 3) are made here. Well, as a chocolate croissant lover, I had to try it. I enjoyed it, but it did leave me a bit nostalgic of my days in Europe (especially Switzerland) as it was not the light and airy croissant I was expecting. Instead, it was dense and heavy. At least the chocolate inside was perfect!
Belgian Bakery of course also has Liège waffles (Figure 4) - those dense waffles without edges that are caramelized on the outside. It was just how I remembered while I was in Brussels.
And lastly, the best pastry: macarons. I love love love macarons! The best macarons I’ve ever had were from the world-famous Sprüngli Confiseries sprinkled around Switzerland. But I must say that the macarons (Figure 5) at Belgian Bakery are almost on par with the Swiss ones! The ganaches inside each and every one brings out the individual flavors, whether it is jasmine tea or passionfruit. My favorite, though, is by far the lemon macaron.
- Go early. When they sell out, they sell out.
- Get a loaf of their amazing country bread to go!
- If you want macarons, go early.