Photo by Sam Tucker

Scafuri Bakery is the living legacy of Luigi Scafuri and his daughter, Annette, who built their business in the Little Italy neighborhood that is now referred to as University Village. The family migrated from Calabria, Italy before moving to Chicago. Their business opened back in 1904 and has stayed within the family for five generations. Annette continued the business after her father passed away and retired when she was ninety years old. It is incredible to know that their recipes and everything-from-scratch methods continue from the past century. This storefront is a piece of Chicago’s history and a multigenerational cultural dedication. It’s also a beautiful space to visit, especially around the winter holidays. The window decorations remind me of Christmas movies and a flash from the past. Scafuri Bakery is truly a culinary gift for Chicago.

What makes me love this bakery is that their pastries have equally stolen my heart and broken it at the same time when I realize I ate all of them. They are most famous for their Italian cookies and cakes, but you shouldn’t overlook their other options, like their Biscotti di Noci (hazelnut) or lemon ricotta loaf bread. Their Cuccidati cookies were my first Italian fig cookie and  have forever changed my life. I also recommend the Pignoli (pine nut) and the tri-color cookies that remind me of Mexican polvorones (similarly tri-color with brown instead of green) cookies. They also serve coffee to accompany those lovely treats.  

There’s even a gluten-free menu that includes the coconut macaroons and pignoli (pine nut) cookies. Just make sure to have friends or an appetite when buying cookies because they only sell by the pound. You can also buy their assorted cookie pound for $18. If you’re hosting a gathering, I recommend purchasing their special for around $52, which includes two pounds of Italian cookies and a loaf of your choice—a great deal. If you’re looking for over twenty pounds of cookies, you can contact them directly for special pricing. Scafuri Bakery, which was also featured in 2015 BoSS, also ships nationally if you’re looking to wow a loved one or brighten someone’s day with some Chicago love!

Scafuri Bakery, 1337 W. Taylor St. Thursday–Friday, 8am–4pm; Saturday–Sunday, 7am–4pm. (312) 733-8881.

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