My dear friend Leslie alerted me about this bakery when she found out I was going to Chicago. Her friend Sandra Holl had just opened Floriole Cafe & Bakery in the Lincoln Park section of Chicago, and she urged me to make a visit.
Sandra and her husband had a supportive following through the farmer's market grapevine for years, selling their baked goods in Chicago. They finally pulled the trigger and opened Floriole in April-- a HUGE two-story, airy, brick and mortar space full of light and Frenchie charm (think country farmhouse in Provence).
Le petit dejeuner.
Sandra and her staff make EVERYTHING from scratch, even their pot of yogurt with jam! So creamy and delicious.
Their croissant was off the scale-- it's SO HARD to find a good croissant in the States, that when I do, I tend to gorge on a few in one sitting. The croissant is my measure stick as to how I rate bakeries. Floriole's was buttery, flakey, with crispy (but not burnt!) edges. Perfection. This jambon, fromage et moutarde-filled croissant was OUT OF CONTROL.
Sandra was kind enough to give us a tour of the kitchen. Again, it was SO HUGE. It must be a dream-come-true for her, to have such a grand work space for her creations.
Temperature controlled bread-making room.
Upstairs. Great party space.
Window into the kitchen.
Intelligentsia in the espresso machine. Keepin it local.
Wishing Floriole and Sandra many years of success! Please start a mail order service for your croissants! Maybe you can eventually open a satellite location in the Bay Area?
Next time, I MUST try your ramp sandwich.
FLORIOLE CAFE & BAKERY
1220 W Webster Avenue
Top photo by Matt K.