In the ethnically diverse neighborhood of Albany Park, sugar addicts jonesin' for a pistachio baklava fix should have no trouble fulfilling their craving. Nestled conveniently between a coin laundry and a Middle Eastern restaurant in a strip of small businesses just south of the Brown Line's Kedzie station, Nazareth Sweets has been dishing out top-notch goodies for a little over two years.
Filled with neatly arranged delights of all shapes and sizes, the racks of dainty, baked goodness will make any sugarholic's jaw drop. There's something for every taste bud here, including standard Mediterranean pastries like sweet fingers and baklava (with either pistachio or cashew), pre-wrapped chocolates and dates, cookies with soft icing swirls, honey-dipped fried dough and maamoul (candy-covered almonds). And with four container sizes to choose from — half-, one-, two-, and four-pound — there's also something for every wallet. Though the prices range from $4.50 to $8 a pound for specific items, you can independently select an assorted container of treats for only $6.50 a pound. Everything in the store is available sugar-free, so you don't have to feel too guilty about accepting the free samples handed out by the friendly staff.
While the decor—three tiny tables sandwiched between a water cooler and a miniature fridge—underwhelms, the goods lining the glass cases along the entire left-hand side of the shop will ensure you leave with positive memories. "From Nature to Your Table," proclaims the sticker affixed to the handy to-go crates. Who knew nature could taste so good?
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Zach Freeman