2524 W Chicago Ave.
On the border of Ukrainian Village on Chicago Ave., Shokolad is an oasis of baked goods and borscht. When we entered the bright, airy space on a Saturday afternoon, a group of regulars were chatting in Ukrainian and a few others sipped coffee with newspapers at the coffee bar. The menu boasts a variety of Ukrainian favorites like Ukrainian dumplings – varenyky – filled with cheese and potatoes ($8) and a classic borscht ($3.25 for a bowl). Those feeling more brunchy can opt for the cheese and blueberry crepes ($6.50).
However, we were hungry for an afternoon snack, and the dessert case at Shokolad looked amazing. The prices didn’t hurt either. Featured was a delicate Opera cake ($4.25), alongside chocolate-covered cheesecake lollipops ($1.25), which were the perfect portion for snacking on the go.
Cookies rounded out the dessert selections, and at only $0.50 a piece we felt we could sample a few varieties, including Raspberry and Apricot spritz and Raspberry crumble (see above). The best cookie was the chewy gingersnap sandwich with cream, speckled with rock sugar crystals. Shokolad’s melange of cozy American cafe and Ukrainian hangout really work well, and anyone in the area should drop by for brunch – or an afternoon snack.