Located on Sheffield Avenue in Lakeview is a gem of a cafe. Family owned and operated since 1994, Panes bakes all of its own bread on the premises — and it is delicious. Featuring a selection of sandwiches, salads, pastas, and pizzas, in addition to house made desserts, such as chocolate truffles, buckeyes, and cookies, Panes is perfect for a quick and casual breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You order at the counter and either sit at one of the tables in the small dining room, or take your food to go. Decor is a collection of kitschy knick-knacks, including tribal decor and a collection of items that pay homage to New England.
Sandwiches are served with potato chips, but the focus is on the incredibly fresh and flavorful bread that is lightly toasted and smells amazing. The Sunny California, a vegetarian sandwich, featuring spinach, avocado, cucumber, tomato, dijon mustard, and jack cheese melted on glorious sourdough bread, was the cure to a late lunch sandwich craving. The chicken club, served on sweet french bread, was warm and tasty. Unfortunately, we were too full after our sandwiches to try Panes’ special “monster” cookies, made from oats, chocolate chips, and m&m’s, but I will return to try it, along with more of Panes’ offerings, such as the portobello and pesto sandwich on tomato bread, Oaxacan pork loin with grilled onions, roasted cubanella peppers, and red pepper aioli, or the pollo diablo, spicy chicken with spicy mayo and pepper jack cheese.
Panes also offers breakfast and brunch, including breakfast sandwiches, egg scrambles, omelets, and french toast, and you can be sure I will be back to give brunch a try.
All sandwiches at Panes Bread Cafe hover around the $6.00 mark. However, it is cash-only, so be sure to hit the ATM before heading to Panes. Bring your cash; bring your appetite; and bring home a loaf of bread after your meal. This place is simply awesome.
3002 N. Sheffield Avenue, Chicago, IL