For holiday cakes and cookies, nobody does it better than the Mexican BomBon bakery in Pilsen

One of the most delightful things about the Pilsen neighborhood is the BomBon Bakery, 1508 W. 18th St., whose confections are what sweet tooth daydreams are made of. Cookies, cakes and candies galore!

Husband and wife owners, Luis Perea and Laura Cid-Perea, took a cue from classier and usually much smaller European bakeries and kept things simple by not adding tables.

This is strictly a pick up shop, although, trust me, you’ll slam half of what’s in your bag before you make it the door.

Chattering a mile a minute, giggling Mexican bakers skitter around the back kitchen whipping up huge batches of crunchy cookies, adorable tarts, exquisite custom made cakes and an astonishing array of mini tres leches (three milk) cakes. What a brilliant concept.

Instead of creating a giant tres leches and slicing it up, BomBon created miniature versions of the dessert in little silver pans. They have holed-out plastic tops perched on them, so the protruding fluffy whipped cream tickles your nose.

These cakes weren’t drenched in the three milks as most versions are. Instead, they are lighter and fluffier, with a deep homemade taste through and through. More like melt-in-your-mouth cake than heavy milk if you will.

The bulging display cases are loaded down with the most beautiful cakes you’ve ever seen. The El Cubano cake looks amazing. Lots of chocolate and coffee always works well together, don’t you think?

The petite apple tartlets were practically screaming my name, but I will have to save those treats for another day. A girl’s belly can only handle so much sugar in one outing. I thought I was gonna burst after a few bites of everything. But in the end honey, it’s all worth it. What else is there in life?

THE FINAL RAVE: I am still mad for the tres leches at nearby Kristoffer’s Cafe, but BomBon just has so much more variety. Try the amaretto.


DRINK IT: Skylark, 2149 S. Halsted St.
This Pilsen institution is the place to hang for some good indie tunes and a copious amount of cuba libres.

EAT IT: Taqueria El Milagro, 3050 W. 26th St.
I’ve heard their chile rellenos rival all the best in the city, but it’s the tamales (yes, they do have vegetarian ones) that keep the folks rolling back in. I mean, how can I ever try it all? Sometimes it just makes me want to cry.

DO IT: Caf? Jumping Bean, 1439 W. 18th St.
This super cute caf? allegedly has delicious vegetarian focaccia bread sandwiches, but it’s really the free wi-fi that counts.

GET CRAZY WITH IT: BomBon Caf?, 38 S. Ashland Ave.
The owners have taken the next leap and opened a full on, 30-seater caf? on Ashland Ave. Everything on the menu begs to be tried at least once.