Closed! Enjoy the memories…
Nestled in the heart of Lakeview like a little bird in a blue-painted nest lies Chicago’s latest entrant into our local cupcake wars. Phoebe’s Cupcakes is a happy place, scented with daisies and vanilla and peppered with free wifi (pw: buttercream).
You walk in the door and immediately wonder, does Chicago really need another cupcake place?
True, there are no cupcake establishments within spitting distance of Phoebe’s. Someone might have to walk a good three, four blocks before satiating one’s cupcake craving. If you’re going to do that here, you might start with the vanilla cupcake. Vanilla tends to be the best cupcake for comparison between shops, plus it’s the best option we’ve tried at this bakery.
Their vanilla cupcake has an impressive buttercream frosting with the consistency of whipped cream. It was really amazing. Unfortunately, there was too much icing for the cake and too much sweetness for the palette. This was true of all their cupcakes. The salted caramel cupcake was heavy on the salt, the tiramisu too heavy on the espresso, and the red velvet lacked the richness of chocolate or cream cheese.
Phoebe’s is still evolving their cupcake presentation as well as the flow through the establishment. If you can tell how the line’s supposed to work, then you’re a better cupcake shopper than most. The first time we went in, the staff didn’t use gloves to serve or restock their supply. In fact, they didn’t even have a glass case between the raving cupcake hordes and the object of their desire. There’s a case now, but their use of gloves still appears sporadic. YMMV.
We’ll leave it to you to decide whether Phoebe’s will be able to compete in the finicky, crowded Chicago market. We think they have real competition from Molly’s, More Cupcakes, Swirlz, and even Southport Grocery. Love’em? Hate’em? We’d love to hear from you!
3327 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60657