Despite what the name suggests, Coffee and… is more bakery than java stop: The week-old spot specializes in gluten-free foods (add it to the list). On offer are a mix of American and French pastries—madeleines, bacon-and-cheddar scones—as well as breads and sandwiches. They’re all baked daily in the back, and all without wheat.
The recipes come courtesy Tonyia Smith, a pastry chef raised by avid cooks and bakers. "I love food," she offers frankly. Her goal: "To give gluten-free eaters a lot of different options that taste great."
Smith pays tribute to her upbringing with a colossal, old-school photo that hangs above the pastry case. Pictured are family members anxiously waiting to dig into some cake. As for the bakery’s name, it’s a nod to Smith’s great-grandfather. In the 1920s he relocated to Chicago from the south, stumbled into a cafe with no menu, and upon hearing what everyone else was ordering ("coffee and"), did the same. The slang was common back then but the story stuck with Smith.
Coffee and… is located at 1500 Western Avenue (along the Pike Street Hillclimb) and open daily 6–6.