Treats at Fabcakes

Heart-shaped red velvet cakes filled with mascarpone cheese at Fabcakes in River North

A new River North bakery serving cakes, pastries, tarts and other goodies opened its doors in early February. Fabcakes (714 N Wells St. 312-397-3300) is helmed by Fabiola Tyrawa, a baking enthusiast-turned-business owner whom the bakery is named after.

Tyrawa, who is from Poland, doesn’t have a standard menu of treats but puts out pastries inspired by available ingredients and the seasons. Favorites include heart-shaped red velvet cupcakes with mascarpone cheese and croissants stuffed with goat cheese and fig or brie and cherry. You’ll find fresh fruit incorporated into nearly every menu item, typical of Polish baking. This lighter take on desserts means you’ll often find yogurt instead of heavy cream and other naturally sweetened treats.

“Sometimes I don’t follow recipes; I’ll just follow my heart,” said Tyrawa, who has been baking for more than 10 years.

Inside this family-run spot (Tyrawa’s niece is the manager and her stepson is the barista) you’ll find quaint, European-style decor such as vintage gold ceilings, plush red curtains and black-and-white checkered flooring. There are spacious tables for those looking to grab some Ipsento coffee or hot tea from Rare Tea Cellar and use the free wifi. Flavored coffee drinks go beyond the standard with house-made syrups in flavors such as fig-white pepper, lavender or white chocolate-raspberry.

Fabcakes is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.