Panaderia Azucar

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Walk into this family-owned Avondale spot, which serves custom cakes and traditional Mexican baked goods, and you'll be welcomed by festive salsa music and Osita, the matriarch, who greets each customer at the door. The bakery sells about 60 pastries and more than a half dozen types of cake by the slice, as well as a limited number of savory items, including homemade tamales and a torta de tamal sandwich. There isn't anywhere to sit, so you can't linger long--but if you stop in on your way to the nearby Blue Line "L" stop (Belmont), you'll be rewarded with fresh-baked donuts and hot Colombian coffee for your commute.