Rowie's Bakery

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Owner Rowena “Rowie” Reyes earned a loyal following creating cupcakes for school fundraisers in the past year and a half--so much so that she's moved from a commercial kitchen to selling sweets out of this small Rogers Park shop. The former programmer uses her mom's recipes to create ube cakes, made with purple yam and coconut milk, and other popular desserts from Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines. Although most customers take their treats to go, a half-dozen pink stools offer window seating; space has also been allotted for French macarons, canonigo (a Spanish meringue-and-custard dessert) and Filipino pan de sal bread. Six to eight cupcakes, ranging from red velvet to strawberry milkshake are available daily along with Metropolis coffee.