Nothing about the name Pacific French Bakery alludes to it being a panadería, and that’s mostly because it originally wasn’t. This Arlington Heights shop started off as a French bakery specializing in French rolls and baguettes before catering to the local Latinx community. Next thing you know, this family business underwent quite the rebrand and now offers traditional pan dulces, cakes, and Latin American desserts at three locations. Their beautiful pastries grab our attention every time we walk in, like the perfectly round and airy torta de azucar with a crimped spiral design and coating of sugar crystals on top. Not only is it the most symmetrical ball of dough we’ve ever seen, but it’s surprisingly light and the perfect loaf to gnaw on during long morning commutes. The gusano roll is another picturesque bite with its slightly curved shape, deep brown color, and slits of sweet butter paste poking through (similar to the crunchy topping you’d find on a concha).
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