Pekara Bakery and Bistro | Midwest Living

Pekara Bakery and Bistro

116 N. Neil St.
Champaign  Illinois  61820
United States
(217) 359-4500
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    - Robert Loerzel
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Midwest Living Review

Robert Loerzel
Pekara is both a bakery, making preservative-free European-style breads, and a creative little bistro.

Located next door to one coffee shop (Aroma) and around the corner from another (Cafe), Pekara has a similar casual cafe vibe. The difference is that Pekara is primarily a bakery. In business since 2005, Pekara bakes European breads from scratch with no preservatives or artificial flavorings. Its offerings include crusty baguettes, light ciabatta and the rustic pain de campagne, a hearty bread made with whole wheat, rye and nine grains. Of course, there's sweet stuff, too, such as the mudslide cookie (a little too rich for our taste), baklava and almond bear claws. Pekara also serves gelato with creative flavorings (specials have included roasted pistachio, Mexican vanilla cafe mocha and banana caramel praline). The coffee menu is fairly typical, with a few surprises such as Turkish coffee. And Pekara serves soup, hot and cold sandwiches, salads, quiches, omelets and crepes (both savory and sweet). Like the adjacent Aroma Cafe, Pekara is in a long narrow space with a high ceiling. A hall leads a back room and fenced-in patio. Sandwiches, salads and crepes cost about $5$8; coffee and tea drinks $2$4.

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