You may or may not recall my push to name Armitage Avenue the city's best dining street. I'm talking about the stretch from California all the way to where Armitage meets Grand. There's a ton of fun little spots to be found. Like today's stop. Central Bakery is a neighborhood staple over in Hermosa. I've noticed there's other outlets around the city but I'm not sure how they're all related. What I do know is that the location on Armitage East of Kostner is a low key fantastic little sandwich shop.
Locals Favorite in Hermosa
From the outside Central Bakery looks like most of the other Mexican bakeries around town and it is a bakery first and foremost. They offer a large selection of Mexican baked pastries and breads. You know the drill. You grab a place-mat and put some sheet paper on it and then grab a pair of tongs and pick out what you want from each cabinet. There's alot to like. But the reason for what's on many occasions a steady stream of traffic is their selection of sandwiches on offer. The menu is on the wall.
a peek inside
On my first trip in here a year or so ago I was all over the "Crunchy" which is essentially a poor mans Cuban sandwich. Ham, butter, and cheese make up for this pressed sandwich that cost just $4. It's one of the most satisfying bites when you have the taste for one. They toast it perfectly. I'm not sure that upgrading either the ham or cheese would make it any better. It all works perfect together.
"Crunchy" Sandwich at Central Bakery
It took me a few visits to try anything else. That crunchy is crazy good as far as quick snacks go. But don't sleep on the other sandwich options like this well made "Regular" pictured below. The option to have your sandwich served cold or pressed really makes this place popular. The clientele seems to be almost exclusively locals with tons of tradesman always parking their vans in front and getting sandwiches to go. It's good to see a place like this flourishing bc the idea of the neighborhood sandwich stand is fading with Subway's turning up on every corner. I think I'll have a crunchy for lunch.
Regular Sandwich (served hot)
4348 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60639