UPDATE: I'm upping my review of Fritz Pastry after discovering their vegan donuts ($2 a piece). This is the finest vegan donut I've ever had and easily blows away the stuff made by Mighty-O in Seattle. Fritz's donut is exquisite (they have two or three different flavors daily, but they sell out frequently, so try to get them early in the day): it looks like a gourmet pastry with a golden-brown color, and then achieves perfection in its texture by being not too soft and not too hard and not too chewy. To make things even better, the glazed one I had was covered in a gorgeous, razor-thin coating that cracked like newly formed ice sheets on a sidewalk.
The service is always friendly and they also carry equally wonderful vegan muffins, cupcakes and other random things. Also, all of their items cost about $2 which is amazingly cheap considering the quality and sophistication of their products.
Fritz handily beats any other baker in Chicago. I would also say that Fritz makes some of the finest vegan baked goods I've ever had, period, be it donuts or cupcakes or whatever. I can't wait to see them try their hand at a cheesecake or pies.
Original review: Fritz Pastry makes the finest vegan cupcake in Chicago and one of the best I've ever had.
I had their chocolate cupcake ($2) which was delectable. First and foremost, the cupcake is balanced. It's not overly sweet, buttery or dense, unlike its competition at other Chicago cupcake vendors (Bleeding Heart, Molly's, Swirlz and Sweet Cakes). The cupcake at Fritz is soft, perfectly moist, and the frosting is smooth and rich, without tasting too buttery or sugary.
Exquisite balance is the best summation. Fritz offers two different flavors (chocolate and vanilla). If they were to offer more flavors, I would consider giving them my coveted and rare five-star rating.
I also had a piece of coffee streusel cake ($2) which was quite good, though not as crumbly as I would have liked for a coffee cake. That said, it was tasty and went well with a small pot of looseleaf Intelligentsia oolong tea ($2.50).
Lastly, I had a cup of Fritz hot chocolate with soy milk ($2.85) which was smooth and rich. No complaints, though vegan whipped cream would have been a nice addition.
The atmosphere is charming and serene with lots of dark wood and a huge set of tall windows overlooking the street. This is good people-watching if you're into that sort of thing.
The staff is also friendly, attentive and helpful.
Kudos to Fritz for offering superb and cutting-edge vegan baked goods (not all of their stuff is vegan, but they do have at least a few items that fit the bill) and classy loose-leaf organic teas. If they offered a few more vegan options such as a torte, a pie, and some cookies, I would put Fritz on my must-visit list whenever I'm in Chicago. As it stands, this is an excellent spot to get a cup of tea, eat some delicious baked goods, and enjoy the view.