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Of course, we should be ordering the 500-calorie lunch at Allium (yum, salmon and sorbet). But even when we’re trying so hard to be good, we can never resist the restaurant’s elegant bread basket.

The mastermind behind those splurge-worthy carbs is La Farine Bakery & Café, which has been baking otherworldly old-world bread for the Four Seasons, the InterContinental, Takashi and other high-end hotels and restaurants for five years.

But until recently, we never felt like lingering at the bakery itself, which was a small West Town storefront where the patrons constantly outnumbered the seats.

Now we’re following La Farine to Logan Square, where owner Rida Shahin just relocated to a much bigger space. With triple the square footage of the old location, the new spot has an expanded café with all of our favorite sweet treats plus “real food” options.

After perusing the lunch menu of sandwiches and salads, we settled into a sunny window seat with a flakey and flavorful vegetable tart embellished with béchamel, oven-roasted cherry tomatoes, zucchini and mushrooms.

We could have stayed all day. The high ceilings, cheery yellow walls, free Wi-Fi and a soundtrack of Motown classics make La Farine the next best thing to a classic French patisserie: a tried-and-true Chicago bakery.

La Farine, 2909 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 872-829-2002 or

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