Annette Mategrano (maiden name Scafuri as she's quick to point out) might be half of the reason you'd come to Scafuri Bakery. She's the kind of woman you wish you could call "grandma"—feisty and quick but also deeply moved by memory.
Her parents originally opened the bakery at another location on Loomis, though she can't remember exactly when. In 1920 they moved to the current location on Taylor. (Mategrano remembers this because it was the same year her brother was born in the apartment upstairs where she still resides.) She took over the bakery in 1988 when her fondly remembered mother died. In the back room of the bakery hang many old black-and-white photos of the Scafuri sisters and color shots of the more recent additions to the family.
The other half of the reason you'd visit Scafuri lies in the recipes that have been passed down through the years. The bakery doesn't overflow with pastry because Mategrano and her two friends still make it the same way they did 50 years ago: You won't hear the term "mass production" around here. You will find Italian cookies and breads, strudel, turnovers, cannoli and donuts, all of which cost between .45 cents and $2. Cakes can be special ordered, and the ladies churn out handmade ravioli, lasagna, eggplant parmigiana, stuffed shells, meatballs and braciole. A specialty includes the pepper toast, which is popular with truck drivers because it keeps them awake, Mategrano says, "which is nice to know."
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Christy Bonstell