Suzu's Bakery in Downtown Champaign only opened in November, but it has already become a favorite among editors here at Smile Politely.

Just a couple weeks ago I ordered an eight-inch soufflé cheesecake ($25) to bring to a friend for her birthday, but I also tried the miso brownie ($4) and the Shoku Pan ($7). Shokupan is Japanese milk bread. It's light and fluffy.

Shoku Pan from Suzu's Bakery in Champaign. A loaf of bread sits on a cutting board. The white interior is exposed. Photo by Jessica Hammie. Photo by Jessica Hammie.

Reader, the bread was still warm when I picked it up. When I got home, I immediately cut slices for myself and my spouse. We were both very pleased with the bread, so much so that we each had to have another slice right away.

The bread was tender and sweet and chewy and totally delicious. It didn't need any butter or condiment; it was perfect on its own. Over the course of a couple days, I also used it for grilled cheese and toast — both were delicious — but my favorite way to eat it was plain.

If you have a chance, do yourself a favor and order a loaf. They are available in 1/3 and 1/2 loaf sizes ($5 and $7, respectively).

And what about the cheesecake? We ate it outside, distanced, and it was amazingly light and fluffy, with a hint of lemon. If you need an entire cheesecake, this is it.

Eight-inch soufflé cheesecake from Suzu's Bakery in Champaign. A lightly golden colored cheesecake sits in a box. The top is decorated wiht a whipped cream braid, dusted with lemon zest, down the center. Photo by Jessica Hammie. Photo by Jessica Hammie.

Suzu's Bakery
114 N Walnut
Champaign
W-Sa 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Su 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Top image by Jessica Hammie.