Monday was National Cheesecake Day, and it broke our hearts to think of all the great varieties of the indulgent treat looked over by tourists who flock religiously to the Cheesecake Factory on Gold Coast.
While we get why Tina Fey recommended they stay close to the restaurant, we residents of this "no joke city" know how to find the REAL goods.
We know, we know: hometown hero Eli's Cheesecake is a classic. But in the interest of the holiday, why not venture out with some new creations?
We rounded up some of Chicago's tastiest, craziest and most inventive cheesecakes from bakeries and cafes across the city. Check out our picks below.
Did we miss your favorite spot? Tell us about it in the comments!
Cooked cheesecakes available in chocolate chip, pumpkin chocolate and strawberry swirl. Raw cheesecakes include cacao, berry, lemon and key lime. A <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/16/chicago-diner-logan-squar_n_1676808.html" target="_hplink">second location will open</a> in Logan Square soon! <a href="http://www.veggiediner.com/wp/" target="_hplink">Chicago Diner</a> 3411 N. Halsted
The Twisted Baker
The Twisted Baker's reinvented cheesecake brownie takes all the creamy indulgence of traditional cake, and adds more chocolate and oomph. <a href="http://www.thetwistedbaker.com" target="_hplink">The Twisted Baker</a> 1543 N Wells St
Shokolad Pastry & Cafe
Cheesecake lollipops at Shokolad are bite-size tastes of heaven; good luck stopping after just one. <a href="http://www.shokoladpastryandcafe.com/#!" target="_hplink">Shokolad</a> 2524 W. Chicago Ave.
Wagner's creamy cheesecake inspires adoration in its patrons. Said one Yelp reviewer: "I probably wouldn't mind having a few cheesecakes from Wagner's buried with me when I die." <a href="http://www.yelp.com/biz/wagners-bakery-chicago#query:cheesecake" target="_hplink">Wagner's Bakery</a> 2148 W Cermak Rd
Molly's blueberry, center-filled cheesecake cupcakes are a perfectly-portioned dive into bliss. <a href="http://www.mollyscupcakes.com/chicago/home.php" target="_hplink">Molly's Cupcakes</a> 2536 N. Clark St.