I tried a cafe that uses Delta-8, a popular semi-legal weed compound. The high was as good as the price.
- Wake-N-Bakery is one of the first cafes in Chicago that uses
Delta-8, a popular, semi-legal weed compound.
- I tried it out recently. I ordered a blue "razzberry" lemonade and a banana mini muffin, both infused.
On a frigid Chicago weekday in January, I stopped by Wake-N-Bakery, one of the first Delta-8 cafes in the city. It's conveniently located in the Wrigleyville neighborhood, near public transportation, Lake Shore Drive, and the intersection of Broadway and Addison by Wrigley Field.
In case you're unfamiliar with Delta-8, it's the quasi-legal, hemp-derived cannabinoid that's less potent than regular THC but can still get you high. So far, Illinois is one of the states in which the unregulated Delta-8 is not illegal.
I was welcomed by a funky looking storefront
I entered the bakery with steps leading down to a garden-level space. While I was disappointed to see there was no seating area, I wasn't surprised due to COVID-19. But the décor was colorful and cozy and felt welcoming. There was plenty of signage as to what was on the menu.
I was the only person there, except for the barista, who was friendly and very helpful. She took me through the menu, explaining everything available, including Delta-8, CBD, and non-infused options.
If you wanted a drink such as coffee or lemonade, it would come non-infused. You would order a D8 or CBD add-on for your drink, starting at 30 milligrams.
The scones and muffins were already infused, and you could choose from microdosing and macro-dosing options. Microdosing for these items also started at 30 milligrams.
I selected a 20-ounce blue "razzberry" lemonade infused with 30 milligrams of D8, the standard. I also bought a banana mini muffin with a Delta-8 microdose.
I thought the prices were reasonable considering what I was getting: $28 with tax and tip.
The food and drink could stand on their own with any high-quality artisan bakery
The blue "razzberry" lemonade was very flavorful, with the right combo of sweet and sour mixed with blueberry. It was tasty without being cloying or tart. The muffin was smooth and flavorful, and the banana flavor wasn't too sweet.
Since Wake-N-Bakery didn't have any space set aside for customers to sit or stand, I went on my way.
I started to feel the effects of my drink after consuming a third of it, or after about 30 minutes. The full effects took about an hour to hit me. I experienced warmth and coziness, with a pleasant head lift, but not an over-the-top high. The effects were very manageable, as though I had consumed very strong CBD.
The barista recommended that I only take one bite of the mini muffin, which meant eating one quarter of it. The effects from this also hit me after 30 minutes, taking about an hour to fully develop.
She also recommended using a benchmark of roughly 8 milligrams of Delta-8 equaling 5 milligrams of regular THC, and that dosing should be based on how much and how well you tolerate regular THC, so that's what I stuck with.
Wake-N-Bakery offers great infused and non-infused food and drink at a fair price
I also got to pick up that
The bakery doesn't currently have indoor seating available, which is a drawback, though they plan to offer seating when they expand into the space next door within the next few months.
Additionally, while many people describe the unregulated Delta-8 as the middle ground between CBD and traditional THC, this can be misleading. Delta-8 can be just as potent as regular THC, even though you need to take it in slightly larger quantities to get the same effect.
That means it's just as easy to overindulge on Delta-8 edibles as it is on edibles containing regular THC. Be conservative and keep that in mind before you consume.
Wake-N-Bakery — and shops like it — are worth a visit
Two more Wake-N-Bakery locations with seating are scheduled to open soon in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood and suburban Northbrook, and the planned seating area should add a fun vibe when it opens later this year. Once the new locations open, the bakery will become more of an overall consumption lounge, competitive with other consumption lounges in Northern Illinois.
Since mainstream THC consumption lounges aren't yet allowed in the City of Chicago and Wake-N-Bakery is a Delta-8 lounge instead, it will have a unique advantage to offer customers. It'll be interesting to see if the bakery starts to offer entertainment and special events at some point, like what the consumption lounges are doing, to draw crowds and introduce them to its products.
It's great to see these kinds of entertainment options expanding in Chicago and beyond, especially as an alternative to bars and clubs. As
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